When I moved to Kitchener many years ago and was looking for the house in which to put down my roots, there was one house which I knew was unquestionably mine. For one, the backdoor had a window etched with Celtic knotwork. Gorgeous! For another, it was a mere block from a permanently installed Maypole. Wondrous! Though the Maypole serves to present banners for the various local German clubs that rock into activity during Oktoberfest, it can’t help but bring to mind the tradition that marked the beginning of Summer in ages past. I loved the idea of living within daily sight of a Maypole and it never fails to fill my heart with joy, even these many years after I first saw it.
This isn't my usual post about music, but music kind of drew me in a weird direction, because I joined a band with people in it I didn't know, and then this happened.
Sometimes, it doesn't work. The relationship. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to respect someone, and no matter how hard they try to respect you, your respective respect for each other just...isn't. Here's a story.
It's like learning how to eat at the table. Joe Schmoe learned that it was tasteless to put your napkin in your neck. Josephine Schmina learned that it was untrustworthy to put your wrists below the table. They met each other and initially liked each other, and started working together and making great music. It worked out until one time, they went to dinner and Joe Schmoe saw Josephine Schmina put her napkin in her neck. Then Josephine saw Joe put his napkin on his lap, and therefore his wrists under the table. They each asked the other, "Don't you know how bad that is?" and "How could a respectable person do that?" They threw down the napkins and had a fight. Each one realized that the other one had some deep issues concerning napkins, and they made up.
For the greater part of our lives, most of us feel the need for someone to say this to, and we all desire someone who will say it to us: "I love you, and I will take care of you."
When we commit to caring for someone, we feel a sense of purpose in life. And when we know that a parent or a partner—or a God or a Goddess—is taking care of us, we feel comforted.
As one who has been a caregiver, I think there is no worse stressor than a chronic illness befalling someone we love. It's almost worse than getting sick, ourselves. The pain of not being able to cure a loved one has dragged millions of us down into the depths of depression. To some small degree, it's comforting to speculate that there wasn't anything more that we could have done; the whole painful episode was written in the stars....
You know, there are times when I feel like I have nothing to contribute to Paganism. I've gotten a lot out of it, but then I think to myself: What happened? No, I don't want this to be all normal and easy to digest, I want it to be mysterious and exciting, and for some reason, it isn't anymore.
Why do I feel as though what I have to say isn't special? I'm scratching my head on this one, because it's an important part of my motivation to keep my blogs-that what I'm saying is important and useful. Maybe I'm having my mid-Pagan crisis or something. But where went the power and majesty of worshipping the Moon and the forbidden Gods? Because let's face it; what we do is forbidden by mainstream culture.
I'm particularly at a loss with trying to connect classical music to Pagan culture-even though it's my specialty, somehow I feel like I can't write for the Pagan audience. I just don't know enough about their musical skill or what they'll accept....
Gratitude and humility are the defining feelings at the end of this stage of the journey. This is the last Arkadian Anvil post on Witches & Pagans. Special thanks to Anne Newkirk Niven who invited me to this channel. My own work is shifting. I must consolidate my public writing for a time and so I must say good bye to this wonderful audience.
It has been a pleasure and an honor to discuss our Way with you. I am deeply grateful for the attention you have given me. Your input and feedback has been instrumental to my ongoing cogitations about how to explain/express our religion.
What we produced was a broad outline of *a* systematic theology for Pagans. The main failing of any such project is that the standard understanding of the job of systematic theology is to produce a clear and definitive set of doctrines for a religious community. For Pagans, like the Hindus, this is impossible. Like determining the location of an electron, we can only say that our theological positions occur within a general range of views, but there are be significant outliers as well. Probability is not a normal tool of theology, but for Pagans surely a range of ideas and the tolerance of ambiguity is our norm. Likewise, as our many-threaded Way is a part of a critique of Modernism, so our framing won’t always fit the Parmenidean laws of thought: Are the Gods one, two, many; forces or persons; psychological structures, wholly external, or principles of nature? However contradictory it may be, our theology must be able to give a resounding “Yes!” to all of these and yet be not devoid of reason or critical thought.
You, dear readers, have been helpful in tracing out the ranges of Pagan religious thought. I hope to publish a thorough work on this in the near future. Your contributions here will make it a better work. Thank you.
Next, I will be continuing my public writing on The Wild Hunt starting May 24th and carrying on every 4th Saturday. The working title is the Arkadian Observer, and I hope to provide historical and theological commentary on contemporary Pagan issues. Hope to see you there…
There is something truly Pagan, something unique and new in our world, that is what we are. We have a unique position in history and I believe we have a special role to play in shaping a successful future for all that lives on this world. Let us build that Pagan Future.
But for now, Thank you and Goodbye!