Monday, May 18, 2009

The Bright-Eyed Novice

If you haven't already seen the list of types of Pagans, follow the link to ecauldron. It is most amusing. Go here:

And now, for Sage's thoughts on the first Pagan type on the list, the Bright-Eyed Novice.

1. Bright-Eyed Novice:
You just read this cool book about a religion where there's a Goddess and a God, and they meet outside in nature, instead of some scary old building. They think sex is GOOD not evil, and you want to know where to sign up.

Distinguishing Signs:
Mispronounces god/dess names, has to think a moment about which is deosil and which is widdershins. Has a shiny new athame (rhymes with "A-frame".)

In my experience, the bright-eyed novice is one of the most amusing and flakiest of Pagans. Of course I am generalizing here, and not everyone who is new to Paganism is like this. I have known a few people who, in search of a path to the Divine, have been serious about learning. These people read more than one or two books (and didn't stop with Buckland or Ravenwolf), used common sense, and made informed decisions. Imagine that!

However, there are those who choose their religions based on shock value, or perhaps as a way to "get back at" their parents or guardians. This type of novice may or may not be bright-eyed, but s/he will most likely be a Natural Witch. You know the kind. They picked up a book or perused a website and realized that they have been practicing magick their entire lives!!!!111 That must surely mean there is another witch in the family, right? So they start interviewing relatives about spooky instances and maybe their mom tells about the time she was thinking about her brother and then he called. Spooky!

These are the little darlings who want to get straight to the good stuff – Witchcraft. Forget reading about different traditions, different pantheons, or ethics. To some of these people it isn't Wicca; no, it's WITCHCRAFT. It's all about raising power and casting spells. Oh, and psychic defense, of course, but we'll talk about psychic attack later.

Some of these newer people, once they have gained a bit of experience (read: read most of a book and purchased/shoplifted a Tarot deck), begin to sneer at other people's beliefs. Terms like "fluffy bunny" are thrown around by other members of the community, but the newer people, in my experience, have been more likely to use it. They are, after all, experts at spell-casting and Tarot reading, and many of them are psychic and/or have control over one or more natural elements. (Is the sarcasm oozing through your monitor? If so, I apologize. If not, remember to plant your tongue firmly in your cheek and read on.)

Occasionally these people straighten up, stop being dweebs, and actually acquire some practical knowledge. Sometimes they turn into one of the other types of Pagans on the list, namely Crowley-in-a-past-life (number 11 on the list), a Scary Devil Worshiper (10), or perhaps Our Lady of Intense Suffering (18).

While I certainly do not believe it to be my personal duty, I do try to interact with the bright-eyed novices, recommend reading material, and answer any questions that I can. I think it is a wise thing for those of us with a bit more experience to do the same. These new people represent our community as much as any other group, and if we want to be accepted and respected anywhere inside or outside the Pagan community, we need to try to nip the flakiness in the bud.

1 comment:

nanci said...

The link you posted... I laughed so hard I'm still in hysterics. 5 and 10 were my favorite...