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Arden Raine is an ex-theatrical making sense of life through many lenses.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

To Whom Does The Torch Pass?

This is a discussion I've had about a kagillion times with my agnostic husband in the last ten years: who will be the next wave of elders/leaders in the pagan world?

Let's face it the Neopagan world (in the United States) was carved out by the generation who came into their own during the nineteen sixties and seventies. The experience of civil rights, free love, gender and sexual equity battles deeply influenced the leaders of paganism today.

Can you imagine Selena Fox and The Lady Liberty League without the formation crucible of the fight for civil rights?

How about Issac Bonewits' degree in Magic could that happen now or even twenty years ago?

What would police action or anti-defamation be  like without Kerr Cuhulain?

Our leaders are aging and in some cases gone. Who shall step into the void?

Where in the generations since the baby boom: the Me generation: "Greed is good" or the alphabet soup of X Y and Z, and let's not forget the Millenials will our: Selena Foxes, Starhawks, Ian Corrigans, Scott Cunninghams, Issac Bonewits', Kerr Cuhulains, Z Budapests, Raymond Bucklands, Laurie Cabots (and the list can go on) come from?

Who from my generation on will stand for our freedoms and will solidify our traditions and protect and nurture our futures?

Who will be the hand to reaches out in interfaith trust? Not only with other world religions and to those of no faith but who will create trust and dialog and unity within our own multitude of Pagan ways to live?

I am not talking of lock stepping all Neopaganism into one modality but simply who will be there to provide a bridge for Heathen and Witches and Wiccans and Druids and Family trads and Initiate trads and Solitaries to speak in common?

Who will train those called to service? Who will be our priests/priestesses and our brothers and monks and nuns?

Who shall step up and brave being a public face of an infinite varietal religious belief system? Who is ready?

I see a great swelling lately. I can think of ten such folk being the pillars and the gateways thanks to blog portals and access to electronic media. But can't we be more in number? Can't we be together in purpose?

So think on your community. Who are your leaders? What programs and services do you have in place? Which needs can you identity? Who and how will these services be provided by and for?

What can you do? How do you serve? How can you support the efforts of those who provide for the pagans in your community?

How do we handle: substance abuse, bereavement, birth, death, hospice, incarceration, environmental issues, poverty, educational, milestone, ecumenical, elderly and childhood issues within the context of our belief systems and traditions?

Lets work together now. RIGHT NOW let's talk about this issues and tackle them.

Please let's work now while we still have the resource of the First Wave Elders wisdom to draw upon. Let's stop reinventing the wheel when we can create the automobile. Let's redefine the car so that we can fly!

Let's jump head first in so there's no voids to fill just a continuum to grow and mold and foster for ourselves and the next  seven generations.

We the first born of the pagan boomers need this, our traditions need this and our children need this.

Now whose with me?

Ruminations on Leaving the Fourth

Today is the last day of my fourth decade. Tomorrow I embrace a new set of ten. But before the clock turns and the ball drops here on the eve of my 40th anniversary of birth I want to take stock.

I'd ask your forgiveness for such a self centered rumination but this is my blog. And after all you my dear friends come here to glimpse pieces of me through the lenses I manufacture. So onward I must go!

My life seems to decade centric. My first mental breakdown was age ten. It was not unlike a midlife crisis. A time fraught with "is this all life can be?" If that seems silly and indulgent in a child allow me to assure you it was not the fancy of an overly sensitive.

My life has been classified by decade thusly:

1st decade: focus on survival
2nd decade: focuses on denial and disguise
3rd decade: focuses of illusions of normality and coping
4th decade: reclamation

My early years were about daily survival in duly an emotional land mine and in a real world of poverty and abuse where neither condition ever was allowed to show.

My second decade was another war zone. One where familial ties frayed and though the battle for freedom was won and living conditions were 100% improved the lies got bigger and the secrets were kept AT ALL COSTS. I learned to blend and shift and be whomever was required of me.

My third decade was at first about maintain and creating illusions. But the double toll of holding up my mirror while being trained to be an actor, a professional masque, broke my looking glass and I tumbled down a rabbit hole miles and miles deep.

My fourth decade brought completeness to my soul by breaking the boxes all my childhood traumas were locked in. That happened not as a gentle pass wall of knowledge but as a torrent that carried me into madness and horror to the event horizon of death itself. My mind and body were scoured clean to the bones and only after all the marrow was licked clean was I dumped into the cauldron and reformed.

But this new creature I became took a few years to gather her legs under herself.
I finally entered full adulthood. For the previous two decades though body and mind aged and ripened my emotions stayed frozen as those of a frightened and abused child. All interactions, friendships, partnerships, actions during those years were powered by the love and fears of a very, very small child.

But in this last ten I have gained all that was missing. I am wholly myself. Driven not by kid fears or childhood daydream any longer I have bloomed into full adulthood; swelled into motherhood and found my self through small acts of creation.

No longer trapped girl-child in grown body, but fully rounded in late adulthood plus motherhood I step into a near future of bodily croning.

Three of my closest kin all died in their early forties. Cancer took all three. And though it's a thought to ponder it doesn't loom or cause me fear.

My fifth decade which begins in the early morrow hours as I shuffle of 39 and dress in 40 I am choosing to be about balance and joy.

The balance of past lessons informing but not dictating the present. The living of the present being more important than the possible worries in the future. Balancing of motherhood, wifedom, daughterhood, friendship, piety and service are my goals.

That equilibrium makes room for emotions here to now I have stiffled for fear of exposure to harm: joy, expressive love, happiness, inquisitiveness, giddiness, passion, gratitude.

So Bon Anniversary to me! And raise a glass to another year of creation and change and love and service to man and Kindreds.

I shall raise a cup to all of you tomorrow so that you too shall share in this wonderful bounty.