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
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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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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
One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression
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.
Pagan Community - What Works?
Article ID: 12460
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,172
Times Read: 3,604
RSS Views: 35,768
Author: Crick [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: March 30th. 2008
Times Viewed: 3,604
Ever since the early 1970’s when I first became aware of such concerns, there has been talk of forming a pagan community. To my mind there has always been such a community, though it has not always been publicly evident as such. For the most part, this has been due to the repressive policies of the Abrahamic belief systems that have necessitated a hidden and thus a secret society.
Since the beginning of humankind, pagans have been about and quietly practicing their craft. Some have engaged themselves as solitaires and others have thrived within small and secluded covens or similar gatherings. In all reality this is what constituted a pagan community.
Regardless of what approach one chose, the magickal arts have always been preserved and studied as such. Spiritual growth has continued to flourish in spite of the obstacles that it has had to overcome.
And depending on what era one lived in, these obstacles could well prove to be fatal.
Today, with the indignation of religious/spiritual censorship being slowly cast aside and with the advent of the Internet as a means of mass communication, there has been a call for an open pagan community.
This call for such a community has in essence been the first step towards establishing such a public entity.
However over the years it appears as if those who have expressed a desire to achieve such a goal have started to spin their wheels per se.
Granted there are small groups here and there who immerse themselves in their local projects, however there is little if any connectivity beyond their particular locales with other such like-minded groups.
On occasion someone from the so-called pagan community will be invited by one of the Abrahamic groups to participate in a meeting, or a short lived council if you will. And these individuals will state that they are representing the so-called pagan community at large.
However, in all reality this is a fallacy, for the umbrella of paganism is far too diverse to be represented by one individual or one style of pagan related belief. And at the end of the day, they are in all reality simply representing their own particular group and/or project without any authentic endorsement of the majority of those who call themselves pagan.
Folks will peripherally say that what these folks are doing is a good thing and then will go about their lives without any actual involvement in the process of the moment. And such involvement by the majority is crucial if such claims are to be seen as valid and not as the chest thumping that it invariably is.
And also in all reality there is no pagan community as envisioned by the Neo pagans of today’s society. In fact, the phrase “pagan community” is an euphuism for identifying those who have a similar interest in the magickal arts. But then that is where the similarities end. For the magickal arts encompasses a wide and divergent system of beliefs.
And this is where the lack of fruition in developing such an envisioned pagan community begins.
There is a fallacy in place amongst neo pagans that a pagan community can be fashioned after the same mold as used by the Abrahamic religions. As long as this fallacy is endorsed, I seriously doubt that there will ever be a realistic pagan community established as such.
I personally believe that this fallacy is a result of the huge and rapid influx of folks from the Abrahamic belief systems into paganism.
This is one of the setbacks of the Internet; for in all reality, the craft is not for everyone who seeks it.
To truly embrace paganism and to fully realize all of its potential offerings and rewards, it takes discipline, patience and a deep desire to learn. In short, it requires a dedication that is not very widespread in today’s society.
As we have seen from the multitude of bloated egos amongst those who call themselves pagan, there is a resistance to these time honored qualities. And yet, instant gratification is an unrealistic tenet of paganism.
With human nature being what it is, it is very difficult to divest oneself of one’s former beliefs in favor of a belief system that was previously foreign to them.
Within the Abrahamic belief systems is a centralized authority, a concept that will never work with pagans. There is an authoritarian rule that is male dominated that also will not work in paganism.
And finally, though the various branches of Abrahamic belief systems may have slightly different approaches, their collective belief systems worship one male God. And this absolutely will not work in a viable pagan community.
And so why do pagans continue to embrace an approach that is destined to fail from the start?
Perhaps it is because of the familiarity of such an approach that originates from one’s former comfort zone in the form of his or her previous religious/spiritual beliefs?
And so, how do we collectively as pagans get to step two… if at all?
I wish that I had the answers but as one individual pagan all I can offer is a personal perspective for what it’s worth. I personally believe that the closest that neo pagans will ever come to a ‘pagan community’ is, at best, a loose federation, a gathering of the tribes, if you will.
Such a federation may want to consider a round table of representatives consisting of members from all of the various pagan disciplines. This would mean a loose collaboration of sorts amongst Witches, Druids, Voudon, Asatru, Wicca, Native American, Yoruba, Santeria, and so forth.
Is such collaboration possible amongst such a diverse group of beliefs?
I really don't know, but without such collaboration all that is left is step one, where small groups of folks do their own thing without any tangible concept of community outside of their own local locales. And even within the same locales, there will continue to be a lack of realistic cohesion, for each group inevitably wants to be “it”.
This is another aspect of human nature, which seems to be amplified in today’s society.
Or worse yet, we will have certain elitist groups and/or individuals claiming to represent all other pagans as a whole. Sound familiar?
Another thought may be to just stop putting so much idle talk into creating a pagan community per se and instead put our efforts and energy into our individual groups in the form of teaching the tenets that are necessary to fully embrace paganism for what it can really be.
Perhaps by these worthwhile efforts, we will create a pagan society by way of accomplishing that which is more readily attainable.
In effect, changing the mind set that is our own worst enemy and which may eventually lead to our downfall as a societal accepted belief system.
Such an approach has worked for centuries prior to the onset of neo paganism. Why change that which is not broken in favor of something that may well be unattainable and which is, for the most part, based upon a concept that doesn't work for paganism?
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