There! I’ve said it. I don’t like the whole excuse-ridden idea of “Pagan Standard Time”. We’re all familiar with it. You’re going to a Pagan ritual and the host says to arrive between 7 – 7:15pm for a 7:30 start and you should all be heading home by 10pm.
Only when you arrive at 7, you find you’re the first person there. The host is still running around in bedroom slippers trying to get kids fed and dogs watered and other mundane rituals of daily living sorted, ritual space is no where near being ready to be created, and the whole place just feels chaotic. Finally around 7:30 the next person arrives, and over the next hour the rest trickle in.
“Oh, sorry. We’re running on Pagan Standard Time. Teehee.”
Just when you think things aren’t going to ever actually start, they begin the ritual around 8:45. You’re now trying to surreptitiously check your watch in your pocket because you’ve only hired the babysitter until 10:30 and now it is looking like things won’t even finish before 11! Instead of being to relax and enjoy the moment, you’re stressing out over every last second. When you try to bring it up, you’re told “Oh, we run on PST, Pagan STandard Time, here. Everybody knows we never start exactly on time. Just try to relax and enjoy yourself, we’re starting now and that is what’s important.”
Yes, I understand that there needs to be some flexibility and fluidity, but there is a world of difference between being a few minutes late because you got stuck in traffic, and being an hour late because you know from previous experience that the host never gets started until an hour or so after they say they will anyway. The host, of course, is never ready by 7:30 because they know that people aren’t going to really start arriving until an hour later anyway, and thus a great obnoxious self-perpetuating cycle is created
It is this lack of respect for other people, their time and their life outside of ritual circle, which causes me to dislike the whole idea of Pagan Standard Time so much.
If you say you want people to arrive between 7 – 7:15, then make sure you are ready to greet them by 7:00. If you say you are starting at 7:30pm, then start within a few minutes of 7:30pm. I am by no means the sort of person who is going to stand at the head of the table tapping a clock going “Ahem! It is now 7:29, take your places please.” But if you say you’re going to start things going at 7:30 you should try to get things going before a quarter to 8 at the very latest I would hope.
Pagan Standard Time is nothing more than a piss poor excuse for rudeness, and it is disrespectful to both the host and other attendees of a ritual.