I just read an article over at the Wild Hunt entitled “What Will Paganism Look Like in a Hundred Years?” It got me thinking, and I wanted to write out my own response here. I want to preface this with the caveat that we can’t know the future. Sure, we can look at current trends and historical precedents to guess at the future, but these guess are little more than that. Maybe hypotheses, educated guesses, but still educated guesses. We won’t know what the future looks like until Tomorrow actually arrives.
Still, as a writer, you could say I dwell in the art of speculation. As such, I would like to present my own thoughts on where paganism is going.
In a hundred years, I hope we see human life move out into space, or at least the closest realms of it; the moon, Mars; maybe a few of Jupiter’s moons, that kind of thing. With it, I would hope that people of the pagan (ect) persuasion move out into the universe too. As an animist, I can only dream of the new spirits we might encounter! I wonder what kind of beings one might find on the Moon, or on Mars. Hell, with humans moving to these location we could bring a whole host of spirits and Gods with us. In the long term (very long) some of these forms of life may become something entirely different in response to the different environment. Heck, the same could be said for humans as well.
In somewhat the same vein, I agree with some of the statements Phaedra Bonewits made in the Wild Hunt article. Paganism as a whole is diversifying quickly. Druids, Heathens, Polytheists, many of which were rarely encountered in the past decades. These new growths will grow into their own trees in the next hundred years, and I cannot say what kind of new seeds may take root. Or for that matter, what current traditions/paths what have you, will whither and die.
These ideas carry into Fox’s and Beckett’s responses as well. If such a thing as the Big Tent of Paganism ever existed, it is starting to show a lot of holes (as Mankey points out). I agree that paganism will continue to flourish and grow, and that the reasons for that are many. Pagany things like shrines, temples, schools and libraries will continue to pop up, in order to serve the needs of the growing community. Also, we may well just see more pagans in the public sphere, as elected officials. Still, I agree with Beckett’s conclusion that despite all this, paganism will likely remain a minority. Just a more vibrant one with better developed infrastructure.
I also agree with some of Mankey’s sentiments, that perhaps the breaking up of the Big Tent may not be a wholly positive thing. As he puts it; “the break up of the umbrella will make us even less strong politically, and limit the give and take that comes from being part of a wide-ranging coalition. I agree with the general idea that there is a lot to learn in forming relationships with people that don’t share your worldview. Maybe the Big Tent will come down in the future, but that doesn’t mean we can put up a bunch of smaller tents, and still visit our neighbors in the pagan camp/village.
I don’t feel I have a lot more to say on this issue, so feel free to visit the Wild Hunt and read the article for yourself.
Thank you for reading!