The last time I wrote about community, it was a bit of a disaster. And while I discussed our need for more community, I didn’t got into a lot of discussion about how to better the community around us. So I wanted to revisit the idea of community and how we can all work to make it stronger. How we can all build a boat and visit other islands.
As stated in my previous post, I do believe that we need to reach out to one another- not necessarily to sing kumbaya around a campfire together, but at the very least to reach a sort of understanding. Paganism (and Kemeticism in particular) spans thousands of years and millions of places – with each place having its own particular flavor of practice and belief. It’s complicated, it’s messy- and not everyone is going to completely agree with one another- they didn’t then, we can’t expect to now. However, each sector within the Pagan/Kemetic community has something to offer, something to teach or learn- even if it’s not for you. And each sector should be treated with respect- even if it’s in the respect of agreeing to disagree. If we don’t bother to establish ‘trade routes’ between the sects of Paganism, how can we expect anything lasting to ever be achieved? If all we do is bicker and fight amongst ourselves, we ultimately look no better than children. And that does us all a disservice.
Okay okay, I get it. You want community. So- what are the ideas?
I think the biggest thing holding us back is communication. We don’t communicate with one another. You stick to your circle of people and never branch beyond that circle. This circle can be online, or in real life- possibly both. In order to create a wider, more understood community, we need to expand who we communicate to (as well as how we communicate- this is just as important).
Don’t be afraid to get out there and make some friends or start some discussions!
- You could visit forums (there is a list of Kemetic forums on the Kemeticism page). If you belong to a forum- perhaps try and look into a different set of forums to meet new people.
- If you’re on Facebook, you could also look into Kemetic/Pagan flavored FB pages and join in the discussion there (also listed on the Kemeticism page).
- Read blogs from different paths and different blogging sites. You’d be amazed at the little nuggets and ideas you can pick up from paths that aren’t your own.
- Actually comment on some of those blogs you read.
- Link to other blog posts, websites and useful resources to help spread word and ideas around.
- If you get an idea from someone else, or someone else has written about something similar to your own topics, link to them! Spread some of the readership love.
- Post content that is useful to new comers and seasoned practitioners. And when you do post stuff, make sure it’s labeled and tagged so that it can be found.
- Join sites like Technorati, Delicious, Pinterest or Tumblr where more information can be spread around for others to view and where discussions can occur btwn people of differing paths.
- Join discussions and network with local pagan shops, groups, UU churches and cons.
- Look into local (or online) Pagan newsletters/publications- perhaps you can help with the content or messages being shown there.
- Consider meeting up with online friends to bring that which is online into real life.
But why does any of this matter? Who cares?
My reasons for this are two-fold. First off, think back to when you first started on your path. You had an itch, an idea, a feeling that you needed to look into your particular path. How easy was it to find good information? How easy was it to find people that were worth talking to, who were willing to help you out? For most of us, it was an uphill battle to find anything worthwhile. And for those of us in the smaller segments- Kemeticism, for example- finding useful information is even harder. So instead of waiting for others to create useful information, or letting new comers flounder- why not help to spread stuff that’s useful and good? I’m not saying we need to proselytize or ‘spread the good word’ as though we are looking for converts- but at least have stuff in a place where it can be found via google or something similar. To me, this is a service to our paths and our deities to help lay foundations for new comers who genuinely want to know how to practice.
Or, as it was written in the Ka Theology 101:
We offer to the gods with the liturgy “May your ka be fed.” We present gifts with “For your ka.” It is in the nature of kau to give, and we give so that the ka is replenished, so that there is ever more to give. Every gift, every act of kindness, every investment, every meal, all of these are acts of sustaining the ka. Offerings are made so that the gods may continue to sustain their generosity; this theological principle is called “Do ut des”, “I give so that you may give.” As we give to each other, we sustain each other, we build our strength.
The second reason for many of this is heka. Communication is essentially heka- spoken words, putting forth ideas into the world. What we speak, becomes. And so we should want to speak well and discuss with others as to create a better world, a better place. For me, this blog, this work is also an offering to my gods, as a form of heka. Helping others to find footing within their own paths, or to find ways to bring their spiritual practice more into their life. Helping to dispel rumors and misinformation where I can- because it’s the right thing to do. As stated in the Heka is a Two Way Street post, we should aim to clear the air and create truth where we can. Because as MJ says: And Be Careful Of What You Do ‘Cause The Lie Becomes The Truth.
This whole reviving a dead religion thing is like a big block of stone that we’re all chipping at, trying to create something beautiful. Imagine how much faster we could create this work of art if we were to work together instead of fighting over it, or ignoring that anyone is carving except for yourself.
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