Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pagan annoyances, or demons I'd like to banish

 It can't all be sweetness and light.  Sometimes associating with the pagan/occult community can drive me to the end of my rope, so please indulge me in a bit of vitriol.  Here's three things that have been trying my patience lately:

Whining.  I get so tired of listening to people grouse about being so persecuted for the pagan path that they chose, and presumably enjoy.  So, Mom doesn't like that you go out to the woods to burn shit and dance naked?  Big deal!  (Unlesss you're fifteen)  You aren't comfortable discussing your Samhain plans with coworkers?  Boo hoo.  Save your outrage for the real injustices.  And please shut up about the Burning Times, capital B capital T.  I'm willing to bet that neither you nor anyone you've ever known has ever been in danger of being burned alive for your beliefs.  If you're living somewhere you can safely read this post, you're living somewhere that free speech and religious liberty have at least a fighting chance--for which you should be thanking every god you can think of.  So walk your chosen path with strength and integrity and quit expecting a pat on the back from everyone. 

Cheap, crappy incense.  Ah, there's nothing like wafting, fragrant smoke to set a sacred space and lift the spirit to higher places.  Unless your incense of choice is waxy sawdust doused with cloying solvent.  Here's how to tell if your incense is shit:  Does it come from a Renn Faire, dollar store, or head shop?  Does it smell like a bowl of grandma's potpourri (and grandma's been dead for 15 years)?  Anyway, good incense is like good pizza--just a couple bucks more, and totally worth it.

Eco-fascism. I live in a place that is plagued by swarms of mosquitoes in the summer.  Every year, we have local outbreaks of West Nile virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes and which can be fatal.  I'm extremely susceptible to the bites (swollen limbs, sleepless nights, etc.), so I buy big spray can of insect repellent and carry it everywhere between May and September.  And it works.  Better than any solution I've tried before, anyway.  But at pagan gatherings, I courteously step away from the group to douse myself, and return to a chorus of unsolicited counsel:

"Oh, you should try eating more garlic.  Then you won't have to use that stuff."
 "You know what works great for mosquitoes?  Orange oil and clove oil." (No it doesn't.)
"Have you tried this organic brand?" (Hell no!)
Me: "No, what's the active ingredient?"
"Ummm..." (Because there isn't one.)

Yeah, I get it: The Earth is our mother and our home.  But let's not be ridiculous--every creature alive is programmed to look out for its immediate survival.  That's the way Momma Earth intended it, and that's what I plan to do.  So here, have some Diethyl M-Toluamide: Fffwwwwwwssssssssssssssshhhhhhhh.  You can thank me later.

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