The problem with some South African Pagans

I am going to deviate from the NNV for a bit.

In the two following Facebook groups – South African Pagan Council and South African Pagan Rights Alliance – a lot of shit has been going down.

This all started over two months ago about the whole Vampyre and Pagan palaver.  Since then, unfounded attacks have been made on fellow Pagans as well as the administrators of these groups by those that claim to be all “Love-and-Light” but are in fact all bark and no bite. They have been actively making a stench with their vitriol and spite. I feel the need to bring the argument to a head and to resolve some issues that have been laying dormant, especially about this whole tedious Vampyre/Pagan saga.  If you look in the timelines of these groups you will see the reason for posting this.

We, (the South African Pagan community as a whole) are tired of all those that sprout their airy-fairy love-and-light shit whilst stabbing you in the back. We are also tired of those that feel the need to make their opinion known but do nothing to change the status quo – thus you are all bark and no bite. I could name and shame but I believe their own malice and spite will be their downfall. We are also tired of those that claim to be something whilst acting in a manner contrary to their own professed belief system.  Why fight over non-issues? Why not agree to disagree? We are all entitled to an opinion, so keep yours but respect the opinion of another!

On Light/Dark and Right/Wrong, these are subjective terms based on the human condition. Saying that your way is the right and “full of light” way is bigoted and hypocritical because it all hinges on your perception and is all subjective.

But keep in mind, those who stare at the light and who seek to smother and suppress the dark upset the natural balance as there cannot be light without dark.  Those who focus only on the light become so blinded by the light of their own self-adoration that they fail to see that what they do actually starts to harm others – thus making them the Pagan equivalent of a Born-again Xtian!

Firstly, if you are going to start arguing for or against something (about any topic for that matter), at least do some research beforehand; because if you don’t it becomes immediately obvious that you have done no research, that you have nary a clue and it removes all doubt that you are indeed stupid.

This in my opinion and experience is mostly done by Wiccans or those claiming to be Wiccans (I am generalising but prove me wrong, if you think I am wrong then call me on it). You preach love-and-light but you spread lies-and-poison.

A Wiccan that I greatly admire and respect intimated “I really feel that us Wiccans get such a bad rep because of a handful of close-minded people that claim to follow the Rede and are Wiccan seem to sow discord in the South African pagan community.  But as I’ve discovered over my many years in the Wiccan community, that it happens amongst a lot of groups, not just religious but in sports, charitable causes etc.  Where there are two or more people there will be arguments and unnecessary in-fighting.  I don’t make light decisions in any area of my life, including my spirituality.

According to my beliefs there is not light or dark magic, they come together and are one, some would refer to it as grey Magick.  Some people do unfortunately look at Wicca and say; “Ooh, that looks nice, I want to do that” without any real concept of what the religion is all about, it’s all very well learning the Rede and preaching about what’s on the surface, but this is generally where the bad apples spring forth.  I am and always have been in full support of SAPC and SAPRA and praise the work they have done for the South African Pagan community and I’m particularly proud of Damon and applaud him for being such a well known face in the community.  

I myself have also been frustrated at times with the Wiccan community but now I think it is time for the good apples to step forward and stop letting the rotten ones take the spotlight.  Then just a little note to everyone out in the Pagan community, I agree with Karl re the arguments with no factual basis. If you have not done any research then you are falling back on assumptions! Don’t look at a few and assume. Ask first before you make an idiot out of yourself and upset those around you!”

Another admirable Wiccan agreed.

“I have to agree with what has been said above. I too am Wiccan and I am embarrassed by the few who do not follow the Rede, especially those that claim to but act to the contrary. To slander another lifestyle that you do not understand is not better than the holier than thou reborn Christians that are against civil unions that the same Wiccans and other Pagans so despise. I think it is abundantly clear that Vampyrism is a lifestyle and not a religion – which means there will be Pagan Vampyres, Christian Vampyres, Atheist Vampyres and pretty much a broad spectrum following just as there is within the LGBT community, fanboys, masons, bald people, fat people, disabled people etc.

This vampyre/pagan issue is just a blatant xenophobic attack accusing someone with a different set of philosophical values but serving Pagan deities of not being pagan is no better than the narrow minded xenophobic Evangelist Christian habit of accusing someone with a different belief system and philosophical values of being a Satanist.  It shows the type of small mindedness that we as (truly enlightened and educated) Wiccans try to move away from but is seemingly rife in those who see being Wiccan as a fad. As Wiccans we know what it feels like to be on the outside – so we should be more understanding of others. It’s like – if you point fingers at somebody else – then maybe people won’t focus on you because there is something more shocking around the corner.  I am still busy researching Vampyrism because I don’t know much about it and I like to look at everything, especially to understand it so that I can give an educated opinion. I will even research things that I have no intention of ever practicing because to understand it – is to dispel fear.

We have nothing to fear except fear itself.”

Secondly, the Vampyre issue and another more important issue. Drug and alcohol abusers in the Pagan community will do more damage to the Pagan family and Pagan image than any implied sensationalist and unresearched damage that real Vampyres allegedly could do.

Have you even spoken to more than three Vampires to ask them about their lifestyles? Have there been any reports of Vampyre-related murders or assaults in South Africa? Where is the proof for you to be fearful of them? Vampyres and their donors work on mutual respect, whereas drug addicts act on their own incredibly selfish needs and end up promoting crime and supporting criminal institutions, so rather go and take issue with that.

This Pagan-and-Vampyre issue is EXACTLY the same as the LGBT-and-Xtian issue. A COMPLETE NON-EVENT taking up precious time and effort. Thus that makes you no better than the bigotry and hypocrisy we found and left behind at the Xtian altars.

Thirdly, Haters gonna Hate! If you believe that the SAPC and SAPRA are not doing their jobs ask yourself, what have you done lately to improve the Pagan image as a whole in the RSA, without any gossiping? Are you a member of any organization that aims to improve the image of Pagans outside of your circle? Have you done an iota of what the SAPC and SAPRA accomplished since their inception? I didn’t think so, so sit down and shut up! This is a place of action, not of posturing and empty platitudes.

From the Havamal…

”He hath need of his wits who wanders wide,
aught simple will serve at home;
but a gazing-stock is the fool who sits
mid the wise, and nothing knows.”

“I counsel thee, Stray-Singer, accept my counsels,
they will be thy boon if thou obeyst them,
they will work thy weal if thou winst them:
never in speech with a foolish knave
shouldst thou waste a single word.”

You may also like...

6 Responses

  1. Johan Müller Cael says:

    Hi Karl
    Thank you for this, as one who felt uncomfortable with Vampyric Pagans and Vampires being under the umbrella term Pagan with all other Paths I realise now that we are all just people with an individual right to follow what your heart wishes. I honestly feel we should respect another’s Path be it Vampyre, Druidry, Wiccan, Asatru, Warlock etcetera.

    I admit that I was prejudice about Vampyre Pagans (maybe a bit scared also) and I apologise to the Pagan community and to all the Vampires out there, I am truly sorry. Peace.

    Thank you Karl for helping me realise that true respect is to acknowledge and accept with an open heart.

    Namaste /|\

  2. Sharon Parkinson/Zephyr says:

    Well said!

  3. Christopher Blackwell says:

    As a Wiccan of some years practice, I have no argument with what you are saying. There are always going to be those kinds of people and they are going to have to be corrected when they spread their poison. We do have to set some rules of behavior for those in the community as they can cause us far more trouble than any outsider, because the outsider can use their arguments against all of us.

    Within the Wiccan community it is known as Witch wars. Almost anyone doing almost anything can come under attack and most often from people who do little else but attack those that are not doing anything, or doing very little. The damage from these internal attacks can last for decades.

    Personally I admit to being a bit uncomfortable about Vampires, but then that may say more about me and my perceptions than it does about Vampires. We all do have some thing we are uncomfortable with. This is a people problem not solely a religious problem. But to turn it into conflict is not helpful and we have people that seem determined to create conflict, rather than solve it. That does not help our community.

    So we will have to speak agains those that create conflict in our community. When disagreement springs up, it becomes necessary to leave it to the ones who disagreeing and not join in and take side, for that makes the conflict worse. Sort of like a school yard fight which may be nearly nothing if left alone, but becomes more brutal when egged on by an audience. We much protect our community not destroy it, and this may mean agreeing to disagree. Our opinions and perceptions are subjective, not objective.

  4. Willow says:

    Thank you so much for these words karl. I hope this is the end of a Chapter now, and the beginning of a new one.
    Walk in beauty and balance brother!

  5. Nathalie Beulah says:

    Thank you Karl, this is beautifully put together. Let’s hope this issue comes to a head now and perhaps some people rediscover their values.

  6. Peter Henry Eck says:

    Thank you Karl. You have hit the nail on the head. No need for me to add anything.

Leave a Reply