Community Issues, Thoughts and Things

I have been very bad about the blog posting lately. There have just been a lot of other projects that have priority right now. The next book in the Elder Blood Saga is down to two weeks or so left. I am in the home stretch baby! Then it is off to the editing after that. Then I am looking forward to some time away from the more dedicated writing so I can get some work done in other areas. Work at the forge, hiking, fishing, that kind of thing. It is gorgeous out today, and it makes me want to get away from the computer for a while. I miss the outdoors.

The fact is that there have been a lot of issues circling in the communities I frequent. There have been the polytheism debates some months back. Then there was the Wiccan(ate) privilege debates. Then there is the stuff about the white supremacist Frazier Glenn Cross and the Florida Pagan Gathering. There are countless others that I have not even mentioned. Some of these issues are new, some not so much. After several months of debating with myself, I have generally decided not to throw in my two cents on these issues. Hot buttons topics really aren’t my thing. If you are interested in those kind of things, you can start at the Wild Hunt. That will link you to any opinion you can imagine on these subjects and others.

I do not in any way wish to trivialize or dismiss these issues in any way. They need to be explored and debated within the various communities of pagans et al. They deserve their time in the sun and the debate that follows, if you pardon the expression. All I ask is that we continue to debate such things in a healthy and productive matter. Internet flame wars and petty self-righteousness reflects badly on all of us. Just keep that in mind, because the leaders of our communities, you are representing all of us out there. Keep up the good work and all that, but know that your words reflect on all of us, heathen, pagan, Wiccan, druid or what have you.

That said, I have been thinking a lot lately about the state of our communities, and that none of us are getting any younger. There is still a lot of work to be done, and the next generation will be handed the burden sooner than we think.  If the Wiccan privilege debates highlighted anything, it is that they are pretty well established. That is understandable, considering they have been at it longer than the rest of us. I say, good job guys, and keep up the good work! It is great they are all getting mainstream recognition.

But as I said, there is still a lot of work to be done. I tend to frequent the ‘Northern’, animistic and shamanism circles, and there is a lot to be done here. The younger people are growing up fast, myself included, and there is a lot to be done in regards to the states of our communities. I came into this in the way many did. I started with the ‘Wicca 101’ books, and grew from there. I have been on several different paths, and realized along the way that the books failed me after a while. There are some good ones out there, and some really bad ones as well. The more I think about it, the more I wish I had had more than just the books along the way. I wish I had mentors, teachers and resources for when I had questions. I wish I didn’t have to bumble around in the dark for so long before finding the glory that is community.

I have that now, people I can go to when I have questions. That is what I want for those that follow me. So I can point people in the right direction, wherever their tastes may lie. That is what I missed out on when I came into this. I want to be a part of that community building process, and I want the next generation to have better resources than I had. The various communities are growing, and we need to make sure that we can handle that. Growing pains and all that.

I came into this about a decade ago, as an awkward teenager. Trust me when I say, those times are bad enough, and then throw a spiritual awakening into the mix. I wish I had the community I have now. Perhaps a lot of stupidity could have been avoided. You live and you learn I guess.

I guess that gives you a rough idea of where I am going with this blog. I will not stop what I am doing, the scholarly articles and such. But perhaps I will refine my focus a little more. I will be working to make sure those that come after have access to the things I didn’t. Book lists will be part of this. Books that are a good starting place. Books that should be avoided. Places to go for good information, and those you need to steer clear of. Networks and people that are good for questions. That kind of thing.

I said it before, and I will say it again, there is a lot of work to be done. I am simply going to try my best to shoulder my part of that burden. There is a song that says (it’s by Avicii, called Wake Me Up); “I tried carrying the weight of the world, but I only have two hands.”

You damn right I have two hands, and I am going to do everything I can with them.

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About Nicholas Haney

I am a writer, author, hunter, craftsman, and student of anthropology/archaeology. View all posts by Nicholas Haney

One response to “Community Issues, Thoughts and Things

  • Sarenth

    Excellent, I am glad to hear this. I am looking forward to future posts.

    I think it is for some of us to throw ourselves right into the fray, passions or not, and for others it is better to wait out the storms. Part of the reason I have spoken out, sometimes vehemently and with a great deal of passion, is how responsible I feel for the communities I am part of to be understood well and to defend what I believe are sacred traditions, the traditions I live, and that I pass on. I hope that when I die I leave behind communities that are solid in their traditions, compassionate and disciplined, and hold their Gods, Ancestors, spirits, traditions, and people in the highest care, esteem, and honor.

    I don’t want people to have to go through the things I did as a teenager, either. It is hard enough being a polytheist and animist in this world, My hope would be that as the communities grow the support for all grows that much stronger.

    I’m really looking forward to your posts; thank you for writing, my friend!

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