Well, they said that 2012 was going to be the year of radical shifts in consciousness. This year’s top Pagan quotes all seem to reflect that notion. These are not the words of happy, comfortable New Agers seeking light and love. Each one of these quotes challenges the existing paradigm and seeks to light a transformative fire under our collective rear ends.
Star Foster starts off the list by emphatically rejecting the perception that Pagans are simply a strange sect of alternative Christians, explaining in no uncertain terms how we are different from any sect of Christianity. Crystal Blanton and Michael York both challenged us to go beyond the tempting polarity of Us vs. Them and find a new way of being the inclusive we claim to be, effectively challenging us to put up or shut up.
Dr. Brendan Myers advanced the argument that a previously under-recognized brand of Paganism was coming into its own, stirring up a lot of discomfort for the more theistic element of our community. Teo Bishop made such a huge splash this year that he appears twice. First, he underwent a very public coming out process as he wrestled with two public identities. Then he set fire to his own blog by questioning an element of Pagan ritual that many people see as downright foundational.
Add to that elders publicly leaving their traditions of origin, a call for male allies in the national fight for women’s rights, and a little poke at certain Mormon politician, and you end up with a year of Pagan quotes that broke self-imposed molds and stimulated entire new ways of thinking. Our community is better for it.
As always, these quotes must have been said by people who are known to be Pagans. Words stated by non-Pagans, even if they were about us, don’t qualify, even if Conan O’Brien brings one of our most revered publications to national television. Also as usual, these are just what I found. If I missed something you really liked this year, please feel free to leave the quote in a comment.
With those disclaimers out of the way, let’s get on with the Top 10 Pagan Quotes of 2012:
10. “I reject Jesus Christ. I reject Jesus Christ. I reject Jesus Christ.
There. I’ve said it three times. We’re officially divorced.” – Star Foster, August 2
9. “We judge one another in order to define who is Black enough, spiritual enough, Pagan enough or oppressed enough and we miss the mark on the true gift of our community. The best gift that we can give is to love more, understand more, empathize more, show more, give more, listen more, connect more and even identify more with those who have experienced this here journey called life.” – Crystal Blanton, February 23
8. “Before I was a blogger named Teo Bishop, I was an artist named Matt Morris. I’ve been doing music since I was a little kid, been a pro since I was a teenager, and up until the last year or two, I’ve done little else.’ – Teo Bishop, July 12
7. “But it is to our shame that we fight among ourselves, drench ourselves in petty jealousies and reflect our worldwide human comrades more than the mother’s sanctity itself.” – Michael York, May 6
6. “I just don’t think the gods, any gods, care at all about politics. I don’t care if that god lives near the star Kolob, once resided in the Holy of Holies, or was worshipped on the Acropolis in the Parthenon of Ancient Athens.” – Jason Mankey, October 18
5. “Humanist Paganism seems to be an emerging option for those who want to be part of the Pagan community, but who want to be a little more intellectual about their practices, and they really don’t care about the “woo” anymore.” – Brendan Myers, August 18
4. “This past weekend I felt ashamed at Pagan Pride on account of a circle.” – Teo Bishop, October 22
3. “I, M. Macha NightMare, Priestess & Witch, aka Aline O’Brien, withdraw from the organization known as Reclaiming Tradition Witchcraft and hereby dissociate myself from further involvement with the tradition.” – M. Macha NightMare, August 4
2. “Don’t worry about the economy so much: as the majority labor force in this country, and the majority in colleges and universities at this time, women will be able to figure things out with the economy once we are able to stop wasting our time on, you know, worrying about being raped or forced to have children who are products of rape.” – Lady Yeshe Rabbit, August 23