If you’ve ever talked to me at an event you’ve heard me say, “We are a Pagan organization with the goal of building a stronger Pagan Community. We believe that each spiritual path is unique to the person walking it. However, our paths can walk next to one another, learning from each other and supporting each other through understanding and bonding on the beliefs we have in common”. These are good and fluffy words of peace and understanding but what is really being said.
Recently a vlog we follow made a great point asking the question really what is a Pagan Community? The video points out that there are some who say this is a ‘harm ye none’, empathize with all, do as you will kind of community, but this is said by those who often would be considered more hermit than community member. Besides what does all this really mean just more fluffy words?
OK so then what makes a Pagan Community, better said what should the Pagan community be? I can only answer this for myself and specify what I mean by Pagan Community when I say we are building one.
- The tenets of a Pagan community, well any successful community really, are…Understanding. As we interact with other people some of the biggest threats are assumptions and fear. Understanding also involves a general knowledge that each person is different and that is OK. Each path is their own and we can all share our journey without the presumption of change but instead to share experiences and understand each other. Ensuring that everyone works together with a goal to understand each other people can find clarity instead of assumptions and shed light on misunderstandings to dispel fear.
- Education. Through learning and teaching, we can build a strong community foundation. No one person, group, or entity should bogart knowledge. Those that seek it should be able to find any knowledge they desire. There is no better way to build a community than through education of the individuals.
- Kindness. When interacting with the world around you, kindness will always go farther. This is not a rule to do no harm or unto other, but to be kind for the sake of kindness.
- Honest. Aside from fear and assumptions, lies and deceit kill communities. When we begin to walk the tangled web of lies we create our own trap leading to destruction. The simple solution is honesty. Each person is to be honest, not only to others but also themselves. And yes, this from time to time the truth will seem to go against kindness, but in the long run, the truth is always more kind than a lie. Also, the truth does not have to be harsh; it can be said with compassion and kindness.
- Integrity. When it comes down to it your words are all you have. To say what you mean, mean what you say, and follow your words through to action builds a community with a strong foundation; one where people can count on others and can know that they are supported. This Integrity also implies each person will hold a standard of morals. It does not specify what those morals are, simply though that one will be mindful of their own actions and how they affect others.
- Supporting each other and the community. Although it is possible to survive solo the community would not exist if we did not work together and support each other. Now, this is not a Rainbow People support group, this is utilizing skills and giving appropriate returns. It is finding the best persons for the jobs and supporting people in finding their talents. This is seeing the value in all jobs and tasks, and showing respect and appreciation. This also involves supporting people emotionally. “It takes a village”, is not just implicated for raising children but is necessary for people of all ages and at no point should someone feel a loss of support from those around them.
And that is it. It is that simple, no need to create lots of detailed rules or make people conform to one mold. To each their own, but we can still work, play, learn, and grow together building a stronger community.
As a side note, and something that happened unintentionally you can see that the tenets can be represented with a pentagram. The first five tenets make the five points to the star and the support (number 6) being the circle that encompasses them. I don’t believe in coincidences and really I did not intend for this to happen, I wrote my piece and this is where it led me.
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