Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Cultural divide in the pagan community

Some time ago I heard an enchanting story -
"Grandmother Drum".
The storyteller was a delightful woman,
A wise older woman who could enthrall you with Her tales.

Grandmother Drum, was this huge drum filled with crystals
their healing properties.
It was supposedly created by a Native American Women with the
assistance of the Inuit people's.
Now anyone that knows me personally, knows I am obsessed
with crystals...
So hearing this, I had to learn more!
I also had to own one of the "Baby Drums".

So I googled.
What I found was a not so enchanting story.
It was a great source of controversy.
The Women who created the drum was not Native American
as She claimed.
The money She collected for "charities" has been in question.
There are other issues.
For instance, It is illegal to possess Eagle Feathers unless you are
Native American.
Native Americans have asked the government to step in.
I could go into more details but I'm sure My point has been made.

I no longer was enchanted with the story of Grandmother drum.
Fast forward to a few short weeks ago.
I receive an invitation to an event celebrating

The story of Grandmother Drum.
I politely responded saying kind things about the facilitator BUT
mentioning simply it is a controversial issue.

OH MY!!!
What did I do?
I received quite a few nasty emails.
People "unfriended" me (lol)
One Woman wrote to me saying,
"Because I am a white Woman am I not to own this item
or participate in a belief system other then My own?"
And that is the polite translation...

Does being a member of the pagan community
Give us the right to disregard other cultures?
Does being a pagan mean I can co opt any tradition I like
and then get all pissy because someone from that culture
addresses it?
Being a pagan may mean We are free from the Dogma of other
Religions & Spiritual Belief systems;
But it doesn't give us the right to disrespect other peoples.

We will never heal Ourselves, or this Earth unless we can heal
& understand the differences between us.
Stomping Our feet & saying, I'm entitled to do as I please,
Without regard to others; is not very healing nor is it enlightened.

It's time We celebrate All belief systems.
All cultures.
It's also time We honor them in a respectful manner.

The Divine in Me, honors the divine in You