What’s a ‘lipstick pagan’?
That’s what we call someone who likes for people to see that they are ‘Pagan’, but who do not otherwise exhibit any behaviour, practice or attitude that identifies them as Pagan on the inside. For lipstick pagans, it’s all about the show. It might also be a naive young person (or even an older person) who confuses being a fangirl, or being Goth, or being emo with being Pagan.
It’s easy to be a lipstick pagan; much easier to talk the talk than it is to live the path that the Goddess sets before us. I say ‘live’ rather than ‘walk’ for a reason – it’s easy to walk your path. Walking implies a leisurely pace, with comfy shoes and maybe a stick to help you step carefully.
Living it – day in, day out – is much more difficult. It tales fortitude, determination, strength of will and character, and honestly, I can say that I am not always up to the challenge. Living your path means that not only are you practicing daily, but that you’re continuing to learn. You’re helping others to learn, and you’re setting examples in your community – whether or not people know that you’re Pagan.
One of the things I came across recently was a reiki meditation about ‘just for today’. That is something that I like – just for today, I can do anything. I can practice mindfully. I can be the change I want to see in the world. I can live intentionally and help others. I can be a better person… just for today. Thinking along those terms – that ‘just for today’ I can do this, instead of thinking about making changes or progress as a journey, helps. I can do anything ‘just for today’.
I haven’t met many lipstick pagans. Some lipstick pagans I have met turned out to be ‘lapsed’ Pagans – Pagans with too much on their plates and too little support. I’ve been one of those, and I know how ‘life’ can get in the way and how hard it can be to get back into good routines and habits regarding your practice. But I also know how helpful having a good routine to begin with can be with regard to getting back on track.
So what’s wrong with lipstick pagans?
Well… nothing, usually. Surely in Goddess Worship, there is a place for those who haven’t found their place, or are in need of space, more support or just haven’t quite found their way. But then again, some of the things that ‘fangirl’ lipstick pagans may do or say, however naively or innocently, can be damaging to Pagans who take their practice more seriously. Quoting Harry Potter or The Craft or Practical Magic may be fun – and may be all in good fun – but there are people out there who use those movies (or TV shows) as a basis for their practice. It’s all fine and good to say ‘to each her own’, but when someone is ‘practicing’ or projecting an image of Paganism that is a reflection of fictional media or playing into stereotypes and the fear of Pagan faiths that media would have the general public buying into… perhaps it may be a good idea to gently encourage them to learn more about different Pagan paths that are rooted in reality instead of the imagination. With that in mind, if you happen to come across a Lipstick Pagan, cut them a little slack, share in the fun (if there is any to be had), offer support where needed, but don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel the need.
This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project 2012. To read more posts, click the PBP2012 image below!