I guess the fact that my last post was mostly about a movie superhero shows how burned out I am when it comes to modern paganism.
I don’t think that the internet helps. Drama and strife isn’t unique to the online pagan community. I’ve been involved in other online communities that were about the Beatles, or organic gardening, or Doctor Who, and they were like that too. It’s something about the internet itself that makes people get crazy. I really don’t think it’s a good way to form communities and social bonds with people. Something about not being able to see people’s faces or hear their tone of voice when you are communicating with them really doesn’t work well with our primate brains.
It seems like since the election, things have gotten worse. I’m disappointed that some pagan and heathen blog authors whom I used to think were respectable have now gone over into various political conspiracy theories and extreme ideologies.
When it comes to politics, I try to look at it as a scientist. What works? What’s practical? What’s backed up by evidence? What’s really happening in the real world, not the world of some internet conspiracy theorist? But it’s hard to see what’s happening in the real world when you spend most of your waking hours at a computer either typing long rants about the latest thing you’re outraged about, or reading other people’s long rants and arguing with them in the comments section.
I just don’t have time for that. I have a full-time job (the thing that actually pays my bills!) that takes up a lot of intellectual energy. Like right now I’m designing a new environmental biology lab course for the fall semester from the ground up. I have to order equipment and design lesson plans and prepare assignments. And then there’s my husband and the rest of my human (and feline) family to take care of, and my vegetable garden and new fruit trees.
I just stepped down as Organizer of my pagan Meetup group, because I couldn’t put the effort into it that it required. I haven’t been to a pagan festival in years. If I don’t have time to work on building and maintaining a meatspace pagan community, I certainly don’t have time to blog or to read other people’s blogs, especially when it makes me feel angry or depressed when I do read them because everyone is being such an asshole. It would be different if it actually made me feel happy or improved my life or made me a better person in some way. But I think more often than not, it does the opposite.
The pagan community should nourish people’s spirituality, not poison it. It’s a really bad sign when I start to feel turned off from the gods themselves, and don’t want to do the rituals and holidays and stuff, because I associate them with these negative interactions with the “pagan community.”
I’ve been led away from why I started this blog to begin with. It’s called “Heathen Naturalist” because I had the goal of making a modified version of Germanic neopaganism that fits into the ecology of Texas. I was tired of Heathenry in Texas being mostly Viking historical reenactment instead of a religion that actually made sense in the here and now. I started blogging about it because when I figure out something interesting, I want to share it.
One of these days I’ll have the time and energy to start writing about that stuff again, but I need to take a break first.