The Fluffy Bunnie
Having been told what the definition of “fluffy bunnie” is by the more supposed ‘learned’ in the Pagan/Wiccan community, I thought it was long overdue that I go on a quest and find out what a ‘fluffy bunnie’ really is. Researching it a bit has been an embarrassing as well as eye opening experience because of the abundance of incorrect information or just plain ‘opinions as facts’ that I have found in my search.
Rejected by a LiveJournal group as being ‘too new’ (This status apparently being one of the main fluffy bunnie indicators) , I had my ideas shot down because I was not as experienced as those who apparently have been practicing magic since popping out of the birth canal or have a long lineage of practicing magic folk in their ancestry. Hah!
One of the ideas often held by the fluffy bunnie is the idea one is automatically Pagan/Wiccan after reading one book. Nonsense. The Bible is a collection of more than one book — it is in reality 66 books — and reading the entire Bible does not make one a Christian. Becoming a Christian (for the ones who actually are) is a life changing experience, with the Bible being a guide in the mundane as well as spiritual life. Being raised Christian, going to church every Sunday, even attending a Christian college does not automatically make one a Christian. Same rules apply in Wicca.
Another part of the fluffy bunnie phenomena, I have heard, is the wearing of 50-million chains about the neck and dressing like Dracula. Unless you are a Goth, most Pagan/Wiccans look like everyone else. That does not mean however, that a true Wiccan/Pagan cannot wear what they want, even if it is a lot of jewelry, or black clothing.
There is no rule against being Goth and Pagan/Wiccan. Ask Raven Digitalis, or is he considered a fluffy bunnie because he can pull off both? Even if one is considered a fluffy bunnie like Silver Ravenwolf, is it not possible to learn from her anyway? Maybe on what NOT to do and maybe some of her thoughts and ideas can be beneficial? We study history to (hopefully) learn from the past. Not everything from the past has been a lesson in success and the best of human behavior. We can learn from our history on what is the worst in humankind as well.
People new to being Pagan/Wiccan are considered fluffy bunnies for no other reason than for being new. It is ridiculous and very shortsighted of people to think that they cannot learn something from another who may not be as old or as much of an expert on a subject than someone else. No matter what, there is always going to be an older and smarter individual than you are. If you do not think that is true, you live in a make believe world occupied by cute pink elephants, or your head is stuck in a dark place and we will not specify where.
There are teachers out there, or experts, who know full well they learn more from their students than another teacher. Children are more open-minded to things than adults are. They are like sponges soaking up information and knowledge like it was food. Children are ‘newbies’ to life, yet they have a lot to teach us if we in turn can be open-minded enough. Great ideas are created not just by the experts, but also by those who have a fresh view of the idea that the expert may not have even considered.
To be blunt, there are a lot of Pagan/Wiccans who believe that some of the hallmarks of fluffy bunnies are found in “those who refuse to learn, refuse to think, and refuse to consider the possibility that they could be wrong.” (Catherine Noble Beyer, 2002-2009)
Well, that could be true of many people, experienced or not. Wow. However there are people who do claim to be Pagan/Wiccan for shock value and think it is really neat to curse people, or become Pagan/Wiccan because it is the exact opposite of Christianity. These people are fluffy bunnies. They are not truly Pagan/Wiccan, but are looking for something else. Maybe some therapy is in order.
This is not to say that someone who has been raised Christian all his/her life cannot become Pagan/Wiccan. Some of us were raised in that environment, but have always known that they never fit in, or they never bought into the dogma that just what the ‘church’ says could be right or wrong. It is also untrue that someone who has been in a predominantly male religion/lifestyle cannot be Pagan/Wiccan, as discovering the Goddess for the first time is like a breath of fresh air, and/or like coming home. The teenage rebel might also become a true Pagan/Wiccan, as some of us have discovered that being Pagan/Wiccan can bring more peace and harmony to one’s life.
Fluffy Bunnies supposedly believe that there is light, love, harmony, and all those wonderful Tele Tubby type feelings, and no bad stuff. Really? Take a look at the Ying Yang symbol. There is duality in all things: light and dark, good and bad, male and female, etc. Some actually believe we cannot have good without evil, or light without dark. The fact is, everywhere you look there are opposites and they coexist with one another. Human beings are capable of the greatest feats of courage, goodness, and love, as well as capable of cowardice, evil, and hate. You only have to turn on the news, look on the Internet, and read a paper to know that this is a fact.
There was a discussion question up on an Internet group on the subject of lying. Some felt that since some in the animal kingdom use the art of deception, lying is really not that big of a deal. It is just a ‘rule’ that one can choose to follow or not. Some believe that lying is like throwing a rock into a body of water, and the ripples from it, spread ever wide. Others think it is okay to lie if it is a ‘white lie’ to protect a person, like saying your 300-pound friend looks lovely in an outfit that is not flattering to her.
A friend said this, “On the issue of lying, I don’t think there is an answer. Maybe the closest one was actually in a little book of anecdotes from the Buddha’s life that I skimmed through once, while loitering in a bookstore. In Buddhism, the gravest sin is lying. However, even the Buddha had to tell a lie once, out of compassion. Thus, sins must sometimes be subservient to virtues. And the highest virtue of Buddhism is compassion.”
Most people agree that telling your wife you are home late because of work when truthfully you instead were out cheating with her best friend are two different things. But maybe not. Depends if you buy into the idea that lying is a man-made rule and not a natural one. I might buy that if I was actually an animal and needed deception to catch my lunch or avoid being one. Hopefully, as human animals, are more evolved than that.
Everyone who is Wiccan or Pagan, Buddhist, and even Christian, has their own path to follow, one that another may not agree with. Your relationship to the Universe, God, Lord and Lady, or the Spaghetti Monster, IS going to be different than another person’s because we are all individuals. Each one’s path is as unique as the individual — otherwise it is not a spiritual path you are following, but a cookie recipe. And let’s face it; even though you use the same cookie recipe over and over again, you know that sometimes the cookies do not always turn out the same way each time. Maybe this is an oversimplification, but you get the general idea.
No human being on the planet is perfect, including Pagans/Wiccans. No one is going up for sainthood anytime soon. However, that does not mean that we cannot try and act like adults, even when we disagree with one another. That includes not lowering ourselves to name-calling.
Calling someone a “fluffy bunnie” because you do not like what he/she has to say or because he/she holds a differing opinion than you or your clan does, is childish and immature. And the reason why some of us know this is because we have been guilty of it ourselves.
No, we are not all going to get along. To believe that just because we are Pagan/Wiccan, and someone else is too, does not mean that they or we are going to act somehow better than anyone else because they and we both claim to be Pagan/Wiccan. There are bad and good people and so it stands to reason that there are going to be bad and good Pagans/Wiccans. To think that a person claiming to be Pagan/Wiccan cannot possibly be a bad person is another sign of the “fluffy bunnie syndrome”.
The one thing that can work to counteract the whole fluffy bunnie thing is knowledge. However if a fluffy bunnie does not think that he/she needs to be educated beyond the one or two authors he/she has read, it is going to be an uphill battle. And there is no use in trying to fight with these people to change their minds, as you get sucked into the nonsense right along with them.
You can hope that they come to their senses, grow up a little, and realize that some of their preconceived ideas on what being Pagan/Wiccan was all about were not exactly accurate. At one time, all of us who claim to be Pagan/Wiccan were beginners. We all made mistakes. We held innocent and naive ideas on what Pagans/Wiccans were really all about. We were pigheaded enough to think that we were right — even though we were not – and we did all of the other things that newbies do and get called fluffy bunnies for.
To say that you never did this is being dishonest and you are doing the very thing actual fluffy bunnies do: refuse to learn. Being Pagan/Wiccan means learning those tough lessons and hopefully changing as a person by growing from the errors that we make.