Recently I had a request from a non-pagan friend of mine about joining the Pagan Healing Circle. When I set the group up I had not thought about the possibility of non-pagan members, this was something aimed for the Pagan community. I have, I hope, made it clear we would send healing to anyone that wanted it regardless of faith but I hadn’t thought about non-pagan healers. My initial reaction was that I didn’t see a problem so initially I just made sure the person asking knew how we worked and asked if they were still interested. As this wasn’t something I had really thought about though I needed to do some thinking and talking with others before I made a final decision. I’m still not sure if I have made the right decision but it’s done now.
I have, regretfully, said no to non-pagan healers becoming members of the Pagan Healing Circle. These are my reasons.
The group is named Pagan Healing Circle because it is aimed mainly at the Pagan community and with that name come the expectation that the healers will be pagans of some kind. If we accept non-pagan healers into the group that breaks that assumption and we either need to rename the group or add additional information to the descriptions so that it is clear there are or could be non-pagans in the circle. Renaming can be difficult, especially in Facebook, and to rename something changes it too so those that are already in the circle would have to decide if the new circle is something they still want to be a part of so for those reasons I didn’t want to rename the circle.
Many people do not read full information on a range of things or may not take in all the information even if they do read it but act on assumptions that come from names and summaries. Adding information about having non-pagan healers would be no guarantee that it would be read and taken in.
So far I haven’t come across any pagans that have any problem with healing being sent to them by non-pagans but I have to assume that just as I know Christians that are not happy to have healing from non Christians there will be some Pagans who wouldn’t be happy about discovering healing is coming from non-pagans. I have come across Pagans in the past that feel quite strongly anti certain other faiths for various personal reasons so I have to assume that they might not be happy for healing to be sent to them by non-pagans. If they approached us with the name of “Pagan Healing Circle” it would not be unreasonable for them to expect the healers to be Pagan. I could have chosen to go back to every person that makes a request and ask them individually if they would mind a non-pagan healer being involved but that would be a lot of extra work for me to do and frankly I don’t think it would go down very well with those requesting healing to be put in a position of having to answer that type of question.
The final reason for saying no is that to say yes would set a precedent that may backfire at a later date and cause more problems than I would realistically want to deal with.
This has been a hard decision to make because as a result I have to disappoint a friend who all unwittingly has opened this discussion up. Perhaps I should have thought of this possibility when I originally developed my ideas for the healing circle but I had not and none of those I discussed my initial ideas with raised it as a possibility with me either. I guess we just didn’t think it through well enough.
The Pagan Healing Circle remains a group of Pagans of various paths sending healing to any that ask for it.