Let’s face it – at one stage or another, we’ve all Fan-Gender-Neutral’ed over something.
As my 30th was soon on the horizon (last week!) I found myself reliving my over-the-top Fangirl attitude over my childhood favourite band – Hanson.
Why? Tickets to their show at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney was my present from my Muggle. Which I told him to buy. And then come along with me. Which he did! And he stood still like a star picket in front of me (so no one else would get in my line of sight) and allowed me to scream like a teeny bopper in his ear all night.
He’s pretty awesome!
In the lead up, being the card-carrying Hanson.Net fan club member that I am, I realised there were YEARS of Members-Only EP’s that I didn’t have. WHY DIDN’T I HAVE THESE?! I NEEDED THESE!! And “holy shit why didn’t they put this out on the record, it’s so much better than that track I don’t really rate!” Mega teeny bopper moments were to be had!
ANYWAY! It got me thinking – the Fan-Whatever can be administered to anything, not just bands or our favourite movies.
It’s like anything – we find something so special, so amazing that makes us so incredibly happy, that we want everybody to know about it. In immense detail. Over and over again. Without a break. And, depending on what it is, we may or may not plaster our bedroom walls with their posters, listen to their music/watch their movies religiously, and quote everything that we can. It’s that fine line between major fan-gender-neutral…and over the top obsession. If I had access to photos of my Hanson covered walls, I would definitely post them because it’s not something I’m ashamed of.
(One step further – their album “Underneath” saved my life. It was what made me decide, “Fuck this depression, I need help, and I need it now.” So as much as people may shit on them for whatever hang ups they had with them in 1997, they helped me through a seriously bad time in my life after Suicide Attempt no. 3, not to mention the three “please someone talk me out of this” that followed in the next two years.)
Fan-Whatever’ing has carried over into the Pagan world. As I’ve seen in the past, it can happen when Newbies first find this path, and in particular, first find that one particular Deity and become infatuated with them.
As much as we say (and read), “keep silent,” there’s that element to it all that we just want to scream out who we are, what we’ve become, and freak out unnecessarily when we find something related to a Deity we’ve connected with. It’s where we are on the path before we realise which authors are actually full of it, but the cover of that book was sparkly so we definitely had to get it!
The sparkly book, that giant “Book of Shadows” by that one particular author you bought at Barnes & Nobles, that knife that we DEFINITELY need because the book said so (No, it’s an ATH-AH-MAY! It’s a sacred ritual tool! Oh my goddesses, do you know nothing?!) even though the book doesn’t necessarily say how it’ll be used or how to properly store it. But it’s totes sacred! The price tag reflects it! (I found an athame that I connected with nine years after I began practicing (ie. it made my hand pulsate!), so I’m cautious of those who insist on newbies buying bits and pieces straight from the get-go.)
The Pagan Fan-Whatever is possibly that path we take when we’re new that may or may not lead to being a wannabe. Those who come to this path for all the wrong reasons, and don’t stay for very long. Those who are seeking attention, because they are flaunting it at every chance they get, and somehow manage to bring it up into the most random of conversations. The ones who believe they know everything about our Community and our Pagan world because they’ve read two books. Or, because they haven’t been practicing long enough to realise just how wonderful “keep silent” can be.
My favourite example was years ago when a newbie almost hyperventilated over a ring that was a “Blessed Ring for the Goddess [Name], blessed by the Daughters of [Name] Coven, on the first full moon of [Month], in the homelands of [Country]” which had been bought on eBay.
Right. Want a particular piece of jewellery to become sacred between you and your Deity? Choose something that has meaning to you, and to them. Cleanse it, then ask them to give it their blessing.
Being someone who may-or-may-not have been a Pagan Fangirl in the beginning, I’m easily weary these days because I see the same trend happening again and again. I hope this post doesn’t come across as Newbie-bagging, as it totally was not my intention!
And yes, I did find that “Book of Shadows” by that one particular author on the shelves at Barnes & Nobles…in Phoenix, Arizona…when I was two years into my path. I’m foggy on the details, but somehow my body was taken over, my credit card was handed over and it ended up in my suitcase for the flight home…two years later a friend opened my eyes to that particular author and I don’t think I’ve gone back to that book!