Articles/Essays From Pagans
December 1st. 2013 ...
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
Leaving a Pagan Group Ė Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowleyís Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
The Celtic Tree Calendar
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 1 (The Center)
September 15th. 2013 ...
Some Pagan Prayers
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Bramble and Cerridwen
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
September 8th. 2013 ...
Introduction to the Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage
The Druidic Concept of Nwyfre
The Holocaust Survivor (Part 1)
Giving and Helping
September 1st. 2013 ...
Use a Flyswatter for a Fly: More on the Dark Arts
How Spells Work
Is It Really 'Energy'?
August 25th. 2013 ...
Mother Natureís Way: Forging a Distinctly American Path
Healing Moon Ritual
Unconditional Love: The Paradox of Perfect Love
Earth to Soul/Sole
August 18th. 2013 ...
How Not to Fall in the Bunny Trap
Why Are You Like That? Thoughts on Hoodoo and Appropriation
Finding the Right Coven
The Knowledge Found in Silence
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances, Hazelnuts and Magick Wands
August 11th. 2013 ...
ďI Survived a Weekend with Galina KrasskovaĒ
The Charges of the Goddess and God with Commentary
August 4th. 2013 ...
Fair Weather Witches
Pagan Studies II: Modern Paganism in the Americas
Pagan Abbeys - A Practical Heritage for Spiritual Lay and Professional Cloistered Communities
July 28th. 2013 ...
Crystals 101: A Helpful Guide For Beginners
The More the Merrier? Itís not Only an Inaccuracy; itís an All Out Farce!
My Pagan Manifesto
July 21st. 2013 ...
I'm a Witch, Not a Wiccan: A Brief Summary of Broad Pagan Designations
Rethinking Community for Solitaries
13 Keys: The Beauty of Tiphareth
July 14th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichťs We Use (Part II)
Pagan Humanism: A Tradition of Rational Religion
Moon/Planetary Musings: The Holly King and John Barleycorn
July 7th. 2013 ...
Coping With Depression: Learning to Dance with the Sacred Twins
Shamanic Healing of Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Humility and Community Service
H is for Hubris
June 30th. 2013 ...
How To Feel The Energy Around You
Planning A Ritual
Why Pagans Might Benefit from Counseling Techniques
The Weight of Contemplation: When the Silent Self Grows Louder
June 23rd. 2013 ...
Magick and Play
Tarot Spell for Protection
Moon Musings and Planetary Preponderances: RE-fuse, RE-duce, RE-use, RE-pair and RE-cycle
June 16th. 2013 ...
How To Stay Spiritual Amidst This Chaos?
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
On the Need for Pagan Structures
Article ID: 8918
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,239
Times Read: 5,949
Author: Jemma Hawtrey
Posted: January 23rd. 2005
Times Viewed: 5,949
Dateline: 12th February 1964
Location: Shipboard en route to Lebanon
An unassuming English Gentleman dies at breakfast. Not really a piece of world news, until you realise that this man was Gerald Gardner, the father of the modern Pagan revival.
And thatís about the only thing modern Pagans agree about him. For someone who would, in any other religion, be seen as something between a prophet and the anointed God thatís a bit of a surprise. Isnít it?
Well no, not really. Currently the Pagan community is the best scientific demonstration for Brownian motion known to humankind (or at least those parts of humankind that think it exists) . Many of us bounce from stance to stance faster than a mongoose on speed. True, it can make for some very interesting conversations down at the moot about life, the universe and everything but sooner or later it is going to cause us a problem.
Itís not a complex problem now, but it soon will be. The problem is one of history. The first generation Pagans are effectively from the pre-World War II generation. They are dying, as all things must. With them, if we are not careful, will go all of the remembrances and anecdotes and facts about who we are and where we have come from. Worst of all, we may loose sight of where we are going.
The most important influence on our present and our future is our past. Well-known political figures knew that, from Winston Churchill to Joseph Goebbels. They knew that even a falsified history could have a powerful and long lasting effect. We as, effectively, second generation Pagans, have a need to preserve history. Back in the day this would have been done by oral tradition, but these days we donít seem to be able to mentally hold on to our grocery lists let alone a progression of events spanning almost 60 years and covering numerous places and people.
So how are we going to do it?
In my opinion in two ways:
By investing time in creating organisations that speak for all traditions, which is happily underway as I speak with agencies like the Pagan Federation and others.
The second way is somewhat different but itís not new. In many communities and traditions there has been the idea of a person whose entire life purpose is to record the community they are part of. I am thinking maybe of the unknown monks who wrote the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. A more modern orator on this particular stage would be Anne Frank, a girl whose story is truly heartbreaking, but who has given us a valuable insight into her time, from a normal personís point of view.
It is my worry that we are at peril of losing a lot of information on the personalities and places of the early Pagan revival. A community is not in dates and times, itís in what was said and what wasnít, itís in the writing, itís in the home that someone made while they wrote that epoch-changing book.
Thatís what we stand to lose and I for one would feel bereft without it.
I would call therefore for a group to be created from all paths and all traditions and all countries. Funded within the Pagan community its entire remit is to preserve the sites and history of the Pagan community, be it finding and saving Gardnerís letters or purchasing or having preserved places of importance. I for one would like to see a little blue plaque celebrating the fact that ďGerald Gardner Lived Here!Ē
Dateline: 26th December 2004
Location: Indian Ocean Coastal Regions
I donít need to tell you what happened, do I? The entire world is still reeling from it. Upwards of 150, 000 dead and in the UK at least a possibility of 1500 people who have just disappeared without trace.
We all want to give all that we can, but alone we have limited ability. Together we could accomplish anything and everything.
But there is something far subtler at stake here. Here is an example: A member of a coven or a solitaire Pagan goes to volunteer without saying who or what she is. She does good work, making things that little bit easier for the suffering, and then she goes home having learnt that whatever life throws at her, itís not that bad!
Then out of the blue she gets a call from a Christian aid worker whom she worked with asking her to help them with another situation. During the conversation she mentions sheís Pagan. Suddenly the other party has to go and the invitation seems to shrivel away. Our Pagan is surprised and not a little hurt; after all, there was no problem when they were both together in Sri Lanka.
Neither of the people in the story had changed. It was simply the fact that time had reinforced the stereotypes and separation between the two.
What might have happened if our Pagan had been open? It might have been that others would have seen that sheís a hard worker and a good listener. Others might have realised that Pagans are no different from anyone else, not people to fear.
With this tsunami and the disaster we have a real chance to get in there and get working with other faiths before their and our stereotypes manage to get a hold back on our minds. Will we take the best chance we have for acceptance? Or will we squander it like we have before?
I would call for a concerted and long-term effort to put a community-wide structure together for aid and charity work. I know there are some glimmerings of this beginning, but we need to move faster if the opportunity within the disaster for our community is to be realised.
Dateline: 10th January 2005
Location: Newmarket, Suffolk, England
Where are we going?
How are we going to get there?
Will it be easy?
Those questions are so easy to answer:
I donít know
I donít know
Not a chance!
Helpful arenít I?
None may pass the gates of the present, but we can plan and work so that what we most dearly wish may, barring disasters, come to pass.
The Pagan community does need to become more structured and organised. There are several reasons for this. We can react faster, we can spread information in a planned way, and we would have better ability to communicate.
The question is, how organised? The creation of any structure or organisation runs on a knife-edge. Too little and piecemeal and we get none of the benefits; we are still going round in circles with duplication of effort and no progression. Too much and we might get the benefits but we are stifled by process and regimentation.
The organisation is not the hard thing, itís the in the balance where we may find or need the magic.
But first we need agreement and the willingness to give; something the human animal isnít all that good at, and that sadly includes Pagans.
These are just two examples and my thoughts on them. I hope they make you think.
In this Paganís view we need to become more structured. I am not calling for a Pagan Church in every street and a Grove in every wood. Thatís not what we are about and it just wouldnít happen. There should be structures that allow us rigidity of action but fluidity of viewpoint. They have to be there, but if they arenít for you, then thatís fair enough. After all, itís better to have and not need, than need and not have.
Location: Colchester, England
Author's Profile: To learn more about Jemma Hawtrey - Click HERE
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