Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Prudence's "Husband Gone Wiccan"

If you haven’t seen this video yet, take a peek. Essentially it is an advice video for an advice column. There are a couple of things this video got me thinking about.

I fully understand that the individual asking the question has a relationship concern. I would be lying if I said that I had not seen my fair share of relationships strained because each partner was on a different spiritual path. I have even been in a few such relationships. Contemporary Paganism is saturated in mixed faith relationships, and it is our fault. I mean this collectively and in no way negatively. The simple truth is that religions grow in two different ways; either by conversion or by birthrate. The former has been the standard for our movement. The latter is now only beginning to truly come onto the scene.

We didn’t seek any of the converts, and sometimes we have even tried to dissuade them, pushing them in another direction. Nonetheless, they came to our stoop and knocked upon their own inner door that would lead them down their path. Collateral damage to this process is that sometimes those within a relationship don’t take their partner down the path with them. It is for this reason that most traditionally operated Covens ask whether or not an individual’s partner is accepting, accommodating, and understanding of their involvement with the Craft. This is important, because any potential drama can destroy a Coven.

I agree with Prudence, our columnist in question, that the two individuals need to sit down and figure out where they are going. I also agree that perhaps their paths are now separate, depending on what conclusions the two form, but that is their business. I don’t think it has to be the end of the road, many times these multi-faith relationships can work, but it is going to take a helluva lot of dedication and work from both partners.

Now onward to the unpleasant part of my thoughts in regards to this video. It is unprofessional, offensive, derogatory, and a reinforcement of the stereotypes we as a community work so hard to fight.

As a professional, it is one’s duty to carry their self, and anything their name is place upon, in a manner that is respectable to their position. In this case, that role is that of the giver of sound advice. With the highly bias, judgmental, and apparent disrespect shown towards the husband’s choice of spirituality, regardless whether it is agreed with it or not, is downright unprofessional and demonstrates that the advice given is neither objective nor fairly given. It is clear the research was not done. It is as if no one knew anything about Wicca, did a twenty second search on google, saw the word Witch in a couple of headings, and without any further research ran full ahead with every misunderstanding of the word in its modern context.

Throughout the entire video, anytime our Wiccan is mentioned, there are pictures and images displayed that are without any doubt offensive. I understand, that they are meant to be fun, but the nature of the images used are very much on par (hypothetically) with displaying images of Hilter when simply discussing someone that may be of German descent. They are offensive to the individual, this being the woman’s husband, and all Contemporary Pagans whom by their inclusion are insisted, by the choice of images, must be simultaneously a Hippy and a goat blood drinking Satanist. I realize an advice columnist cannot determine what wording is used by the person seeking advice. However, the choice of what presentation is offered to the public is well within the means available.

So at the end of the day, I am not surprised. I am aware of the depictions those in the Contemporary Pagan, especially Witchcraft, are common within the majority of our society. Because of this, I cannot take it to heart or allow it to fuel bitterness in return. This video is simply a reminder that though we as a community have come a very long way, there is a very long way yet to go. Though the path is littered with obstacles, may the cunning fire grow within our hearts illuminating the world around us.

Boidh se!

-Spanish Moss

"Lost in a thicket bare-footed upon a thorned path."

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