There are many jokes made about the Pagan community. Cynicism, derogatory comments about certain groups, the inevitable Bitchcraft.
In the course of my time as a ‘public’ Pagan, I’ve seen a lot of this, and been subjected to a fair bit as well. But these incidents are nothing compared to the positivity of the community in which now I find myself.
I’ve often said that as the ancient Druids (and shamans, wise-women, priests and suchlike) were supported by their communities, so am I. I work long hours, conscientiously and fully for those who ask. Some days, it seems like it’s for nothing, that the energy is all going one way.
Then something will happen to restore my faith. And then something else. More and more, a deluge of good-will and reciprocation, proving to me over and over that this amorphous community of many different souls, beliefs, social groups and ethnicities is, at heart, a good one.
Pagans are like any group – made up of so many differences that it’s hard to pin down specifics. When asked ‘What do Druids believe?’ (or witches, shamans, etc etc etc) it’s hard to give a straight reply, due to the complexity involved. That’s one of the reasons I rather love it: there’s always new things to learn, more ways to explore.
Generally speaking, however, the Pagan community is one which I am proud of, and proud to be part of. This includes those who don’t identify with the ‘Pagan’ label, but with its ethics and ideas. These people are generous, open in heart and mind, inquisitive, thoughtful and trying to do their best. Of course, there will be bad steps, human failings and misjudgments; that’s when the community should be coming together, as I have seen it do, to learn and evolve, to keep going.
I am honoured to be where I am, to have such friends, colleagues and acquaintances – family in spirit, if not in blood. You have proven to be there for me when needed, and I will do my best to do likewise.
This may seem sentimental or rose-tinted in its view. We’re not really encouraged to proclaim our respect, pride and gratitude these days – but actually, I believe we should. I’m very glad that I can, and am honoured to do so here and now.
With heartfelt thanks, my friends. We move forward together.