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Article ID: 4954
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 4,006
Times Read: 13,664
Author: Patricia Telesco
Posted: December 22nd. 2002
Times Viewed: 13,664
Events of the last year or so have left me thinking about many things in our community. At least one of them is why nearly 70% of us remain solitary. Oh, certainly some live in an area where finding a group is impossible. Some may not be able to find the right group no matter how numerous the neo-pagans around, and others still may be afraid to affiliate themselves with a group because of personal or professional obligations.
In looking back on 18 years, I remember well wanting to be part of something bigger than myself... to find a group and fellowship. When it turned out that my silly notion of asking questions and challenging the status quo was not welcome locally, I simply tucked that dream into my pocket and learned on my own. I don't think I'm alone in this reality.
As years wore on, I started to travel more and more. This lead to the thought that at last, I had found my home. This is my coven.. the entire community is my "coven" for it is they who I serve. But now I wonder if that was wrong too.
Scanning our rather dysfunctional family there has been great growth, but it has also come at a great price. We do not really honor our priests, our elders, our teachers -- for the most part I see these people burning out because everyone takes, and few give back. Just look at any site asking for sponsorship to see the validity of this truth. A few "real" people -- those walking the circle of Honor, Respect and Gratitude -- carry the many, often at a price only they ever know. And the really sad thing is that this "many" won't ever take the time to truly know them.. nor appreciate them until they burn out and fade away. Want another good example? Just see how many feathers you ruffle when you dare to talk about paying our clergy so they can actually afford to serve full time and take care of their families. Or for that matter how about every time someone does not speak out against a wrong because "it's not our place to judge."
It is OUR place to judge. If we don't who is going to do it for us? In fact, we are being judged by a world that regularly classifies us as unprofessional and flighty because we talk of things like "perfect love and trust" in one conversation then launch witch wars with another. We have people who expect to be taken seriously while calling themselves moonbeam rainbow bunny spirit, yet they only come to festivals and gatherings to party and socialize (not to do the work, not to raise the magick, and not to look within their spirits).
Worse still, we have become so afraid of the word "organization" (thinking that somehow this means giving up our vision) that we cluster around small groups, having some come and some leave, but never show any signs of continuity to the World. Who are we? What is our sacred truth? What Circle are we truly walking? Anyone daring to answer that question gets shot down with thousands of poison arrows dipped in self-righteous personal vision. Didn't anyone ever tell us that having black and white outlines doesn't mean you can't still draw outside the lines -- and even bring your own crayons? What is it that we truly fear? That we might have to be responsible to the organization we put forward... that we might just have to WORK to make it real, and valid, and build on solid ground instead of sand? Oh, no ... not that
Now don't get me wrong. There are certainly honest people among us who aren't putting on shows, riding ego trips, looking to cash in on a fad, or party all the time. But you know what? You probably don't know who they are for the most part -- they're behind the scenes making things happen every moment of every day, often giving up personal and family time for what they believe. And I wonder if they, like me, think they've found their coven in the community... and if they will also be disappointed yet again.
The answer to that question depends on each and every person reading this editorial. Only you can judge your heart and actions. Only you can decide how much is enough to give back to what you believe in. Only you can determine what is going to constitute real, viable, lasting community... and only you can act and speak out to make a change toward ethical thought, word, and deed every day.
If our lives are the altar and act of worship, each of us needs to ask ourselves what we've placed on that altar. Is it minute rice and fast food or something substantial and lasting? And while we're checking our soul food's ingredients, we can also double check what we're feeding our minds and hearts (not to mention those of the people we love). Do we serve up heaping helpings of honesty, compassion, loving action, mindful guidance, and constructive criticism or is it all superficial? For example, when you ask someone how they are -- do you want the truth, or do you want what's comfortable? Has your spirituality become a social convention that you don't really think about -- that doesn't really CHANGE you? If so, stop right now and ask yourself why you continue? What greater good does that serve?
Know that I speak to myself here. I have seen many of these issues played out in my life, often in painful ways. Learning isn't always fun, easy, or smooth. But if we do not share what we learn with all the honesty and light we have -- then what's it all for? And subjects like this one are certainly not fun -- in fact, it tends to toss salt in a lot of wounds and challenge us to clean up our acts.
Where to begin? One positive, soulful step at a time (even the smallest step still means forward movement). If each one of us does this truthfully, with awareness and awakeness, we can begin to transform our reality ... in face the entire world. Dare to take that step. Dare to live all those things to which we give liberal lip service. Dare to change the world, to make the All your coven, but begin in your own heart and your own back yard.
December 23rd., 2002 c.e.
Bio: Patricia Telesco is the mother of three, wife, chief human to 5 pets, and a full-time professional author with more than 30 metaphysical books on the market. These include Goddess in my Pocket, the Futuretelling, The Herbal Arts, Kitchen Witch's Cookbook, Little Book of Love Magic, Your Book of Shadows, Dancing with Devas and other diverse titles, each of which represents a different area of spiritual interest for her and her readers.
Trish consideres herself a down-to-earth, militant Kitchen Witch whose love of folklore and world-wide customs flavor every spell and ritual. While her actual Wiccan education was originally self trained and self initiated, she later received initiation into the Strega tradition of Italy, which gives form and fullness to the folk magic Trish practices. Her strongest beliefs lie in following personal vision, being tolerant of other traditions, making life an act of worship, and being creative so that magic grows with you.
Location: Amherst, New York
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