Saturday, August 11, 2012

Growing, evolving, changing into something else

A lot happened last weekend while Heather was visiting.  Not only did we spread mischief around the East Bay, wear my husband out, and celebrate my birthday, we actually got some really good thinking done.  Heather is a good person for me to bounce ideas off of; she never hesitates to tell me I'm crazy ("What kind of crack are you smoking?"), and she knows that my thoughts frequently outpace my mouth.  She's also bold where I am subtle, fearless where I am timid, and more exuberant about almost everything.  Usually, my husband sticks around to keep us grounded (we call him our Kite String), but this time around, he was too tired and let us drift on our own. We were talking about projects.  Her's is an ambitious and interesting foray into TV, mine is a spiritual center. They dovetail in way that makes scary sense (which we often do when together), and we're both looking for ways to make the leap from thought to reality. I told her that I see a big shift in spirituality taking place. People who were once comfortable with vague labels like Pagan or New Age are headed someplace else.

For people like me and Heather and several bloggers that I read, other people's labels are beginning to chafe. Our tolerance for the self proclaimed mouthpieces of the "Pagan community" (something impossible to define in any precise or concise manner) is dwindling. What we seem to need is a new name for what we are: we are individuals who seek direct revelation/communication/connection to the Universe/ Divine/ Gods/ Spirit/ Otherworlds; we look for companionship and celebration with a community that honors and recognizes the rights of each us to create our realities with out dogma or hierarchy; and we look to support and understand the spiritual beliefs of all people while not participating in any that don't speak to us. We are not Wiccans or adherents to any "tradition". We reject institutional ritual as unnatural.  We draw our lessons from life, from nature, from every experience we have, and share those lessons freely to any who might learn through us. We are the irreligious, spiritual people who cannot and will not be contained within simple stereotypes; we are the ones that muck up the demographics by refusing to pick a category. I think over the next few years, they people who view spirituality this way will break away from the Pagan community. We'll no longer be the ones who don't fit, but identify as Pagan because we don't have another word for what we are.

It is my belief that many of the squabbles and public fits that the "Pagan community" has had in the last couple of years is  because we are experiencing our own evolution.  Some people will always be Heathens or Hellenic Pagans or Wiccans or whatever because that is who they are.  For those of us kitchen witches, nominal Pagans, Christo-pagans, hedge witches who experience spirituality as individuals who cannot be categorized (we're doing it the wrong way according to many other Pagans), I think we are in the process of defining ourselves, and therefore our community, in a new way.  Evolution means change, over time, through adaptation to our environment. Rather than continuing to try to squeeze into boxes that don't fit (like shoes, they don't stretch to be more comfortable, no matter what anyone tells you), we're trying out our power to create a community that embraces individuality, courage (because let's face it, going it alone is a bit scary at first), and community all at the same time.

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