Runboard.com
You're welcome.
The Pagan Porch - a forum for Pagan Homesteaders and their friends

This board is now closed and read only. No new membership can be gained. Thank you for your interest.

runboard.com       Sign up (learn about it) | Sign in (lost password?)

 
Bergere Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 04-2006
Posts: 141
Reply | Quote
Healthy Pagans


HEALTHY PAGANS:


The people I consider successful are so because of
how they handle their responsibilities to other people,
how they approach the future; people who have a full sense
of the value of their life and what they want to do with it.
- Ralph Fiennes

In 2003 I wrote a two part series of articles titled The Shadow Knows and The Bard and the Poser. The Shadow Knows deals with metaphysical teaching through positive and negative archetypes. (1) Part I of It's a Mystery linked to this article because it asks a very common question, which is:

"What are the lessons that go beyond Level One of Pagan practice, and how can we find these classes?"

My answer is this:

Life itself offers us these classes. In a Trickster-like fashion, it offers us the test first and the lesson afterward. . . . The challenge here involves claiming our power, living responsibly and accepting the consequences of our choices. All great teachers teach the 3 C's; that is: Consciousness - Choices - Cause & Effect.

If you have not yet read this essay, please do so now.

When I finished The Shadow Knows, I began work on a companion piece titled the Bard and the Poser. B&P was written to compare healthy and unhealthy Pagan archetypes in terms of behavior and perception.

I would like to emphasis a very healing and humanizing mystery. It's this: When dealing with positive & negative energy no one works wholly out of one or the other; we each have full access to both aspects and to all the elements within. Which energy and elements we choose to use in any given situation is up to us.

Since we are discussing healthy Pagans in Part II of this essay, I will ask everyone to read The Bard and the Poser before proceeding further. (2)
[url][sign in to see URL]
4/29/2006, 1:57 pm Link to this post Send Email to Bergere   Send PM to Bergere
 
Bergere Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 04-2006
Posts: 141
Reply | Quote
Re: Healthy Pagans


SOLITARIES & MYSTICS:


"Be vwery, vwery qwiet. . . . I'm hunting rwabbits!"
- Elmer Fudd

At this point, you may be asking, If Paganism is so empowering, then where are all the healthy folks?" Well, frankly, many of them are in hiding, and not just from the religious bigots. In some cases, they are actively avoiding other Pagans. Often as not, they practice their spiritual path in a solitary fashion.

There have always been Solitaries among us, and there always will be. It's important to note that this is an authentic and viable path, especially for those of us who are mystics. I say this because all mystical religious or spiritual paths require a high level of individual maturity. Mystics connect directly with the sacred in order to experience the divine, both within and without. They cannot do this work if emotional garbage is blocking their spiritual path. They cannot do this work if they lack honor. To quote Rowan Fairgrove's insightful saying, "If your word is no good in this world, then it is no good between the worlds. " The Solitary Path, to put it mildly, is not a practice for people in denial.

Solitary Pagans tend to be quiet, individualistic types. They are often introverted, strong-minded, and very self-sufficient. These people are usually not "joiners", so it's not possible to count them accurately, but lately, their numbers appear to be growing. (5)

More and more often the Solitary Way is chosen by those who have no desire to mix with the dysfunctional behavior they find in so many Pagan groups. If they choose to perform a ritual with others, it is usually for a special occasion and done with a very small, carefully selected group of people. A Pagan gal named Raven wrote this to me just recently:

"I have semi-retired from working with other Pagans, outside of a few individuals and my writing. I found the drama, posturing, gossip, and hate mongering that goes on in public groups tiring, and never ending. I also saw a trend: When there were individuals in the community who had some kind of life outside of the tiny local Pagan fish pond (careers, kids, homes, bill-paying and contributing to other causes) this tended to bring out jealousy "

Whether such Solitaries will ever come out to play with us again is anyone's guess. But if they do come, they will surely do it on their own terms. If we wish to attract more healthy Pagans to our events (Solitary or otherwise), we'd better have something meaningful to offer them.

This is not to say that all the healthy Pagans are in hiding or that all Solitaries are healthy. In fact, there are good number of healthy Pagan circles, functional organizations, and great community groups out there. The trick is to find them.


4/29/2006, 2:01 pm Link to this post Send Email to Bergere   Send PM to Bergere
 
Bergere Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 04-2006
Posts: 141
Reply | Quote
Re: Healthy Pagans


WHEN HEALTHY PAGANS WORK IN SMALLER GROUPS & CIRCLES:


"Vitality is mightier than size"


Healthy smaller covens, circles, and ritual groups do exist, and they do great work. To understand these groups, it helps to remember the old saying that "Birds of a feather flock together. " To put it another way, emotionally healthy Pagans will seek out and circle with other healthy Pagans. Here we have yet another mystery: It works like this: If one Pagan in a dysfunctional group should choose to become healthier, they will soon find that they no longer fit in with that group's energy. Alternatively, should a less healthy Pagan enter a healthy group, they can easily make the entire group unstable. It is a sad fact that healthy people do not tend to make an unhealthy person better, rather one dysfunctional person can make an entire group, office or circle codependent and crazed. This is why self actualized Pagans (or those on the road to being so) tend to be ever so careful when they choose circle members, lovers, students, or friends.

We may discover (or be in) a group which is healthy, patient, knowledgeable, supportive, and empowering. Such groups do exist, but like anything of value, they can be hard to find and there is a price to pay. They will demand that we work hard. They will expect us to have good boundaries, manners, ethics, some perspective, a sense of gratitude, and a sense of humor about ourselves. They won't lie to us and they won't accept excuses. If we choose to lie to ourselves or about someone else, they will call us on it. If we drop the ball, we will hear about it. Such groups know that if our life is out of order, our practice isn't going to be to too good, either, and they will encourage us to grow. (They can do this because they are walking the same healing path, themselves, and they know quite a bit of the road.) Finally, they will require that we do the three things that form the solid foundation for any type of spiritual practice: Show up, pay attention and tell the truth.


NOT THE MAMMA!:

It's all very well calling for eye of newt,
but do you mean Common, Spotted or Great Crested?
- Terry Pratchett

My friend Sage is a wonderful Pagan teacher. We had lunch the other day and in a middle of a conversation on ritual energy she said, "I'm not building a social group for my students, this is a teaching coven. " Fair enough. As I said before, not everyone is true tribe for us. Teachers like Sage should not feel obliged to create a new spiritual family every time they take on a new set of students. I would add that we don't have to become friends with everyone in our circle or even mingle socially at all, if we don't wish to.

If a group's mandate is purely for study, ritual, politics or charity work (in other words, if it is goal or action oriented as opposed to community oriented) then we might want to be very clear about that. If we set our emotional boundaries at the start, and keep them maintained, then we will not raise any false expectations for deeper relationships later on. In such as case, we can be friendly colleagues and seekers, and no other ties can (or should) bind us.

I would also recommend that teachers who do not wish to create connection outside the ritual circle could offer their students guidelines on how to find or create a healthy Pagan community when their training is complete. There are some Pagan teachers (me included) who include some "self help" titles along with their Pagan book list in order to facilitate this process.

Whatever our relationship with others in circle, we need to play nice, set boundaries and communicate our expectations, goals and standards.


4/29/2006, 2:02 pm Link to this post Send Email to Bergere   Send PM to Bergere
 
MysticMT Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 08-2004
Posts: 83
Reply | Quote
Re: Healthy Pagans


Thanks for posting these! There is a great deal of wisdom in these articles, short as they may be.
4/29/2006, 11:52 pm Link to this post Send Email to MysticMT   Send PM to MysticMT Yahoo Blog
 
Bergere Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 04-2006
Posts: 141
Reply | Quote
Re: Healthy Pagans


You are welcome.
4/30/2006, 1:28 pm Link to this post Send Email to Bergere   Send PM to Bergere
 


Add a reply





You are not logged in (login)