Articles/Essays From Pagans
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
A Witch in the Closet
How Many People Can You Fit Under An Umbrella?
Gut Hunches, Mouse Dreams, and Pinkie Sense
December 30th. 2012 ...
Ritual "Cheat Sheet" Bracelet
Magick is All Around Us
Confessions of a Living Satyr
A Tiny Bit of Belly Dance History
December 23rd. 2012 ...
The Warrior Goddess and You.
World Change: A Message from Greece
What's the Meaning of Life, Anyway?
My Brother's Keeper
December 16th. 2012 ...
Keeping Christ in Xmas
Love is the Law
Listen to Your Heart's Wisdom
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Individualism and Community
Article ID: 13134
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,571
Times Read: 1,857
RSS Views: 81,121
Author: Sgian Dubh
Posted: February 1st. 2009
Times Viewed: 1,857
Ancient Paganism was very much about the community, but Neo-Paganism seems to be much more about the individual. What with the innumerable solitaries and countless paths, and the disagreements and differing interpretations even within the same path, it seems like no two Pagans have the same brand of Paganism today. So what does this mean? Should we all retreat to our own corners and practice our own individual forms of Paganism?
Of course not. No man is an island. We live in the world, and we are supposed to love and revere that world, so why withdraw from it? We should be among it—that is our calling after all.
So then, what do we do about our differences? Do we call for more centralization, and forge more unity by saying that we will all believe certain things? Do we talk about our differences and exchange ideas? Do we keep silent about our beliefs since fights will always break out when people disagree about things that are very important to them?
I don’t know. Personally, I don’t like the idea of someone telling me what to believe, and while I like to talk and exchange ideas, fights DO break out, and that can often be frustrating. I’ll admit that sometimes I even verge on proselytizing without meaning to; getting caught up with my delusions of grandeur and my opinions that I’ve formed the perfect system and if they’d only understand then they’d surely jump on board. Of course that idea is ridiculous, but in the heat of the moment, I forget.
However we come to terms with our differences, it should be understood that if we are to truly follow in the footsteps of ancient Pagans, and I don’t mean just in the sense of Reconstructionists trying to recreate the ways of the ancient Greeks, Celts, or Egyptians, I mean to pay homage to the ideas we draw from. If we are to do that, then we must honor the idea of the community. The druids and shamans of old did not horde their powers for themselves, but shared it with their communities, guided their fellow villagers in their spiritual practices, presided over laws and disagreements, and saw into the future to guide their clan, tribe, or village. Here the “no man is an island” idea comes up again. If we all act only for ourselves, what will we accomplish?
When it comes right down to it, it is in our interest to benefit our community. If your town is doing well, generally you will do better than if your town were doing poorly. If you go out and benefit your community, you’re likely to make friends, and create an environment more inclined to you achieving your goals. This can apply both to one’s local community and to the Pagan community at large. And really, in some ways, benefitting one can benefit the other. If, as Pagans, we help our community, we may, in small ways, help to improve the social image of Pagans in the wider community, and those who are not uber-judgmental of alternative paths might be more receptive to the Pagan community in general, which would of course benefit the Pagan community. On the other hand, if we go out of our way to benefit the Pagan community, make friends, donate to groups trying to help our environment, and do social works, then we may, by helping the Pagan community at large, also ultimately come to benefit our local communities as well.
If, for example, you joined Pagan groups for social justice. Let’s say it’s against domestic violence, and called “Witches Against Battered Women. “Well, first of all, you’re benefitting a Pagan group, doing your own little bit to form bonds and ties, and at helping to allow all of us very different Pagans at least get along, even if we don’t agree. Secondly, you’re supporting a group with a worthy cause.
Thirdly, if—Goddess forbid—such a thing should strike an unfortunate woman of your community, this group could come to her aid, and in whatever way they could, therefore benefitting your local community in turn. Now, as a pleasant side-effect, said Pagan group with a good cause becomes known in your community, giving them, at least within your community, a good name, and thus in turn again benefitting the Pagan community, and allowing the group to continue to do good for yours and other local communities and perpetuating the cycle of mutual benefit.
Of course these are by no means the only ways to go about improving the Pagan community, or your local community. The possibilities are endless. If you are a crafty Witch—pun intended—you could make Pagan themed jewelry or little knickknacks to sell at a community street fair. The possibilities are about as varied as there are Pagans, so just get creative and think of something to do for your community.
And of course, let’s not forget what we get out of all this as individuals. From benefitting the Pagan community at large, from joining into Pagan groups and causes, you create a network of friends and associates who can help you in times of need, send energy/prayers/spells, and talk to you if you need it. By benefitting your community, you gain much the same thing: friends and associates you can turn to, talk to, and who can generally help you. The more friendly your environment, and the more inclined your universe is to work to your benefit, the more you are working to allow and magick and intent to work unimpeded. And for the Wiccans and Karmically-inclined, it can’t hurt you to help others.
Finally, if we can advance the pagan acceptance of the Pagan community by our local communities and by societies at large, think, if nothing else, how much easier life would be not having to worry who knows you believe the way you do.
Perhaps this is nothing more than another “let’s all come out of the broom closet” piece, but I think it is important that in our solitude in individualism that we not forget our communities. We mustn’t forget that we are part of something larger, and that no matter how grand our goals, or how esoteric, that we do live in the world, amongst other people, and that it is our duty to live our lives as such. Not with shame, not with fear, but with love.
Location: Yucca Valley, California
Author's Profile: To learn more about Sgian Dubh - Click HERE
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Sgian Dubh... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2013 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).