I have often marveled at coven, tradition and group leaders who hold jealously on to each and every seeker or student who comes their way as if they live in dread fear that they are going to lose them to another group. Now granted, I understand the need for rules about not trying to follow and study two different paths at once because a student may get distracted or torn between devoting their time to this group or that. Certainly some structure is necessary to stay focused.
But what I am getting at are the ones who absolutely forbid any seeker interaction with other Pagan groups while one is a student of their tradition? I mean, come on, really? If a seeker is to find the path which is true to their spirit they need at least some room to explore don’t you think? It often seems to me that some of these folks behave as though they are chasing pieces of an ever shrinking pie but if anything the pie of Paganism is growing and seems poised to continue to grow for many years to come.
Case in point, take this recent article from Jason Mankey entitled Why Millennials Love Paganism on Patheos in which he responds to another article by one of his favorite Christian writers asking why so many people are leaving the Church. In it he speaks to many things which are a common theme at Pagan gatherings while responding to the original article Why Millennials Are Leaving the Church by Rachel Held Evans.
We want an end to the culture wars. We want a truce between science and faith. We want to be known for what we stand for, not what we are against.
We want to ask questions that don’t have predetermined answers.
We want churches that emphasize an allegiance to the kingdom of God over an allegiance to a single political party or a single nation.
I love how Jason responds to this one.
One of the things that Evangelicals don’t seem to understand is that people are tired of obstacles separating them from other faith communities. I’m not a Buddhist, but I want to walk a religious path that validates the choices of my Buddhist friends. I don’t walk with Jesus, but I’m fine with those that walk hand in hand with the hippy from the Galilee. People are tired of hearing how their friends are wrong, Paganism takes that antiquated rhetoric away. I’m not saying that everyone should roll the religion dice each morning (today I’m an Atheist Hellenic Thelemite!), but Paganism has never shut out wisdom, no matter where it comes from.
We want our LGBT friends to feel truly welcome in our faith communities.
And there are several more points in the article that resonate with the Pagan community at large on so many levels. I believe these are very valid points and casts light towards the shift we are seeing in recent decades with so many seekers coming home to a spirituality that speaks to their spirits, that is passed down through their bloodlines. People are answering the call of their ancestors. Let the seeker seek!
Another case in point.
Wicca is now the 5th largest religious group in America. Bigger than Buddha even according to this study from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Did you know that? I didn’t know that until recently. But I do now. I think it’s time more of us came out of the broom closets so that maybe our kids and grand-kids won’t have to feel ashamed or afraid to practice their spirituality. I don’t want my son to have to be held back from jobs or a promotion because of his beliefs even though no one will come out and say it up front because officially it’s against the law of the land and company policy to deny you your rights based on religious beliefs. (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). So, we’re just going to fire you because you’re not a “team player” or some such nonsense. Yeah, I think it’s time to start putting an end to that and I think things like our children’s future might be a little more important than, Betty So and So said something mean to me 15 years ago and I haven’t gotten over it so I don’t want any of my people to associate with any of her people.
Be good to one another out there! Blessed Be. 🙂