Articles/Essays From Pagans
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
October 10th. 2016 ...
Witchcraft from the Outside
September 11th. 2016 ...
How Did I Get Here? (My Pagan Journey)
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
September 3rd. 2016 ...
Rethinking Heaven: What Happens When We Die?
What is Happening in My Psychic Reading?
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
An Open Mind and Heart
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
The Fear of Witchcraft
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
Magic in Sentences
The Evolution of Thought Forms
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
Native American Spirituality Myopia
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Samhain Inspired Thoughts on Community
Article ID: 14784
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,881
Times Read: 2,995
RSS Views: 17,619
Author: Crick [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: October 16th. 2011
Times Viewed: 2,995
Hey folks, Samhain energies are at work and so I woke up this morning with some thoughts that I would like to share. First I would like to preface my thoughts with an analogy that I learned about many years ago. Basically, it is about a frog and a scorpion.
The Scorpion wanted to get to the opposite shore of the English Channel. And so he sought out various creatures that could assist him in the endeavor. Each time he was turned down, in part because of the fear of who he was and in part because of what he was capable of doing to others.
At any rate, he finally came to Frog with his entreaty. At first Frog turned him down like all of the others before him. But Scorpion kept pleading, as he knew this was his last chance to reach the opposite shore. Finally Frog relented and agreed to carry scorpion across the channel on his back. When they got to the middle of the channel, Scorpion stung Frog with his venomous tail.
Aghast, Frog cried out to Scorpion, “Why did you sting me, for I am dying and we shall both surely drown now?”
Scorpion responded, “You knew the nature of my personality before you agreed to help me!”
There are several reasons why I offer this analogy as a preface to my early morning thoughts. Imagine that, an Irishman resorting to the art of Triad (grin) . To begin with, there has been a great deal of talk over the years by modern pagans about “pagan community”. The reality is that such a community is a long way from becoming a valid entity. It is a concept that is rife with the insecurities of those who claim to adhere to such a concept. Many modern pagans were once members of the Abraham faiths, in particular, Christianity. And in many cases, such folks have parents, siblings, relatives and friends who still are Christians or what have you. And that is all good.
However, this has created a consistent undercurrent of insecurity because these modern pagans feel an overwhelming need to either hide their current pagan beliefs from their families and friends or to frantically seek approval from such folks.
To my mind, if folks have doubts about their self-professed beliefs, then perhaps they should reassess their desire to follow said beliefs. For to be true to others, one must first be able to be true to yourself. And such insecurities are detrimental to any efforts to build a genuine community whether it be modern paganism or what have you.
In view of such insecurities, there are many modern pagans -- either individuals or groups -- who feel that their primary mission as pagans is to engage in outreach with other religions. In spite of the fact that there are over four-hundred established religions in the modern world, this generally means that these modern pagans ignore four-hundred of these religions and reach out primarily and in most cases, specifically to the Christian religion.
At this point, I would like to point out that in this age of electronics that genuine communications skills are falling to the wayside. The current generation is losing the art of one-on-one communication due to their reliance on such electronic devices.
And as such, there will inevitably be the "me, me, me" types who will assume they know what I am trying to convey here. They will not seek clarification, because they already have the ‘answers’ to my thoughts… at least within their own self imposed limitations they will think so.
To such folks, I can only shrug my shoulders and hope that one day they will actually grow spiritually and thus find the genuine wisdom to understand a concept that is greater than themselves.
It will be said that that damn Crick hates Christians. My response would be “of course not”, but like the scorpions, I am aware of their own established behavior.
It will be said that that damn Crick is against community outreach. My response would be “Of course not”, but it should not be a primary and driving force in order to validate my pagan beliefs. And such outreach should be “attempted” with an expectation to meet with an equal amount of reciprocity... reciprocity of which is clearly absent from the Christian community. Yes of course there are exceptions to every rule, but it is realistically not the norm.
What then to my mind should be our primary goal you may ask? Well actually there are two very general goals if the modern pagan community is ever to reach a degree of cohesion and thus validity as a genuine community.
The first is to accept the realities of your chosen path. There are very few, if any, real “Masters” in modern paganism. The regurgitation of over the last fifty years of "101 Paganism" should be clear confirmation of this. And besides, we are all students over the course of our lives.
It is this denial of being a student that gives birth to the plethora of twenty and thirty-year-old ‘masters’ that modern paganism is noted for. It is also this denial that precludes modern pagans from acknowledging the pagan paths around the world that have been in place for many, many generations. And finally, it is this denial that sets modern pagans upon those who actually may know more than just the basic 101 scripts that defines modern paganism.
This is why the word “Elder” creates such a conflicting morass amongst modern pagans. For to define the word "Elder” in the manner that it is used among pre-modern pagans is to admit that one may actually be a student and not the “wise know it all’ that so many modern pagans strive to present themselves as, no matter how subtlety it is done. Yes, I know. Let the denials begin. It is to be expected when insecurities cloud reality. Besides, in this modern generation, everyone is right and no one is responsible, which is why we have the current me, me, me mindset in the first place.
Anyway, moving on.
The modern pagan community needs to find the strength to grow beyond such self-centered concepts of me-ism. Each community, pagan or otherwise is the sum of its members. If the modern pagan community is ever to become a genuine community, it must first learn to be true to its own tenets. Many within the modern pagan community will mouth the words acceptance and diversity. Sounds like good tenets to establish a community by doesn’t it?
And yet as soon as a free thinker such as myself proffers an “opinion” that is divergent from some other pagan, well … the ugliness rears its head. Hateful and disparaging words are hurled at will, in an attempt to hurt the author of such individual thoughts, and in extreme cases, threats of physical violence are made. Are such reactions, which in all reality are based upon personal insecurities really conductive to creating a sense of cohesiveness in a budding community?
And finally, we need to find the strength to break out of the modern concept of “me-ism” and reach out to other pagans in this fragile community without preconceptions and/or preconditions. As an umbrella community, we do not walk in lockstep with each other. The modern pagan community, unlike pagan communities of olden times which consisted of folks of identical beliefs and usually of small enclaves such as covens, tribes and the like, is now a morass of many, many different paths.
We need to reach a genuine understanding of the modern interpretation of pagan community that goes beyond just mouthing the words.
Perhaps when we develop genuine outreach amongst ourselves then we can validate the inordinate amount of energy that some modern pagan individuals/groups employ towards the Christian religion as being based on something other than an attempt to give in to ones personal insecurities.
Before I stop here and grab my first cup of java of the morning, please keep in mind that the preceding thoughts are simply the personal opinion of one old witch who has more years behind him then he has in left in front of him. And before you allow the "me -ism" to take precedence in your thoughts, please understand that my sole purpose in this rant is to spark the fuse of thought... it is an attempt to ignite a blaze of introspection that in the end will open the door to a understanding that is greater than you or I.
Now, where is that cup of java?
Location: Manheim, Pennsylvania
Author's Profile: To learn more about Crick - Click HERE
Other Articles: Crick has posted 74 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Crick... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2016 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).