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First off I am not attacking anyone just sharing observations through out the years I have been a Neopagan. I am not calling anyone out or whatever. I know people may not like what I write. If you feel threatened then you may need to evaluate yourself as I do.

I have been practicing Neopaganism for over ten years now, reaching second degree in Alexandrian Wicca/Witchcraft. Through out the years I have also practice ceremonial magick, Druidism, Asatru/Heathenry, forms of Voodoo and other paths that I would normally not practice if stayed with the religion I was born in. Now in my earlier years in the Alexandrian (Lexi) path my High priestess and former High priest had instilled in me on how to interact with others in the community and the responsibility of the Priesthood.

Now I already know how I should treat others in any day interaction and in religious services. What I have learn in Neopaganism I think goes a bit further. When you continue to practice for years you kinda become a beacon for people who are new to Neopaganism. So you kinda set the standards. Especially goes when you are in a tradition and have extra standards on behavioral.

Now when you are on your own its fine. you don’t have that much responsibility only yourself. But when you have someone teaching under you, then you’re responsible to them as well as yourself. You are responsible for their training, their growth, and their mental state. They are trusting you to treat them with respect.

I have herd some things that have made me really mad and disgusted that no one should have gone through. Violating your student both physically and mentally using them for your own personal agenda is terrible. Doing that to anyone in the community or the group you’re in is terrible as well. In my opinion people who do that should be excommunicated from the community, the group your in and if legal actions is needed then take them. This does not put Neopaganism, the tradition you are in, or the community in good light when people outside of Neopaganism is already judging you before they talk to people who practice.

As a man in Neopaganism this makes me especially frustrated. I was taught to treat everyone with respect as you would want and treat women equally. Women are just as strong mentally and physically as a man is, but this does not mean that men should be acting disrespectful to women. In fact some traditions are matriarchy.

I am not saying that I am perfect, but I try my hardest to do my best so I’m not ruining someones experience, turning them away. So please their are men in the community who takes it very seriously and who treat you with dignity and respect. If you are new and curious to finding a group or just looking for a group, here is a website to help you out while looking.https://culteducation.com/warningsigns.html.

                                  BLESSED BE
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9

Well said, equality is essential for spiritual growth.

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Albert Feyen
#2

I'm in total agreement with you on this.  Everyone should be treated the same.

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Sam Herren
#3

Agreed.  Though I've made terrible mistakes in my younger years, now approaching 50, I hope I am wiser and calmer, and while I am sure I will still make mistakes, my hope is that they are entirely different ones, and less severe!!  haha!

but your post made me thing of another, similar issue, rarely discussed in pagan groups that I've been a part of...   treating your guests (especially other traditions or even Christians) with welcome and respect.  

When I was dating my wife, I took her to a kindred gathering (Asatru) and she was pretty obviously not your typical pagan.  My wife was head cheerleder, gymnast, prom-queen, good Christian woman (or so she thought).  She wasn't into "fringe" religions or used to non-mainstream things.  She was out of her comfort zone attending this meeting.  When dating her, I realized pretty quick that she had a Heathen soul.  she realized it too, pretty quickly.  She would have probably been Heathen all her life, if she had ever heard of it, or had any clue that it meant anything other than her granny calling rowdy kids "little heathens."   My point is this... At that first kindred meeting she was very turned off to Asatru.  The people there gave her space, realizing (maybe by the cross on her neck, maybe by her being uncomfortable and nervous) that she wasn't fully into this.  And by space, I'm being kind.. she was ignored and had no one to really talk to and did not feel welcome.  

That's LONG in the past, and over and done with.. The reason I share this story is a reminder to me and a warning to others.  Let's remember to welcome our guests, no matter what path they are on, make them feel appreciated and comfortable.  NO pressure on them, of course, but strive to make them know you're glad they're there.  Who knows what the future holds and that guest may just one day become a Gydhja on the very same path.  This holds true for any kind of visitors to your group. Talking about Standards in the Neopagan community, I think making guests feel at ease and welcome ("Hospitality") should be an intrinsic part of those standards.

Cheers!

Vithar, the Houston Heathen

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Amber Fry
#4

I agree with most of what you poasted, to a point. I mean if you think about it even solitary practitioners are looked at for support when a new person comes in looking for guidance. I've never been in a coven so I cant really speak for that, but as an individual who's been studying and pacticing varous things for near thirty years now, I've had a fair share of seekers looking for a guide or mentor. A few too many wild solitaries and you have a lot of misguided newbies not knowing that though there isn't a speciifc code of conduct, people are still watching them as well. If they wish to be taken seriously, learning to interact is still important for them as well. Outsiders and other newbies are watching... in fact often more than they are the elders and coven members simply for being new to the fold and solitary to bootl.

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Amber Fry
#5

I would like to add fantastic resource. I'ts important people learn to pinpoint and weed out such things.

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Kedi Miw
#6

Well said!

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