This is my grumpy face ==>
Not my uber-grumpy face, or even my pissed off face, this is just the regular grumpy face.
It looks a lot like my regular regular face, actually, because I'm pretty woke and this world makes me pretty damn grumpy on a daily basis. This is today's grumpy.
Actually, this is this morning's grumpy. There may be more today, let's be honest...
Let me clarify.
The comment was not specifically about Philip Carr-Gomm, whose work is actually very interesting and I certainly have no personal problem with, though I understand why it'd be read as such, and apologies for a grumpy general reaction on my part giving the impression that that particular foreign dude is someone I have a problem with. Himself and Emma Restall Orr are on my bookshelf, and I've met them at various events we've been teaching at over the years. Eimear Burke, who I've since found is the on-site organiser for this particular event, is an acquaintance and a respected peer/colleague in the Irish Pagan community. Sound folk. Good academics, responsible practice. All grand there like.
The problem though, and the cause of my reaction, is that's about the tenth workshop I've come across so far THIS MONTH, run by a non-native person travelling to Ireland to teach, most of which are costing a small fortune and from what I can tell, and reports from previous attendees - many of which are ignorant of or even disrespectful to the native energies and spirits here.
Folk who know me, or my teaching, know that I'm no fucking purist snob about Ireland. I don't give a shite about your DNA or bloodlines, what your granny from Limerick taught you about her Irish childhood, or any of the usual bullshit credentials seen in 'Celtic' spiritual communities. My lifetime's experience is that Irish spirituality, energies and magic is ALL about relationships with the land and the culture, from near or far - but it's particularly strongest when you're walking the land on a regular basis. Now, that doesn't have to entail living here, but it certainly fucking helps things.
As I said yesterday, if you transpose the outcry by responsible pagans about say, Native (First Nations) American spiritual appropriations for commercial gain, you might get an idea of our frustration. As a native person, this situation feels like appropriation to me, in general terms; when folk who don't live here are coming here to teach about Ireland. This is a living, breathing, immersive culture and energy we are dealing with. Live it, breath it, walk it.... then teach it.
Saying ALL that, I see the luck I have with living here. It's easy for me to say all this, and easy for folk who want to be here, but can't, to be very fucking frustrated with my viewpoint. Part of my teaching, and the work I admire from non-native folk, is how to connect from afar, without the 'easy access' we're blessed with here. And I have a huge abiding respect for the folk who DO the work to make that happen. There's definitely 2 sides to this story, and exceptions to every rule.
But don't come to my island, expecting to teach me or my people how to be spiritual in our own tradition, and then be surprised that I get fucking grumpy about it. Don't come here to sell my culture, my heritage, to other non native folk at a profit, eschewing the value and wisdom of local guides and teachers, and then be surprised that I get fucking grumpy about it. And if I happen to get grumpy at the wrong person who is, on the surface of it, another foreign dude cashing in on Irish culture and heritage - by all means pull me up on that and explain why you think I'm wrong to lump him in with the norm I'm dealing with... but don't get fucking grumpy about it unless you've lived what I'm living here every day.