Dec 292011

As last year, so this year.  Here is my second annual installment of the Top 10 Pagan Quotes of the year.

This was a year of standing up in the face of threat.  The sources of threat varied from political institutions to international corporations to everyday people from mainstream faiths who were scared off by words like “Pagan” and “Witch.”

All too often the threat came from within our own community.  That’s not necessarily bad.  These kinds of discussions and disagreements, when handled productively and respectfully, can challenge beliefs that have solidified into dogma and propel the community forward, helping us learn and grow with the times.

And sometimes the threat was Charlie Sheen.

The speakers and writers of each quote must be Pagans.  This means that quotes said by mainstream news sources about Pagans do not qualify, and as much as I would have loved to include Stephanie Edwards’ instant classic from January 1, “I’m going to apply nuts to my face this year,” it also does not qualify.  In some cases, quotes have been edited for punctuation, grammar, or clarity.  You can link to each one to find its original source.

If you have any favorite quotes that I missed, please feel free to include them in the comments.  So here we go:

10. “In fact, ‘Wicca’ seemed to be turning into some sort of derisive joke, with ‘Ronald Hutton’ as the punch line.” – Ben Whitmore, February 8

9. “I looked at the toys in my hands and I saw the result of millions of dollars of development and thousands of hours of manpower, put into something bearing the name of a god, my god, and it had nothing to do with me.” – Eric Scott,  April 11

8. “By making me a personal target, I’ve been inundated with wonderful, loving, supportive energy from dozens and dozens of people.  I won’t waste my time being mad or hating them. Because in my personal faith, I forgive, I accept, and I am tolerant. (or at least I really, really try to be).” – Mrs. B., May 27

7. “At its essence, the message of the Occupations is simply this: ‘Here in the face of power we will sit and create a new society, in which you do count.’” – Starhawk, October 20

6. “But if you claim to be one of us, you have to have sometimes in your life a womb, and ovaries and MOON bleed and not die. Women are born not made by men on operating tables.” – Z. Budapest, February 28

5. “A tinfoil hat might protect [Charlie Sheen] from aliens, but it won’t do anything to protect him from witches.” – Christian Day, March 4

4. “This is very important for us; we didn’t have a place to call our own, to be outside in nature,” – Cadet Nicole Johnson, May 3

3. “I don’t like being tolerated by priestesses. It’s demeaning. It is absolutely arrogant to look down on me and assume that your path is in any way more valid or deeper than mine or other men who work with Goddess.” – Devin Hunter, December 19

2. “This decision shows how important our faith is. We are getting credence from a secular government about our belief structure – which not only shows it is valuable but also valued by us and others.” – King Arthur Pendragon, October 2

1. “Please send all questions to: thank you!Standard answer of The U.S. American Council of Witches to all questions posted on their Facebook page.

  24 Responses to “Top Pagan Quotes of 2011”

  1. I got a big belly laugh out of #1! And thanks for reminding me of all these amazing things that happened over the past year!

  2. Thanks for this. Great collecting!

  3. Great job, I know you’ve been keeping track of these all year & trying to piece them together. A great retrospective on the year. And thanks for the reminder about the nuts on our faces!!

  4. Thanks for including me! And I’m relieved to see it wasn’t something dingy, lol! =D

  5. Re #7: I came into the Pagan world via Z Budapest but my love and respect for her does not include love and respect for her transphobia. I’m disappointed that you included this.

  6. Arvanna: I don’t like that one much either, but it’s not what we like. Z Budapest is a respected elder, and when she says something, people listen. This isn’t the top 10 quotes I agree with, it’s what I judge to be the influential quotes of the year. Her transphobia was influential.

  7. Z’s transphobia is born of her hatred of the male gender. I have a (female) friend who walked out on one of her workshops once, because instead of celebrating themselves as women, Z instead treated her to 10 minutes of male-bashing.

    For a member of a minority (Pagans) to publicly bash another minority (transgender folks) is hypocracy of the highest degree, and erases Z from any reputable list of Pagan “leaders”…

  8. I love how you included the ridiculous and the serious ones together. Some of these are wicked funny.

  9. I love mine! I’d forgotten that quote! :)

  10. I love Mrs. B so it’s good to see her up there, I had never heard of Devin Hunter but that was my favorite. I’ve had a taste of that myself as a male Goddess worshiper, was even told by a witch once that I couldn’t practice, it was forbidden for men to be near magick, we’re too flawed or dirty or somesuch.
    Regarding the Z quote, i certainly see why you included it, it’s a powerful sentiment. In my view it is utterly vile, I feel dirty just having read it.

  11. As a trans woman Pagan, I feel assaulted, psychically and sexually, by #6. Z Budapest’s words deserve condemnation, not celebration. By including them as influential words in a post which starts with the words “This was a year of standing up in the face of threat,” you imply that trans Pagans represent a threat that needs to be stood up to.

    I stand up here and say that privilege-denial and privilege-coddling in Paganism is the threat. Cissexual privilege, heterosexual privilege, race privilege, abled privilege, sex privilege, any of a thousand other privileges, ALL of them need to be confronted.

  12. Kate: fair point, well stated. Reference the part about how these disagreements are helpful when handled respectfully. Z’s quote influenced a lot of discourse this year. I don’t in any way “celebrate” what she said, but it would be dishonest to not acknowledge its influence.

  13. Thanks for including my quote. Oddly enough, I found the furor that article started to be even more surreal than the experience I described in it…

  14. Eric: me too. It was a great, poignant piece.

  15. “By including them as influential words in a post which starts with the words “This was a year of standing up in the face of threat,” you imply that trans Pagans represent a threat that needs to be stood up to.”

    Oh please, did you bother to read the sentences that follow that quote at all? Here I’ll help you:

    “All too often the threat came from within our own community. That’s not necessarily bad. These kinds of discussions and disagreements, when handled productively and respectfully, can challenge beliefs that have solidified into dogma and propel the community forward, helping us learn and grow with the times.”

    There’s enough in the world that both Pagans and GLBT people have to be genuinely offended about that it’s incredibly irritating to come here and see someone launch into an ‘OMG I’m so offended’ rant because they couldn’t bother to read things in context and just made wild assumptions.

  16. I understand the fact that it initiated a lot of discussion and discord this year and this could technically be considered influential… it is hard to see that listed here. It is very painful and not something I think it particularly worth highlighting. Now, on the other hand… it does highlight a lot of tension and sadness that has happened this year as a result of exclusive views that are not supportive of one another.

  17. Though some of these quotes brought to mind the tension I have felt and/or have been a part of – I loved to see small glimpses of the growth our community has taken this year. This piece speaks to the voices, opinion makers, and people who helped shape the field of the collective pagan consciousness.
    To look back upon the year and see what we have been able to bring out into the open, shed light on, and choose to grow from brings peace to my heart. This list is a list of our growing pains. Each and every one of these was great! I loved this piece and want to say thank you for reminding me of the good and the bad because now I see how beautiful we all are, and am honored to have been mentioned.

  18. Speaking as an all natural woman, I find Ms. Budapest’s words highly offensive. I’m hoping it was included to show how far we came this year, and not because it was in any way agreed with, or simply because she is a Pagan Big Name ™. I find it incredibly sad that a community of people who *know* what it’s like to feel on the outside of things and to be shunned for being different would turn around and shun others for the same reason.

    I find it worse that a community that loudly and often criticizes other religions (one in particular) for acting like they know what deity’s plan for us all is (and stating it’s a fairly narrow one, at that) and trying to force that plan down everyone’s throat, it is even sadder that someone would act basically the same in the name of the Goddess. We’re better than this. And in a group of people who don’t bat an eye if someone claims to be a dragon, a fae, or the reincarnation of Helen of Troy, who are we to say otherwise if someone claims to be something much more simple, such as a woman born into the wrong body?

    It’s bigotry, plain and simple, and it makes me want to punch something.

  19. My comment is specifically in relation to what TIm said re the Z Budapest comment, namely “Z Budapest is a respected elder”

    Tim, this is not a “go” at you. But hold the phone! One of the things which brought me to Paganism was a healthy disrespect of all this “respected elder” stuff!

    We are all entitled to our opinions — it doesn’t necessarily make them illuminating or beneficial or forward-moving, whoever we might be and whatever amazing things we may have achieved in our lives.

    Some things are just not “right.” They resonate wrong because they are wrong.

  20. Nook of Names: You’re right. But I didn’t include here only what was “right.” I Included quotes that started discussions, gave an overview of a larger issue, or revealed important (even if offensive) ideas. An idea does not lose its importance because you disagree with it, find it offensive, or dislike the speaker. Z Budapest put that quote out into the public landscape, and you all have the right to judge her for it. She has the right to say it, and we all have the right to hate it. If you want to boycott her work as a result, go ahead.

    To not mention it would be to hide it under a rug, potentially leading to the community forgetting about it (it happens). To mention it is to remind the community that she said it and give them a second chance to shape their own opinions on her. The very fact that it has sparked so much discussion here proves that it belongs on the list.

  21. Tim — I have to confess that one threw me too. If it hadn’t already been discussed in the comments, I’d be here asking if it was an endorsement or a condemnation.

    But I’m with you here, Z. Budapest’s poisonous words are representation of an attitude that drove a major event, and sadly is still a huge point of contention in the pagan and feminist communities. Here’s hoping 2012′s #7 is a wiser sentiment.

  22. Ech, #6, my apologies for getting my numbers confused.

  23. [...] so much for all your votes and support!)A quote from CPSM was included in the #8 spot for the Top Pagan Quotes of 2011 by The Juggler.Interviews featuring Mrs.B.Interview with The Pagan Writers CommunityInterview with [...]

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