Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Reader of People, Maker of Trouble, Claimer of Titles

So the Psychic Fair was fun: did some readings, made some money, turned around and spent most of it at the shop sponsoring the event, with enough left over to cover gas. Plus I got to spend some time with several cool rootworkers, along with the gorgeous ladies of Khandroma, Houston's premiere goth-fusion belly-dancing troupe. Overall, not a bad way to blow a Saturday.

The only real glitch occurred at the beginning of the fair, when my blood sugar suddenly dropped in the middle of my first reading--nothing inspires confidence in your friendly, neighborhood fortune-teller like profuse sweating and a case of the shakes. The reading went really well, though, so hopefully, the client just chalked it up to benevolent spirit possession.

Oh, actually, there was one other thing that happened towards the end of the day, something that pretty much exemplifies why I get so twitchy about the self-appointed "leaders" of the Pagan community. A group of us were hanging out in the main room of the shop, chatting companionably, when out of nowhere, this woman, one of the (cough) Elders of the Houston area, stabbed a finger in my direction and said, "Hey, who's he?"

"Hi! I'm Evn," I said, hoping my tone conveyed the sheer delight I felt at being addressed in third-person.

"I don't know you," the woman said to me. Then, to the manager of the shop, "I don't know him. He's..."

And I swear I'm not making this up.

"He's not one of us."

"I'm sure you know Evn," the manager replied calmly, ignoring the "one of us" comment but shooting me a wide-eyed "WTF?" look that could've shattered glass. "He's on all the Yahoo! groups."

"It's 'Evan' without the 'a'," I helpfully supplied. "E-V-N."

She paused for a second, scrutinizing me. "Oh, wait, I do know you!"

"Yes, you do!" I agreed.

"You're one of those troublemakers."

And with that pronouncement, she turned away and went back to holding court with less worrisome Pagans, while I tried my best not to burst out laughing, and the manager grinned and shot me another look that read, "high five."

I should say that I come by the title "troublemaker" honestly, as Elder Lady and I have butted heads a number of times on the lists, usually over what it truly means to be a part of the Pagan community. She defines the community by those members who attend the correct events, support the correct organizations, and acknowledge the correct people as undisputed monarchs. I define the community by those members who are welcoming to the newbies, and who aren't dickheads to everyone else.

Same planet, different worlds. But I'll take "troublemaker" over "sycophant" any day.


Deborah said...


You don't have a Pagan community in Houston. You have a clever parody of a Pagan community.

Evn said...

Does that mean I'm in charge? Because I am all about clever parody.

(Seriously, though, I can't say enough about the goth-fusion belly-dancing troupe. They're very relevant, very now.)

Yvonne said...

I really dislike these self-appointed leaders and elders. The real leaders and elders, in my opinion, are the ones who don't think they are; the ones who welcome the newbies, sort out the messes, and build the bridges; not the ones with the flock of perpetual neophytes. I have briefed several friends that they are enjoined to give me a good kick up the arse if ever I turn into one of those people (I don't think I will, but I feel it's best to have "insurance").

Cat Chapin-Bishop said...

Well, _I_ think you're in charge, Evn. And that Elder Lady... (Cat sniffs disdainfully)

_I_ don't know who she _is_.

She's not one of _us_.


Anne Johnson said...

Oh, you know your religion has arrived when it has Grand Poobah church ladies! I'll bet she make a great casserole.

Evn said...

Yvonne, insurance is an excellent option. I'll set my Loyal Strifemongers on "annihilate" and tell them to fire at me if necessary.

Cat, I don't think she's one of you, either. ;) But the disdainful sniff is greatly appreciated.

Evn said...

Anne, I have not had the opportunity to try her casserole. But I suspect such a dinner meeting would include, "...and Evn, I've saved this special serving for you! Eat up! Ignore the chalky aftertaste!"

Lisa Adams said...

*laugh* Now I'm curious as to which one of the self-proclaimed Elders she is.

Beth Owl's Daughter said...

Hey! Watch the comments about the casseroles! :-) Being casserole ladies and men (minus the holier-than-thou superior attitude!) is actually a part of why call ourselves the Dragon's Cauldron!

Just because we're Witches doesn't mean we don't still sometimes need that small, stalwart army of loving caregivers in hard times, who offer casseroles, sweet tea, and tending to the mundane details when our members are otherwise distraught, grieving, or ill.

Evn said...

Casserole folk without attitude issues are angels.

Evn said...

(grin) Li, I'll e-mail you offblog.

Anonymous said...

It's this kind of thing that really makes my blood boil. Holier than thou Pagan priest/esshood. Jeesh. Rather be a troublemaker too, have been all my life.

And I'm honored, honored I tell you, to be on your list of "Disputatious" pagan blogs. Had to go look it up to make sure my assumption was correct and did a rousing hoo-ah fist punch.

Evn said...

"Hoo-ah!" That's so Pacino of you!

And I'm very honored to have you as a Loyal Strifemonger. It's an elite group, you know. ;)