Merry Meet everybody,
From time to time even men happen to be useful. As was U. yesterday when he forwarded me an invitation to an event called “zzz” which, as I found out after opening the .pdf-file, is an acronyme for “Zusammen Zelten und Zaubern” [camping and spell casting together]. So what is zzz all about? Rather hard to find out for first of all the organisers state what it is not about:
* free of charge * non-commercial * no registration * no boss *
Ah wait a minute there was a word that doesn’t start with “no”:
* united *
sounds a little too much like the United Nations to me but what so ever …
What follows is meant to be a description of the event – merely the regular bla bla about learning from each other and “practicing magic without blinders”. Not very specific though. Anyhow guess what comes next? Right: A list of what you are not to do. And as far as I am concerned it reminds me of youth summer camps. Most of all the catholic ones …
No campfires! At the beginning of August there’ll be high risk of wildfires. In national parks campfires are forbidden and will be completely nonessential at that time anyway.
We take our rubbish back with us. No lead is to be left behind. Everybody will get a rubbish bag on arrival. Please use them!
Butts have to be put in ashtray. Self-explicable, isn’t it?
We take photos of persons only if they have explicitly allowed us to. The prevalent wish not to appear on any photos is to be respected. Absolute ban of photographing during rituals.
Followed finally by directions and a brief timetable of events (I don’t dare to imagine what is to happen to those not showing up to common rituals in time. Will they have to step into a time out zone or will they be punished the old way by turning them into toads?)
The whole event will be presented to the common spell caster by Magisches Deutschland, a German (?) and German-spoken homepage I had never heard about and who describes itself as a “German-wide network for witches and sorcerers”. Obviously they don’t talk about Merlin and Mim but rather what some would describe as Pagans. (Yet it describes Paganism, thereby meaning European Paganism as one of its groups; Did I mention there are some difficulties in finding common terms within the Pagan community?)
So who the f*ck are they for I have never heard a single syllable about them in years? Well first of all let’s have a look in their FAQ:
Who are you?
magisches-deutschland.net is operated, lead and answered for by Fra. Alloy in the USA. Engaged in the editorial process are changing and anonymous volunteers from different countries – if you’d like you can contribute too.
Okay, no wonder I’ve never heard about them if they are operating from outside Germany. If just somebody would be nice enough to explain to me why the heck it is called “Magisches-Deutschland.net” [Magic Germany] not “Magic World” or whatsoever? But then perhaps it has to do something with that:
Why don’t you have an imprint?
We are allowed to do so because pages for Germany but from the USA aren’t obligatory to have an imprint. And we use this possibility because we don’t want to make an appearance in person.
All in all anonymity is held dear by the organisation. Why?
That way we try to keep biggest possible neutrality and makes possible sympathies or antipathies against us or our magic traditions. Whether our service is liked or not is to be decided by our work not by friendship and membership.
Moreover our anonymity proves that this is not about personal appreciation. We however hope that our page is useful and important but we don’t try to make something important out of ourselves that way.
So this is paganity in Germany? No more no less then politics where people are going after each other for every small excuse to do so. Locking themselves up in the broom closet not hiding from “outsiders” but rather fellow Pagans? I’d love to negate the picture that has unconsciously been drawn by Magisches Deutschland yet I cannot. From what I have seen and experienced it is just too close to reality. Not everywhere though for those who would love to turn each other into toads and worse tend to team up in their own communities that sane Pagans learn to avoid early. Well actually they have to if they want to stay sane. But then those rather exclusive clubs of busybodies and brawlers have an over-dimensional appearance in public, outside pagan circles so to say.
I mean would you take us serious if the first time you stumbled above Paganism would have been Magisches Deutschland’s homepage? I, for my part, think I wouldn’t …