I find the open-minded nature of Paganism to be deserving of respect, however I feel as though there are some that tend to take advantage of it. While it's true that the many of the alternative lifestyles do find solace in the various traditions of Paganism, there is such a thing as being too open-minded... especially when it comes to accepting those with serious mental issues, whose delusions are counted as credible aspects of Paganism. One should not be to such a degree that their brain falls out and all reasoning goes out the window. It's quite unfortunate that this extremely liberal point of acceptance is more counterproductive than progressive.
I know you all know what kind of people I am talking about, too, and there's a good chance that someone reading this might just be one of those very people, already getting offended because I don't accept you as being some fictional creature or historical incarnation. Don't let my inclusive nature to be mistaken as making me a gullible fool, and if you want to prove me wrong- please, drop down your AD&D dice that you've apparently thrown one too many times and 'show me'.
So, as a reality check to those going around with these delusions of grandeur and generalized inability to differentiate your rear from a hole in the ground, meet my 5 Ascertainments.
I. I ASSURE you that you are NOT a vampire (or vampyre for you particular nutters).
Sure, you have accomplished the ability to manipulate the energy flow from one person to another (particularly yourself), and that's nothing really spectacular inside or outside of the Arts as, verily, Emo kids do well at this with little conscious effort. You may feel yourself special, perhaps 'dark', but is it required to assume the name of a Bram Stoker centerpiece? Why not take something more fitting, like 'leech' or 'schizophreniac'
Sure, there's a few people with a blood fetish. I am quite fond of leather, but does that make me a cow? Nope! Just because you like the taste of iron, your skin is pale because you cant get a real life, and your teeth are pointy because you like your food soft does NOT make you a vampire. You are not a vampire!. Now please go and get yourself some Paxil and step outdoors before the Hepatitis does you in.
II. I ASSURE you that you are NOT a werewolf....or elf, faerie, or in anyway related to dragons.
The first Ascertainment required being separate from the rest because of the popular use and abuse of that word. The rest of the myth-whores fall into number two. No more than are you a vampire, do you spontaneously find yourself covered in fur; even North Carolinian rednecks require a day between shavings, but there's no relevancy to being a lycanthrope, the Full Moon or a particular dislike for silver. You may have a particular fascination for wolves, and that's fine, but I assure you that it isn't in your bloodstream. Trim your mullet, eat a Moonpie and relax, man, no one is out to hunt you down, except maybe men in white lab coats.
You're not an elf, halfling, or any other character that you summoned out of your Dungeon Master's manual, either. You are NOT related to dragons. You are frickin' nuts, that's what you are. The reality of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has greater probability. Take some Lithium.
III I ASSURE you that you are NOT an incarnation of Arthur, Merlin, Crowley or Marie Leveau.
I am 100% certain with the first two, because... yeah, OKAY, I realize there was a historical [King] Arthur running around Wales (and a half-dozen candidates that could have been him) and chances are good he was actually CHRISTIAN, but Merlin? Come on! You're not an incarnation of either, there's no way you can prove it, I don't give a damn how much you would like to believe it because, guess what, there's a few thousand others out there competing with you with the same nutter ideology. And, guess what: you're all crazy.
With Crowley, Marie Leveau or any other well-known historical person, the chances of YOU having their souls, assuming they even reincarnated, is roughly 1:6,622,800,000 with the estimated current world population. Look, Crowley dealt with Choronzon, the Abyss and is now laughing at the McOTOs that sprang up claiming apostolic lineage from him, but residing in your body is something I doubt he could deal with. Leveau converted back to Catholicism just so she'd chance going to Hell as opposed to residing within your physical body. Give these people a break, they have better taste than popping into the body of someone whose future included reading junk authored by Silver Ravenwolf.
IV. I ASSURE you that you are NOT of a Wiccan/witch or other pagan tradition that stems back some 10,000 years. Neither was your Grandmother's grandmother's grandmother.
Your great-great-great-great Grandmother whose birth pre-dated Gerald Gardner by two centuries did NOT cast Circles, call the elements and dance skyclad in a group while singing "We all come from the Goddess". If she had anything she called an athame, its because she got to read the Greater Key of King Solomon before Mathers translated it into English in the 1880s- because that is the first recorded mentioning of that name for a dagger used in ritual. The chances of her being pagan is possible, depending upon birthplace, but the differences of the religions back then and now is apples and oranges, my dear. And here's a good piece of info, "the Burning Times" conceived by modern pagans is a MYTH- there weren't nine million women (or men) burned to the stake and 'witches' weren't a target, only an excuse. There were far more Jews and Muslims executed than anyone of a countryside belief and its a greater historical probability that during the entire Inquisition only 60,000 were killed- IF that.
...Oh, back to number four. She wasn't. Her great-granddaughter likely wasn't either. Your mother may be, but she probably picked up in the 60s when it started to become more known. The heads of that era may have dropped the microdot a few times, but on the best stuff, they couldn't come up with half of the junk you take to be real...
V. I ASSURE you that you are NOT some guru of Psychism.
Look, your psychic powers may surpass that of Miss Cleo... but then again, she was a FRAUD. You watch Montel Williams just because he has Silvia Browne 8 days a week on it and think you may pick up on something and feel she's looking right at you when she looks into the camera. It must have been genetic, you propagate within the community, because your uber-grandmother was one of those category fours... Look, just stop it please.
Drop the whole 'gifts' charade. Yeah, some people ARE more talented than others in regards to picking up and interpreting extrasensory phenomenon, but is it necessary to keep on and on about it? You feel it necessary to fluff up people with a full historical analysis of their life and their future without any solicitation, but like someone good with playing the cards, all it takes is getting one affirmation from them that you're right and you roll with it. There's really no such things as gifts, anyway, everyone has them, few just prefer to use the right eyes and ears to understand. You are not special, just shpecial.
Yeah, there are a few genuine people out there with those abilities, and you've learned a few things in your glimpse into the Occult, but the way you go on and on... well... from Liber Librae: "Yet, oh aspirant, let thy victories bring thee not Vanity, for with increase of Knowledge should come increase of Wisdom. He who knoweth little, thinketh he knoweth much; but he who knoweth much hath learned his own ignorance. Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool, than of him."
Be silent. Preferably on a permanent basis. I don't want to hear about how talented you are because chances are, your talent only lies in manipulating a few other gullible people. If you have 'anything', is it necessarily a 'gift'? Work with it and come to a better decision. Stop acting as if it you're the first kid on the block to get something really 'cool'. And while you're at it, the amount of crystals around your neck will improve little more than your ego; you look more like a New Age Mr T than the manifestation of the Masters. I pity you, Foo!
Seriously folks, this is becoming more and more problematic within the pagan community. While it may be somewhat accurate to say "Well, they're hurting no one" or "They should be able to believe what they want", to either be silent regarding the issue or to humor them does, indeed, present a further conflict in ever being taken serious by a society that still believes we eat children. The world-at-large will continue to think that we, ourselves, are crazy because we allow ourselves to be surrounded by people who believe that they're half-dragon incarnations of Aleister Crowley. While to some its a matter of an overactive imagination, to others its a potentially real mental illness... and to accept the delusions of such people as "real" or "okay" will never contribute to their healing. Instead of embracing this faction as an element of Paganism, embrace the person, and never validate such beliefs as part of any tradition. Educate them on the border of reality and fiction and, if applicable, point them to a good therapist. You'll not only be doing the community a favor, but also that person.