The Article and Why the Numbers Might Be ImportantIf anything, the article reaffirmed my belief in the big tent model when it comes to Heathenism. If the numbers are correct (and I suspect they might be), we need to treat our pagan brethren with a little more respect. The tl;dr version is that Wicca may have, by low estimates, around 2 million practitioners in the United States, making it the third largest religion in the US, after Judaism. (Atheists and agnostics make up a larger percentage than Judaism, but since they are not a religion, they aren't factored in.) Now granted, when compared to more that 300 million people, that may not seem like many, but the reality is that 2 million votes can sway an election quite handily. Which brings us to Heathenism.
Heathenism by the NumbersI'm not going to tell you that the numbers I give you are definitive. For one thing, no one has done a completely accurate census and counted every single Heathen on the planet. The current census counts were done on a strictly volunteer basis and most required some sort of participation in social media. That being said, the Norse Mythology Blog came up with a number 16,700 in 2013. This seems a little low to me, undoubtedly because I suspect that some Heathens, for whatever reasons, don't bother answering polls. I suspect the number is bigger because the piece I wrote, The Gods are Not Your Bitches, got a whopping 13,062 views. Now, granted, some folks may have gone back and reread it, and some folks may have read it who were not Heathen, but the idea that one of my posts reached nearly all Heathens is ludicrous.
I've seen likes on various Heathen groups on the web, and have seen numbers in the 60K to 100K. That to me seems more likely with a guessimation of maybe 150K to 200K total Heathens in the world at the top end, when you count crossovers from Wiccans and goosestepping moron Odinist Nazis.
Why We Need to Ally Ourselves with the Wiccans, or My Big Tent Belief
So, for argument sake, let's say we have about 100K to 200K Heathens worldwide. Personally, I think it is around 100,000, but let's go with that bigger number, for argument sake. That means that we maybe have a tenth of the numbers Wiccans have, if Wiccans have a conservative 2 million in the United States alone. And our numbers are worldwide, not the United States, alone. So, we have 2 million people who could easily be on our side because they're polytheistic. Granted, they worship all sorts of gods and goddesses, but the reality is that they could strengthen Heathenism if we let them.
I've proposed this big tent belief in an earlier post which has met with some derision from the recon segment. Wiccans are not our enemies here. In fact, you're likely to find allies from Wiccans who worship Freyja and Freyr, or any of our other gods and goddesses. We can find more Heathens there who will help us politically when it comes to issues we have. Plus, if we're inclusive, we have a lot more Heathens who can help shape Heathenry.
To Those Who Want to Exclude WiccansThose who want to exclude Wiccans, even though they worship our gods, are being shortsighted. Heathenry should be open to bringing in others, not just those who are willing to do the homework and speak the gibberish some Heathens do. We need the Lokeans, the Rokkatru, and yes, even the Wiccatru.
Why? you may ask.
Do you really want Heathenry to stay small? Do you really want it to be taken over by racists? Do you really think it's a good idea to stay exclusive and not inclusive? Look at the Wiccans. They really don't have a lot of dogma, and thus have big numbers. Maybe Heathenry could learn something from Wiccans. And Hels bells, I don't even believe in magic.