Articles/Essays From Pagans
February 1st. 2019 ...
Paganism and Witchcraft in the Media
September 25th. 2018 ...
Understanding the Unseen
August 25th. 2018 ...
A Little Magickal History
Men and the Goddess
Back to Basics Witchcraft: Magical Creativity for Small Living Spaces
Kitchen Magic and Memories
Why the Faeries?
Magic in Daily Life
An Open Fire: Healing from Within
Cernunnos: The Darkest Wood in the Moon's Light
On Preconceived Pagan/Wiccan Political Affiliations
Gudrun of the Victory Gods
Ares and Athena
La Santa Muerte... The Stigma and the Strength
The Wheel of the Year in Our Daily Lives
The Lady on the Stairs
July 26th. 2018 ...
The Importance of Unification: Bringing Together Community Members to Invoke Cohesivity
May 29th. 2018 ...
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
April 20th. 2018 ...
Nazis Made Us Change Our Name
January 25th. 2018 ...
Finding Balance: Discipline Wedded to Devotion
November 15th. 2017 ...
September 30th. 2017 ...
July 31st. 2017 ...
Sin Eaters and Dream Walkers
July 2nd. 2017 ...
On Cursing: Politics and Ethos
June 1st. 2017 ...
The Sacred Ego in Mediterranean Magical Traditions
April 30th. 2017 ...
Tarot Talk: the Knight of Pentacles
March 30th. 2017 ...
Tarot Talk: the Ace of Swords
January 10th. 2017 ...
The Gray of 'Tween
Becoming a Sacred Dancer
Little Dog, Big Love
December 9th. 2016 ...
A Child's First Yule
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
September 11th. 2016 ...
The Shadow of Disgust
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
An Open Mind and Heart
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
June 13th. 2016 ...
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
The Fear of Witchcraft
Magic in Sentences
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
December 20th. 2015 ...
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
May 6th. 2015 ...
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
January 1st. 2015 ...
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
August 24th. 2014 ...
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Realizing the Pagan Evolution
Article ID: 8747
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 5,337
Times Read: 8,384
Author: Rev. Gina Pond [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: October 10th. 2004
Times Viewed: 8,384
."..[M]any of us "oldies" becom[e] quite dismissive of the younger, which is a shame as this new generation has much to contribute and should not be dismissed as "fluffy bunnies" - a term we detest by the way! This generation is one of the first which is truly Pagan; many have been brought up within Pagan families or in multi-denominational communities and do not carry the same monotheistic baggage that many of us have had to learn to cast off. We think this will result in one of the biggest challenges for neo- Paganism and particularly Wicca, as the older generation strive to maintain the integrity of the philosophy and beliefs that have developed over the years, while the new generation attempt to incorporate new ideas which may be at odds with the old established doctrines."
-- From The Witches' Voice interview with Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone by Caroline Kenner
When I read this paragraph from the TWV interview with Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone, I was truly heartened. As a 28-year-old Pagan, I still come across, from Elders, the attitude of: "Well, you weren't there when being a Witch was so secretive and there were no books out! You have it so much easier than we did, so you don't know what it means to really be a Witch!" Or, "You aren't a real Witch because you haven't been initiated in X Tradition (or Path, or Family, etc.)!" It disturbs me to still find this attitude in paths that profess to be progressive and moving with the Earth. It is a dark topic that not a lot of older Pagans seem willing to talk about, especially those in a specific tradition. What we need to look at now is why there is a turn towards a more black and white view of Paganism among some Elders and why there is an aversion towards allowing the Older Paths to evolve and accept fresh ideas from the next generation.
In some ways, I suppose this is a sign that Paganism has truly become more mainstream. All major religions have those who know that their way is the correct way. The attitude of "We are right and you are wrong" has created so much havoc in the world, that as much as it can be a barometer of becoming more mainstream, it seems counter to the ideals that the average Pagan holds dear.
This can also cause many problems for the new Pagan who is truly searching for teachers. One is that the young Pagan can find an Elder who has this attitude and be so turned off, that she is disheartened and stops her Spiritual quest. And second, in the most extreme (and a trap that I unfortunately fell into), a new Pagan can be taken in by an Elder who is only interested in his or her own prestige and end up feeling used and scarred from the experience. In some cases, it may even be abusive. This can result in a new Pagan turning away from Paganism altogether or being wary even of true Elders who genuinely want to give of their knowledge.
I know that a majority of Elders in this community are there to genuinely help new Pagans find their way, but as we move forward in strength and power as a community, this is a topic that must be talked about and discussed. In some ways, the more we try to convince the general public that Pagan groups are not cults and not abusive, the more we avoid the subject all together. As I've said to people in several different communities: How can we be taken seriously as a community if we are turning against our own? How can telling a new Pagan that his or her spiritual experience is not as legitimate as the Elder's experience be a good thing?
From my experience, it has always been expected that we respect our Elders in the Craft. And I fully agree with this. But I also ask Elders to respect those who are new to (or young members of) the Pagan Community. We may not have been through the time where Paganism had to be kept secretive, but we have had our own experiences with discrimination, bigotry, and hostility. We are the future of Paganism, and are trying to move it forward. We also have new ideas. Maybe it's a new way to meditate, or a different take on a part of the ritual. Maybe it's a view of the Goddess that could be considered entirely unorthodox, or maybe it's just interpreting someone's writings differently. Maybe it's the integration of a totally different pantheon with the one that's already being used. The thinking is truly evolutionary and global since we have access to so many new ideas and beliefs.
Without influx of new ideas and experiences, the Pagan movement would grow stagnant and die. As Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone said, Elders need not dismiss the ideas of the next generation. We have so many examples of how religions can stagnate and turn away practitioners that we should be learning from them and making sure we don't fall prey to their mistakes.
I have had the unfortunate experience of falling prey (for a long time) to an "Elder" who has done what I have just described: belittling my own personal spiritual experiences, not listening to new ideas, and telling me that the tradition I was learning was the only real way to be a Witch. Granted, what happened to me was an extreme, but I have heard and read about other Elders who think the same way. For a time, after I left, I was disillusioned about the Goddess and in doubt of my own spirituality. I have been lucky and blessed that I've had a lot of good Elders cross my path since then, but I wonder what would have happened if I wasn't so lucky. I might have turned away from Goddess all together, and I think that realization is a sad one.
Pagans are people who celebrate the Earth and Her changes. She is changing all the time, and as a community, we have to shift and grow with that change. It is the only constant we are given.
Rev. Gina Pond
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Author's Profile: To learn more about Rev. Gina Pond - Click HERE
Bio: Athena is a Witch currently living on the East Coast, but will soon be moving to the West Coast. She is now a solitary, and looking into a more shamanistic approach to her magick. She is also an AIDS activist, political activist, writer, and the mother of two cats. And when she's not doing that, she works as a scientist.
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