I have pages on numerous pagan social sites, though it’s been a long long time, probably years (I don’t really remember, it’s been that long) since I’ve actually responded on their forums.  At one of these sites, just this week, this title caught my eye…”Just What Is Gray Witchcraft?”…I hesitated (and now I really wish I would have just kept moving along, but alas, I’m thinking I have the answer to this question), so I responded with a brief answer in which I directed this individual to my books :  The Gray Witch’s Grimoire & Natural Magick the Gray Witch Way.  It turned out to be the wrong thing to do, though for me it seems that any type of response within a forum is never quite right– I’m not sure what it is, but it sort of reminds me of public school; I was just never on the same page with those people either.  I was reprimanded for ‘self-promotion’, which it probably was; but I wasn’t going to spend lots of time writing out an answer when I spent a year writing a book on the topic.

My response to the reprimand:

Sorry, C******, self-promotion wasn’t my intention, but I can see your point.  I answered the question as I did because I wrote a whole book on this topic that will give a clear picture of the gray witch and gray witchcraft, and it will give M***** a solid answer to her inquiry.  My bad, but I don’t know how else I would’ve answered– and the topic is what caught my eye in the first place.

The response I received:

I don’t begrudge anyone from earning a living or simply additional income. However, you didn’t answer the question, you only used the question to promote your site and book:  “For more information on gray witchcraft and the gray witch, to find out just exactly what it/she is and what it/she isn’t, I’m going to direct you to my website and my books:”.  Except you gave NO information to provide “more” on.

That’s not answering the question, that’s self-promotion. People come here because it’s meant to provide the free exchange of information among practitioners.  When books are suggested, they’re by recommendation and critique. Of course an author will say their own book is worth buying.

Had you actually contributed something of value it would have come off far less self-serving. Plus there isn’t a definitive way to establish “grey witchcraft” as there are no absolutes, it’s subjective and dependent on the individual and the situation. Magick itself has no color, it’s the person who decides how it will be used. Each person has their own moral compass and what crosses what line. A book will only convey what the author personally thinks and adheres to, which may or may not correspond with the given reader.


So I look at this hoity-toity response and I think to myself…No, there is no definitive way to describe anything, actually.  It’s all in the mind of the beholder, so in essence any opinion I would’ve left on the topic would’ve been like pouring water on a dead plant.  And of course a book will convey the author’s opinion, that goes without saying, duh…but that’s the point.  And I’m left to shake my head– it’s so damn weird.  Pagans are noted for being ‘Free Spirits’, for breaking molds, for opening up new territories for train of thought, and yet when it comes to these damn tight little forums on these pithy little websites, they bind and rule themselves to death.  I could’ve been snarky (and a bit egotistical) to have told them that some of these sites are gracious enough to put my book covers on their home pages (for which I’m very honored, by the way), but I already felt such negative vibes from this site and this individual that I just let it go.

I have deleted my account from this site.  However, I’m keeping the name of the site, as well as the individual who responded, anonymous…just to avoid any problems in the future and to allow people who are happy at such sites to continue on, why make waves…but honestly, geesh…forums are for the birds.

My advice…”Lighten up!”

13 thoughts on “Forums…bah

  1. I love most forums but Pagan ones seem to be the worst kinds. I am not active on any of them. I do see their point though. It does come off as self promotion which is usually against forum rules.

  2. Well, I think this response to your reply on this site was rude and uncalled for. For one, that is not a question that can be answered in three lines or less. Whole books have been written on the subject and direction someone to a place to find more information on the topic is a logical response. So what if you happen to the author of the book. Who better to answer a question than someone that knows what they are talking about? I direct people to books, sites and blogs all the time. How else can you learn something if you don’t know where to get the information??? Right  think about it, what are the odds that a person on-line answers a post/discussion is someone that truly knows the answer and can direct you on how to further your research on it. The universe put the answer to this question on a silver platter and instead of seeing want a great operationally came before them, they want to judge your referring them to a book just because you are the author. That’s silly! I have notice more and more issues like this coming up and it has me confused. You are not the first author I have heard of getting this uncalled for backlash to people just informing others of books or services they provide. I am not trying to judge or classify other Pagan’s poorly but there seems to be a lot of pagan people that get very upset about other Pagan are sharing information about books they wrote or services they provide. To me, it would be a welcome share of information to help give back to our own community.

  3. Oh the internet is so fun – full of know it alls. The problem I have with a lot of pagan places to hang out and be in is that egos are rife. Tumblr is FULL of this as well. The thing is, I wonder if people have so much time to spend online, they probably aren’t actually doing their witchy Work…and I’m just too busy to argue with a total stranger on the internet.

    I’m sorry you got burned, and sorry you had to deal with one of these people who doesn’t think anyone is allowed an opinion but themselves. It’s incredibly frustrating, but one of the reasons I avoid those plages like the plague.

    Be you. Rock the way you are. Do your work, and Work, and that’s all you need answer to.

  4. Wait wait wait – I just reread my comment. I didn’t mean to sound like I sided with homegirl – while it can be frustrating to post a question on a forum and not get a real response, homegirl’s response was rude. Plus, while you didn’t answer the question with detail, perhaps the poster didn’t even KNOW such a book existed. And, after you posted, perhaps the poster could have asked a question of you – a specific question.

    Forums… I stay away myself. I used to love them in the Internet’s youth, but now they’re just often filled with mean people.

  5. First, homegirl (or guy – however it just seemed like a woman’s response) had a point. Still, what I find simply hilarious is that if I, or someone else, posted “Hey! I read Amethyst Rain’s book titled ‘Blah’ on the subject – maybe you might want to get a copy,” there would (more than likely) have been no slam.

    Ahhh, the sweet deliciousness of the interwebs. You just never know what you’ll find – a troll or a prince!

  6. ive had the same problem on forum and social media sites, i was once even called a scam artist because i said i was excited about making a certain altar board (i do pyrography), i wasnt trying to sell anything i simply stated i was excited about this piece and those “Kind” words came from the main site admin, just really irritating that ppl act like this so tend to stay away.

    • Thank heavens it’s not just me– I was beginning to wonder. 😉 I know how you feel…it’s very stifling, because almost anything you say is wrong, construed in a negative way…makes you wonder what kind of people are running some of these sites.

  7. I am no longer active on any forums. For the exact reasons you stated Amythyst. I have not written a book, but even trying to discuss a subject turns into a heated debate filled with egos and hurt feelings. Yep it is time to lighten up and grown up. I have seen too many blow-ups over the silliest battles of will. I thought we were supposed to be a bit more open to others, more understanding, and well..civil. urgh.

    • You are spot on Susanne. I have found it impossible to carry on a normal discussion within a forum. I don’t know if it’s the anonymity or what that make people behave the way they do, but they become so rude and argumentative– it’s one reason I hate forums, and I probably won’t bother leaving a comment at one again.

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