Forums…bah

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.

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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!”

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