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 – 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 Crowley’s 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 Nature’s 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 ...
“I Survived a Weekend with Galina Krasskova”
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? It’s not Only an Inaccuracy; it’s 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 Clichés 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.
Have We Forgotten Our Elders?
Article ID: 11871
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,344
Times Read: 2,433
RSS Views: 60,775
Author: Church of the Blessed Moon
Posted: July 8th. 2007
Times Viewed: 2,433
Once upon a time, I spent a season on an e-list of Pagan Leaders. There I came to enjoy the writings of many of the elders in our community. Their thoughts, feelings, and struggles with the answers to questions beyond what could be found in any book or class I could have taken, as I was new to my leadership position at the time. Some of the ideas, in particular that of a man named Bonewits, still echo in my mind as I strive to do the words “Pagan Leader” justice.
Once upon a time, I spent many years, listening and watching Pat Allgeier, as she taught me through words and example. “What would you like to know, ” she said with a smile. Time and time again I asked the questions that, as a neophyte, I could find no answer to. Not in any book, not on any website, not in any Wicca 101 class.
The respect I have for my elders is immeasurable. The thought of their sacrifices (and it’s not just a matter of time and money spent) brings me to tears, and awe. It takes my breath away. Even as I experience what it means to lead my small community in the boot heel of Missouri, I know it is only a taste for the years to come.
All the days I will spend from my children, and my career. All the time I will devote to students, with the hope that I can be a catalyst for change in their lives. All the moments I will fret, that when the day comes to retire, someone will take on my responsibilities. All of it is just a taste. A taste of what they have been doing, and beyond, before I was even born in the 1970's.
When I hear word of people disrespecting our elders, I have to wonder, why? Is it a matter of ignorance? Do they fear what they do not know? Perhaps they do not understand the sacrifices or know their words. Is it a matter of ego posturing?
I know sometimes people only feel great if they put someone else down. Are these mental health issues? Some people feel a psychological need to unleash fury upon others. Are people not listening to the Divine within us all? Or do they not know it is there to listen to?
As I travel and experience different Pagan groups, I often wonder about the forms we are taking. I have met groups of Pagans where their only frame of reference is a book, website, or movie. As a result, they do not have the knowledge base or confidence to be competent within their own faith perspective.
Sometimes they want to know more, but don’t know how. Sometimes they are content in their ignorance, and fight vehemently to maintain it. That is not to say that learning Paganism through books makes one ignorant. Rather it is the intent to stay ignorant.
Has our mass marketing of our faith created an environment where Pagans do not feel a need to know and appreciate our elders? In this, has the richness of learning Paganism through human contact been lost or minimized?
Perhaps that is why it is so easy for some to play at magick and ritual. Perhaps to them, the universe that Paganism helps one to discover is symbolic, or a joke. I imagine to some, an elder is but a face on a book, a person on a DVD, or some speaker at a workshop. They are not people to them.
Maybe the freedom that we enjoy in this day and age to be Pagan in public places has been taken for granted. Although I’m not one of those types of folks to scream persecution at a whim, I can imagine living in a world where our religion is not legally recognized as legitimate. Please, do not think the government gave such legal graces to us because, one day, the President woke up and said, “Wouldn’t it be nice to recognize Paganism?”
Long before we fought to put a symbol on a tombstone, we had to fight to even be recognized as a legitimate faith perspective. This took time, money, and effort. Efforts made by our elders to secure the future, not only of our religion, but the future of their children and grandchildren. Otherwise, we may not be able to join together in public places with 4 generations of Pagans, without fear of reprisal.
Sadly, maybe for some people, our elders are nothing more than a symbol. A stamp, a name, a brand. When they talk about their new practice or ritual or writings even, perhaps naming an elder is just an attempt to give credence or class to something that would otherwise be unnoticeable, plain, or just another. Perhaps in symbolizing our elders, it makes it ok to try and hurt them or to ridicule them. After all, it’s just a symbol.
Symbols don’t have feelings, or families, or lives. Perhaps a symbols only purpose is to twist it to whatever means the twister wishes to accomplish. I hope this is not the case, but lately I am left to wonder.
But for some of us, and I hope many of us, our elders are our grandparents, our parents, and our dear friends. They have been there for those precious moments in our lives, and held our hands through times of darkness. They have been the needed voice of encouragement, and the ones to make us push ourselves to be more. They are a large part of the reason, why I will keep doing the work of our Goddess.
The most important lesson I ever learned from my elders is that we are all family. We may bicker, we may disagree, but we love each other in the end. Love that is unconditional and healthy, not harmful. Even when we do not like or follow some of the decisions or words of our elders, we nonetheless love and respect them.
Why? Because we ARE family.
All of us.
Kendra R. Reece
Church of the Blessed Moon
Copyright: Kendra R. Reece, June 30, 2007
Church of the Blessed Moon
Location: Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Bio: Kendra Reece is HPS of Church of the Blessed Moon, a group for Pagan families in Southeast Missouri. Kendra is a single mother of 2 toddlers, and does disability law.
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