Wicca and Paganism Beyond the Stars
Article ID: 14998
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: April 8th. 2012
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A quick disclaimer about this next essay: this is pure speculation on my part. I have no idea what the future may hold for our planet or humanity, as we know it. In fact, much of what inspired me to write this was much of the science fiction shows I watch. Yes, I’m a nerdy Witch (and proud of it!) , but, after thinking about our situation today and how humanity fares in these fictitious scenarios, it seems like something worth talking about. Aside from that, I’m not sure if anyone has ever considered it before (there might be someone, but sadly my knowledge is limited and I don’t know them) , so I want to bring it up as a possible discussion. Okay, disclaimer done. Let’s get started, shall we?
Humans and, by extension, Pagan religions have been tied to the Earth for far longer than any of us can remember or that science perhaps cannot reliably verify. It’s the only planet we’ve ever known, and I can’t think of any other place we’d call home. Thus, our practices, being so intrinsically tied to nature and the Earth, developed in relation to the natural cycles of the world and the many plants, spirits and creatures that inhabited it. (For example, our observances of the cycles of the Moon or the seasons of this world.) When I think about it, they seem to be almost inseparable not only from many Pagan traditions but also from our planet itself.
Then I look to various scenarios in a number of science fiction shows, in particular, Firefly. For those of you who don’t know Firefly or the related movie Serenity and don’t mind a couple minor spoilers, the series takes place in a future where our planet (referred to as the “Earth-that-was” in the series) , was “used up” or became uninhabitable for humanity in that era. So what did they do? They built massive spaceships, crossed the universe en masse, came to other solar systems and began terraforming the planets in those systems. By the time the show starts, humanity is spread out across five different solar systems over many different planets and moons, and no one really remembers “Earth-that-was.” If you haven’t seen it, the unfortunately short-lived series was created Joss Whedon, the same man who created Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which, despites my complaints about the use of the word Wicca and the portrayal of magic/magick, is still a great series) . And it’s definitely worth a look, especially if you like science fiction.
So why do I bring up Firefly? Well, it got me thinking about a few things. The Firefly franchise also has a tabletop role-playing game available, from which I’ve learned a lot about the setting. And, in thinking about the setting, I began seeing the possibilities for it happening in humanity’s future. I mean, look at the human population right now. We’ve skyrocketed in numbers over the last several decades, and sometimes it seems like the Earth won’t be able to carry all of us much longer. Then there are the various finite resources available on this planet.
Despite humanity’s efforts in the last few decades to conserve and protect those valuable resources, there may come a time (maybe not in my lifetime, but it could still happen) that these resources could be used up. And terraforming is already being discussed both as a hypothetical science by NASA and other organizations but also among many other science fiction series as something humanity uses to continue their existence in the universe. Moon colonization and the colonization and terraforming of other planets and moons in our solar system, galaxy and even our universe is major subject matter in science fiction, and the fact that scientists are talking about it as a serious science lends some credence to the scenario Joss Whedon creates in the Firefly series.
So let’s consider the Pagan spirituality in this context: Should humanity leave Earth for other worlds, no matter the circumstances, what would happen to Paganism? I mean, when I think about it, there’s so much that ties Paganism to our little blue planet. The moon, for example, is a key aspect of many Pagan paths, Wicca in particular. Many of our holidays and celebrations, most notably the Esbats, celebrate the moon in her many phases. Many of us rely on the moon’s phases and cycles to enhance the magick we work. What if the planet (s) we migrate to have no moon like the one we’ve known and loved for so long? What if the planets we find and possibly terra-form (assuming the science of terra-forming grows beyond its current hypothetical state) don’t have the same pattern of seasons? Would Paganism survive these changes should they occur?
Well, in my mind, I don’t see any reason why Paganism wouldn’t survive. I mean, look at our roots. Paganism has existed, in one form or another, for about as long as mankind has inhabited this planet. We’ve survived persecution at the hands of those who misunderstand us, and our faith is thriving today. We’ve come from numerous roots and backgrounds, kept our traditions in both written and oral form. Many paths have been left behind, for one reason or another, but Paganism as a whole and many of the paths within it survive to this day. We’ve adapted to this day and age extremely well, and our paths continue to evolve as we continue to tread them. Many of these paths have gained official recognition by various governments. Seriously, when you think about it, Paganism and all of its associated paths have been through numerous trials over the ages, and we’re still standing strong today.
So is there anything preventing from adapting to these new scenarios should they arise? No, there really isn’t. It may take time, but I believe we would adapt and change to suit our new situations, whatever they might be. And who’s to say that the same magickal energies that permeate our world don’t permeate other areas of the universe as well? Who’s to say that we won’t be able to work our magick or perform our rituals elsewhere in the universe and have the same effects as we would have here on Earth?
Now, this is all speculation on my part. While I have looked at some of these topics like terraforming, I’ve only barely skimmed the surface of it, nor do I claim to know everything about it. The only reason I’ve considered it was because of a science fiction show with a plausible scenario. And, for all I know, there may never be a need to leave Earth or abandon it entirely.
We don’t know exactly what the far-off future may hold, and there are many paths it could take. It’s merely something to consider, but I remain firm in my belief that, no matter what the future holds for us, Paganism will continue to thrive in the universe. Because, no matter which planet we live on, the Goddess and God are always with us.
Firefly, created by Joss Whedon, aired from September 20, 2002 to August 19, 200, and its associated franchise
Wikipedia article on Terraforming, last modified on March 9 2012
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