Woot, I’m back guys! Bet you didn’t expect me to post today 😉
I’m writing after my week of vacation, much of which was spent reading. I spent some time walking through the woods and figuring out what was what – I learned to identify Wild Ginger and Jerusalem Artichoke, as well as got a review of sorts on Jewelweed, Purple Loosestrife, Poison Ivy, Sensitive Fern, White Oak, Red Oak, Sugar Maple, Elm, Cottonwood…
Anyway, I’m writing to point something out: our religious books need back up. It’s all well and good to include a bibliography, but if you don’t cite sources while writing, there is always the chance that what you’re saying is not a fact, but instead a myth perpetuated by the masses. Sentences in books that start with, “The celts were all” really worry me, because I’m sure the Celtic culture was just as diverse as our own is. And realizing that through my reading, it began to nag me: where did all of these assumptions come from? And how could we, as Pagans looking to be respected in the academic, religious and spiritual circles, work towards uniformity in information?
I don’t want us to all agree on the same beliefs. But I want us to get the facts straight. If every single Celt that existed loved music as much as some books on Celtic Spirituality claim they did, then fine. But I have a feeling that not everything was that hippie happiness that we imagine it to be.
Similarly, there is a lack of responsibility and credit for spells and rituals which have been circulating for several generations now. Is Gardner responsible? Did Cunningham create all of the things in his books? Or did he draw from his old coven?
Should we have a Creative Commons licensed database of spells and rituals so credit can go where it is deserved? With authors and their respective (if possible) contact information?
Should we have to delve into Richard Hutton’s history of Wicca just to retrieve one small fact? Or should our authors be wise enough to incorporate their citations into their discussions?
Are we worse pirates than those of the music and video industries? What can be shared and what can be copyrighted in the name of the Goddess?