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Healing Misanthropic Thinking to Heal Earth

By Heather Awen

One of the challenges for neopagans and eco-activists alike is the sheer amount of us who are misanthropic. I admit to being pretty human-hating a lot of my life, even today. It is the main reason I think neopaganism cannot have real “community.” Most neopagans were the bullied kid in the Cure t shirt playing D&D. I have yet to meet a popular jock neopagan, although there may be some. After years of being picked on for being “queer,” “weird,” “artsy-fartsy,” “sensitive,” and “freaks,” it is little wonder that most neopagans have terrible social skills. Often we internalize it into being “weird” ie special, and don’t know how to hang out with other special people. We have so little experience with kindness and cooperation, we’re usually loners, deeply individualistic, who hate what humans have become today. As outcasts and misfits who had to become proud of our exclusion to survive, trying to work in healthy community is a foreign idea for us. (It is for most people, I bet, but for us it is a different reason.) Some people use neopaganism to finally be the bully in charge, knowing no other way to treat others. (This is very like the Spaniards who destroyed Central American indigenous life – For hundreds of years Spain had been ruled by people other than the Spanish, and forced to work in the mines, and right before their independence, their oppressors were the dark skinned Moors. So when they found gold and dark skinned people with it, they treated them exactly how they had been treated for centuries by the Romans and Moors.)

Many covens and groves are operating on the dynamics of the members’ unhealthy childhoods, reenacting sick patterns. No wonder they don’t last. If two people in a marriage cannot find a way to not do that, why would 10 casually involved persons? A friend who was in a group marriage told me the reason it didn’t work was that each time a person is added the problems grow exponentially. “You think one person fucks your head up? Try four.” As someone with friends in polyamorous relationships, all I know is that instead of having to hear them cry and bitch about one person, I now have to hear them cry and bitch about several. I know of one coven that has a therapist they meet with regularly to handle their interpersonal power issues. That sounds like a good idea.

Read the original article at: Adventures in Animism

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