The Pagan community has blogged, podcasted, and lectured their way through another year of wonderful quotes. Once again, I get to offer my favorite ones to you.
Overall, it 2013 was a good year for Pagans. Heathens scored a victory when Thor’s Hammer was approved as a headstone emblem by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. Wiccans got Fox News’ Tucker Carlson to apologize (kind of) for nasty and (worse) inaccurate comments about their holidays. The Maetrum of Cybele, Magna Mater won its taxation battle, and the Temple Of Witchcraft completed its parking lot, allowing its doors to open for rituals and classes.
There was pain as well. Our intertwined religious communities engaged each other passionately over issues of racial justice, fought “witch burnings” and abuse of women across the world (and on Facebook), and used magic in the battle to save the earth from the destructive oil drilling process known as fracking.
Here at The Juggler, we suffered from the sudden passing of one of our contributors, Zan Fraser. Zan was a prolific writer whose posts on magic and Witchcraft and Shakespeare and classical theater were always fascinating and thought provoking. The Wild Hunt marked his crossing by publishing an obituary piece on September 23, and I’d like to present a small portion of that piece as a tribute to him:
“Zan, the worlds you walked were ever more enriched by your presence and permanently changed by the legacy you left. Those dancing, prancing shoes will never be re-filled, but they certainly left footprints on our hearts and souls. Blessed Be, Sweet Prince, and flights of glittery fairies sing thee to thy rest.”
- Brian Brewer, Chris Goffredo, Michael Lloyd, Paul Patton, Bruce and Kay Skidmore, Gary Suto, and Courtney Weber.
Now on the quotes. Identity and negotiation seemed to mark the themes of this year. Pagans challenged each other across traditions as well as within traditions. Most of it was the understandable growing pains of a religious movement that is still young and still wrestling with its sense of self and its place within mainstream society. It was a healthy, honest discussion of who we are, where we are going, and how we relate to other faiths.
As always, these quotes are based on what I read or heard. It’s entirely possible that I missed something awesome. Please feel free to comment with any quotes you would have placed on the list. To make the list, the speaker/writer must be a Pagan. The ranking is my own opinion, but I love it when a writer makes the delivers the maximum amount of message with a minimum number of words. I’ve provided links to the original sources.
Those are the rules. Here are the quotes:
10. “The real St. Francis of Assisi was anything but serene. He was more like “Occupy Rome” AD 1204 — an upper middle class young man angry at the establishment, demanding radical change in the Roman Catholic Church. But history has turned him into a bird bath.”
- Chas S. Clifton, May 31
9. “I need to sort of emphasize to a lot of African-Americans that yes, this is an African tradition, yes, we want to connect with our roots and whatever else. But our roots are here, too.”
- Baba Ifagbemi Faseye, August 25
8. “Sex positive does not mean I should be pressured to engage in experiences that I’m not comfortable with. In fact, that’s quite the opposite, that’s peer pressure and shaming.”
- Shauna Aura Knight, October 28
7. “It gets easier…unless what you love about this path is the sense of drama you can evoke and your ability to stir the proverbial pot. If your every mood must be reflected in your online outrage, and your ability to ground and focus is not highly developed, you may not find it getting either easier or deeper.”
- Byron Ballard, November 3
6. “Fear of loss. Fear of uncertainty. Fear of judgement. Fear of our own desires. Fear of the desires of others. Fear of physical danger. Fear of psychological danger. Emotional danger. These are tools of oppression. Weapons. And we use them on each other.”
- LaSara Firefox Allen, October 7
5. “We want someone that we can put on a pedestal and worship almost, but teachers and leaders are just people- and you know what? Most elders that I’ve met, they just want to be treated like people. They don’t want to be worshiped and fawned over and have their ass kissed. They hate it actually. The ones who love it, you might want to worry about them.”
4. “Many of us are proud of our independence and may stubbornly cling to it beyond the bounds of logic.”
- Carl Neal, June 30
3. “Humility is overrated, but don’t be an asshole as the pagan community usually does a good job keeping assholes in check and word spreads fast.”
- Seb the Shaman, September 20
2. “As people who, after considerable thought, gave up the status quo to pursue our true selves, shouldn’t we be the shining example, not the common problem?”
- Kenny Klein, November 20
1. “In a small way, Wicca can give women that confidence and ability to speak out. It is a strong woman’s craft. Every strong woman is a witch.”
- Ipsita Roy Chakraverti, March 17