Monday, May 7, 2012

Florida Pagan Gathering, Beltane 2012; or Trial by Fire

The dragons are breathing. The scales of balance and justice are righting. The Beltane vibe this year at Florida Pagan Gathering was so unexpected: still fiery as always, natch, but without so much urge to party.

I talked to the sweet Orion Foxwood after his workshop on Southern Conjure and got a more solid idea of what has to happen in my life. It was nice to be able to confirm to him the right way to say Appalachian, at least in Southern Appalachia.

The sweetest time of all was with my friends. We had the types of conversations that usually only happen in college dorms at 2 a.m. I asked questions easily about supernatural experiences I've puzzled over for years, and the answers are coming. My path is strengthened and renewed. My soul and spirit have been nourished and loved on. Goddess has taken me home and fed me mashed potatoes.

There was just one thing. I had a beautiful time despite that one thing. It was as if someone asked 'Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?' and she said 'Oh, it was one of the best plays I've ever seen. I still enjoyed it.'

That one thing, not a small thing, concerns the safety of the Pagan community. We talk a lot about love and trust, about compassion. Sometimes we need to be reminded that compassion should first be directed to the oppressed, not to the oppressor. There is a time to be a sweet soft marshmallow, but there is also a time to roast that sucker into oblivion.

Love and compassion--and I can't believe I even have to say this--are not about always making nice. That's how you harm nice people. Instead, find your voice, as I am. Breathe your fire! There is no excuse to accept inappropriate and downright predatory behavior in our community.

If someone has pressured you into sex or done it when you were unable to consent, please speak up! We need your fire.  Even one predator can be a cold, cold buzzkill, to put it mildly.

Again, I say, it's about the safety of the community. Can we all agree to let the safety and wellbeing of our community become more important than who you are or who you know?

I say we can. So mote it be!

1 comment:

  1. Just got official word that the one of which I speak has been removed. I look forward to additional changes for the better.