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The Underlying Unity Within Pagan Diversity

What we have in common is that we celebrate the fact that we’re all different.

By Gus diZerega

Anyone attending PantheaCon or some other major Pagan gathering cannot help but be impressed with the enormous variety of lifestyles and Pagan traditions present: Wiccans and Heathens, Celtic Reconstructionists and Druids, African Diasporic practitioners and Pagan Eclectics, and many other people as well. I would not dare to say I could name them all.

Along with this often-bewildering variety there is another characteristic common to our gatherings. Apparently no one argues their way is the best way for everyone. Heathens and Wiccans are certainly different, but I at least have not heard either claim their way is better for all. People say they found the path for themselves, not humanity. In addition, many, perhaps all, of these diverse traditions do not proselytize. Many of us don’t on principle.

What ‘doctrinal’ fighting among Pagans that occurs usually goes on within a tradition, as some group says another group has gotten their common tradition wrong. As a Gardnerian I certainly know about that problem. If a split gets deep enough within a tradition, the group divides into two and the arguments between them largely cease. Later, when feelings have cooled, they may even cooperate together again while still maintaining their distinct identities.

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