Rose Ariadne's Chitchcraft Blog

Dear Friends,

Do Pagans need Public Relations? I go back and forth on this question. While I’ll certainly explain my faith to those that are interested, it’s not in my nature to go out of my way to educate the public at large, at least in my personal life. Online is a totally different matter. I understand the need for some of my brethren to confront others on the subject of spirituality. However, I feel that sometimes these people do more harm than good. There are certain rules that should be followed when promoting Paganism on the public front.

First of all, you need to know who you are and what you believe. I can’t provide an accurate image about Dianic Wicca, because I don’t follow that tradition. I wouldn’t begin to speak for the people in that tradition. It follows that I can’t speak for all Pagans as a whole. Additionally, you must know your stuff. You have to back up your claims about your religion.
I’ve often seen people on television or quoted in newspapers that just don’t know what they are talking about. It’s always best to have reputable sources to draw from. This is especially true if you are stating historical “facts” or using demographics to illustrate your points about Wicca.

Next, it’s important to know your audience and remove any unnecessary Pagan jargon. These Pagan-specific terms, while common to you, are confusing to people not in this community. Think about ways in which you can get your message across without having to use unfamiliar terms. it’s better to have it make sense to the audience rather than be perfectly correct in the Pagan world. Many terms that would be appropriate in Paganism have different connotations in the non-Pagan world. You have to explain things to them in their terms.

When you represent Paganism, make sure to emphasize the normalness of the religion.
Yes, we are all unique and that is something that I love and embrace about Paganism. But to the outside world, there are many things about us that are not normal. When I speak with non-Pagans who are interested in my spiritual path, I always emphasize that I am a normal person, which I am. I have a husband, and two kids and a dog. I brush my teeth twice a day and like to indulge in Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. If you are in a formal situation when you are talking to the public or being interviewed by the media, make sure not to perpetuate the pointy hat, long black robe stereotype.

Above all, make sure to be polite even in the face of adversity. Let’s face it, our opinions are not popular all of the time. Not everyone will be receptive to your message and your beliefs. It is important that you keep your cool and understand that you are only in control of what you believe and what you say. I’ve been in friendly spiritual discussions that have turned into Pagan-bashing because of someone’s narrow views. I’ve always remained calm and stuck to my points.

If you encounter a situation like this, you have the power to walk away at any time. Take the high ground in each and every situation. Of course, the situation differs depending on whom you are having this conversation with. If you are talking with friends, then perhaps it’s best to drop the conversation entirely when things get too heated and then pick it up again at a later time.
I’ve found that a good way to drop the conversation while still remaining polite is to state that you feel that the differences of opinion are too spirited at the moment. Of course, if a religious fanatic is attacking you verbally, you have every right to simply walk away from the conversation and not try to engage in any further discussion.

In the next message, we’ll discuss more ways to give good PR to the Pagan community.

Brightest Blessing,

Rose Ariadne, Your Warm And Caring “Resident Witch In Charge”

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