That’s Gross Don’t Do That

Common parking sign in San Francisco – photo by Diana Rajchel

  1. Pantheacon, 2015 Standing in line for the Green Fairy Party. Someone peers at my badge, scans my name. Turns to friend and says “Oh, that’s nobody famous. Let’s go see if we can find  —–.”

  2. Pantheacon 2017 At a suite event. Hostess is openly charmed by my boyfriend. I thank her for her hospitality, she half glares and mumbles something. She engages my boyfriend again and he says we have to leave for the Llewellyn author’s party. “Oh, are you an author?” she asks him. “No, my girlfriend is!” She asks what I wrote and her demeanor changes from borderline hostile to friendly.

  3. 2006, the Pagan student organization I’m a community advisor for is in trouble – it has failed to draw new membership as old members graduate out. I post to the group list about having a presence at campus events and making the existence of the organization better known. Someone who never attends posts back: “I am horrified you’re recruiting. These things should happen by magick, like when I found the local Pagan zine that told me about this group.” The magick for that Pagan magazine was roughly $250 in printing fees and hours upon hours of editing and layout. The magick of the student org was at least 50 student signatures, a hunt for an advisor, and the endless discussions and work of programming and events. That’s a lot of elbow grease making that magick happen.

  4. I receive an inquiry about the Emperor Norton Pagan Social, well established for two years, and when/where it meets. I share the information. This is responded to with a request that I change the location and time of meeting so it is more convenient for the author of the missive.

  5. A drop in at Emperor Norton Pagan Social shames another attendee for not owning a SmartPhone.

  6. Any type of humor that is solely done to make the other person feel stupid.

  7. Dominating group conversation with all of your reincarnation fantasies. It’s almost as boring as someone who always wants to tell you about their dreams and takes over every conversation with it. Not just scary dreams (all dreams are inherently weird.) Every damn dream ever.

  8. 2003, at a Minneapolis Pagan meetup. A young Kemetic asks me what aspect of Isis I work with. I tell her what I’m studying. “Oh, I find people that follow that aspect very manipulative.”

  9. A former follower of Sekhmet, when I’m having a bad night, tells me that Isis is mad at me for abandoning her because I should be Kemetic like him. I ask another priestess of Sekhmet about this comment; she reports general disgust for his behavior towards me.

  10. 2004, at a Pagan Pride planning meeting and my student, who happens to be a black man, stops by. An organizer interrupts us to take me aside and ask me if I’m “all right.” I explain to her he’s my student, and she says something insane about a black man stealing her mother’s purse once and thus being uncomfortable around all black people. At the next meeting, she uses a similar excuse for rudeness to all Christian-identified people, and all attempts to point out that not all denominations engage in the same behavior is rejected because her feelings outweigh the use of reason. I have to remind her four times that some of our volunteers are Christian – either family friends, spouses to other Pagans, or ChristoPagans.

  11. A person publicly shames a Pagan news organization for not picking up his story – or at least his press release. It ends up getting minor mentions on a few high profile blogs. He still has a tantrum that there’s not enough coverage. When asked for data to back up the story and offered assistance in developing it into something genuinely newsworthy, this person disappears.

  12. Asking me “what am I gonna do?” about my wife’s transition as if there is some clear, defined course of action. TERFS are bigots by any other name. ’nuff said.

  13. Giving “free massage” and “reiki”despite requests not to be touched and not to send energy. Weeks of healing work undone by the reiki “help.”

  14. I work as a reader and psychic. It’s a living, and part of the Bay Area hustle for anyone not working in tech or inheriting old money tech. I am trying to build a customer base in San Jose area to augment the one I have in San Francisco and East Bay. I post my card in a coffee shop in Campbell. A few days letter, I get a voicemail: “This is ____. I found your card, can you call me back?” I usually ignore such vague messages even from people I know as they’re almost always time wasters and/or drama (as opposed to legitimate Life Problems.) I call. He makes it clear he did look me up online (and thus has online access.) The jist:”Want to do ritual with me?” This is the equivalent of asking me if I’d like a roll in the hay with someone I’ve literally never spoken with before. I point him to some local CUUPs groups – it’s not like there’s a dearth of ritual community in the Bay. In fact, there’s such an excess I run a group in San Francisco that is explicitly NON ritual just to allow for some genuine diversity. He has Internet, he could have found it himself.

  15. Texting me late at night, expecting an immediate answer. Messengers aren’t phone calls; they’re meant for delays.

  16. Complaints about lack of Pagan/magical people oriented services and infrastructure, followed by an insistence that all spiritual services should be free or they are somehow aspiritual. You can’t have it both ways, and if you don’t support what supports you, it’s going to go away. It’s one thing when you legitimately can’t afford certain things. It’s different when your prioritize spending $500 at a Rennaissance fair and complain about making a $5 donation to cover space rental at a Pagan event.

  17. Asking easily Googleable questions for the sake of attention.

  18. An equally lesser known author complains that “almost no one showed up for her reading” at a bookstore. She did very little to promote the event beyond posting to her own Facebook page. When you’re a lesser known author, just be grateful for who DOES show up!

About the Author

Diana Rajchel lives at the western edge of San Francisco, where sea creatures and hippies meet, breed, and glower at gentrification. From this liminal place she runs the Emperor Norton Pagan Social, writes about magic, herbs, and human quirks, and looks to both sidewalk and sky for wisdom. She is the author of Divorcing a Real Witch, the Mabon and Samhain installments of the Llewellyn Sabbat essentials series, and a title on Urban Magic to be released by Llewellyn in 2018.

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