Last week an article appeared on the Witches’ Voice that addressed the topic of internal conflict, misinformation, and rumors in the pagan community. It recommends the standardly quoted tactic of simply ignoring the bad words and taking pride in knowing that you have taken the higher road.
Well, I must respectfully disagree.
It seems almost simple, but it is the hardest of all the Challenges we as Wiccans and Spiritualists face: To Be Silent. To remain quiet and seemingly ignorant of the gossip, rumors and accusations we know to be false, no matter how deeply they may hurt. This in turns allow the moment of intense emotions: anger, hurt, betrayal, and sadness, vindictiveness even, to pass by us and allow us to maintain our Spiritual dignity. That we do not bow to the winds of gossip and lies, no matter how hard they may blow upon the mountain of our Faith.
There will always be times in our lives when someone will oppose us. Someone who will stand before us and throw accusations that we know to be false. It is in those moments that we must hold true to ourselves and not allow ourselves to lessen who we are to rebuke them.
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that Mars is my patron deity, but I cannot abide this attitude of wringing one’s hands at being hurt by another, and then patting yourself on the back for your suffering. If someone speaks a falsehood, I must challenge it. If someone spreads an unwarranted rumor, I must challenge it. If someone I care for is hurt, I must defend and comfort them. And if someone opposes me, and employs unsavory tactics to manipulate and mislead others, then by Jove I shall rebuke them.
And I wholeheartedly reject the notion that to do so is somehow less “spiritually evolved” or undignified. I am not a Christian, and I do not value suffering needlessly as a religious obligation or a moral virtue. I do not regard an unwillingness to fight back or defend oneself as virtuous or enlightened — I regard it as encouraging to those who do wrong and would do it to others if you did not stop them.