out, come out wherever you are!
Living in a rural southern
According to the dictionary, the exact meanings of community are;
1. A group of people living in the same locality and under the same government or the district or locality in which such a group lives.
2. A group of people having common interests; the scientific community; the international business community.
3. A group viewed as forming a distinct segment of society; the gay community; the Pagan Community.
4. Similarity or
identity: a community of interests. Sharing, participation, and fellowship.
Taking a closer look at the meanings we see we fall under a few but in essence not all of those definitions. We know we fall under the same locality within our towns and cities, and under the same government. We are a group of people that have common interests, and we do form a distinct segment of society. However, the last one is the one we tend to leave off or rather overlook in most cases. A COMMUNITY OF INTEREST, SHARING, PARTICIPATION, and FELLOWSHIP!
Some might say that we have a community of interest. That we
share essentially the same ideas, and we do participate with one another with
annual events. However, when we take a closer look at our own communities, we
don’t have the same interest, and sharing, do we? Are we concerned with the
Pagan community as a whole, or just our little community in which we thrive?
Stop for a second and take a look at the churches in your
own communities. There may be a select few that don’t associate with one
another, but when it comes down to it, they have the same basic belief in the
Bible, which they use as their foundation, they do come together in the spirit
of community action and prosperity. They
meet, organize events and fundraisers for a bigger plan, get along, and
although a few have the power trips it is usually over other religions and not
Now stop and take a look at our own groves, clans, communities,
sanctuaries, covens, and circles. We too have community meetings called witchy
meet ups and social gatherings, but generally it in within each smaller
community. But if we look with closer scrutiny and take a look at the message
boards that we use, we will find that there is still a great deal of dissent in
the community. Groups who think they are
better than the others; groups and people which constantly put other groups
down, in order to promote their own. When you must degrade another group or person
in order to build your own foundation, then your foundation is built upon a
sinkhole that will eventually lead you nowhere. We must stop and take a look
around not only at our communities but at ourselves.
It's one thing to stand out against any group that
participates in any sort of illegal activities whether private, or public;
however, it’s another thing to not associate with someone or another group in
another city simply because they don’t practice the same tradition that your
Constantly talk goes back to “witch wars” and “holy wars”. The only difference between the ones we fight now and the ones our ancestors fought are that they fought against other religions to bring us our right to worship the deity we choose, and we fight amongst ourselves as to who worships the right deity. That in itself should show, that we have not released our old religious ways of thinking or ‘you’re wrong’, ‘I’m right’, ‘there is but ONE WAY’, and when we stop and look within ourselves, we know it’s true. We should learn to participate with one another, and think about our groups being able to come together to form a bigger and better Pagan Community.
The first step to building the pagan community is to get involved. This means not only on the local level, but the state and national level. If it's productive for the whole community then it strengthens our pagan community as well.
Don’t be afraid to be heard. Your opinion on a topic may be different, but isn’t that as the Goddess intended? Next, is understanding that a community is only as strong as it’s weakest link. You must be willing to pull together to resolve and correct issues that your community is faced with. It is up to each of us to build our community; sometimes even the smallest of gestures can make the difference.
We must begin thinking that we are part of the diverse mixture of our society. If we want to be accepted we can only do so by acting, and thinking like other communities, and by holding ourselves as individual groups. We are the factor that allows ourselves to be held as outsiders. We only gain acceptance from the outside if we start at the inside levels and that means within ourselves and within our communities.
Written By: Lady Breanna