A Pagan Community Idea
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Article ID: 9791
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: June 26th. 2005
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It may seem a bit simplistic, but sometimes the best ideas are the simple ones. Sometimes, at the risk of sounding a bit arrogant here, they can be the stuff of genius. But I have always wondered, what would be the best route toward establishing an authentic, working Pagan community? How would you go about building said community? On what would it be based?
The answer is, you don't even have to start out from scratch. You simply move into one. Think about it. Think about a small town, with the infrastructure already in place, suddenly infiltrated, so to speak, by an influx of numerous Pagans from all walks of life. There would, ideally, be doctors, lawyers, professional people of all types, in addition to the various kinds of "working stiffs" so necessary to the day-to-day operations of a community.
You would need business people, and organizers, potential civil leaders, and clerical workers. Teachers, technicians, and craftspersons of all sorts.
Naturally, the smaller the place, the less people would be required to move in, but it should ideally be a place of at least two thousand or so, one that hopefully has a school system, a variety of services, including, hopefully, a hospital, or ready access to one. In addition, there should be a lot of unsettled surrounding area.
Next comes election day, a day in which Pagans fill most, if not all, of the city council seats, as well as the mayors office. And, assuming an availability of qualified personnel, judges and court clerks, and other elected positions.
The most important thing after this would be the ability to utilize what is known widely as "Eminent Domain;" in other words, bluntly speaking, the city acquires needed land, which can then be used to lure business, which would be necessary to maintain a tax base and steady employment for the new city residents. Hopefully, this would be an entity that would be environmentally friendly and responsible.
Finally, with the proper management, and the right people, this could become actually a showcase of sorts, though this should not be the priority. But a yearly festival to commemorate the Sabbats, for example - maybe all eight of them - would be an obvious tourist attraction, if handled correctly.
Of course, there would be political considerations. I have no doubt, for example, that a life-sized statue of Innanna, Athene, Kali Ma, Apollo, etc., would certainly bring down the ire of the ACLU, as surely as would a similar statue of Christ, Buddha, or Moses. On the other hand, perhaps there are ways to get around this. The main thing is, this could be a place where Pagans of all types could be free to live, and worship according to their own individual paths, in freedom and security.
There could even be a variety of homespun cottage industries that might sprout up in conjunction with the city, and could thrive and flourish as viable and even vital parts of it. Incense, candles, even homemade blackberry or other wine, that could carry the imprimatur of the locality, much in the same way that certain wines are representative of regions of France, Italy, and California.
Finally, in the right location, the city could grow beyond its humble beginnings into a city of respectable size, with an outlying area set aside as a type of nature preserve. A place where Pagans can have the best of big town life, with all the amenities and conveniences, as well as the beauty of nature, just a good brisk walk away.
Of course, finding the proper area for this experiment would be of paramount importance. A place in a state that would be less likely to set up roadblocks to development, would possibly even welcome it, however tacitly. A place likely to have no problem attracting Pagan singles and families eager for a place they can call their own. And, as I said, a place with an abundance of natural resources, as well as a ready made infrastructure. Of course, a good many of the original citizenry shall doubtless remain, and of course we should go out of our way to reassure whatever misgivings they may have concerning us. In fact, we should ensure that they understand that they will be respected as members of the community, as always. Though they will of course be made to understand that we too deserve and demand respect and acceptance, and tolerance.
Does all this sound like a pipe-dream? Do you wonder what, perhaps, I have been smoking in that pipe? I understand, all too well. It sounds a little too simple to be true, and maybe it is a long way off. If ever. But, I will go on record here and now, as saying that if it ever does become more than just a vague idea, if the idea ever does get off the ground, and become reality, just remember - as this is my idea, I hereby announce my future candidacy for mayor of the Pagan community of my dreams. I think I would be a good mayor.
Or, failing that, seeing as how we are talking about an already-established township with a ready made infrastructure, including jail, I would be more than happy and content to, from time to time, play the role of the town drunk. Then, during the Beltane festival, you can point me out to all the tourists during the tour of the city, and say, "this was all his idea."
Seriously, though, when you stop to think about it, there are a lot of ways in which, in addition to providing a safe haven for Pagans in which to form a working community, it can be a beacon to Pagans all over the world, and an example to the country and indeed the world of how Pagans can and should be taken seriously in their efforts to be considered as sincere and positive members of any community. The establishment of a local community newspaper, for example, if written and edited by the proper people, with professional attention and detail, could attract a large readership, and provide a weekly focal point for the expression of the myriad of Pagan views on matters of interest to not only Pagans, but to a general readership.
Moreover, a community such as this is one that can thrive not only in the short term, which might tend to be the case with a great many of the nature-commune type of Pagan communities that have been recommended, but could indeed be an entity with long term potential, with all the promise and hope inherent in the Pagan population at large.
Location: Mt. Vernon/Covington, Kentucky
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