Protecting Our Own|
Posted: January 4th. 1998
Times Viewed: 14,732
In the last 12 months Wren and I have made numerous friends over the Internet, but none have held our hearts more than Del and Bev Richardson from Castle Pook, Ireland. They have been a constant inspiration, and have held us "spellbound" with their daily tales of pagan life in the Irish hills. Let there be no doubt about it... Bev and Del are true givers and real Witches. Witch wars and questions of integrity and accountability keep forcing themselves into mainstream pagan chatter of late and we take this opportunity to offer you some snipits from my recent email correspondences with Bev... Thank you Del and Bev for what you do!
Protecting Our Own...
It is my belief that the pagan movement as a whole has always been in danger of becoming closed-in on itself. Dare I say, 'hermetic'?... so for myself I've always accepted influence from wherever.. asking only that it should fit with my conscience.
Nevertheless, We ARE Pagan , and the centre of our belief reaches unbroken back to the dawn of human spirituality. Change, and variety, yes... definitely... yet always recognition of the wealth of history and all its experience.
The lessons are in Nature: If you were to ask me, I could only say that it's all about how the individual person feels about themselves. But that dealing with the magic, one has to be as impeccable as possible: mean what you say & say what you mean... do unto others as you would have them do unto you... protect and cherish the weak, without making a virtue of their weakness. Whilst not a pacifist, I don't like the idea of violence... unless it is of the defensive sort, and an absolute last-resort. As to all the witch-bitching, and pathetic power-games, well true to tell, my friend, they are just that... pathetic! For years, *twenty-odd of them* we lived the lives (Del & I and our children) lived the life of traditional Gypsies.. traveling the roadside, finding what trade we could when and where we could. A very wise old Gypsy man once told me that to live this life and be truly free we have to strive to be more honest and honourable that anybody else. I don't know, but that still seems completely true to me. That the pagan movement is full of empty 'titles' and posturings is something that I find disheartening to the extent that I would like to shake these people and tell them to stop their stupid games and look at nature. For only in being part of nature can we find our true spiritual home.
Pagan Elders/Leaders: It seems that a goodly portion of our supposed "elders" within this Spiritual Movement are, if not charlatans, then certainly greedy, self-serving people, who use the guise of Spirituality and Power for personal ends. Maybe this is just a human failing. For myself I believe that the Godhead allows us much freedom in our day-to-day lives. How to use that freedom in their service in an honourable and honest way, and at the same time allow others the freedom of their Will is something I have to wrestle with the whole time. My own personal beliefs are really very simple and very fundamental though I hope self-critical enough and with enough humour to stop me becoming fundamentalist. So, again. The only truthful answer that I could give you to all this is that I find these goings-on sad, and personally very distasteful. And knowing and feeling you to be such true people I have no doubt how much it must hurt you both.
The Warrior within us all: The True Warrior is a keeper of peace from a position of strength. and that the state of Warrior-hood, whilst it does call for acceptance of sometimes violent and painful action in it's truest form it's only to protect and never to bully or control. That in my life up to this period there has never been a sense of Security or the reality of peace and safety that would allow me lay to rest that side of my nature that was grown and tempered in conflict. Only now, here, at the end of the road have I found the peace of spirit, and peace in fact! that has allowed me this luxury. Know that I no-way regret or denigrate the warrior-that-I-was. I truly believe in my heart that it was necessary for the safety and well-being for those given to my care. And now, from a more balanced view-point, I look back and see that the burden of the Warrior that I carried was no-mean-thing, and not lightly borne, that it was done with my best ability, and with honour. I view this as no-small-achievement. (even if Del does pull-the-piss about it!!) So, my friend, don't despise the Warriors. There are many wars and battles that are fought within the realm of spirit, and in the heart of the true warrior the flame of individual freedom and personal integrity is kept clear and bright as a guide and beacon to those of other paths.
The Heavy Karma squad: Back in the free-festival days, the group of us were known as the 'heavy karma squad'. We were collectively well-organized, committed to the Festivals and their spiritual side, and were also for the most-part Family-people (ie. with kids...). We ran the smack-dealers, sexual-molesters, thieves and bullies off the sites. And tried in our own way to protect the weak. The flak that we got from our own peer-group often made us wonder what we were doing this for. And the only answer to this was because somebody had to. I see all of this reflected in our spiritual movement, and whether or no it sits well with some of those 'in power' (and those in their power) can never be allowed to be a consideration. I don't believe myself to have the absolute right of anything. I do, though believe that I know Right From Wrong. Integrity from the lack-of. And using my Goddess-given discernment, I reserve the right to always act upon that. That's all it is really. 'Say what you mean; mean what you say'. And be responsible for yourself!
Hopes = Criticism In criticism of all our failures, but with hope that through criticism we might come to realize our better selves.
Its much in my mind that before we, collective we, of pagan spirituality, earth based spirituality, can truly come of age in this time we must sort our house out. That the priesthood and leadership and eldership are things of responsibility not fancy clothes to wear, that they are responsibility of dedication, responsibility of truthfulness. Responsibility of responsibility. And not some jewels to bedeck oneself with for self aggrandizement. Only by this recognition can we ourselves become truly responsible.
That we might without cruelty be critical and self-critical. That we shall no longer accept the lies and multiple faces of charlatans, that we shall no longer accept the high self-aggrandizing titles that some amongst our movement choose for themselves. Fine, let these people wear these empty titles. By your actions shall ye be known. And as you give so thrice shall ye receive. And it harm none... we only have to look to the tenets of our own faith to see the obvious. Painfully obvious but to be true to ourselves we cannot compromise with honour and honesty.
I'm as susceptible as anyone to small mindedness and self serving action. But we really cannot afford these luxuries. for that's what they are; self-indulgent luxuries. We don't have to be saints, but we do have to aspire to that. To be women and men each of us with the good opinion of our neighbours. A most relevant piece of writing would be a piece from an old Boston church. I read it years ago. It's called the Desiderata, and I can't fault it.
A Matter of Service: I believe there is a recognizable section of the pagan community (or rather those in positions of Power & Responsibility therein) whose character and motives would not well-stand close scrutiny. Over the next few months I intend some in-depth research along the lines of Honesty, Integrity and Service. (Let those affecting Power without these qualities -BEWARE-) I shall do this in Pagan Ireland, in the form of articles either praising or damning the individuals under scrutiny. This is probably going to rub a lot of people up the wrong way. To that I can just say 'tough...'
Important Note: This article is presented by the author as a starting point for discussion on the issue. Each author has submitted his/her article independently and may or may not agree with all the viewpoints in the entire series.
|A must visit...|
|Ire land's first Pagan Home Page. Information on everything you ever wanted to know about what's happening in the Republic of Ireland, to be sure!!! Bev and Del's love and light shine though this site in a major way..|
WebCrafter: Gunther Berkus Email: email@example.com
|A personal home-page... one woman's view of the world of magic and mystery.|
WebCrafter: Del Richardson Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo of Bev and Del: taken by John at Castle Pook in Ireland
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