Embracing Pride

This series of posts will expand upon the “Goals & Ideas for Members” now part of the Pagan Environmental Alliance‘s Mission. Though not exhaustive, I hope they will provide inspiration. Please share further ideas, insights, and suggestions!

~*~

Outside of Pagan Pride Days, festivals, and cozy private meetups; beyond the comfort of anonymity; beyond the wilderness and back into the town; pagans belong everywhere, rooting our society in Nature and the spiritual currents of the Wild. The time has come to live, work, play, and simply be ourselves without hiding our jewelry or symbols. The Earth calls forth those of Her Children that are experts in changing consciousness to share their magics and enchant the world.

I understand why many stay in the so-called broom closet, and there are indeed circumstances when being vocal about one’s religion could lead to difficulties. We are not asked to march into danger, but hiding ourselves away from the world will keep this magic we’ve raised trapped. In the comfort of our privacy the magic wilts and withers–escapes, even. It finds new people to transform so they may, in turn, transform the world around them.

We are, quite obviously, speaking about the Goals & Ideas for Members regarding Pride. I know this post, and the challenge it contains, will be difficult for many, but it is vitally important.

There is a myth in paganism about our origins that has haunted people since Uncle Gerard blasted Wicca into the public sphere. We can all recollect the Burning Times, and sometimes we can even remember scholarly sources that re-center this fear of persecution for what it actually was: a struggle among Protestants and Catholics. Yet, Gardener’s contribution to the neo-pagan movement out to be remembered as a boisterous coming out of the closet. It was a publicity stunt that sparked the minds of millions and led to some of the most fecund decades for witchcraft in Europe and North America. We were exposed! We flourished.

We continue to flourish today, and yet there is always the fear of prejudice. I believe it comes from the solitary nature of our movement. Few of us have the support structure to be publicly pagan anywhere but online. Because of this, our insights remain locked within, our work grows only ourselves or a small group of people, and the world takes little to no notice of who we are. But you’ve come to this post through a budding organization that welcomes you, no matter how you practice paganism. We embrace you as the sacred offspring of our Mother Earth and Father Sky, eagerly awaiting what initiatives you will put forward to heal the world and its people.

At the core of what the Pagan Environmental Alliance is, there should be brilliant, courageous people doing the work of healing. There are many scars, some ancient and some new, and the world we wish to manifest–wherein Nature is held as sacred and protected–cannot come into existence unless we dare to do the work proudly. We must gather in circles and groves, celebrate seasons and their mythic undertones, meditate about our ancestors and their ancient ways of living in balance, ground with the Earth, read the clouds and the ogham and runes. All of these things we’ve learned not just for personal enlightenment. The gods and goddesses of the planet gave us these techniques because they root us in a different relationship with the Earth.

It is time we emerged to lead these rites on behalf of Mother Nature. In these times of global crisis, with a Mass Extinction event well on the way, who better to speak for the Voices of the Wild?

From the moment I dove into environmental activism work, I did so as a pagan, publicly. The choice to do so was part staying true to myself, and the source of my inspiration, but also to make space for my fellow pagans. I put my teaching career and reputation on the line. What was people’s reactions? There were double takes, furrowed eyebrows, the inevitable questions, and then acceptance. I was there, rolling up my sleeves and getting on with the work. Nobody cared what I believed (and I felt, surely, that many of them were fueled by Christian principles and ideals as well).

This does not make me a hero, but I hope you can follow my example.

Find the environmentalists and even the scientists in your community and say: “I’d like to lead a pagan ritual for this endangered species/forest/ecosystem. I’d like you to attend and be part of a moment of communion between humanity and the Earth.”

I bet you anything, you will be more than welcomed.

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