Friday, August 05, 2005

Pagan Web Presence

Wanting to know more about how Pagans view their religion, I turned to the web, as I only know people who have been involved with Paganism for less than a year. I want a perspective that comes from years of study and practice. Of course there are lots of websites and blogs out there that Pagans put their beliefs up for viewing. Some are good, very few are excellent and most out there are the fluff that I just can’t bear to look at. It doesn’t take long to tell the difference between the sites.

One thing that I have a problem with is that I just don’t like the way that some of the fluff sites are used by people (as opposed to religions) as examples of what Paganism is or isn’t. They use these fluff sites to point out how “bad” the religion is and how “wrong” Pagan views are. Of course, they are using these fluff sites to push forward their own agenda of intolerance but they are thinking that they are doing the world a great favor. Unfortunately, this will never stop.

I’ve noticed many posts in forums regarding that some Pagans do not know of others in their area. So they turn to the web to meet others with similar interests. The internet is used for information, for comradery, and networking. There do not seem to be many sites that most Pagans frequent, except maybe Witches Voice, which has a huge web presence within the Pagan community.

Computers were mentioned as part of the Pagan community, even in their early days. A section in Drawing Down the Moon, re-written (I’m guessing) into the 1980’s edition, mentions the amount of people that were employed in the computer field. It also seemed to imply a certain type of community with in the computer genre (again, I’m guessing BBSs at the time) and that the computer would be a way for Pagan communities to communicate and help their religions’ knowledge base to grow. It seemed many people that took her survey thought that computers would help to further their religion, both in knowledge and in recognition as a valid religion to the general public.

The newest form of web presence takes place in independent “radio” broadcasts, commonly called “podcasts”. There are not many Pagan podcasts available to listen to as of yet, but there is one that has caught my attention. The host, Rev. Jeva Singh-Anand, is intelligent, somewhat funny, and talks about issues that are relevant to today’s Pagan community. The podcast is Lance and Graal. I have to admit that the sound effects are sometimes rather annoying and sometimes his “guests” are difficult to understand, but it is a rather new show and think it should improve. I think that podcasts for the Pagan community will explode in the next few years. We will have to wait and see as to how many stick around, as it must be very time consuming to produce a good show. I found this show to be exactly the type of thing I was looking for when looking for viewpoints from long-time Pagans.

I’ve been recently wondering whether most of you reading this blog use the internet as your primary source of contact with other pagans or if you are involved in an evolving or strong local community. What do you think of the Pagan presence on the web? Do you like what you see on the internet regarding Paganism? What would you like to see more of? Less of?

The only way to know to get this information is to ask, so I am asking you who are reading this to please post a comment with your views on the Pagan web presence. Thanks.


TurtleHeart said...

How did I connect with my pagan community? I used the good ol' PHONE BOOK! *LOL*

When we moved to CO, I got out the phone book and looked for metaphysical bookstores. Then I went to the one or two listed and asked about classes and had myself put on their mailing list. I started meeting people in the classes I took. Everything built from there.

Sojourner said...

:) Can you hear me now?

But seriously, that would be a great way to meet people. If I had access to a metaphysical store I would do the same thing, but most, if not all, are in the St Paul/Minneapolis area.

Thanks for your answer.

Andygrrl said...

My pagan community is online. I have two pagan-friendly friends IRL, and I'm on an email list for local pagans, so I know they're out there. This is a very, very Catholic midwestern town, however, so metaphysical shops are few and far between. There's a much bigger pagan presence in the college town two hours west of us. The problem for me is I'm leaving the country soon and will be gone for quite a while, so I don't really have the opportunity to connect with pagans here. And it's very important for me to have an online community while I'm overseas.