I’m going to allow myself a moment of snobbery: I’m really happy for ADF and all of the groups attached to that organization. Also, for polytheist space online in general.
I joined a group that promised to be a group for socialization for “witches, pagans, and druids”. The amount of fluff there is painful. I think I get out of it the sort of thing that other people get out of reality TV “Whoa, people are actually like this?” Every painful stereotype, overflowing with lack of knowledge or research or lore. Every few days there are requests for love spells and weight loss spells, insane misattributions for deities, and flipflopping between the “I have a 6000 year old lineage. My Book of Shadows was written in Atlantis.” and “Don’t worry about it, just go with what’s inside you, how you do things don’t matter, just make it up as you go along.”
I used to occasionally frequent online groups like that and feel despair and think that, well, that was it for pagans, obviously. I’m proud to be part of an organization that is proud of its research and commitment to excellence. Look, ADF isn’t perfect, and we as individuals are just as fallible as anyone else, but for everything’s sake we’re trying to get some things right! The polytheist community in general has been good about being grounded in lore and building on it – carefully – with our lore.
As per my last post, I love Wiccan practice and magickal style. However, with other polytheists and especially ADFers I have the feeling that we’re doing a whole lot less casting around in the dark. Maybe over time a beneficial synthesis will come into being, or Wiccan and Wiccan-style Pagans (because for as much as they will deny that they’re Wiccan, there’s usually a Goddess and a God, circles, and quarters being called at very least, and gratuitous pentacle imagery) will start incorporating better research and more powerful streams of past practice into their work. I kind of hope so.