The words we write leave a record. They help define us to others and to ourselves. They tell us where we have been, the struggles and joys we have experienced, and give hints at the future. When I was writing for the Juggler, I began compiling an annual list of the top 10 Pagan quotes of the year. I find it to be one of my favorite projects of the year.
This year we seem to have struggled with identity. Some of that was defining ourselves to the rest of the world, but a good portion of it was negotiation within our intertwining traditions. Honest disagreements flared up now and then, as always, but there were also deeper questions of self-identification and marginalization. In the WTF department, Time magazine compared witches to terrorists, proving that we still have a long way to go in defining ourselves within mainstream culture.
We also dealt with tragedies – the loss of two deeply loved elders among many others who crossed over this year, and the ongoing mainstream racial and gender tension. This was the year of Ferguson and the misogyny-fueled UC Santa Barbara killings.
On a lighter note, who can forget this little girl:
I’d love to include “Piehole: Shut it!” on this list, but sadly I don’t know if the girl is a Pagan. So she gets an honorable mention.
As always, these quotes came from articles that I read. They are just my opinion. I can’t read everything, so if you feel I missed something, please feel free to share it in the comments. We can all benefit from seeing more of the great work done by Pagan writers. The quotes must have been said or written by a Pagan. I choose these based on significance of topic and use of language. Alright, with that out of the way, here are the quotes:
10. “In 1964 the future was supposed to be flying cars, cities on the moon, and 20 hour work weeks. Instead, we got the internet, smart phones, and Wal-Mart.” – John Beckett, March 9
9. “I think that the “herding cats” myth we tell ourselves does us a disservice, just like shrugging and saying, ‘Oh, that’s Pagan Standard Time.’ It excuses rudeness and poor leadership.” – Shauna Aura Knight, January 20
8. “In the chaos of busy lives, I find that we often forget that immanent love surrounds us and is as close as the dirt at our feet.” – Erick DuPree, September 24
7. “I know that no harm was meant by equating witches to terrorists, but given the general level of stupidity in this country maybe it’s not a good idea?” – Jason Mankey, October 31
6. “Perhaps our interfaith work as Pagans needs to begin with ourselves. If we cannot find tolerance and an ability to work together between the various forms of Paganism, what chance do we have of finding it in the outside world?” – Carol Kirk, March 20
5. “I have to keep questioning, struggling, fighting and dancing with the complexities of power. If I do, maybe I will grow personally. Most importantly, these lessons might help me do more good than harm in this world.” – Cecily Joy Wilowe, August 26
4. “Cooperation is possible, it is not easy. It is messy, but it can be done.” – Ivo Dominguez, Jr., March 12
3. “Yesterday we laid Morning Glory’s body into the Earth, to rest in the bosom of Mother Gaea until she may return again in new flesh. I planted an apple tree over her loving heart, that someday her substance may return to us all as sweet nourishing fruit.” – Oberon Zell Ravenheart, May 17
2. “The world is a better place because of Margot. Let us remember and give thanks for Margot, her brilliant mind, her loving heart, her beautiful voice, her activism, her writings, her news reporting, her other works, her magic, her bright spirit.” – Selena Fox, July 28
1. “You’re certainly not alone in your megalomania. Everyone feels that way—and for good reason.
Because it’s true!” – Lon Milo DuQuette, March 17
Update: quote number 5 was originally attributed to Crystal Blanton. This attribution was incorrect and the accurate attribution has now been made. Special thanks to Crystal Blanton for bringing this to my attention .