Hi! My Name is Satsekhem, and I’m an Oversharing Pagan.

So, last night, I started writing a blog entry about being an oversharing pagan and why I think oversharing should happen more often than not in various venues. I’ve since re-read what I wrote and realized I was pointing my finger at the blog entries in question that got my going on this particular tangent. I stopped writing it and went to sleep. Prior to falling asleep, I tried to write and re-write what I had written. None of it sounded like what I was trying to convey, which was that I had a point-of-view that differed from other people but that I still respect those people who have a difference of opinion. I’m going to dog through this damn post, anyway, because I want to get it off my chest. I’m going to try very hard to remain like an adult. I’m going to link to some pertinent entries about being an oversharing pagan, and whether or not it’s a good thing, and I’m going to comment on those particular entries in various forms. But, all in all, let’s keep in mind that I don’t care if my viewpoint is different from yours. All I care about is that my view is as respected by others as I try to respect theirs. As I’ve said in the past, and will say again, I don’t give a two-ton shit what other people think, believe, or what have you because if it works for them, then obviously, I think they’re doing it right.

What got me started on this was when FTN wrote a post about how some things were okay to share with others and some things were not. I’ve linked to the post in question below, but the gist is that there are some things she has no problem telling those of us who wear curiosity on our sleeves but that there are some things she cannot or will not divulge. In essence, it comes down to the big huge thing of either being bound by oaths, bound by tradition, or bound by “it’s too personal.” And I’ve seen this in various arenas before. It’s never bothered me. If I ask someone a question about a ritual they perform or something and they say, “Well, I can’t tell you that because it’s to personal/I’m oath-bound not to/it’s part of a mystery tradition that I’m initiated into,” or whatever the reason may be, then I can respect that. I may be a little disappointed that I don’t get more than, “IT WAS A FUN TIME,” but you know, that’s my deal and not theirs.

I can respect the fact that these people work in an arena where silence is mandated in some form or another. I’ve always respected that. I understand that there are just some relationships with gods or familiars or adventures on the astral that are none of our business. They’re inherently personal to the practitioner in question or they’re not to be discussed because they’re bound by oaths, or maybe they’re just not comfortable saying something like, “Today, I walked into the astral and accidentally married a ten-foot long earthworm. SHIT.” (Yes, K, I was thinking about you when I wrote that.) For whatever reason, there are any number of witches, Kemetics, Heathens, Celts, and non-denoms* who can’t discuss specifics in certain arenas. And I’m absolutely fine with that because as I am constantly saying, and so therefore can’t possibly say it enough, that’s their path, it’s their shtick, and if it works for them, then bully for them.

So far, this sounds just kind of like an interesting story of my life, right? Well, the thing is that I started to get upset and hurt when I clicked on one of the blogs that FTN had linked to in her post. The link is to WoFG and a blog post she wrote some time last year about “oversharing witches.” Now, to be fair, she did not specific call out people like me who are not witches in any way, but she does kind of lump those of us who are willing to talk about our paths and practices in one lumped group. And that kind of upset me. While I obviously do qualify, by WoFG’s definition, as an “oversharing” kind of person, I would have hoped that she could see that some of us do it because we want attention and some of us do it because we want to be honest and some of us do it because we want to help and some of us do it because they can’t keep their big, fat mouths shut (which is not the same as wanting attention, to me, by the way). However, this distinction was never commented on in the entry itself. Now, in reality, WoFG is commenting on specific instances and specific people, but the opening statement of her blog entry is very generalized and that’s where I got stuck on it for a few hours (until this morning when I read through it as well as some of the comments).

I was kind of really upset that I could be lumped into this broadly, generalized category. Yes, I probably do overshare, but I don’t do it for the instance(s) she talks about. And that’s where I’m really getting hung up on: each person does it for a different reason. I’ll be honest here because where else am I going to be this honest, right? What got to me was the second sentence of the first paragraph: “We were all flabbergasted by oversharing witches who feel the need to tell everyone who their gods are, what their totems are, and what tradition they are.” This really kind of got to me because, while I may not shout it from the rooftops, I have no problem telling you what path I think I’m on, who my gods are, who my lwa are, what I’m doing, what I’ve fucked up doing, why I think it got fucked up or why I think it worked, or any of that shit. Sure, I keep it fairly low-key in the fact that I’m not downtown with a megaphone and just posting it here, on this blog, but obviously, I pretty much classify as “oversharing.” And that bothers me. Not because someone thinks of me that way – not that I think Sarah has the time to think about me in any way, shape, or form – but because each person decides to be as honest and as open as they are for their own personal reasons.

Sometimes, you have to take the fucking leap to say shit in a public venue. And the reason being because out there, somewhere, is a newb who thinks they’re bat-shit because their books are bleeding or because they see real-not-real bugs crawling on their floor/wall. Somewhere, out there, someone is having a panic attack because the six spells they’ve cast to find a job hasn’t worked. Somewhere out there, someone is having a seriously fucked up time because a demon or void person has attached themselves to that person and they don’t know how to stop it. Someone is crying because the God-phone isn’t working like the mystics who received visions or who hear god(s) in their brain pan. Someone is unsure of what to offer, how to offer, and why they need to revert the offering. Someone is looking for the answers to their questions and we, as seasoned practitioners, should be able to respond without angst or fear or jerkiness or the belief that we’re “oversharing.” We should be the adults we claim to be and discern what to say, how to say it, and move on.

However, this doesn’t happen.

You know, when I first started blogging about all of this shit, I decided I was going to be open about everything I wrote. And that’s because I didn’t know if I was going insane or if what I was experiencing was real.

When I first met up with the pagans and practitioners who kept things to themselves, like the names of their gods or their familiars or their rituals, I was intrigued by it. For about a week, I tried to keep the names of my gods and my lwa out of this blog and I failed miserably. I felt like I was a failure as a pagan, actually, because I did share these kinds of things in a public venue and I had been told, unequivocally, that I shouldn’t be doing that. People could use the information against me in some form or another. And while I do believe that someone could or would do that, it just never sat well with me. It wasn’t that I don’t think that someone could take advantage of me from the information that they gather from this blog, but because I know there are so many pagans out there who are scared shitless of what is going on and no one is willing to tell them a damn thing – maybe because they’re bound by oaths or they think they’re too young for the info they’re seeking or because they just weren’t taught to share those kinds of things. Whatever the reason is, they’re not getting the information and they could turn from paganism, they could continue to let the horrible situation fester and possibly do something to themselves because of the depression that these situations can produce, or they could make matters worse by doing something that wasn’t actually intended to help the horrible situation in the first place.

While I may not have all of the information, I’ve networked enough where I can get the information. I’ve networked enough to know that there are some pagans out there who agree with me on being open about things. And you know, I’m not trying to shit on the people who remain quiet for the reasons I’ve noted. I’m really not. I’m just trying to say that sometimes, “oversharing” is something we should do. Being bound by oaths, being bound by personal decisions, being bound by how you’re raised, being bound by the gods themselves is all fine and perfectly acceptable (to me and others who feel likewise). But there are just some of us who are going to continue to “overshare” because that’s what we think is right, just like those who are sworn to secrecy believe that they are right.

To each their own, really.

* I have no idea what else to call the miscellanea of pagan practitioners who are a little bit of this or that. I think non-denoms works out pretty well, actually.)

Relevant Posts

  1. Not Everything Is Meant for Sharing by For the Netjer.
  2. Oversharing Witches by the Witch of Forest Grove.
  3. “Dangerous Knowledge” by Scylla.
Advertisements

14 thoughts on “Hi! My Name is Satsekhem, and I’m an Oversharing Pagan.

  1. I think this ended up well despite the problems you were having with it. Like you, I am an oversharer. I share a lot of crap, and if asked, I will almost always give an answer. It’s not to seek attention, it’s to help others figure things out. There are elephants in the Kemetic room that no one wants to mention… and I think they need to be mentioned.

    That’s not to say that there aren’t things that should be kept quiet. I have some things I just don’t tell people. And I think that’s fine.

    FWIW, I’m glad you overshare. Makes for good reads :)

    • Thanks! I was really worried, especially considering the earlier incarnations of this post, that I would just piss people off [more]. It took me a long time to actually get this done.

      I think we should point out the elephants and discuss them, in Kemetism and everywhere else as well. Why is it taboo to share the Met Tet? Is it just because others can/will use the info against you? Or is there more to it than that? People can’t get into a religion if it’s overloaded with secrets and we, as people who want to help others, should be able to share some things. (And in my case, most things.)

      I’m kind of glad I overshare, too.

      • I personally have yet to see how someone can use anything I’ve posted against me. Yes, you know my gods. I doubt there is anything anyone can do to convince them to commit harm against me. Same with any rituals or rites I post. I have confidence in my ability to protect myself.

        The only ways that I’ve seen that people could hurt me would be to take my pagan status and flaunt it at work. But even then, it probably wouldn’t do much.

        So yes, that stuff confuses me a bit.

        • I definitely do not have confidence in how I’ve protected myself. I’ve seen it fail before (either because it was supposed to or because it was inadequate) so I do worry about that… sporadically. But honestly, if someone is going to try and sway my gods away from me or demand that they harm me, I really just don’t think they understand the relationship I have with them, then. And as you said, I doubt they would consent to harm me anymore than yours would consent to harm you.

          I’m wondering if anyone in the Island would be able to clarify why/how gods/lwa/orisha can be swayed away from their practitioners… Maybe Guin or Cam?

  2. You know, I’m considered to be oversharing too by many and I don’t mind it one bit. I believe it comes down to each one’s personal experience to what’s oversharing and what’s not.
    To be perfectly honest, the post I linked to – well, just the first statement really – kinda bothered me too at first, especially since I really really dislike generalizing (a fault to which I admit having myself at times, and I’m trying to work on that!) but then I realized it has to do with just one point of view (coming from someone who was specifically taught not to share at that)
    There are other, myself included, who love seeing other people’s experiences with the Gods, Spirits, magic, etc. It’s cool when I see some can share their totems, Gods, experiences without any problem, especially since at times I’d love to share my own but I’m prevented to. Don’t ever feel upset you feel the need to be honest and out there, I believe it takes quite some courage and also it’s healthy for the soul.
    Please don’t fell bad, now I feel guilty that post upset you (because I was the one I linked to it) but it was merely to show someone else’s opinion on the matter.
    And just like Von points out, it makes for good reads! :) So stick to what you do and don’t let anyone tell you any different. Just because people do things differently doesn’t make them wrong.

    • I’m not a huge fan of generalizations, either. I mean, yeah. It happens and I know that I’m guilty of it. I try to refrain but sometimes, especially in the heat of the moment, it’s hard not to just generalize everything. And I think that’s why I was able to get over my hurt. I realized that Sarah doesn’t know me from a hole in the wall and she wasn’t talking about me. She was generalizing. Maybe if we ever met she’d like how I go about things and then again, maybe not. I can only assume that I’m not so bitchy about it as I can come off. XD

      I love reading others’ experiences, too! I get so super-‘cited when I see that they experience the same as me, especially when it comes to Legba. It makes me feel like I’m not completely insane!

  3. I’m an oversharer as well, at least with others who I recognize as spiritual. With “outsiders” I guess, I am much more hesitant to say anything because of how personal my experiences are–and how terrified I am that people will think I’m just batshit insane.

    • I guess I don’t mind sharing with “outsiders” so much because of TH’s family. They’re very supportive of what I do. They still think I’m a practicing witch (ha, ha, ha) and all that jazz, but I don’t mind telling them, “I worship gods. They hang out with me in my house. I do rituals,” or what have you. If someone I don’t know asks questions, either here or IRL, then I’ll be more cautious about what my responses are, but I’ll try to give them the info they requested. And hopefully not get burned at the stake while doing it.

      • If people (especially friends) show any remote interest in what I do, I tend to want to tell them everything, but I also don’t want to seem too eager or pushy. I just have this incredible urge to share what I know, because I’m of the belief that people should learn about these things on an academic / general knowledge level. But then I get afraid I sound preachy or whatever.

        • I *know* I can get preachy about shit. I’ve been told to stuff it numerous times and I do. I can’t help it. And if you do come off that way, make sure you tell them beforehand, “Hey, if I sound like I’m preaching at you, warn me and I’ll try to tone it down, okay?” I get so overexcited about sharing that I know I come off as someone trying to convince other people that my way is the best way EVAR and really, that’s not what I’m trying to do. At all.

          I just want to show people that this lifestyle works just as well as the others.

    • I tend to wait until provoked, however, I do share things that other practitioners are “against.” My gods and my lwa, for example. When I finally get my Met Tet divined, I’ll probably share that, too. And that’s a HUGE taboo.

  4. *stands and looks around the room* “Hey guys, my name is Kevin, and im a oversharing pagan”

    I admit i overshare a lot too, but this is a community and what is the point of community if it is not to help each other. Of course there are lots of things i would not speak of, but for the most part i like to be open.

    • Honestly, I am definitely in the “way oversharing” category. I don’t give a fuck what it is. I’ll talk about it. You’re never supposed to share your Met Tet in voodoo? Guess what? It’s going to be emblazoned everywhere. I don’t care what it is, why it is, or anything. If it’s taboo, I’m writing about it. If it isn’t, I’ll write about it (but maybe not as quickly if it were taboo).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s