et alia laughing and weeping (tristissima) wrote,
et alia laughing and weeping

What does my paganism look like in 50 years?

Patheos Pagan asked this question via Facebook. It turns out, I have opinions. Who knew?

A more representative sampling of races in the movement as a whole. I know many pagans of color and yet wherever I look in the more . . . institutional or voice-amplifying elements of the community, such as Pantheacon, I see far more white people than in the general population (or at least, the general population of San Jose and Oakland, the two cities where I have made my home). White people (like me): that means we need to do some fucking hard work and invite some scary-ass demons and shadows over for tea.

Getting over our myopia and self-involvement. By which I mean, growing up. By which I mean, living up to the social justice implications and culture-creating responsibility of our various theologies (pantheism, immanent divinity, bountiful animism, apotheosis, et cetera) by developing a strong network of services for a wide variety of situations of need - soup kitchens, homeless shelters, old folks' homes, hospitals/clinics, et cetera, et cetera - and innovating new structures for creating and enacting those that resist power-over, hierarchical, hyper-individualist, capitalist structures while remaining embodied spells founded in our ontologies and values at a radical and structural level. Recognizing that we can bring pagan perspectives and powers to bear in creating secular priest/esshoods working to honor and tend the cultures and organizations we walk throughout the world in, and DEMANDING that that work be honored by the overculture, without turning it into a pseudo-secular holier-than-thou assertion of our religions.

Resisting the desire and push to mainstream and assimilate. Not only honoring our own paths, but honoring those under the pagan umbrella that confuse or throw us off, and uncompromisingly demanding that the rest of our overculture respect and honor them as well. WITHOUT CHANGE. Taking a special stance for the outsiders, the freaks, the mystics, the hermits, the wise crazy ones, the witches (see what I did there?) that they -- we -- are holy and important and must be accepted as full members of society or as much so as they wish/need for their work as they are.

A wide variety of temples and organizations scattered densely throughout the land, as various in size as those of the classical world. So: everything from the grand temples of the Forum Romana with multiple colleges of priests to the Nile-side shrine of Osiris-That Random Peasant Dude Who Drowned In The Nile with maybe -- MAYBE -- a single, part-time priest. And I want these temples to be even more varied in style and type and work as they are in size. And I want them fully and truly self-defined with support from the greater community. Maybe there is a specific priest/esshood out there who's work is the go-between work necessary to mimic the benefits of grand monolithic structures such as many Christianities have.

Recognizing that "paganism" is a useful concept and not just in some sort of cynical, policy-writing kind of way. There truly is a pagan community and it is important. BUT IT IS NOT A RELIGION and, ultimately, has little meaning in and of itself. Within the paganism community are manymanymany religions that are vastly and fundamentally different. And there are many people who work multiple of those religions at the same time. And there are many people who focus laser-like on only a single one and cannot/will not participate in others. And that's okay. And everyone's paganism is different for a hell of alot of reasons. Third-wave feminisms have responded to a similar situation by pluralizing the word feminism. Maybe we should start pluralizing paganisms . . .

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