Tuesday, October 23, 2012

reCircling the Wagons

Every time I finish a blog post there is a certain sense of satisfaction. Sometimes that satisfaction comes too soon, and I later look back to see the horrible mistakes in grammar and spelling I have made. But last night I walked away from the keyboard with the same troubling feeling I had sat down with.

I ended my evening adoration with a humble request for introspective clarity and self understanding. And I awoke this morning with my prayers answered. What bothered me about Teo's post was his shame. His feelings and his perspective, as enlighten as they are, are his, not mine. And with that came the realization that I disagreed with someone whom I admire and respect. And that was what troubled me.

We can look at the context and circumstances of the situation and easily find fault with some aspect of the event, however the core issue seems to be about the circle creating an Inclusive/Exclusive boundary between those within the circle and those without. Last night I wrote that really wasn't the purpose of casting circles, but a byproduct, a result. But I also said that the sad truth is that the us and them already existed, and despite the best intentions they always will, with or without a circle being cast.

When I say "we" in the following statements I mean specifically those of our particular Tradition. We, are one of the most inclusive faith communities in the world. We openly invite and accept anyone and everyone to join us in our celebrations. We don't do this to recruit, proselytize or save anyone. We do it because at the core of our fundamental theology is the precept of Tela, interconnectedness.

You don't even have to be a Wiccan, Druid or even Pagan at all to be, and made to feel, welcome in our circles. Therefore I do not feel shame before those who choose not to do so. I had never even occurred to me until I read Teo's post. I feel that despite the grand dream unity in diversity, there are us's and them's. Those line exist in all social circles and no amount of accommodation will ever change that.

And most surprising of all my feelings is that we should not have to try and accommodate everyone. It's a virtuous dream, but an impossible task. Moreover, perhaps an impracticable one. We can be over accommodating to a fault. My Coven and our Traditions has an established liturgy, for our rituals, holidays, and rites of passage (that's why we call it a tradition). But if we would have made changes every time someone showed up and wanted to tweak things to meet their own personal, individual needs at that particular time, we would not remotely resemble our original form. We cannot make everyone happy within our Pagan community, let alone the onlookers, and I don't feel it's our responsibility to try.

We are sorry if our spiritual or liturgical practices are not to your liking, but we aren't changing our Tradition to suit your needs.We have a right to our boundaries.Without them we loose our ways, our Traditions and ourselves. As I mentioned in the previous post, my circles have a special meaning to them, there is a sense of comfort and security within my ritual space, like my Grandmother's arms, yes, it is my church. And I will never be ashamed of that, and I will never water it down in an attempt to appease the masses. I have my boundaries and some boundaries are healthy.

I think in the end, not casting a circle would change things for us, but not for them.

Wow, that felt good. I feel so much better now, thanks for reading my rant. But in closing I would like to reaffirm my closing statement form last nights post, I still believe Teo's post shoved a big mirror in the face of Pagan liturgy today and called into question one of our fundamental religious practices. I still think that requires some bravery, and I still applaud him for doing so.  He has caused us to reevaluate our most basic beliefs and practices, and we should consider that a public service.

After reevaluating my beliefs and practices, analyzing my feelings and expressing them, I leave my keyboard with that sense of satisfaction I was looking for. Thanks for giving me something worth thinking about Teo.

Thank you Lord & Lady for the Safe Circles, Blessed Be.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

This is completely off-topic for your post, but I've been following your blog for a little while and even though I haven't commented yet, I've enjoyed reading it. I particularly enjoy the uplifting tone of your writing, so I nominated you for the Sunshine Award.

Details here: http://magickalandmundane.blogspot.com/2012/11/sunshine-award.html

If you don't accept awards (some people don't), that's okay, it's just my way of letting you know your writing is appreciated. :o)