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A Migraineous Update

Now, my skull is pounding, and I perhaps should be hibernating in a dark hole while this passes.  However, there are some things I feel I must share.

P. Sufenas Virius Lupus, in his Patheos column Queer I Stand, has written a really good article regarding the whole “indigeny” trend among (mostly white, socially privileged) Pagans.  I could point specific people out on this, but…I won’t, because that’s not my focus here, and I have better things to do with my time.  They’re not hard to find.  Anyway, I’m really glad he wrote this, because I really think there is a significant lack of criticism and critical thinking going on that really needs to be addressed and focused on.

This overlaps with my conflicting problem over the use of the word “shaman,” but this sort of thing seems far more socially accepted and not much challenged among pagan and polytheist circles, even though the use of the word can have really strong appropriative undertones.  To call myself a shaman would be like calling myself a Buddhist rabbi.  See what I did there?  I think people need to do more thorough research, and really think about the words they are using, and how they are being used.  I just don’t think people discuss this sort of thing enough.  And when some try to, they are too easily demonized and silenced.  I think this needs to change, and everyone would benefit more from a hearty dose of critical thinking.

  1. Elizabeth
    November 17, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    I have Southeast Asian, Native American, and various European ancestors in my bloodline, but I was raised in pretty much mainstream white culture in America, even though my dad is an immigrant from another country. I know almost nothing about Osage/Kansa religious traditions and feel I don’t have a right to claim those. Therefore, in my view, there is no way for me to claim I’m living an indigenous lifestyle whichever way I choose. People don’t seem to grasp that, however, no matter how often I try to explain it to them, and for that and other reasons, the whole “indigeny now!” debate leaves me feeling both invisible and with a somewhat bad taste in my mouth. So thanks for pointing me to that essay — it says some things that people need to be reminded of.

  2. Elizabeth
    November 17, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Also, will answer your email this weekend. I suck at correspondence, as you know 😛

  3. November 19, 2012 at 5:57 am

    I’m glad you liked it! There’s so much more to say on the topic…I just got an idea for a sort of adjunct to this that might be good for a PantheaCon ’14 session, amongst other things.

    Isn’t it wonderful when spiritual notions involve nothing but a person deciding upon something mentally and not actually having to live or act in ways consonant with it, nor to have had the experiences necessary to claim such identities? There’s way too much of this in many forms of modern paganism, polytheism, and so forth, which is entirely inherited–so I suspect–from New Age nonsense, but which far too many people are not at all willing to give up, or even question.

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