This is my hope for creating healthy, sustainable community for Pagans and other people practicing alternative spirituality.
I want to see Pagans have access to the same things other religions do. Chaplains, hospice, elder care, children’s education, help for our homeless and jobless, places to connect with one another. A church/community center. Access to pastoral counseling, seminary/clergy training. We’re only 1% of the entire population, and while we’re growing, it’s still a matter of numbers. If we want those resources, we have to work together. Solitaries, covens, goddess circles, small groups, large groups.
We can’t afford to have the petty things get in the way, and I’m hoping that we can begin to rise beyond the blow-ups and implosions of the past. That we can tell a new story of unity.
Some leaders have burned out; many have just shifted focus, gotten sick, moved, or passed on, but we don’t have any central communications to let people know what’s going on.
Via conversations with former community leaders, I’ve found that I, and others, have made the assumption that every leader who leaves the scene was burned out, and that’s not a good story to tell as it propagates more burnout. I think the old stories, the old implosions and explosions, definitely come from the place of egos clashing.
We can’t get rid of our egos–but we can make them healthy, like healthy cell membranes, permeable, flexible. Everyone’s path is worthy–no one can judge another’s path. There are basic morality tenets that we can uphold. Like, murder is bad! Abuse is bad! But beyond that, it’s just, “You and I connect to our spirituality differently,” or, “You call quarters differently than I do.”
When we judge one another, that’s when the animosity comes in. I’d like to find a place, a way of communicating, where an ecstatic ritualist like me can talk to a British Traditional Wiccan, and while we might disagree on how a ritual should go, we can agree that we’re serving our community’s spiritual needs, and go from there.