I sort of had a big post on the subject of unity within the wider umbrella term of ‘pagan’ but realised I was getting a little preachy even for me.
To sum it up (after scrapping a thousand words or so) getting pagans to move in a single direction is similar to herding cats. We’re all independently minded and, on a whole, if we weren’t we would have remained within a dogmatic faith and not searched for the boundaries of the box.
When people preach in forums about the need for a Pagan Brother(or Sister)hood its usually as an appeal or personal crutch when faced with dissension. My own thoughts tend to be “thats a nice idea, but what if I don’t agree with you?” Should I swallow my individuality and become part of the Pagan whole?
The obvious answer is ‘no’. If I disagree with the ethics of an individual or group I shouldn’t be expected to automatically support them ‘because they are pagan’. Equally I’m not going to change my voting habits because a pagan politicians has emerged, because separation of Church and State works both ways and as in the previous example I am well within my rights to disagree with their politics.
Even if the majority march in the same direction you’re always going to find someone swimming against the tide, and that counter culture thought process is a central part of what it is to be pagan.
That’s not to say that large umbrella groups are a bad thing, or that I don’t think pagans can be politicians. There needs to be a certain level of consistency if we intend to make real world changes in education, politics and so on however I don’t think its necessary for people to get up in arms that not everyone agrees with their ‘terms of unity’.
A lack of unity can be of benifit. Someones divergent ideas might be the spur you need to reevaluate your own stance, ethics, opinions etc and so we grow. Rather than viewing opposition as an obstacle view it as a potential learning opportunity for both you and the others involved.
Can you tell I’m struggling with some of the last few letters?
On a more personal note, and on the back of a successful trip to Yarndale, I’m going to go to the Bakewell Wool Gathering on the 19th of October. I’m also going to the West Yorkshire Pagans event “Day of Mystery and Magic 2” on the 25th of October, meeting with friends from around the country and listening to some interesting subjects. I am beginning to realise my resolution to get out more.
Roll on the letter V, though in the meantime I think I will post something delightfully colourful next week.