You are not welcome in my home.
The arguments and fights about the term Pagan and its usage and usefulness are well wrought. I’ve no wish to rehash them in the same manner here. My thoughts today dwell more on the pain I have felt in regards to the community the past year, a pain that has steadily worn me away. It wore away my soft exterior and taught me how to be hard, how to snap back and hiss at those who attempted to shove me around. I still believed in a broader pan-Pagan interfaith dialog. I still let people into my home.
I learned the variety in the word Pagan and learned to accept it gladly. I have and always will enjoy speaking with others and learning about their practices. Where it was appropriate, I would offer what knowledge I could. My doors were open, and I would speak with whoever passed. Whether they were angry or arrogant I would speak with them, sometimes trading back jabs and other times attempting to dialog.
I am closing my doors.
This does not mean I won’t interact or dialog with people anymore, or that I am uninterested in pan-Pagan interfaith and closer community with those that share my religions and interests. But it does mean that I will not engage with those who spout their racism, sexism, and any other hatred with pride. It means I will block people without remorse. I am under no obligation to listen to someone because they identify as a Pagan.
If you are unable to respect me and mine I will gladly shut my doors to you. I have no shame in admitting that I do not want to be tired and sick with anger and sadness over the hate I see. Of course, it is not possible to block all of it out, and that is not my goal. I do not wish to shut my eyes. But it is not my job to educate a bigot. I am under no obligation to speak with you if you will not treat me with respect.
We may call ourselves Pagan, but that does not mean I have anything in common with you. And the broader community has ashamed me and angered me and I am done. My doors are not open to all. My home is not a space for everyone to gather.
My table is set and the fire is burning, but my curtains are lowered and I gather now with those who feed my religion, my soul, my faith, my heart, my head. I gather with those who teach me and those who would learn alongside me, I gather with those who will reach out to me in honest as I reach back to them.
You who diminish and demean, I cast you out.
You who lash at those I host, I cast you out.
You who demand we ‘love’, I cast you out.
You who demand I bow to you, you who demand I forfeit myself, you who demand we hide ourselves, I cast you out, and may you never return to this house, this home, this hill.
I am done.
The card for today is the Five of Pentacles. A card of spiritual troubles, it is fitting for the day and my reflections. This card was drawn later into the day, letting me clear my thoughts concerning my frustration and better understand what I was truly leaving behind without drowning in the loss. I could not let failure drown (!) me, I could not let it blind me to the miracle of the Red Lotus.
After all, even at its most painful and frustrating moments, the friends I have made on and offline in the Pagan community have given me great gifts that I hope I am able to repay – in knowledge, debate, wit, and kindness. In raw inspiration and devotion and carefully contemplated works. I could not shut my doors to everyone, nor would I want to. My path has always been one of community; I am simply realizing now I do not wish to engage in the drab community of senseless refusal to learn or outright hostility.
It would be far too easy to become lost in my sorrow over what I witnessed today in my corner of the community, over the continued struggles I face in my local one. This post may be seen as falling to those sorrows, but it is not. Establishment of boundaries is good and vital to my mystic practice. What’s more, this card reminds us to look past the thorns digging into us and at the flowers (!) that bloom from the same plant. If I had not faced unpleasantness in my community I would not have been tempered into a person that can step up, can raise their voice and stand firm.
But this cards reminds me – when one closes their doors, that does not mean they must shut themselves off entirely. There are still other souls with us to whom we can touch with honesty.