Digging for Blog Gold…

One of the things I have come to love about blogging are the questions that I get from folks out there who read the blog. Some of the questions are super-serious things, which really require a more personal approach and a much more private response. Others are some really funny or fun questions, but regardless, its an interaction that I really enjoy.

Recently, one Facebook, I received the following question: “Any Pagan bloggers that you recommend?” My answer was a basic – “All of them”, which seems like a bit of a cop-out answer. And in a manner of speaking, it is. However, I am not going to poo-poo someone else’s blog because I don’t read it. There are a lot of Pagan bloggers out there, all of whom provide their own unique voice and perspective to the world around them. Some of them are my “goto” reads – the writers that I read the moment I am aware of a new blog post from them. These folks write in a style and with a voice that resonates with me. Some are folks I read from time to time, not because I think their stuff sucks, but because their style or voice is something that does not resonate completely with me. There are folks I don’t read at all because their style or voice completely turns me off. And then there are those that I am not aware of.

I do not discount a single one of these folks. They write their blogs with their own heart, their own intensity – all coming from their own unique perspective. Just because their style or voice does not resonate with me does not mean that they have no value. Their own writings have others that read them; others that hear them; others with whom they resonate – and that is what is important.

See, I’m not the kind of person that thinks my perspective is the be-all, end-all of anything. The stuff I write is my own view of the world around me. I’ll gloss over some stuff – currently that’s the #CoronaVirusPanic2020 and the current political election cycle – not because I do not find it important, but because it is talked about EVERYWHERE. Besides, I see so much more in the world around me than politics and panics. But there are others in the Pagan writing arena (some call it a BlogoSphere, but I see it as so much more than just blogs), who do write about this stuff. Because its just that important to them. Its what is dominating their thoughts, and they want to share their perspective. And I think its a really awesome thing that they are sharing that with their readership.

So, who do I recommend? No. No thank you. I’ll again point you to digging and finding them for yourselves. I have my “goto” writers – Cat Treadwell, Nimue Brown, Yvonne Reyes, and Philip Carr-Gomm – and each of them are “goto” for different reasons. There are other writers that I am friends with, but really – the best way for you to find out which writer’s perspective works for you is to let you find them yourself. Yeah, its a cop-out of sorts to avoid the potential of utter favoritism (other than my Core-Four), but really – part of finding the other writers out there includes the desire to read their posts. Your own discovery will mean more to you than if I just started pointing you towards them.

That does bring up a final thought though. Back when I was still podcasting, one intrepid podcast listener made a list of Pagan podcasts that were out there. This individual published that list online, where others could find it. I’m not really sure how many “extra” downloads it provided for me, nor did I really care. I really wasn’t into podcasting for the numbers. However, the gesture on that individual’s part was a really awesome thing. I wonder if something like that might ever get done for the Pagan blogging community? While it might add a listener or ten-thousand for some blogs, it might make it easier for the individual seeking a blog to become a reader of to find that hidden gold. I know that blogging community is even more fluid in terms of new and fading blog sites than the podcast community ever was – but hey…a potential dream? For all I know, someone has already done this…and I just don’t know about it….

Basking in the Glow of Kindness

Over the past couple of weeks, there has been an interesting bit of momentum taking place in a subset of the Pagan Blogosphere. There have been posts from folks about what their own aspect of Polytheism was. What made it interesting was that a vast majority of the statements went along the lines of “this is what my polytheism is. Its different than yours. I only ask that you honor my vision of polytheism as I am honoring yours.” There were no accusations of this person or that thought being out of line with what “polytheism is”. No one played Gatekeeper and shoved folks out into the digital alleyways for not adhering to some singular mindset of what they believed polytheism was or wasn’t. Some of the statements have culminated in some very interesting, well thought out conversations on the differences between folks’ visions. Calm, reasoned, intelligent discourse with respect for individual viewpoints. It has been a joy to (a) read, and (b) take part in some of that.

I was a little floored when a statement I made was compared to someone’s (seemingly) favorite caffeinated coffee ice beverage. As I stated in my reply, I have never had something I stated compared to a food product before, but damnit, I’ll take it.  🙂 My statement, for the record, was a touch of a monologue off of someone else’s comment. I’ll copy and paste it here….

…you (not you specifically, the generic “you”) can realize that the Gods you work with want something specifically from you…not from everyone else. But let me add on – your point about narrowing who can be a polytheist…in my opinion, that’s a power trip issue. Folks who want to be “gatekeepers” as to what is or who isn’t a polytheist are looking to make an exclusive “club” rather than letting the Gods determine what They need from individual folks, and to whom They will manifest Themselves to. In my view (which is worth less than a Starbucks Grande coffee), that’s limiting who the Gods are, by placing the Gods into a containerized view. If a polytheist is “putting the Gods first”, then they (the polytheist) should be open to the perspective that the Gods will seek those that They wish to work with – even if those that are sought are not in the polytheist’s definition of “who is and who isn’t”. That’s my two pence worth….

The overarching points that were made in this particular thread (its part of a Facebook conversation), was essentially that polytheism has certain hallmarks to it – many Gods and Goddesses – but the underlying aspect of what makes one a polytheist is defined by their own unique, personal relationship(s) to the Gods and Goddesses that call to them. No one gets to define that relationship, other than the adherent and Those that they are connecting with.

But that’s just the background to it all. What was interesting, compelling, and exciting was the degree of respect everyone provided to one another throughout the wide-ranging comments and discussion. I have known for a long time that the wider Pagan community can have conversations and discussions like this – even when there are wide and deep chasms of difference between the participants. I cannot put my finger on the exact reasoning behind the courteous manners utilized, but if I had to lay a potential direction for it – I would point to the recent Many Gods West conference. (which I didn’t get to attend because I had no vacation days left – Boo!)

I am not sure how long this little truce and kindness will last within the Pagan Blogosphere and in the online social media platforms. Not long, I would guess. But damned if I am not going to bask in it, and hope it comes around a whole lot more often than it seems to.