Why are human beings so resistant to change? It’s part of life. Change is really the only thing you can count on during your time on Earth. Everything changes. Sometimes quickly. Sometimes very gradually. But nothing ever remains the same. Not indefinitely. Change is coming. Even as you read this. It’s coming.
With that thought in mind, I’ve been surprised by the unexpected resistance we’ve met from some quarters during our current web site redeployment (I prefer to think of it as “re-purposing”, actually). Some of you haven’t liked it at all. To some we’ve “betrayed the aesthetic” of PaganCentric (whatever that means). Some have pointed out that the new design “looks like yet another online magazine” and have lamented that the web site doesn’t look “at all Pagan”.
Which leads me directly to an obvious question. What is a Pagan web site supposed to look like?
While the web site hasn’t always reflected the activities and aesthetic of the “real world” PaganCentric here in Asheville, and has often gone neglected for weeks and months at a time, it’s seemed increasingly important to me that the web site should be more of a reflection of what’s happening “on the ground”, as it were. My purpose in starting PaganCentric has always been to challenge people’s comfortable assumptions about the world around them, as well as presumptions about the worlds on other planes and that which is just beyond reach of our limited human perceptions. In a nutshell, that’s what PaganCentric is all about. We’re not here to buttress your preconceptions, but to challenge them. That’s the only way we can truly be useful, by cutting the wheat from the chaff. And that includes what it may or may not mean to some people “to be Pagan”. You don’t have to agree with us. You don’t have to agree with anybody. But we would betray our basic purpose if we told you what you wanted to hear just because it made you feel better to hear it.
That’s one reason the web site looks the way it does. I’m so tired of visiting Pagan-themed web sites and feeling like I’ve stumbled into a celebration of Halloween. If there aren’t outright cobwebs and haunted houses, why are Pagan web sites almost always so dreadfully dark and dreary? Are we all really supposed to be weary, emo-driven, miserable creatures with heavy mascara, dark clothing and pasty faces? Personally, I’ve never equated “Pagan” with “Gothic”, and I want to get as far away from that aesthetic as possible.
Here’s the deal. I promise you that I will never bullshit you. If the word “bullshit” offends you, I would say we’re off to a good start. The sudden percussive “smack” of that word is what you can expect from me and PaganCentric. Much of what I find in the Pagan community annoys me for the same reason I’m annoyed with Evangelical Christians. While there are certainly good, wonderful people among the ranks, most of them, and us, are just full of it. That’s what we’re pushing back against. That’s the reason we’ll ruffle some feathers. And that’s the reason you can rest assured that you’ll always be able to rely upon us for the straight skinny. We have no agenda here, other than to dispense with the “love and light” reassurances that so many have come to expect from the Pagan collective consciousness.
In the end, it is not for the Pagan community, or the world, to ease your discomfort. It is incumbent upon you to bring to the world your gifts, your light and your compassion. It is up to you to make the world a better place, not the other way around. And we here at PaganCentric exist to remind you of that. So while you may not like what you find here sometimes, and you may not like the design of the web site because it’s too rooted in the real world of give-and-take, cause and effect and the mercenary exchange of ideas, you’ll always know what you can expect from us.
We’ll never give you the easy answers. We’ll never tell you what to think. We’ll never give you handy tips on how to cast a spell to make someone love you. What we will do is offer up a bright light upon the inequities of the world. We’ll challenge your comfort zone. And we’ll challenge your perception of what it means to be “Pagan” in the 21st Century.
That I promise you.
~ Wicasta Lovelace