Generally, community is a good, even great thing. But sometimes our desire for community can become warped and twisted. This week for Watery Wednesday we look at some of the ways communities have failed in the past as well as ways we're striving to build a better community for the future.
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I always wondered what it must have been like to be a part of the early church, to meet the apostles, to see this little tribe of misfit disciples grow into a religion. I often wished I could travel back in time, just to get a glimpse of the excitement, the challenges, the rawness of a growing fledgling religion. I thought I would never know, but then I became a Witch.
It’s not that I discovered a spell for time travel. But I joined a young religion with old roots in which many founders of traditions and elders are still among us. And sadly I have been seeing eulogies on The Wild Hunt for elders I had just met or was hoping to meet some day. Our founders are aging and dying and a new generation is bringing different interpretations and ways of being Pagan. While we are culturally different, some of the letters that comprise the New Testament of the Christian Bible were written a a time when early Christianity found itself at similar crossroads.
Because my response to PantheaCon and Leadership is so long, it seems worthy of its own blog entry.
Annika, the reason you found only older Pagans at the PWR meeting was because only older people came, not because younger folks weren't welcome. Don Frew spoke about the history of the PWR because he had expected people unfamiliar with it to be the ones who came. That turned out not to be the case, but for you. Had I known it was going to unfold as it did, I wouldn't have needed to come. I already knew most of what he had to say, and in fact have given talks on it to Pagans around the country myself. Also, there were a few people there who were older, Pagan but not Witchen, new to interfaith involvement and who had never attended PWR and who came for that reason, to familiarize themselves with what it is and how it works....
Howdy, Beagle fans! In today's Watery Wednesday we have both (literal) water news and news from our many diverse Pagan+ communities. In the "water" category: a record fall run of Chinook salmon and sea turtle hatchlings run to the sea; and in community news we have a Pagan artist's exhibition in Minneapolis, an active discussion of Pagan elderhood; and no "three-fold law" in Gardnerian Wicca?
There's a record run of Chinook salmon in the Pacific Northwest this fall and fisheries managers are happy -- but puzzled....
Down the years, I've heard the same warning time and again from tribal elders all over the world--the Americas, Australia, Africa--as they contemplate the potential end of their own traditions.
If ever the Old Ways were to cease, the world itself would end.
I think that the elders are right.
Earlier today I found out that the founder of Fellowship of Isis (FOI), Lady Olivia Durdin-Robertson died yesterday. A full bio of her may be found here. http://www.fellowshipofisis.com/oliviarobertson.html. She was 96 and died peacefully in her sleep surrounded by her family.
Day Two, Session Five, was a panel on Bringing Pagan Sensibilities into Classroom Pedagogy, and featured Zayn Kassam, Jennifer Rycenga, and Dorothea Kahena Viale.
Jennifer Rycenga's talk, "Richard Jeffries and F.C. Happold: The Presumption of Nature's Naïveté," introduced us to the work of English nature writer and mystic Richard Jeffries. She quoted some beautiful passages of his soul's awakening from The Story of My Heart. available online at Project Gutenberg.
Dorothea Kahena Viale described her current teaching innovations at Cal Poly-Pomona using art, movement, and rhythm in "Drumming, Dancing, Masks and Circles in the Academic Classroom"