Recently I was listening to a pod cast that delved into the naming of “Big Name Pagans” known to us all as BNP’s. This experience rubbed me the wrong way and has been bubbling in my own personal cauldron of discontent for quite some time.
The term is not helpful, it serves to disconnect some of our most productive community servants from the very communities they serve and has little meaning beyond creating unnecessary stratification in our community.
Frankly, most of the individuals I know who have been so named bristle at the label and many actively disavow such labeling. These individuals understand that we are a community and that their service is of no more import to the community than the service of thousands of others that occurs every day.
As a community we must learn to value the contributions of the entire tribe. Each of us is interdependent on the other within our community. Some may argue that these individuals are more influential and we need a way to codify their contributions. It is my belief that this does not stand to reason.
During my years in the community the most influential people on my path have always been community members who are doing the work, those organizing, moving chairs, singing songs, caring for our children during ritual, etc. For my self personally, the poems of a little known Pagan have touched me on a deeper level than all the books I have read and classes I have taken.
Individuals living in harmony with the land, standing for the environment, engaging in needed service of all types, living the ethics that their faith embraces are the heroes of my pagan path.
So lets metaphorically kill the BNP’s, embrace the servants that they are as equals in our community of teachers, midwives, writers, farmers, builders, administrators. warriors, parents, cooks, counselors and planners.
Lets be a tribe and let go of the need to label writers, bloggers, activists and speakers as something other than what they are: Pagans just like you and me!