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Fluff-Fluff [Jun. 1st, 2008|04:10 pm]
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[panda_pov]
 

Is there something more to the phrase?


So, seriously, “fluff(y) bunny” is still an actual insult among modern Pagans. It is used by Wiccans to point out new or misguided Wiccans, and it is used by non-Wiccan Pagans to point out Wiccans. Fluffy Bunnies can be labeled according to a plethora of criteria, including:

  1. Stubborn disregard of any “dark” or “balancing” factors in a religion. The blessing, “In Love and Light,” has also been banned due to Fluffy Bunny over-use.

  2. Little research or knowledge of Pagan history, especially if the little research involves any of Margaret Murray's since-refuted claims.

  3. Hyperbolic exaggeration of one's qualifications to be a witch, Wiccan, faerie or otherkin. Generally, it is assumed that the information is made-up and often involves past life experiences with mythological figures.

  4. Association of a Pagan religion with a role-playing game, a gothic fashion sub-culture, or a fantasy/sci-fi novel or series.

Many times, I find that those who use the phrase the most fit into these criteria the best. Honestly, Fluffy Bunnies are just about anyone who has not found a true balance within their spirituality. If you are too “light” or too “dark,” too metaphysical or too factual, you are prone to the Fluffy Bunny label. Imbalance generally denotes newness, which is not uncommon within the Pagan community. This Fluffy Bunny period can last for weeks or years, and one's newness to the Pagan community cannot be measured in time, but experience.


Where do we find this experience? Meet more Pagans, listen to other views and theologies with an open but rational mind. If you talk to more Pagans online than you do in your local community, seek out more locals and connect. Volunteer for you local organization or coven and get involved.


It isn't about newness, inexperience or faulty personality, it's just imbalance. Many take years to find their center. Changing religions is difficult, and most Pagans today have come to their current path from an entirely different one.


By the way, “In love and light,” is a blessing, similar to, “I hope all is well,” and not an expression of totality. Silly rabbits...

Panda

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: fannyfae
2008-06-01 08:48 pm (UTC)
I find that people are where they are, but then there are those within the Pagan community, who for whatever reason, decide that doing "whatever" is perfectly acceptable. These are the same people who can quote Llewllyn titles chapter and verse, they honestly believe in the "Burning Times" and the whole nine million Witches figure. They also think Silver Ravenwolf, Barbara Walker, Merlin Stone and R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz are considered to be "scholarly resources," which they most definitely are not.

I think what bothers me within the Pagan community, more than people within the ranks snarking on others about their obvious lack of experience, and the way that it is the tendency of so many newbies make up their credentials as they go, is the amount of lazy scholarship that goes on. I see far fewer people willing to be the voice of reason, or do much in the way of interfaith work. with faiths outside of the very closed sphere of the Pagan community. Too many are too busy bashing Christians and other members within the community itself.

On the other side of that, there are other Faiths, not just Christianity, that hold Neopagans at arms length for a number of reasons. Some of those reasons include but are definitely not limted to, cultural misappropration, the unwillingness to shut up and listen, the ability to be told, "No. you may not be a part of this particular rite because you are not a part of our religion, " without said Neopagans getting indignant about their disinclusion. Also, faiths, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and many Native American belief systems do not want to be called "Pagan" at all, and yet they are continuously having it still disrespectfully asserted to them by modern Neopagans that they are in fact also among Paganism's ranks ig only by virtue of the fact that they are not practitioners of the Big Three. In short, Pagans want the right to self define, but even they can be pretty insensitive when extending that courtesy to others.

It's those sorts of things that really earn the fluffy bunny label. It isn't so much being ignorant - it's those who are being willfully so.
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[User Picture]From: panda_pov
2008-06-01 09:26 pm (UTC)

Crazy Crazy...

Eh, honestly I was just taking a new look at the "Fluff bunny" label and finding a way to encourage support, rather than empty bashing, on these "newbies."

The whole "scene" is just crazy, crazy, which is why, while grasping at solutions or guidelines, the language doesn't always catch up.

What to do?
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[User Picture]From: fannyfae
2008-06-01 10:38 pm (UTC)

What to do?

There is flat out only one solution that is going to help solve the problem and that is by being better examples as priests and priestesses. We can affix blame, we can get pissed off at the fact that the use of the fluffy bunny label is thrown at these newer, more inexperienced people. However, the fact remains that we have some so-called elders who, let's face it, are far from shining examples of what it is to be in a position of leadership. We need to examine ourselves and the power of our own speech in any given situation.

The best support we can give to these people, the best way we can help them avoid such things is by being, as leaders and those responsible for guiding the new ones, good examples. That cannot happen without the proper respect and perspective being instilled in the leadership of others outside an as well as inside the Pagan community. How many witin the leadership take full responsibility for every aspect of their own lives? How many are socially, fiscally, environmentally, and even health-wise good examples to others? How many of them watch what goes into or comes out of their own mouths and deeds? My point is that the label of fluffy bunny getting thrown at someone has little if anything to do with the fact that someone is inexperienced as much as it does with that person being ignorant. Sometimes the woefully ignorant are those who count themselves as elders.

A term that is used instead of Fluffy Bunny I have also heard is "Crystal Twinkies". Of course that one came from a group of rightfully pissed of Indigenous Americans when they found their ancient stone sunwheel had been "fixed" by well-meaning but definitely woefully ignorant Pagans without their having even asked permission.

Labels are here to stay. Maybe a better term is Neophyte or Dedicant or something along those lines if we want to discuss those who are new. But then even those terms can be used as insults, but admittedly not as prevalent as Fluffy Bunny is used.
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[User Picture]From: panda_pov
2008-06-02 03:11 am (UTC)

Re: What to do?

Overall, kudos.

However, I am amazed at the Crystal Twinkies. I don't think I've heard anything that amazing.

Fluff Bunny certainly does denote a certain type of person. There are those who do not want to learn period, adn they really do deserve the label.

There are others taht don't think they need to learn more, or that are either just new or just imbalanced. These are the people who need support. Finding the right point to give up on someone is another matter entirely, but i can't agree that it is right to label them all the same. It just makes me sad :(

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[User Picture]From: deseretfirefly
2008-06-01 09:19 pm (UTC)

The big three killed my baby, lol...

Who cares what people call other people? If you choose to take offense to a comment like that, then you deserve the negativity implied as a result. I have noticed that these newer, as you put it, "fluffy bunny" pagans sometimes get involved with something as a social thing, to be cool, or to rebel against the rest of society. Of course someone would get offended if they were called that. Personally, I think it's cute.

IMHO you get what you give- if you send out negativity, that is what you draw back in return. Everyone, regardless of their belief system, needs to stop taking themselves (and other peoples opinions) so dang seriously, and concentrate instead on what really matters.
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[User Picture]From: panda_pov
2008-06-01 09:33 pm (UTC)

Re: The big three killed my baby, lol...

Again, I was merely examining the label and encouraging support for the group. (see my other replies.)
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[User Picture]From: panda_pov
2008-06-01 09:32 pm (UTC)

Who banned "in love and light"? I wasn't aware any Pagan had that kind of authority.

Banned wasn't the right word...more like it is now included in many Pagans' definitions of Fluffy (i.e. "love and lighters")

I don't think I confused newness with fluff; the point I was trying to articulate was that the source of "fluffiness," was imbalance, which can generally be attributed to newness. Not all "newbies" are "fluffy," and you don't have to find perfect balance to avoid being "fluffy." Did that make more sense? As I told fannyfae, My purpose was to take another look at the source of "fluffiness," biased to encourage the support, rather than frank damnation of these people.

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[User Picture]From: stephanielynch
2008-06-01 10:00 pm (UTC)
Honestly if you have the time to deal with the twits who deserve the title "Fluffy Bunny", then by all means have at.

There is a difference between a beginner and an FB. A beginner is willing to learn and to grow. An FB is not. They want it all their way or no way and will argue with you about it until you are blue in the face. They don't think there is anything such as balance and the Goddess is alllll about love, rainbows and peace.

Sorry, but I simply do not have time to try to educate those who will not learn.

And no, I do not agree with your statement "Fluffy Bunnies are just about anyone who has not found a true balance within their spirituality"

That may be your view but it is most definitely not my experience.
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