Breaking Craft Stereotypes:
I know you. Bunny.
You wear a bright new shiny silver pentacle proudly. You challenge anyone who even looks at you without smiling and tell them to stop persecuting you. You like donning all sorts of spooky and occult-looking accoutrements and talismans and then spit and cuss up a storm when the evil patriarchal bastards on the street look at you and ask you where the Halloween party is. You buy all sorts of books with crescent moons on the spine and pictures of scantily clad ‘witches’ on the covers and read them in public places just hoping someone will come up to you and ask you if you are Satanic so you can shoot them down with your “Bunny Witchcraft Catechism.” (You know the one. It goes “Wicca is not Satanic. Witches are good people. Our religion is older than yours.”) You go through extreme lengths to stage your proper “Coming out of the Broom Closet” event so that the maximum amount of people will now know that you are one of “those people.” And then when they dislike you for being one of those people, you rant and rave about tolerance and acceptance and how much their evil Xtianity has destroyed your people.
Let’s cut the crap. You Like Being Seen as Alternative. You like the image of your pseudo-Wicca as Alternative.
In fact, you probably wouldn’t even be into Wicca or Paganism if it wasn’t perceived as alternative, and the minute you feel that someone thinks that Paganism is all right and fine for normal people, you go through great lengths to prove them wrong. I have a question for you. Bunny. Would you be into Wicca, or whatever you are calling it these days, if it wasn’t for the fact that it seems strange? Would you even be interested in it if it weren’t for the fact that it appears to be an alternative religion (and therefore neat, kewl, and fitting for you)?
In case some of you were wondering, there is no ‘witchy’ way to dress…no ‘witchy’ way to eat…no ‘witchy’ way to talk…no officially witchy books to pretend to read while you are sitting in Starbucks, hoping someone will notice you…no official lifestyle that could be pointed to and called ‘witchy’ or ‘Pagan.’ Despite what many of you wish to believe. Wiccans and other Pagans come from all sorts of backgrounds, have all sorts of careers/jobs and lifestyles, and do all sorts of things with their freetime when they are not worshipping their gods and goddesses or practicing their religions.
Out of all of the Witches (Wiccan and otherwise) and Pagans that I know personally, none of them wear their religions on their sleeves. You wouldn’t even be able to pick any of them out from a crowd…unless you knew them personally enough to recognize them. And that is the point. The most important point. The most valid of validities….getting to know someone personally should be about them first and their religion later, if at all relevant.
Many people have recently gotten into Neo-Pagan Witchcraft and/or other forms of Paganism simply because of an assumed (hip media-created) alternative aura. Everyone wants to read a book and learn to be a witch, instantly, or within ten to twenty easy lessons. But contrary to what some of the authors say, it doesn’t work like that. Unless you are a fricken tourist visiting some strange country of witches and need to quickly know some of the customs. (And frankly, if it was a country I lived in, we wouldn’t give YOU a visa anyway.)
The marketing of the image that Wicca and other forms of Neo-Paganism are alternative and cool is a disrespectful way to present them to others. Neo-Pagan faiths are minority religions in this society but that doesn’t give anyone the right to use stereotyped imagery about them to boost one’s book sales. Those of you wearing flashy so-called “Wiccan” garb or feathers and crystals and pentacles/jewelry because it is cool are misrepresenting the rest of us. What gives you the right to do so? Stupidity or ignorance is not an excuse.
So before you go around the next time wearing it on your sleeve, remember that you may better spend your time getting a life. And if you really are interested in pursuing Wicca or some other form of Paganism, you may want to spend some time actually practicing and learning about it. I know that hard work, experience, learning, insight, reflection and dedication are not much respected anymore in this point-and-click instant-enlightenment miracle-pill society, but if you want to be one of us, you had best start ponying up to the bar.
Otherwise, you are just a Bunny. And we will keep calling you that.
-Irreverend Hugh, KSC
[June 10th, 2005]
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