Open Letter


**This was originally posted May 8, 2011 in response to a specific incident.  However, after further reflection, I felt it prudent to post this letter in a place more accessible than the blog’s archives.  If you should wish to comment on this letter, please go to the original post or send me feedback via the feedback form.  Thank you.**

To bloggers and commenters who complain and rant about my blog:

Has any one of you contacted me?  No.  Not a single one of you.  I bring this up because I have now been accused of being irresponsible, of perpetuating stereotypes, and of allowing dangerous information and misrepresentation to be held out for public knowledge because I allowed the publishing of Kyros’s three-part curse series.  But none have contacted me to inform me (in what I hope would be a respectful manner) that you believe these posts are irresponsible and unethical.  In much of Paganism and Pagan traditions, is it not emphasized that the sharing of wisdom is admirable and to be desired?  Is it not desirable for those who have come before to teach or inform the young?  Yet all I saw was the ranting on other peoples’ blogs, and how does that truly correct the problem?  It was by pure chance that I found the responses to my blog, and I may never have seen them at all if I hadn’t stumbled upon them.

In addition, for any of those who now criticize me of being irresponsible and unethical, have you read my blog, or have you read only these guest posts?  In a number of previous posts, I do talk about Pagan ethics, and where to draw the line when it comes to “harm none,” which does include curses.  I also do my utmost to advocate common sense approaches to magic and to life.  If, as one of the critics pointed out, someone ends up spending more time blessing their fish tank than learning about water filtration and air conditioning, then I wonder, do those people really deserve to have pets if they can’t manage to think about what they’re doing?

One of the aims of my blog is to not promote stereotypes, to help spread information that I hope will inform people as to what Paganism is and is not.  However, this does not mean we can deny the ugly side of ourselves just to present a pretty picture for everyone else.  Cursing does exist, and it is not just in the imagination.  We cannot continue to deny this fact if we are going to hold any credibility with the people who do see magick as being nothing but evil curses.  We as a collective community must own up to the fact that curses exist in order to better educate others about what they are and are not.  We must address the fact that people can and do use curses (both intentionally and unintentionally), and that curses are not all that magick is, nor is it even the most important part.

Debate, discussion, and the sharing of ideas are all important parts of being a community.  If we don’t talk to each other, how will we learn?  How will we be challenged to think beyond our comfort zones?  For those who would like to criticize my blog or my writing, I absolutely support this.  However, I support reasoned criticism (which means you can support what you say in some way).  I do not support veiled or overt attacks in any way, shape, or form, either against me, the blog, the guest writers, or the people who comment on the posts.

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