Articles/Essays From Pagans
March 9th. 2014 ...
Healing the Witch Within
Discovering Wicca as a Young Child
March Pisces Energy: Pre-natal Memories and Standing Upright
March 2nd. 2014 ...
Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward
The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role
Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?
The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects
February 23rd. 2014 ...
Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences
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The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community
What Makes Us What We Are
February 16th. 2014 ...
Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing
The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief
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Alternative Medicine – What Is It?
February 9th. 2014 ...
Words of Power!
The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse
Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings
February 2nd. 2014 ...
The Magick of Jewelry and Metals
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The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)
January 26th. 2014 ...
Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do
The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)
13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed
Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected
January 19th. 2014 ...
Open Letter to the Goddess
A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality
Social Conventions and the Pagan World
January 12th. 2014 ...
Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing
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January 5th. 2014 ...
Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age
Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey
2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!
Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild
December 29th. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)
13 Keys: The Might of Geburah
Beyond The Season of Greed
December 22nd. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)
December 15th. 2013 ...
The Hex Murder of 1928
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)
Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots
December 8th. 2013 ...
Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey
Using Your Wand in Reverse
Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward
The Cry of the Soul
December 1st. 2013 ...
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
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
The Celtic Tree Calendar
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
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 ...
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
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
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
A Pagan Community. At What Cost?
Article ID: 12080
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,255
Times Read: 3,992
RSS Views: 42,744
Author: Crick [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: January 6th. 2008
Times Viewed: 3,992
Greetings folks. When one looks beneath the umbrella of pagan beliefs, there is a wide diversity of paths. We come from all walks of life and experiences. And yet in spite of the many different approaches to Paganism, there is one underlying topic that is constantly being brought up.
That topic is “community”.
As it is, we are humans first and Pagan second. And so there seems to be a strong interpersonal desire to be a part of a community.
But at what cost will it take to create a viable and thriving Pagan community?
We have many of the same problems and obstacles as the general population, except in microcosm. There is the class acceptance for instance. Wiccans not wanting to recognize traditional Witchcraft as a valid path. The infighting of the Asatru. Solitaires being snubbed by their peers for not engaging in the group psyche and for choosing their own levels of advancement as being valid to them. And so on and so forth.
We have the problems with uncontrolled egos. And since each enclave of what is seen as a Pagan community is generally very local to each group, these irritants become known rather quickly and the problems that undisciplined egos bring, are amplified. Oh how many times have I been involved in or an observer of a so-called “Witch War”.
And yet we constantly talk about community.
There is the very human problem of folks and groups wanting to be the “one”. It’s as if so many individuals and/or groups want to re-invent the wheel.
Name recognition becomes more important then the personal satisfaction of participating in a Pagan community.
A true Pagan community cannot consist of all leaders.
In my personal opinion it should consist of folks who are not interested in labels and personal status. Rather it should consist of those folks who just want to associate with other folks of like mind.
There is no place in a Pagan community for a strict dogma that requires all Pagans to think and to pursue their paths identically.
This is not who we are.
Oftentimes someone will step up and offer an opinion and almost immediately there will be an opposing opinion offered. And don’t get me wrong; such a discussion of diverse ideas and thoughts is a healthy thing and certainly a welcome building block in any successful Pagan community.
But far too often we stray from an objective conversation and allow ourselves to fall prey to the name-calling and flaming that is completely anathema to building a thriving community.
If we are ever to embark on the development of a Pagan community, then certain parameters need to be set out that are accepted by the majority of those who will be involved in such a gathering.
I don’t for one second profess to have all of the answers. Nor am I any more perfect then anyone else. We have all had our days when we wish we had held our tongue just a bit. Its part of being human and so we move on.
Some of the questions that I would raise follow the tenor of Pagan Community at what cost?
For instance, under what auspices should such a community be recognized as? Is there a deeper identity beyond just Pagan community? We need to keep in mind the diversity of what we are looking at here. Often times an attempt at community falls short because we fail to realize that not everyone wants to be considered one massive coven or blot or clan or what have you.
And so what could a viable Pagan community offer that would appeal to the majority?
What would entice folks to put aside their personal differences and enjoin in a social gathering based upon Pagan precepts?
Another question would be just how organized can a Pagan community become?
Someone once said that gathering pagans together is like herding a bunch of cats into the same area. And so is it even possible to envision a viable community?
I personally think that if we, in each of our locales can overcome the desire to be the “Organizers” if you will and instead simply work anonymously together, that a loose confederation is indeed possible. This would be akin to the times when small villages would converge upon a common area for purposes of trade and celebration. At the end of the day we all return to our respective paths and comfort zones with the knowledge that we participated in something greater than our individual groups or ourselves.
Isn’t this one of the desired goals of being involved in a Pagan community?
Another question, which follows along with the concept of organization, what actions if any would be in place in the event that a person or group from the Pagan populace is going against the accepted parameters in a Pagan community?
Does a viable Pagan community accept all who proclaim themselves as pagan? How far does community tolerance go?
In the general populace when one commits an offensive action there are the options of a legal system, jails, fines and so forth. What if any options would a working Pagan community have in such instances?
Of course we can turn to the mechanisms of the general community in most instances since we as Pagans make up a proportion of that gathering. But there are extraordinary situations in a magickal community.
How do we define and then enforce such acceptable behavior?
Part of this question is obvious of course; some would say that we probably want to conduct ourselves as we would in the greater community. However the greater community is loosening many of the standards and rules of conduct that led to establishment of community, as we once knew it.
Do we, as Pagans want to live to a higher standard? Isn’t this what spiritual growth is about and wasn’t it these ideals that brought us into the folds of Paganism to begin with?
And so when we determine what standards we want to hold ourselves to, then such a community must decide if it is going to leave it to each member of the Pagan community to follow or will there be a judgment by the gathering at large in the event of any disruption of the accepted standards.
I realize of course that for on line groups it’s as easy as moderating or banning a member from such a group. But a true working Pagan community extends itself into the pagan populace where folks are face-to-face and not just anonymous typescripts from a computer.
The possibility of a problematic situation arises whenever two or more folks gather. What goals would a Pagan community set for itself to lessen these situations?
In closing, I would just like to say that I personally would like to see a viable Pagan community where my coven and I would not be dictated to. A loose federation of like-minded folks working towards an acceptable common goal. A community where one could share and learn regardless of which path one chose to follow.
Our life and spiritual lessons are not the same; that is what makes us individuals. But our magickal/mystical/spiritual beliefs should suffice to lay a common groundwork for those that follow the Pagan path.
Common respect based upon such an understanding could very well serve as one of the founding tenets of any community but in particular “Our Community”
Location: Manheim, Pennsylvania
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