A is for Arseholes.
Arseholes, as the saying goes, are like opinions we all have them. Indeed you can go to any blog; any forum and you will find it full of them – opinions that is. But this blog wants to deal with Arseholes in the Pagan community. Believe you me there are many and they come in many guises. I am sure I have been called one by a few.
However the ones I wish to discuss and talk about are those predatory Arseholes, who look for and prey on that new comer to the craft, path and or tradition. You find them everywhere and as soon as new meat, be it young or old, comes and asks questions, or attends a moot, gathering or joins a group on facebook , and out they pop.
Now there are those who you may meet face to face, at a moot, or a gathering.
Some will be very obvious, particularly the older males who like to help educate the younger female. And of course the leaders, the alpha males and females, who are indeed very charismatic, and who like to lead a flocks of adoring sycophants.
Many of us have, can be and have been fooled by them – I include myself here, we were all ‘new’ once. They can be the High Priest/Priestess; you all know who I mean, ‘the person in the know’, the charismatic beautiful one, with the long hair, the cloak and the big stick. The one who stands out from the crowd who feed their ‘minions’ just enough morsels, to keep them interested but who then demands undying loyalty and fidelity for what is not a great deal of friendship , attention and/or teaching .
Or they can be the ones who demand that in order to be initiated and allowed access to that particular group or paths hidden secretes/gnosis/truth you need to do this that and the other – some of it maybe sexual, some maybe just giving a % of your wealth some of it may be more serious deeper, and worrying. That is not to say that some groups do have certain ways of initiating people, which are not easy, are not shared, etc. But any initiate should be talked through these, their worries open to discussion and then only admitted after a lot of thought by both the initiate and the group.
Then there are those Arseholes, who are not as easy to spot, who offer you friendship, who wants to ‘walk with you on the path’, who assure you that they have been there and know what it is like to be unsure…who want to help’ you and ‘share’ your experiences… yet who always have a drama going on, and who need your help and support. Who soon learn your soft spots, your weak points, who in order for their friendship, then manipulate be it gently at first, in order to get you to agree with them accompany them, etc. etc. etc. and facilitate their own personal agendas.
Then there are those who appear to be ‘Fluffy bunnies’ – [as an aside ‘Fluffy Bunnies are not necessary new people!] They appear to be very innocence believing everything they are told, who believe in love and light and of course Karma [don’t get me started on Karma – well maybe do—but that is for week 26] Fluffies are not good at being challenged or questioned, indeed if and when you do or dare, they accuse you of being negative and are so passive aggressive, that you feel the best way to calm things down is to agree with them.
Indeed, if you are new you don’t want to make a fuss. Even if you are a not new to the path you come across Fluffies- even rabid ones. They have pointy teeth and will if questioned about something they have said, do or believe, will try and tear you apart … and then say it’s your fault. Bit like toddlers really. These are not to be confused by some of the Elders who actually do know what they are talking about, have been there, got the T-Shirt, and are fed up with going over and over it again, and being challenged on what should be Pagan 101. Sometimes you need to just listen to you elders, you can challenge them, but when they know what they are talking about, just shut up.
Then there are the snake oil sellers, you find them everywhere, on High Streets, down Alleys, on line and at Spiritual Fayres all over the world. They promises you knowledge, power, you name it, it just well ‘costs’, time , energy, trust and of course some of the green stuff… or even a monthly direct debit. It costs money- even a few £/$ a week add up if you have a 100 or so people subscribing to you email list!
Then there are the ‘Arseholes’ online. You will find many similar traits to above on line. Only amplified!
I don’t know what it is but for some people when they get behind a keyboard they believe that can do and say anything without being challenged or effect.
You will find some have created groups, for ‘like-minded people’ or Family – one group I came across the leader told me that all 8000 of his likers were his ‘Family’. He even believed what he said went. And sadly there were some among that group he did what he told them. What they really mean is that it is a group that says ‘it’s my way or the high way. Then there are ‘online covens’. I know some work very well, but a coven of 10,000 people, – come on? And yes I know people on these groups will meet other people and make friendship- indeed I have met and made some wonderful friends, including my husband, on line and in groups. But lets get real here, you cannot be in a Coven of 10,000 people and share intimately ‘magical knowledge and purpose.’
Power corrupts and absolute power of owning a group – corrupts absolutely. You find groups like this all over the web. Some on social media groups, other on their own web sites. One clear way is watching and see how they deal with challenges, or and if they have a PayPal button. If they want to sell you things, if they have a shop, which has the most magical charms, 100% accuracy etc. take care. Now that is not to say all shop owners are like this, I know a few who are wonderful upstanding citizens of the pagan community, and will give you good honest advice. They don’t sell things to those who do not know what to do with or how to cope with items. But will advise on what the best things for the situation maybe needed. Or indeed what are the better books to read and look at. As I said its how they answer when asked or challenge that shows you what they are like. And if they have that PayPal button on their page, and or group, and ask people to donate to buying some woodland in some place you have never heard off, or themselves as they are struggling then beware.
Then there are the authors, the writers of books and blogs … well again beware, if they promise for a few pennies/[though more likely pounds/dollars] of your heard earned cash to tell you the secrets of a 1000 years of family witchcraft practices.
Beware, if they offer for a few pennies of your hard earned cash to tell you how to self-initiate and become a High Priest[ess] in 5 easy steps, because, dear reader it cannot be done. Well it can, but means f**k all
Even worse are those who Arseholes who try and sell you a spell, without knowing themselves what it means, is actually needed and/or even worse what the outcomes will and can be. And those who sell you a spell which is about as much use as a chocolate teapot, which just gets messy when you fill it with hot water!
That is not to say don’t buy books, – No, No, No. Books are your friend. You need to read and read more and more. Many groups online and not have great book lists. They can and will advise you what to read, to look at. You of course may not agree with everyone, or every author, that’s good. Then there is also the ‘tinternet’, Blogs etc, where you can read for free…. Just one warning be careful of down loading free books, and when someone offer to share an online book for a couple of reason. One it may have a virus… and 2 the book maybe under copywrite… and you are then stealing from someone, who has worked hard to create something. Stealing is never good whatever path you on!
There are those Arseholes who try and tell you that to become a pagan you have to rethink your whole moral code and compass, who accuse you of holding onto old ideas and thought patterns and that you can never be truly free or a ‘real pagan’ until you give them up. Who tell you if you come to their workshops, if you buy their book, if you donate to their work then you will be inspired and even better liberated.
There are those Arseholes who have no training and tell people what herbs to take, and too walk away from modern medicine. Those who believe that crystals are the answer to all man’s ill health and that if you put one under your pillow you will be cured. – Though they happily buy crystals from unethical sources, where the crystals are ripped out of the earth by dynamite and slave labour is used to polish them and sell them on. But what is even worse than being arseholes these kinds of Arseholes are dangerous people. It takes years to become an Herbalist, years of training and not just in the herbs themselves.
Can you see where I am going here?
Now this may sound like just a rant, or I may sound like a bitter twisted old Hag, but you know I have been through and met a lot of Arseholes, including many listed above, and I wanted to share with you, dear reader, the pitfalls that we as Pagans seem so easily fall into.
I want people to be aware, not just the young [who will do what they want any way], but those who have found this path because they were looking or by accident, to realise that it’s not all rainbows, love and unicorns. That that just because they have become or found Paganism in whatever of it’s many diverse forms, that the Arseholes, they knew about and knew how to spot in their ‘other ‘ lives are still very much around and waiting. I want people not to be so overcome with at last finding their ‘spiritual’ path or the ‘tribe’, that they lose all common sense.
With that, just to let you know my new book should be out by the end of the year, that I am booking a long holiday to New Orleans in September, in order to research my next book, and to help reverie my spirit and that I will have a PayPal button somewhere when I work out how to get it on here.
**please see ; http://southpark.wikia.com/wiki/Jenkins