There is a treasure, beautiful, a natural resource, that deserves to be cherished and nourished. This treasure is in plain site and is hidden by those who should see it and who don’t know what to look for.
If I can say how great my experience was at my first Sacred Space Foundation conference this last weekend, April 6 – 9, 2023 it is due to the following.
Every Elder of any tradition, Priest or Priestess needs to make the pilgrimage to it. Do it soon. It would behoove every coven, group or conclave by any name, to make it affordable for at least one of their leaders to be there.
The reason isn’t for the great rituals, classes, presenters or simply communing with people related faiths. It is for getting a feeling for and seeing Community, Leadership in action and in service to the community, and the Hospitality of not only the conference but the whole Egregore that they are part of.
They are in my every estimation the birth of a tribe. I proposed on giving a paper of the need for and understanding of what a tribe is, as well as, how it is needed for building a societal model for the future of mankind. Not just for pagans, local communities, states, but it should be for nations and the world. I explain how we as a people, from the beginning of civilization have been poisoned by corporate, feudal mobocracies. I have published it as a previous blog here. https://archonstone.wordpress.com/2023/04/11/tribes-for-the-future-a-pagan-perspective/
What was it that had me see a tribe there? https://www.sacredwheel.org/ The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel. I was in one class, on Thursday: Falcons & Gryphons: On Using Orders within Groups. They spoke on these orders being seen to be needed by their “Leadership“. Here are things that I have seen pagans treat as an Anathema: Leadership, Organizations, Structures. And here it is working, evolved into and still growing strong since 1984. Not having been living in the Mid-Atlantic states, nor been at these covens, conferences or part of its inception, I am an outsider. I have been working to wrap my brain and heart around this need. Pagans have been looking for these and at the same time fighting against them. And here it has evolved.
Tribes are comprised of clans of families and communities of people. There are collections of different religious beliefs and practices. There are Guilds and orders that intersect these clans and religious societies (covens). There is a warp and woof a weaving of community, practice and organizations by need. There are respected leaders, humble and serving the community. That is the core of it. There is a core group of Elders and Leaders trusted by their service and integrity. They serve without hubris, they walk in their power. This is why people so inundated with corporate western culture don’t see it. They are on the lookout for “power over”, selfish, power self-serving people, and organizational control, and they implode. People don’t look for something they have never seen, never anticipate, and with the lack of definition or understanding, we don’t see what we don’t understand. This is why coven and group leaders; priestesses and priests need to see it in action. They need to feel it, commune with it and the people.
See it, feel it, be it.
The opening ritual, not only invoking Athena and Thoth, to bring wisdom, they invoked an egregore. This egregore is part of the people of the Assembly of Sacred Space and Between the Worlds groups, but more. The egregore for the conference includes the ancient and tribal ideals of hospitality, wisdom, leadership, and our sacred right of sacred people for apotheosis.
The main ritual was a pageant. I have seen really good powerful rituals. This was on another order. It was more than just power, and the gods. They invoked the universe, the powers, the sun and moon, sacred teachers, and five virtues, Love, Truth, Honor, Courage and I think it was Wisdom. It is to say something that I was overwhelmed. But we all participated. We wove our will into the navel of the world, with all this intent, into the world and back into us, to claim our power, our crowns, our apotheosis, to go back to serve the world and the virtues.
Back to the class of the Orders of the Gryphons and Falcons. The leadership at the time saw a need for a group of powerful magicians with the ability to move and exercise energy to protect the Assembly. They have a charter, a set of rules, and this prevents people from exercising hubris, ego that would destroy it. It has survived. I have watched their members in action. In the Main Ritual, the Gryphons cast the circle, contained it and protected it. I have not seen anyone or group to do it so well, ever. It was more than I could have managed. I have had to balance out elements of rituals and add to the circle to make them effective, even if I was not one of the officiants. They protect from energy vampires. They serve the community, to help others, with clearings, dealing with entities, and they do it willingly with advisement. This brings in the Order of Falcons. The Falcons are the seers and psychics that get the sight to an excellent degree to divine or psychically understand situations. They communicate with each other and the Gryphons, to understand what things may be: Good, Bad and Indifferent. They come to a conclusion on what to do about situations magic people and pagans run into. Granted, they steer clear of personal drama. When Therapists and Counselors are needed instead or in addition to, they make those recommendations. There is common sense, humility, yet a commitment to the community and each other to do it right, not only for themselves but also as a reflection of the community as a whole.
Between the Gryphon and Falcon you see the traditional working pairings of Magician and Seer, but in a group format.
The Falcons foresee where Gryphons are needed, and they do the work. I am an odd duck energetically. The work of developing my skills, I will radiate power in my aura, or it is hidden. If you detect what is hidden you become wary. One Falcon was keeping an eye on me all weekend. The one class that should have been labeled a ritual, was on Nagas as the fifth elemental. I guess it was a way of presenting conceptually beings that don’t fit definitions of Gods, Wights, Angels, Demons nor Ancestors. In my tradition we do work with beings that exist on other planes and these types of beings that exist through many planes. They are interdimensional or multiplanar beings depending on your definition. When she presented the being to commune with us, that would or should put peoples hackles up. It didn’t for me. However, I present myself in multiple aspects, each of which can function as a multiplanar being. As an individual if you do that you will draw these beings’ attentions. As the ritual progressed, I resided in my aspects adjusted to commune with the beings that she presented. This drew the attention of at least one of the Gryphons. This gentleman went to the side of the room where my main aspect of that time was working from. I made a point to have it identify as friendly, wishing no harm, and to be part of this ritual. The Gryphon was satisfied and went back towards the entry of the classroom. In the past, people would mistake me and my aspects as other things, usually fearful, and ineffectually attacking it or me. This did not happen, and the ritual went on as expected. I was glad to chat with the presenter, that I and my teacher work with beings like this and identified cultural precedents briefly. Identifying them as multiplanar beings we had an immediate understanding and agreement. All of this interchange was beautiful.
Here is the big question. How old and what was the size of the organization when it was mature enough and the Leadership trusted enough to recognize the need of these orders? Off the cuff answer was about 18-20 years of age, with 7 covens. The orders are at least 8 years old. The covens today number 14 with 4 – 21 coven members each. One generation, about 20 years with trusted leadership, and this exists, evolves and grows. This was grown from the start organically. What can people do if they took notes and created it in larger urban and multi-state areas? People take time to develop and evolve their cultural awareness and it takes just about that long. Can it be done more quickly? That would take a lot of pointed shadow work, and evolutionary internal alchemy to get there.
Byron Ballard has spoken about the groups in Asheville, where they recognize that they might not worship together, but they did learn to work together. Elders and leaders of groups, covens and organizations need honest internal reflection and development.
The ability to be at a conference, uncloaked to a certain degree, without being psychically harassed by well-meaning people or vampires was a complete pleasure. Hospitality is in that hotel and conference egregore, and it is true to its word and intent. Again, this was and is a pleasure to experience.
There was another class that exemplified what a society is within a tribe and extends beyond it. Here is a group of magicians who come together with a common goal. They presented Master Magician Level of technologies. This is a tribal outreach at a master level with other magicians, whether you are part of this group or not. Good tribes have outreach practices and societies that can and do span from tribe to tribe through other competent and committed individuals. My teacher was part of an inter-tribal group of medicine people. Sharing techniques with fellow magicians shows that this tribe is not insular and can grow and evolve as they come in contact with incipient tribes of pagans and individuals. A society can be selective of who they work with. As in this case, they can be discrete and be respected as such. Now we must create them.
Another group or organization for ecstatic and or possessory work is:
This is the third or fourth time I have had the pleasure of being in their ritual space. It has evolved over the past decade. I have in the past been very wary of possession and or mediumship. If you have had to be an exorcist or do soul retrieval work you would have a healthy concern about it. The environment was safe, not only for those who use this for ecstatic communion with Oriesha or Lwa, but also for those who work with other beings of other pantheons. Some pantheons have conflict. I saw conflict resolution. I saw communion. I called on aspects of my past selves becoming like ancestors. A being who rode two people gave me a consistent message on how to facilitate it. One of my aspects even possessed one of the attendees for a short bit. I got some great feedback. This organization should be learned from, from those called to do similar work. Our societies and our connections to pantheons, spirits and egregores are overlapping. This method seems to work in an excellent fashion to be a steppingstone for people of many walks to commune with the spirits of their calling.
This isn’t my calling, but I do recognize it being needed in many pagan communities.
I got to talk shop with some special people into the wee hours of the morning. I was buzzing into Monday following the conference. I had a long drive back to Atlanta from Baltimore and it gave me plenty to think about.
It was a pleasure to be my authentic self. It was a pleasure to not have to be an Energetical bolster and balance a large ritual or protect it. I learned new information, techniques and saw things from other perspectives.
To the facilitators and board members of Sacred Space Foundation and Between the Worlds, I extend a most heartfelt, Thank You. To everyone who exemplified the hospitality, Thank you as well.
A Pagan perspective, an opportunity for creating an evolving society through a tribal level of organization.
Pagan social circles search for a sense of community.
The problem is that our social context has been without tribes for 2000 or more years.
Tribes have been destroyed in the past 2000 years or more.
Outlook and Methodology
There is a yearning for community and social structure in human beings. It would develop organically for successful social groups. These social groups in history came and went organically and revolved around tribal structures.
This paper will describe the destruction of tribal structures over the past 2000 years or more; and, the social acceptance of social structures that deny organic development and social competence, in lieu of autocratic and defined organizational structures under some conservative power control. This will describe the psycho-social dependency of known experiences as opposed to reifying and reconstruction of more workable structures of the past or the ability to evolve a social structure more satisfying to a diverse group of peoples.
There is nothing unique among groups of people reaching out for independence, away from stultifying dominion of city state, national dominance that oppresses people. The inefficiency and lack of resources where human dignity is lost while elites and autocrats of various descriptions garner resources and riches to the detriment of the lowest rungs of society. The seeds for social collapse re-occur only to recreate the same lack of responsive relationships in a stratified society. People lose empathy and identity to all strata of society.
What occurs after social isolation and disenfranchisement, with an attempt to organize socially, is a reversion to similar social behaviors and supporting other autocratic structures with cognitive dissonance not seeing it being like the social structure they have left.
I will demonstrate this by describing social trends due to changes in society through history. The decades of depravation of social instruction where new behaviors that are even detrimental are adopted.
I will describe from articles describing state dependent behavior and learning where there is addictive behavior refusing to adopt new behaviors, even where there is evidence of needed change. Cognitive dissonance, neuroticism, and cultural reinforcement denies positive changes from both internal and external sources.
I will use Edward T. Hall’s model from “The Silent Language” for defining societal education with terms of informal, formal, and technical methods.
Lastly, I will posit what can be used to counteract this lack of tribal behavior, and a few additional behaviors to expand the diversity needed for future models of human behavior.
Tribes have a few common elements for long standing viability. A sustainable food source, division of labor, and social constructs that made for social mobility, and learning opportunities to and for each division of labor whether it is technical, formal, or informal adoption of technical or social skills.1 These educational opportunities come from family, social orders of labor division, clan or familial history, religious instruction, or societal organizations that reflect archetypical identities within a tribal structure.
When food sources shift, either in availability or in geography successful tribal migration depend on adaptation of leaders, societal stories, religious stories of previous generations successful adoption of other behaviors, along with stories that reflect that change or adoption of new stories to encourage the evolution and or adoption of different survival strategies.
Historical destruction of tribes.
Tribal expansion into city states can be traced back to Sumeria. Tribal behavior that had division of labor for grain, fishing, farming, creation of textiles, pottery took one additional step. The building, use of and maintenance of irrigation canals. The initial stories of a local god of fish, fresh water, irrigation, and canals was Enki or later known as Ea.
The last major inundations from the last ice age forced peoples from Mesopotamian delta upstream, fused tribes with a tribal characteristic with a priesthood to manage dams, canals, and irrigation projects. This required astrological, meteorological knowledge, and reactionary force to manage a city state infrastructure. It was a dominant societal force that kept functioning as an evolving city state that still had tribal divisions of labor. Writing, bureaucracy, and the development of educated elites that required technical knowledge, and social stories to reinforce the necessity of a state organization. This was the evolution of Eridu from 5300Bc to 3500BC. This lasted until the rising power of Uruk. War and fighting which created a military elite, with close ties to administration and religious storytelling, created stories of transfer of power from Eridu to Uruk, with the story of Inanna, stealing the objects of power, mes, from Enki. City States became administrative areas under the administration of the growing empire of Uruk. This pattern has changed little in the past 5,500 years. Egypt Followed suit with the first Dynasty of Menes, and similar patterns of ruling city states in India as far back as Eridu.
State religions and power elites formed stories that supplanted tribal stories, sinified or usurped the local stories into a framework supporting an overarching story of the state powers. Governers were replacing city state leaders or tribal leaders. Local stories were erased, division of labor was controlled by administration elites far from the indigenous locales.
This was the first step of erasing local autonomy of tribes and villages by nation state administrations and religious overarching narratives. The center of powers shifting in Egypt made modified cosmological histories, based on the location of ruling dynasties. Old gods were adopted and woven into new narratives. Old dynasties of Min, Thebes, Hermopolis and Sais had functionally different pantheons.
In Mesopotamia, Sumerian Eridu was replaced by Uruk culture which was Sumerian and mixture of mountain peoples. Administration and war conquering other city states became a norm. Then there was the Akkadians, Assyrians, which had different tribal and societal identities but stepped into the cultural and administrative structures that existed. Babylonian culture evolved cosmology and administrative practices and expanded the empire. Outlying tribes were captured, enslaved, but became vassal states with religious autonomy. The administrative functions of the nation state became more coherent regardless of religious identities from other cultures but also from within as the rise of Zoroastrianism, and the interplay of the Semitic beliefs from Canaan that had a mixture of tribal beliefs with the ever-evolving state religious cosmology from Akadia, between 1800 and 800 BCE. Religion was being used to help define ethnicities that vied for political power in an ever growing complex of vying ideologies, and power struggles from 1200 BCE. The climate change, and shift from the end of bronze age to the iron age, with collapsing city states, organization of sea people warlords, warring factions amalgamated, along with anti-outsider polemics in religious stories, scriptures, and historical writings of surviving nation states. Single monotheistic religions were used to supplant henotheistic or polytheistic beliefs of confederations of city states, into the Empire. Zorastrianism influenced platonic philosophy and the monotheistic creations from with an enslaved Hebrew population, while Egypt’s Ankenaton was similarly focusing on a supreme God of LIght, like Ahura Mazda.
Religious Stories once used to codify a culture, and its evolution through people, became a tool to codify authority of administrative authority.
Tribal organizations started to disappear. The twelve tribes of Israel as Hebrews disappeared after the release of Hebrew slaves back to Judea with the Old Testament. They became Jewish People, not tribes of Israel.
Egypt had various Henotheistic centers for the various pantheons evolved in variations. But it was incorporated into royal and priestcraft administrations. A theory as to why Egypt retained some regional religious autonomy with a crafted overarching updated cosmology may be due to its’ use of writing that is image based and support of Goddess image representation. 2
Greek control of Egypt and the Levant, followed by Roman control in the region, was based on administrative control regardless of leader’s bloodlines, civil machinations for claiming control and power.
Demonstrated by Edward Gibbons the survival of the Roman or Orthodox church from the Eastern then to the Roman Catholic church, was due to bureaucracy. The extermination of other Christian sects 3 where Christian eunuchs directed Pro-consuls how to find these churches and had patrimony to take care of widows, orphans, sick and indigent, was done with bureaucratic efficiency.
The Roman Diocese of the Church helped create a cultural glue, where tribes were once destroyed and managed by Roman Governors and protectorates, replaced by Monarchies and Vassal states. Where the Church went and destroyed the indigenous cultures. Where Monarchies took control, all leadership, management, and internal cultural capabilities of tribes were replaced. Feudal bans prevented serfs and commoners from processing the food that they created, insuring levied taxes. This also kept agriculture, manufacturing, and administration strictly in the hands of the feudal overlords disconnected from the people they ruled.
This model, regardless of the Dark Age, Medieval Age, Enlightenment or Industrial Revolution, expansion of Power and Church, hand in Hand, destroyed every tribe it has encountered.
Villages, Cities and Church, held the remnants of Tribe, by having focus around family and village cultural heritages. Feudal Bans, and control of artisans, land and all resources, local culture was reduced to religious Church whitewash of all customs, and history was supplanted with divine right of nobles. There was no developed leadership that cared for the people of the village, for their needs and the reality they dealt with.
Industrial revolution aggregated the working poor into less than serf positions. Rent of housing, control of food, shops and sources of work, the Church was the only outlet left which justified the existence that they had.
The Gutenberg Press democratized the bible for those who were literate. And made it affordable for others to write, or present other viewpoints, beliefs, and practices. Schisms in church and religion were just useful wedges for power elites to manipulate. Whether they believed in one sect or the other.
Calvinists presaged the fundamentalist mentality where administrative power structures were weak, the descending spiral where religion used fear and hate. Calvinist destroyed villages, killed most of the women as witches, leaving the men for an army for this ever-nihilistic plague that eventually burned itself out. The embers still exist today. What was left was the seeds of capital controlled by a growing merchant class aligned with most of the nobles that managed the rest.
The experiment of the United States of America democracy observed by de Tocqueville, Villages with one of two churches, had at least an educated churchman and a doctor. They at least had an investment in the town where they were elected to represent government.
Corporate moneyed interests in burgeoning cities reverted to fiefdoms controlling administrative politicians. This was one factor for the destruction of the model that de Tocqueville saw. The second was the schisms that kept coming out of Europe. The schism that plagues the country more so was postmillennialism beliefs, where only after a rapture, versus premillennialism. Baptist and Methodist itinerant preachers saturated the rural US. The rabid proselytizing and othering aspects that followed on from the various sects, like the pilgrims, coming to the Americas for their believed perfections. This further separated people in villages, towns, even beyond the mainstream religions.
The Civil War, tore families and regions apart. Slavery was one of the large issues. At the same time, it was for corporate control of agriculture, I.e., Cotton, and textile manufacturing, among other things. Second, the wage slaves of the indebted working poor, virtual slaves, to mining, and industrial towns, which controlled rent, food access, and everything else for the sustaining of life. Education was focused and built around having a rudimentarily trained workforce.
Unionization, and liberal politics, came into being chafing against the abusive powers. Businesses controlled the government and used federal troops to quell any uprisings for civil treatment. While these revolutionary and anti-establishment ideologies exist through to today, they tend to be used to leveraging groups of people against each other and leveraging administrative control from competing industrial interests controlled by the elites.
The Depression, literally ripped multi-generational families into nuclear units. Any long-term wisdom of villages, educated, or elders in community became part of history. The informal intelligence and wisdom from multi-generational and landed peoples was lost. Psychology was developing, but at that time had no awareness of this wisdom. World War II created a culture based on squads, platoons, and industrial trade cliques. Unions helped but in time were destroyed also, bit by bit. Social navigation and upward mobility appear to exist, but only from one isolated clique to another. Like being assigned to one platoon from one unit to another. Social grooming and isolated socialization with connections to other cliques became the societal norms. Fraternal organizations that developed to help fill the gap for charities that churches now failing for the widows and orphans became more for social networking. Unions, fraternal organizations, and progressive political movements become the enemy of corporations and their owners. Cities that dealt with outcasts from the villages that chaffed at supporting the widowed, orphaned, poor, sick and indigent were necessary for controlling criminality and making it safe and stable for the corporations that used workers in it. The problem became too big for churches to support the disenfranchised. The working communities did not have the resources, and corporations so disconnected from people, in general, would do as little as possible.
People today are the most isolated they have ever been. Ersatz social media, and the comfort of echo chambers are addictive and keep people isolated with less and less social connections. So isolated that the social competence of a large, diversified society, being so diminished, can be easily manipulated.
Early in the U.S. the idea of rugged individualism was held as the ideal. Now, we take service industries and consumerism for granted, which focus on immediate gratification, which leaves us even more with isolated rugged individualism. It was also a precursor to rationalized self-interest. Successful groups of people isolating themselves from the disenfranchised and easily dismiss them from rationalized viewpoints.
Where are individuals in the current cultural context left to reach back over 2000 years to rebuild egalitarian satisfying societal relationships that embrace diversity in tribes? We have had 2000 years of increasing social, familial, and cultural isolation. The seeds of that de-evolution started 3000 years earlier.
The 60’s provided an impetus toward counterculture with commune ideals. They focused on personality, ideology, and no practical methodologies. The “Farm” evolved to have core industry, a group of leaders based on core competencies, and has not gone further from there. But it did evolve to survive where many such communes imploded.
The counter-revolution is anti-government in a libertarian way. It is anti-leader and anti-hierarchy. Understandably this is an aversion to all the abuses evident in everyday life and society. An Aversion an emotional reaction, justified by rationalized viewpoints did not survive. 70’s feminist movements eschewed all of it. Demanded that decisions would be by consensus. The only leaders were emotional leaders, who did not have full leadership skills and did not have a conscious idea on how to cultivate succession. These were not necessarily conscious processes. .
Pagan circles and small groups, whether they attract those of belief, aversion to society, or congregate as a group of disenfranchised people. The last straw for most created cliques, whether it is small social circles, counter-cultural supportive religious beliefs, is the disenfranchisement from cliques and social mobility. The human mind that cannot tolerate the irrationality of their social context, and abuse by it will eventually create their own social context. The family we create versus the one that disowns us.
Cliques, and society that is bereft of broad social wisdom, intelligence, and diverse capabilities, like any other weakened animal or ecosystem, becomes susceptible to parasites. Sociopathology, narcissism and other pathological behaviors do not have any natural defenses against them. They must be relearned by the abused, over, and over again. The lack of understanding from the unabused have no conscious awareness of these dynamics are routinely used to reinforce the social constructs, that are leveraged against the disenfranchised. Co-dependency where people know no other way of existing, and enablers reinforcing the victimology, further isolates individuals. However, these individuals label their disenfranchisement, they look for the comfort of some sort of community.
Emotional leadership often comes from people who are sociopaths. They can emotionally and psychologically manipulate small groups who have been victims. The narcissism and sociopathology of disenfranchised groups are inept compared to what exists in cliques. The Victims become more isolated, and groups dissolve after there is no one left to uphold the group, or when the enablers are turned against each other. This process has its own diminishing returns. This reinforces anti-group, anti-leader, and anti-social attitudes and beliefs of individuals. Too often the emotional leaders in consensus groups, or those contrarians effect a destruction of the group out sociopathological behaviors. Counter-dependents who recognize and stand up against the victimizers are painted as abusers and pushed out of the group. The capable individuals are socially stigmatized where they cannot help the individuals or the group. This leaves the ingrained social malignancies to continue
Conferences and gatherings of pagans, however, reinforce for a brief time for many people a sense of community, family, and a togetherness we all need as human beings.
Pagan groups that survive have some familiar characteristics. A core group of leaders that people have confidence and take for granted, the events and environments they support. This is a feeling and evidence-based response to situations that provide for the individual’s sense of well-being, belief and perspectives that support that. Core structures built for this service can be handed down to successors. IF and only if the successors are of the same mind and desires as the originators. Where they happen to be sociopaths waiting in the wings, the structure and belief of the organization sustains it for a while, until the inevitable, nihilism of parasitic behavior destroys the coherence of the organization.
The idea of pagan community is as limited as our perception, awareness, and individual capability of conceiving one, as compared to the fully isolated way of things are in our culture. Modern culture has no societies, only contrived abstract social constructs to force people into.
Europeans have a sense of family, and social integration. It is informal technology, and they can only react to the American general ineptness without technical or formal technical way of addressing it. Americans are left uninformed and kept at a distance. I have discussed some of this with acquaintances from Arab and Islamic cultures. They require a long time, a decade at a minimum, to see if you have a social investment. Americans lack the social aptitude and commitment to develop long term invested relationships. Americans come and go, oblivious as to why they cannot ham fist their way through negotiations. (The non-halal metaphor seems apt. And will be left in with this explanation.) We will not be trusted. Social isolation creates selfish and ego centric people. Social constructs are just tools for leverage, instead of a thriving social or tribal identity that is beyond self.
Pagans as groups of disenfranchised people, along with all western culture, suffer from Dunning-Kruger effect. We do not know that we do not know how to be in a context that has not truly existed for 2000 years. We take on cognitive-dissonance, and are willing to justify negative behaviors and patterns, because we take for granted the coherent patterns in the culture that we can rely on, good, bad, or indifferent. We become addicted to patterns that are familiar to us because it does not upset our emotional and metabolic patterns where we can function effectively. We use state dependent behavior to use cognitive dissonance to remain in the patterns we exist in.
State dependent behavior is a description of why and how addicts revert back to addictive behaviors. The metabolic crutch reflects back into the mind. It is an emotional and metabolic stability, where memory and faculties are easily accessed. I.e., when we are sick, our emotions and metabolism is off, we get irritable because we cannot fuction as well as we are used to. Our memories and functional faculties and abilities are hard to hang on to. Here is where spiritual development helps people break out of that metabolically controlled paradigm, becoming flexible we evolve our ego and sense of self with spiritual identity or doing the internal cognitive therapy, through ritualistic practices to carry forward our memories and capabilities into new modes of being, information, and cultural contexts.
Why does a Pagan spiritual context have an advantage to fix this lack of social construct, and why a tribe?
Spirituality encourages, as some say, a breaking of the ego. It is the embracing of discomfort, to be reborn into a new initiated state. This creates a flexible ego, to accept, adapt and incorporate new ways of thinking, and behaving. Many individuals in groups are breaking their cycles of victimology, embracing healthier coping mechanisms, and evolving a self they are comfortable with. The groups and individuals that reinforce these negative societal patterns disintegrate. Organic growth happens when there is informal training of leadership for the type of personalities and group dynamics that they have.
The process of embracing discomfort consciously allows people to become aware and adopt new behaviors. The process is anything but simple. In the western dominant culture of privilege, the ability to think, remember and function outside of their emotion norms of comfort is limited. In other cultures, emotion is allowed, enjoyed, and seen as a sign of authenticity.
After five decades of anti-disestablishmentarianism that includes patriarchy, church dogma and stultifying cultural norms, the pendulum is swinging in the other direction. This author is also against toxic patriarchal practices, irrational religious dogmas, corporatism or corporate socialism, and isolationist, jingoistic, bigoted cultures. This author is also against hierarchical disconnectedness from all levels with its cliquish isolated detachment from its surrounding reality. Pagan individuals are looking for community and having a burgeoning growth of secular adherents who are looking for more social connection.
There have been attempts to codify and create a more unified pagan community. A lot of it is the autonomy that small groups have and practice beliefs in their own way. There is hard won, authority and leadership in a small group that, so earned, refuse to relinquish.
One success this author has heard of is in Asheville, NC. There was an attempt to grow a large group only to find that they could not worship together but decided they in diverse groups can work together.
This mirrors surviving indigenous cultures in the Americas and Africa. There is warp and woof of diverse societies and clans. Societies of various divisions of labor, diverse religious societal practices, clan mothers, each earn their own leadership skills in each group. They have their leaders work in a council or in concert with leaders in the community. Leaders are developed only from within the tribe. Gifted children who have leadership skills, who embrace the reality of each of the societies, clans, and group, learn to massage people to work together to solve problems, issues, and long-term plans.
This informal leadership development of internally invested and caring individuals, concerned of having people work together instead of dictated to have survived 1000’s of years. Split of tribes on the fringe of indigenous nations, either must relearn these behaviors or they disintegrate into the voids of time.
Several things are needed to create a tribe today. First you must have a large enough group of diverse people who are willing to work together. Second, we must have healthy and stable psychologists and social workers to help on mental health of individuals and well versed in conflict resolution. That process must be open enough for groups to learn. This helps build cultural awareness. It needs to be recorded as a technical skill and for stories to help teach the community at large. This requires social education for each other and especially our youths. Cultural or societal groups must evolve as their own, but they must trust someone in that group to represent them. The young need to be aware of these adult processes, to be observed by leaders to encourage their leadership potential. Weed out sociopaths but encourage the caring of others but generate charisma where others look to natural leaders for queues, not answers or dictation.
There needs to be trust in weeding out sociopaths. Communication with others so behaviors can be seen, understood, and identified. Not allowing people to become isolated. There must be a way to make the sociopaths leave. Granted even after it is determined to try to rehabilitate the individual has failed.
Other Hurdles to Tribal Formation
Locality and economic relevance given the surrounding culture, available land, valued skills, and proximity to enhance cultural intimacy and inculcation.
There needs to be a critical mass of events, people, and situations to get a genesis of a tribe. Urban disaffected isolation, and suburban physical isolation are two psycho-social mindsets that need to be treated. Land use laws of city and county planners, if needed, need to be addressed. The complex society with a widespread division of labor, a focus on relevant capabilities must be addressed. The “Farm” a commune born out of the 60’s developed a core economic relevance by creating Geiger counters, and organically finding leaders that are relevant to their society, after the dissolution of charisma and philosophy gives way to objective realities.
Cheap rural land is harder to come by. Too few people are agrarian minded even if their beliefs embrace nature. Social meetings in tribal centers would be centered around cultural rituals, games, and early America the one or at most two churches, and the socials between them.
It will take more planning. For example, some suburbs are open to mixed development. Given a good development plan suburban developments surround a golf course, swimming pools and or tennis courts, with community pavilions. The communities have elected leaders or managed by land management groups. Many pagans work in information technology and there are technology centers. What if there was a mixed community that had tight town homes, with shared facilities for salon style offices, ritual space, shared wood, metal, and automotive shops? There would be wood, metal, and automotive groups. Office group, or whatever relevant skills sets that are valuable in an area. Use a homeowners association fee to pay for a family to farm the outlying grounds around the homes. Food shared in a pantry, or even make a local kitchen or support people who make food for children, busy workers, etc…
The critical mass to make this happen is either groups of people who work toward long term goals as a tribe, or someone with a large nest egg to invest in the locale that draws the groups to it. Trust and commitment become the biggest hurdles.
First is to identify the problem. Hopefully in these few short pages, the depth of ignorance has been brought to light. Second, develop a desire for a much better existence not only for us, but as a model for the rest of society. Most important, not only do we need to heal ourselves, but we must work on healing our relationships with each other in a larger society. Granted a distrust in groups have been vocally adamant since the 60’s, and a distrust of leadership as there has been a destruction of tribes. Once we had tribal communities with leaders who have and understand the intimate relationship between themselves and their community, but also take that intelligence and wisdom to broader communities, states and hopefully the nation. Our religions, and the magic we practice if we use it to isolate ourselves only will exacerbate the problem. It used to be tribes and their religions were there to support, serve, and build the community and its members. If we embrace isolation, we see the outcome of this functional nihilism. If we embrace diversity, we will embrace others, thereby growing and evolving.
Communication, its lack, and miscommunication, plague people who won’t learn to be uncomfortable.
One of the hardest things for people learning the witches triangle is silence.
Then there is cast not pearls to swine.
And in many cases, all the words in the world will never help someone to understand something when they don’t have a common frame of reference.
Spiritual societies, initiatory traditions, and coming of age type of rituals, are designed to impart what is ineffable. But once experienced, the brotherhood now has a common frame of reference where the nuances of each other’s experiences can be understood.
People have a need to be accepted by others, and too often when they speak they parrot back their cultural programming, expecting to hear it from everyone around them. This indicates whether or not you are part of that group.
Some people have a need to be right. They can be all sorts of wrong, but the identity of self with their world view is so strong, their ego can’t handle any other information, facts or ways of looking at things.
This is an addiction.
An excellent article came out a while ago describing addiction as an addiction to a perception of self. Granted chemical addiction is horrible, mind altering, and a detriment to a person’s health. If a person gets free of the effects of the drug, the physical addiction, they still have a psychological addiction. Why is that? The metabolism that a person has had as an addict, they have learned how to function as a functional addict, accessing memories and behavioral faculties. Without the chemical crutch, the metabolism necessary to achieve the state of mind where all of one’s memories and faculties isn’t available. This is an addiction to one’s sense of self. Behavioral addiction of expecting to light up a cigarette or smoke on queue from situations, is a matter of breaking habits. But the metabolism and feelings, where one is at their peak efficiency of being themselves is off. In other words, people’s proficiencies are at a peak with their metabolism establish by drugs of choice.
This feeling and self assessment of how we function is a consciousness of and the feelings of knowing and being comfortable with who you are. This makes them feel comfortable. Not being yourself, you are not comfortable. This theory of addiction to self, with chemical addictions is called state dependent behavior. Our behaviors are based on the metabolic dependent state where we know and control our behaviors. Our behaviors confirm a comfort of what we are use to. This is ego, and the support of that ego is Maya.
So how does “State Dependent Behavior” affect the average person. People have 7 – 12 standard sets of emotions, give or take. Each emotional state is like an operating system where they access memories and their faculties/programming. Each emotion is its own operating system. People may share memories between these operating systems or metabolic states that represent in person a feeling. Memories may have been shared, and faculties and reasoning may be shared between these metabolisms, if a person is coherent. Incoherent people, may have inconsistent emotions, memories and faculties from one emotional state to another. Either way they are addicted to their sense and awareness of the flow of feelings and information, in a comfort of who they are regardless of what they are feeling. Consciousness is less about awareness it is about the feeling of connectedness of the various aspects of self, throughout any of their accepted emotions. People can be addicted to being miserable. They are comfortable with who they are and can function in that state. They are addicted to their state dependent behaviors. This is ego and its support is Maya. Chemical addicts, have a chemical that just skews this emotional baseline. It is still the same.
It is this idea of self, ego, and sense of comfort of knowing who one is by the feelings and reaction to information and the world around them, is an addiction. There are people who more adaptable to being uncomfortable and embracing the feelings of others through empathy, relearning to access memories and faculties from a different metabolism.
Case in point, I am a member of Toastmasters. One of our member’s project she chose was what to do about about bullying. I have been bullied a lot in school, and in many ways since. I being a white male, don’t look like I should be at the receiving end of bullying. If you work in America, you experienced varying degrees of it. I spoke about it, and have very well thought out views on what to do, what steps needed to change the culture, etc. and responding to people whose responses were to much like victim blaming, and rape culture mentality. I was emotional. From every member from a disenfranchised group, they liked what I had to say, and enjoyed the passion or emotions I brought to speaking. The white male conservative, told me flat out I needed to calm down, that I was being too emotional.
Social Privilege expects to be comfortable. In this case it was a white conservative male. A previous democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean in celebrating a victory made a guttural “Arrrr”. Subsequent primaries he was canned, panned and turned out for being outwardly emotional. Many studies in the United States, leaders were people that people could feel emotionally safe. In this past election of 45, it was someone played on reflecting the emotions, of a segment of society, where they could feel themselves reflected in this now president. Two edges of the same sword, taking advantage of people’s own addiction to the comfort of themselves.
I have always been the odd man out. I was too smart as a child, too big, too active, too intellectual. I was a child. I was not listened to. Whether I was being bullied, telling the truth, or just trying to explain the bullying I was receiving. I couldn’t be related to. I made people uncomfortable. It was easier to not believe me. I got older, my opinions and views didn’t matter because I was a white male, not a father, not old enough, not from this clique, this group or banter sports, cars or sexual exploits. I did not fit and no matter what I said, how I said it, I didn’t fit. I made people uncomfortable. Fortunately in IT being odd, and intelligent I had a better purchase on this playing field. However, I was not, testosterone poisoned emotional misfit, where most relearn their social queues in a stunted brain, in a more juvenile construct of society, where I had to learn to suck up to the chief troglodyte of any other group. A repeated rendition of the same level of institutional abuse in a new venue.
What I found out sadly disenfranchised groups of people, if deprived of social conditioning in their teen years, develop it in their disenfranchised niche, and repeat the same high school level of unsophisticated control and manipulation. Along with the learned behaviors of sociopaths and narcissists that they have been victimised from.
Victims who work toward being empowered, get to be victims again or trusted sycophants and enablers. The new abusers learn to be experts at their new social venue. And some of the repeat victims learn to fight back.
Those who fight abuse, end up reflecting some of the characteristics of abusers. There is a fine line where victims either learn to stay victims, become abusers themselves or “counter-dependents” Counter-dependence was described in another psychological journal. People fight not to be victims, and standing up for victims, have traits that look like the unsophisticated abusers of the past. So they are dismissed and victimized yet again at whole new level.
Silence and retreat is left for those who won’t fit in the template of society, abuser or victim. Silence and retreat, is left for those who learn to be uncomfortable and learn to hold on to truth regardless of the situation. They certainly were never accepted to be part of a cultural milieu to reinforce comfortable rationalizations, true or not, of ways of being, thinking and information fit for that groups survival. In other words, truth isn’t necessary. As long as the information used between the group that created the effecting controls of reality to keep them alive, truth is irrelevant. Another scientific study showing people use information fit for survival.
I am a pagan, in the late 70’s and 80’s, being a white male was an anathema for all those who were fighting the male patriarchy. Not that I was, I fit the symbols and handles. 30 years later, I got to a ecumenical convention for pagans, the experiences spiritually and studies I have had, there was a consensus amongst the elders of many traditions, I was elder in my own right. These were special interfaith pagan elders, most of them.
A convention I was at last month, again, reinforced that I need to be silent and retreat. I see warm loving people who are all about love, light and liberty. Their approach is to educate, love and share to bridge the gaps in groups and in humanity. I don’t have that this implicit or explicit viewpoint. It works to degrees where people want to grow and change. If any of what I wrote above has impressed on you, and made painfully aware to me, a vast majority of people are unwilling and incapable of changing. They will fight to retain their comfort, their privileged positions. The level of empathy only extends to those closer to them than anyone outside of their comfort level. Even disenfranchised people, people who are liberal empathic, loving and caring, they can’t see how I can be hard, speak hard and want people to survive the evils that exist and are yet to come.
One third of the United States voted for, and maintain an affiliation with people who hate. They choose philosophies that are devoid of empathy for any living being or people other than themselves and their own. They have betrayed the constitution, their faiths in Christianity, and lock step with the goose stepping fascist of this country and pre World War II Germany. I lived in an exit community in the suburbs. People fighting to get out of the ghettos, and those through their unfitness for society or bad luck were falling back into ghettos. My neighborhood had 2 drug gangs based on age, and prostitute house mismanaged by the neighborhood girls all who were under 18. I survived them and their parents who were sociopaths, addicts and narcissists. I can recognize these type of people in all sectors of society. I work very hard not to be a victim.
The one thing I know for sure, sociopaths and psychopaths, don’t have empathy. They never apologize and they never can change. The only time they apologize is when they see a threat of pain, discomfort or death. Then it is a convenient lie to get to the next game. They can only be managed by a constant threat of pain, or death. This is a cold hard fact that makes everyone uncomfortable. People can’t imagine that is true, and the abusers will go out of their way to get enablers to act against anyone who tells the truth and can see them for what they are.
Now people may be victimized by these individuals on rare occasions. Rape culture, sealioning, gas lighting, perpetuates a victimology. For others, it is so outside of their comfort level to recognize this evil in other people. It is easier to believe the liar and abuser than the victim.
I went to a pagan gathering. I tried to explain that the growing threat in our country of embolden sociopaths, that we need to be prepared. Love and light, and you are out and don’t fit. My language is too hard. And, “who hurt you”. Now at first, I thought that this is a legitimate thing to think of that a person has been so unlucky to be in the minds of being so hard and adamant. Okay, this is true. But I don’t deny, education, love, empathy and any means and methods to make bridges and establish communication between people. The Pagan communities are just starting to do this more than ever. The past 30 – 40 years, ego, and control of ones own empowerment, dealing all of the low level abusers, and cleaning them out of the community, there is this light, love and sense of maturity. Good, they have earned it.
Silence and retreat. “Who Hurt You”, not only made plain I was on the outside again, it presented me as a damaged person to the group and made what ever truth or value I had to offer null and void. Next verse same as the first. Silence and retreat.
My teacher called me a “white hat”. Everyone else was shopkeepers. We aren’t in the old west, and it isn’t evident to these good folk of the town, what it takes to protect them from the “black hats”. They may invite a white hat to dinner, but they will never be part of their social group or invited to play pinochle. A White Hat has to love these shopkeepers and what they stand for. But what shopkeepers see is someone harder, faster and meaner than the black hats, no matter how kind and caring they are in town.
The West African stories of the Oriesha and Loa from Ile’ Ifa or Voodou, don’t speak to this. All of the Oriesha and Loa fit the village except one or three. Ile’ Ifa or Voodou is a religion and its magic is supernatural dealing with these venerate ancestors and the supreme being Oludumare. The one who doesn’t fit is Ochossi. Ochossi is called the king of the witches. Witches are hated, they don’t venerate or work with the Loa or Oriesha. Their magic deals with power, the dead and power of the land. Usually they act selfishly because they are on the fringe of society. The African beliefs encouraged community, working with each other, in their beliefs, divination systems and stories. It took Abrahamic religions to destroy that.
All of the Oriesha and Loa have “roads” lessons to be learned or paths, that reflect in their adherents lives who have the influence or head of the Loa or Oriesha. The one Exception is Ochossi. His roads are hidden. He is respected by the old King Obatala or Damballah. But he is still not part of the village unless called upon to serve justice. He is part of the woods, and his other function is to find new places for new villages.
There comes a time when the old villages die or get murdered or the people destroy themselves. Ochossi helps them build that new village. Obatala is the new king for a short time and put to pasture.
He has experiences and insights that the village people will not and can not hear. They have no common frame of reference. The religion, and the Oriesha and Loa fit in the standard sets of emotions and experience expected out of a community and a culture. They make things comfortable. Ochossi isn’t allowed to feel comfortable. Thanks for having me as fifth wheel, I’ll go back to the woods, again. Silence and retreat.
There is one story that is hidden, that I learned. It is a side story for when the world was new, and the souls of the dead were wandering around, It was getting to be noisy and unhealthy for the living and the Oriesha and Loa. Yemaya the mother of the Loa and Oriesha was tasked of managing the souls. They are said to become fish. In other stories the fish went to the horizon and became stars, and returned to the earth to be reincarnated. The Sub-Saharan pre-Sumerian script that has elements going all the way across Asia the symbol for fish and star were very similar. It shows up in Egyptian cosmology and motifs. For this to happen, the Oriesha and Loa had to accept the touch of Iku or Death. Here is the hidden story, Ochossi chose to touch death or Iku himself. Ode was a hunter who had no name who loved Yemaya in some stories that bore the Oriesha. Ochossi was an ode, a hunter. His son, Er-Inle was a hunter and fisherman. Oshun didn’t keep her son, when Chango was around. Ode knew old magic, and old truth. He was one with the forest and the trees. Where did Iroko come from? Who did he learn what he taught Orunmila/Orunla? Ochossi had his magics. Er-Inle learned the ancient magics of Yemaya, and his tongue was cut out. He went to live in the swamp, a place for outcasts, with another Snake Oriesha/Loa Abata.
They can not teach people the truth, the magics, or their insights. They have carried it from lifetime to lifetime. Iku was an old old friend. Embracing Iku, they would find themselves as themselves in the next lifetime, under new circumstances. It is the hunter that helps build the new village, establishes its justice, and protects it from the bad influences. He is a leader for a very short while. He returns to the home that loves him and embraces him, the universe. He can travel back and forth from Obatala and Oludumare. Elegua knows of his travels, but hasn’t lived his experiences.
I can not speak the truth that people are not ready to learn to live with. We have to be there to build what is no more. Repair what no one thinks to fix. To work old and ancient magics that none are prepared to deal with. Self Sacrifice and embrace Iku, to make it work. The story of Aslan in Narnia, he knew of the deeper magic, that the ice queen didn’t. Self sacrifice brought him back to life.
This is why the roads are hidden. Not because they can’t be learned or experienced. It is because most people even spiritual ones are not prepared to do the sacrifices of the self to learn this path of ordeals and trials.
I freely chose this. Silence and retreat, is not my nature, but it is required, when you are not accepted in the village, even though you love the people and are willing to fight the evils that they can’t conceive of.
John here is this little book, eat it up, tarry till I come. Occasionally a rogue star will pulls stars to a new constellation. Heaven and Earth shall roll away, and a new Heaven and Earth shall unfold. Many mysteries. Each ineffable. Spoken and unheard are true nevertheless.
There will come a time where people will have to trust people who traversed hells and survived it versus the people who drag people into a hell and leave them there.
Side note: The apocalypse, when will it come? It will come as a thief in the night.
This biblical sidebar exemplifies the blindness and absolute complicitness of this age, the people of the United States, it’s Christians who pray and actively work toward the nihilism of the end of times. They have brought it upon themselves and are the very evil agents that have engendered it through their nascience.
Ancient numerology, Greek and Hebrew, do not reveal it. It is only revealed in modern numerology, that same number of the Sun 666. The beast is known as 666, is a thief in the night, a FOX. F = 6, O = 6 + 9 (remove the nines), and X = 6 + 9 + 9 (remove the nines) is 666. The whore of Babylon is known by the same number her name is Alec. ALEC; (A = 1) + (E = 5) = 6; (L = 3) + (C = 3) = 6. Modern numerology of a name takes the vowels and consonants separately. Together it adds up to a 3. Where is the last 6? ALEC is short for American Legislative Exchange Council which reduces to a 33 or a 6. Blind and complicit in its creation.
The Sun whose number is 666 was a metaphor for the Golden Emperor Constantine. The off gold 45 and love of gold, is but a servant.
Not speaking for the OTO and being a Thelemite, Babalon vs Babylon, and Baphomet are not of this biblical currents and metaphors. Like the yin yang symbol there is always a seed of the opposite embedded in a time and a place. Will it flower fully, only to those who keep the secret. What secret, ones that are published openly. Again the truth is there. Psalms 82 …. know ye not ye are gods…. and in the NT, you can become brothers and sisters of Christ. Not his children, but full siblings. There is no part of me that is not of the Gods.
I love this country, I served as a Marine, I do not love the government. The constitution was flawed and had the opportunity to be amended to fulfill its charter for Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Rome died. Various iterations of France’s revolutions died. Monarchies come and go. Greece who created the first Democratic experiment, died. Evolution comes with growing pains. And the old must give way to the new. The Brave and the Free will hold on to what this country was meant to be, while the rest, abandon Life, Love and Liberty, who are traitors and will succumb to their nihilism. May the Brave and the Free who hold sacred, Life, Love and Liberty survive to restore a people to a land to do what is right and good.
As a spiritual person, I don’t believe, I pursue to know. I do have one irrational belief. I believe in the inherent goodness of mankind. Sometimes I am justified in this belief, other times I am severely disappointed. This belief is not what one expects to exist, it is a belief as a prayer and internal work of Love to desire it to exist. In this hard exterior, is Love. That appears to be hidden and unseen except by those who share in the path and the work. The proof shall be in the work and its success.
Life, Love and Truth in harmony begets integrity. That is one half of the seed.
The Second Triangle of Immortality is Life, Love and Truth in Harmony creates Integrity.
The First Triangle is Mind, Emotion and Body in balance creates Spirit.
Spirit and Integrity creates and maintains Soul.
Truth is the singular most important thing that can help people get along and is the absolute necessity for Gods to exist and for anyone who wishes to obtain immortality in any of the World’s belief systems.
Cognitive Dissonance is the most singularly frustrating thing when dealing with people. It is when their brain’s operating system is based on emotions. They switch from one operating system to another by a constant flow of emotions. It is from this very flow of emotions people gauge their comfort level of information based on these emotions and how they evoke the next set of emotions. Sadly, cognitive abilities, analytical skills, and information don’t buffer well between these emotional states. There is an extremely limited overlap of information and abilities from one emotion to another and fail people miserably. Disjointed analytical tools live in different emotional operating systems.
People live constantly in cognitive dissonance their whole lives. The very purpose of meditation and contemplation is to create a singular state of mind which holds all the data and analytical skills in one place to grow and to be improved upon. Then no one can relate to these people because their emotions and data don’t match the patterns that make them comfortable.
Comfort and a fear from being made uncomfortable, beliefs from comfort regardless of the context of the thoughts and feelings don’t match what is expected, is out right rejected.
Cognitive Dissonance is the very playground sociopaths, psychopaths, FOX news, Conservative Think tanks & social media outlets, and every one in a culture that expects a specific sets of actions and reactions works from. It works because it is an empirical logic that shows for most of one’s actions works. It is lazy and economical requiring no thinking whatsoever. People think they think; however, listen to them say “I believe”, “I feel”, and “you should” which are all speaking from a set of programmed responses.
They take everything they think, feel and believe for granted. Because it feels right, they believe it to be true.
The sad fact is there is truth in each of these beliefs which is turned in to an actionable emotionally charged reaction. The context, and circumstances are missed.
Case in point, I posted a simple meme in the wake of yet another murder of a black man by police officers. “STOP KILLING BLACK PEOPLE”. That is it.
A good friend of mine simply stated All people’s lives matter. She cares about every one, is multi-ethnic and has a broad view of life. Another friend of mine gets triggered from what would sound like #AllLivesMatter. To put this in context of #BLACKLIVESMATTER as part of a post on Treyvon Martin’s Murderer, George Zimmerman’s, acquittal. Since then many other black people are being murdered or killed by police, in jails, and elsewhere. Many are innocent and demanding their rights. Lately in our society that will get you killed. Post Ferguson Missouri, with Michael Brown being murdered, white racist provocateurs who started shooting into a peaceful demonstration exacerbated an ever worsening situation. What came out at that time from white supremacist social media trolls, was a meme from conservative, bigoted think tanks: #AllLivesMatter. There was a space of time this meme got out into liberal environments and was embraced by well meaning people. Quickly people realized this was an attempt to “whitewash” and down play all the severe issues #BlackLivesMatter embraced. It was indeed meant to diffuse the this movement with a racist inference that white people lives matter. This created even more confusion with the intent of each. My friend did not mean to infer or embrace this whitewash propaganda tool. If you knew her this would be the last thing on her mind. My other friends were severely triggered and acted as if this was the intent. When people are getting verbally assaulted or have their sense of self assaulted, they fight back. They each did. Each of them I like and would want to spend a lot of time with. They all, if given a chance, would probably think everybody is a good and great person. The think tank that created this racist meme of #ALLLIVESMATTER succeeded in having people tear each other apart.
I shared something I feel and what should be a simple action and a simple truth.
I failed because what I said was empty without a personal action.
I failed because the problem is so much bigger than a simple meme.
I failed my friends because by sharing this it divided people who should work together.
To address these issues, and other issues like: rape, rape culture, corporate greed, citizens united, labor inequality, gender inequality, racism, bigotry, income inequality, lack of health care, lack of education, disability, retirement, healthcare, foreign policies, the enslavement of country by debt, corporate ownership and manipulation of government, foreign wars, wars that support an industrial complex, education inequality, economy, corporate tax loopholes, misogyny, hate groups, and so many others, they are all intertwined.
We are taught to label and put simple handles, to make how we deal with specific issues easy. They are based on beliefs, values and judgements, that are not necessarily our own. They are convenient rationalizations. For some they are decent, and others they are horribly bad. The fact is we don’t actually work with so many of these issues directly, however we feel a need to identify one way or another as if it defines us in society. And it does because it attracts and detracts the type of people we can work with at some level. It is a shorthand that is easy and natural. It is easy and natural for it to be manipulated by those who know these issues and people at a much deeper level. Because we believe we are in control of our lives, this thought that others control our very thoughts, emotions and beliefs is difficult to believe.
All these issues are so big, so massive, it is overwhelming. It is easier to focus on singular issues as an issue unto themselves. We have been taught to manage things with small incremental changes. This is a perpetual treadmill, a drudgery of paperwork,, housekeeping, bureaucracy, and industry to make everything and do everything as cheaply as possible, to further make us slaves to our work, culture and the way things are done.
What have we done? What activism have we done? Have we at least stood up for our friends? Have we taken care of the sick, the poor, or the disabled? Have we voted? Do we know or care what the local elections look like, what issues they are bringing? We have stood up for our friends. We share memes, and stories. Have we asked for facts, figures, and what the truth is, or do we just repeat what others have sent?
What can I, a single person, do? Do we know enough about others to stand with them and do a protest? Do I have bail money? Do I have friends, lawyers and a support structure to take care of me, my children, my family, and to keep them from being killed at least? And what do politicians and people in power care about protests, petitions, and our facebook memes? Nothing. Zip, notta, nothing. Zero. And if you do stir some truth up, a little funding here and there, and these nutjob provocateurs make the protesters look crazy, or shoot them, or cause other mischief. What is the effect? Again, zip zero nothing. We are supposed to stare at all the divisive emotional differences, without the depth of investigation they deserve only to be given emotional divisive issues to focus on.
We don’t have to convince the choir. The nutjobs aren’t on our friend’s lists. If they are they probably turned off following the sources to our memes. We have done that with theirs. Or we simply have unfriended those who are so heinously off into their own little world.
All the truth in the world won’t change scared, feeble minded people, who have lost their jobs, their retirements, their way of living, who have been made to be afraid of everything and everybody. They are fighting for the same little modicum of life and justice they use to have. Hell, people would be happy with what they have now. And they know they are losing it one bit of a time. They have been lied to by a society that is sociopathic, narcissistic and led by psychopaths, that care not one wit about them or any of us.
Is there anyone you trust? Heck, if you are following me on social media, you can almost guarantee people who are following me are decent people. Thank you for what trust you have in me to post or share things that matter to you, that supports you. Thank you for sharing things with me that uplift me and support the type of person I choose to be. I hope I do the same for you. Do you trust me? Do you trust the people that follow me and post stuff on my stuff?
Who thinks this stuff through and keeps updated on various things? I don’t know everything. Who tries to be fair and have a level view of things from multiple angles? Is that a leader or a politician? A politician works to get emotional support and tacit approval for what they do. A vote, in a corrupt, rigged, and representative of only the richest supporters is what you get. It is a game of charades. It use to be they at least played along and paid lip service to what we as a people care about. Instead of a meaningful platform, they took issues that would move people and assemble them as a campaign marketing tool. Can you trust them to get experts to tell them what to do?
So, what we do lacks power or leverage. Activism, voting, and through the most positive thing by education, and that is corrupted by propaganda, media and misinformation. Who can we trust? Do you have leaders? Do you empower them? Do you support them? Is the ideas, or ideals worth working for, dying for, worth sacrificing yourself for? Are they worth it? What are we worth?
Revolutionaries the thinkers, philosophers and ideas to make things better are systematically destroyed by those who have grabbed power. They promote what cements power in the vacuum left by the destruction of what was bad with what is the new evil corrupt mechanisms.
So when it comes to power, Truth doesn’t matter, and Lives don’t matter. The milieu of the existential angst of the powerless, prey on each other. And if they are motivated against powers that be, the underlying power of the new order is supporting it.
“I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.” Said by Jay Gould. Today, the NRA right wing, controlling the conservative right who are supporting our corporate neo-fascists are being souped up to kill minorities, anybody who isn’t conservative christian, and each other when it suits them.
“I don’t care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating.”Said by William M. Tweed This has been an ongoing strategy of the political parties, and those that sponsor them for most of our country’s life. Each segment of population that gets the vote, the outcome has already been predetermined.
Truth matters and Lives matters. They are our most precious resources that need to be cherished. We need leaders, and the truth is there is a cost to make them, to feed them and all the endeavors, that deserve our efforts, our lives and sacrifices. Because we have so few of them, we need to create them and back them up.
We have failed our country because we have let what is going on in the past 100 years or more happen. We have allowed ourselves to be blinded by mouthing platitudes, principles and morals without context, thought, review, or be guided by intelligence and spirit. We have allowed ourselves to be uneducated and to be led by valueless, misguided or misled politicians who become convinced of the sacerdotal kool aid offered by those in power. They have not listened to, nor supported those who sacrificed their lives to know the truth of things, and those who sacrificed their lives to make a better country for themselves and their children. We forgot to question, to fight for something greater than ourselves. We have been inured to people’s suffering, and engendered greed and selfishness as a virtue.
If we can not trust a few close people, how can you trust one to become a leader, to create the power to change society? The power is in us collectively, and we need a vision and a visionary to contain and wield that power, who is responsible to the people who would tear them to shreds if he or she betrays the people. Those who have economic power who hire mercenaries, police, politicians, lawyers, doctors and soldiers are responsible only to themselves and get the other people seduced by power and greed to kill each other off.
All Lives, Truth and Living don’t matter, if the truth is that you are powerless to change a damn thing. It doesn’t matter if we can’t talk with each other, trust someone to sort it out and back them up if you aren’t willing or able to do it yourself. If you can’t build a culture where we get along, then we are separated, manipulated and are a commodity for someone else’s use.
I have and still get beat up by trying to build the bridges between people. The fact is people still cling to their narrow ways generally, and rarely bridge that gap of understanding between individuals or groups. To manage the issue at large one has to have 50,000 foot view of the problem and be able to tend to those issues. People in general do not have the capacity to see that. Because they don’t have the capacity they can’t and won’t believe the person who is trying to help them bridge the gap. This was true 30 years ago and it is more true now. If you cannot get two cliques of of people to work together, over a simple issue, how do you manage this with large issues across a whole country?
If people could give each other a break, check their assumptions and their emotions, ask for clarification we might get dialogues going. If we are willing to entertain another person’s point of view we might be able to build bridges. If we cultivate people that can find a way between two points of view you create statesman. If we support people who bring better ideas, and trust people to develop better world, we might get a world that we may be more engaged in and trusting each other to become mutually decent citizens.
People Embracing Change is about building such a culture. I may be unworthy for such an undertaking. Maybe I am. Maybe you are. This will need a fundamental change in the way we think, feel and behave. And that is too scary. Lives will matter if we have absolutely honest relationships with ourselves, others and the world around us. That would be an act of love that is too scary to commit to. The Truth is we are too afraid to live a Life that Matters, or are crushed by those who are afraid of that change.
What we need to do is build and create, leaders, cultures and relationships. We need to study and speak to each other’s truths and experiences and build common ground. We need to acknowledge each other’s hurts and experiences. We have to be able to move beyond our hurts and our experiences, to build new lives. Build new Lives that Matter together. Then we will embody the living truth.
I saw Elders being pushed to the side over 25 years ago. And others going solitary.
I see some elders being respected in some communities.
It depends on the type of community and the personality of the groups of people drawn to each.
People noted the various influxes of Pagan/Wiccans that have joined the community. Some may choose a good initiatory tradition and stick with it, respecting and Elder.
Many that are taught a one true way ( and I have heard it called “The Wicca”) don’t leave room for those who see the basic Wiccan ritual format as a training mechanism. And those who take it as a religion versus those who pursue the magical spirituality of it.
This country in the mainstream and many of those who have joined suffer from the mainstream discrimination of ageism. And like others have said join a movement that helps them justify their lifestyle without a true type of morality and ethics.
And since the burgeoning of Wicca from the 60’s feminist empowerment era, and the 60’s in general, authority, organization and hope of respect of those of whom paved the way gets diminished when that attitude and culture is still present when they get “there” and represent that which was thrown out with the bath water.
Couple this with the fact that there are parasites and sociopaths, both “so-called” leaders and coveners, that are bane to the Traditionalists or any serious seeker.
I, a male from NY from those Female only times and places, through having had my own experiences that simulate what an initiatory tradition could have provided but then I could not culturally fit, for one reason or another. I had to go solitary. It is only after decades, and going where reputable long standing elders show up, do I get any type of recognition. The true ” The Wicca” and those religious and make stuff up as they go, to stroke their ego types, (sociopaths that have their enablers attack you) do every thing they can to keep you out their section of the community. Then I watch what larger community re-fragment.
When you see it coming, and people are conditioned to isolate themselves, sociopaths and narcissists take full advantage of that. Groups can’t get as big as they used to because of this influx and conditioning to respond to these types of people.
I haven’t seen one group in 20 years that teaches meditation anymore. The last Elder (now Past- Lady Amethyst) that taught anything about energy, vibration, and the reason for ritual adherence. Nor have I seen anyone speak to building an astral framework and ritual space except for Thorn Coyle.
I just listened to an Ifa traditionalists where the one Baba wanted to get people back to talk about the magical and spiritual work that the various paths of the Oriesha have versus the surface rituals and practices that people do. It is endemic to the spirituality of many traditions.
And it is part of the mainstream culture. No one trusts anyone, no group, no leader and wouldn’t know who to trust, to say that is a leader and for these reasons. People don’t waste time to listen to reasons, history, or exercise their own brain and abilities to think it through for themselves. People follow what gives them those feels, with no idea what or where it comes from, or who is manipulating it and how.
The Elders who try to teach any of these truly empowering things are shown the door with some sort of social kick in the pants.
There are few, who have good solid working traditions and people earnestly supporting them, If what you say is true makes you and yours rare of what and whom I know.
Here is the by-word, community, and by that diversity and leadership. Who do you trust, and how do you cultivate leaders? A tribe has those and multiple societies with different religious and spiritual traditions, along with a warrior, women’s, men’s and other practical day in and day out societies. That is what my group is working on. And yes we get next to zero interest. They don’t see a value in it. They want to see what’s in it for them.
And the Elders that say they are retiring from Wicca and going to more traditional witchcraft, being a witch, wizard, is the continuing study of self, lore and magical practices, and extending their relationship with the divine and nature, without being impeded by those who have made Wicca an altogether stultifying but small organized religion, managed by many, by many standards, who couldn’t earn a traditional third degree. Those who see the Gods and the spirits know.
And nowadays, vampires, the added extra bonus of spiritual environment and sociopaths, do what I want versus in perfect love and trust. Every larger meetup or gathering I go to, I and my group have to protect people from them. Witch by definition is what you do for yourself. Wicca is a religion and a framework, for some these magical training traditions. Shamans learn to serve a tribe. No Tribe, no community, no reliance on wisdom of elders, but the self serving of each little group manipulating each other. Yes many of us have had to survive, recuperate from burnout, or just be a victim of abuse.
Those of you have survived with a cadre of an honest tradition. I salute you.
I have seen Elders from various traditions manage to work together for a time here and there. The underlying lack of structure, and that thing that is a hypocritical stone stuck in my throat, working by consensus, that develops only the most skilled of the emotional manipulating leaders, that drive the core founders and workers away, no there won’t be a coherent community honoring Elders.
Again I am doing what I can to teach. Many are concerned with who I trained under, what traditions and how successful I’ve been without any context or understanding of what I know. The paucity of capable people who have had any adept experiences are few and the rest fake it, while flaunting a more marketable feel good group. People will get what they get.
Now that I put myself out here, I expect to be hammered. Have at it.
Most of those who have responded to this post what you say is true and good, and from your sets of experiences, I have seen also. I just hope the one thing in pagan communities are not interested in is community and leadership and culture is the very thing that they need. And now without any good culture to be based off of, one must be created to be a model not only for ourselves, but for the world.
A local leader in our greater Atlanta community came up with some great questions seekers should ask prospective teachers. I will narrate the answers as best as I can.
I also look at a western Pagan culture that is steeped and colored by Wicca that took it roots in the United States with Feminist movement of the late 60’s. The idea of god being female, and a religious group leader would be female was a strong incentive in our country that is steeped in misogyny and patriarchal cultural paradigm. Since then there has been a lot of reconstruction of pre-Christian pagan beliefs and practices. Some of it well researched, and much of it poorly researched. And a lot of it purely made up with poetic license. Natural born witches, people of personal power and ability, and groups had been hunted down wholesale, and whole villages of other schisms were put to the fire, the noose or sword. Others went underground, in secret societies, and family traditions, keeping in the mainstream, mostly working for society with what talents they could. They couldn’t advertise, and share. The didn’t have conventions, newspapers or mail lists. Each was dangerous. Wicca, by Gerald Gardner, the Sanders, Richard Buckland and Stewart & Janet Farrar brought Wicca out in its format. Leland brought a light of Italian witchcraft. Sybil Leek brought to light a family tradition, and others bit by bit. Where people couldn’t get the first hand teaching, others learned by books. Few lead by spirit. Many lead by Ego, seduced by the idea of personal empowerment.
I was born 1958 in Saratoga, NY. I lived at the edge of the Battlefield until I was 7. I went out as a child, wander in woods, the bog, the streams, enjoy the world as it was. I would sing to the birds in glossolalia and to the convocation of murders of crows. There was one woman that was a friend of my mother, told me not to speak such words, until I was much older. My mother took me to her house once, and I asked about the peacock feather. My mother told me not to ask about such things. She told me I could ask anytime I wanted. Many years later i found out it was an outward symbol of witches for people who were “in the know”. I never did get an opportunity to talk to her.
In 1965, my father, grandfather and uncle all died within months of each other. Two weeks after my grandfather’s passing, I was sleeping in the room next to his, and woke up early. I went downstairs, and heard more activity in that section of the house. My grandfather came walking down stairs. The world did a tilt out of 45 degrees and back. My grandfather said, “So long Sonny.” He stepped off to the side of the stairs, and proceeded in becoming transparent, then there was dust, and settled in a pile and it too disappeared. He was already buried for a while. And as long as I lived in that house, there were these werewolf like things with red eyes would visit me in spirit form.
This wasn’t my first spiritual experience. I was having one since my first memories when I was around two. In my sleep and day dreaming I would see two orbs swirling with a separate center and swirling around it like a golden orbs with thousands points of liquid sand. The other orb was swirling in its own sets of centers each moving. I have seen it mentioned twice. Once in an obscure reference by a yoga teacher, and in a book by the author of Falun Dafa, inferring it was a protection or an oversight by a spiritual being. My teacher taught me really what it was and how to create one and why.
My father and grandfather, went to spiritualists meetings in their day. My mother’s mother, read cards and palms, and taught my mother the basics of palm reading. After reading a friends passing that was a few weeks in the future, she gave it up. 35 years later I find out that those red eyed werewolves were fae, the English called them noggins, that inhabit marshy forests, just like the one across the street from our house.
How long have I been Pagan? How long could I be a Christian when I am dealing with psychic and paranormal phenomena without a lot of ostracization and discrimination? Many Pagans and Wiccans I know of pursued these beliefs from a need of self-empowerment. They come from dysfunctional families, cultures and bullied by their peers for any number of reasons. Many faced the misogyny of the culture. Being a person of color, or large size (fat or big), smart, with a control of ones own thinking and not blindly following “what everybody else does”, one gets scrutinized and abused accordingly. As a Baptist I was narrowly accepted. Were I in the mountains, I’d be one where the hand of fellowship would be “withdrawn”.
I wasn’t aware of all the cultural shake ups, and the exploration that others were doing in the 60’s. I was surrounded by old, conservative, albeit a family of Liberal party members in upstate NY. My mother was a depression era parent, yet liberal for her day and age. She knew what condoms were and was popular. As if that secret could be kept. Two books changed my life. I received a copy of “Stranger from a Strange Land”, by Heinlein. And I purchased a book named ” Tibetan Yoga, Secret Doctrines” by Dr. Evans Wentz. I taught myself meditation, and started getting a handle on lucid dream, plane walking (took years to understand that), and refined my intuitive and psychic awareness. I was 14, in 1972, for the lack of any social outlet, I joined a Baptist church. When you are so out of step from the insanity of illogical people rarely, anything, including adults made sense. When your parents and their parents are all closed lip and kept things close to their vests, along with self absorbed neurotic burying of core traumatic events, rarely do you get an honest dialog with anyone. The neighborhood my mother moved to was an exit community. People coming of the city, with all the dregs and hangers on trying to drag them back down, and all those who no matter what they did their own impulsed drag them and their families back down to these lower rungs of society. The most social order was the drug gangs and their comradery. I was not part of any group. I was an outsider with a unique perspective looking in. With an IQ of 180 at that time, I had skipped 5th grade. I was one or two years younger than my peers, and had nothing in common with those my own age. Also I was 5’10” 180 lbs, when I was 13.
As a Christian, and my only known source for any type of supernatural intervention and support, I called upon the only God I was familiar with. I asked for the wisdom of Solomon, a.k.a. the wisdom of God, and after prayer and a progressive fast of 40 days, I had a vision. And to find out, the name of God I called and a got a response to was ‘El”. Years later do I learn about the large Canaanite Pantheon and all the predecessor cultures and evolution of this God’s names over the previous 3000 years. I was told I would be released in 32 years. I was exposed to more and more things. And I had to learn how to deal with them. Not unlike Siberian or Tuvan Shaman learn to deal with spirits. Here they are, deal. Most people are familiar with the White Shaman traditions that deal mostly with spirits and initiated with a Shaman’s sickness. The Black Shaman learn. A lot of learning and experiences happened when I was in the Marine Corps. I had to deal with a Satanist that had invoked demons, performed an exorcism, and two “soul retrievals”, along with being attacked by demons a dozen times in two weeks. I got external verification of what I saw and felt by other people with talents. I learned to do what I had to do. Otherwise I think I would be severely messed up. The basic exercises in the Tibetan Yoga book, the discipline, the meditation and cultivation of energy helped me to a great degree. At the end of the two week period of being attacked several of us observed a being that called itself Ashura. (Japanese war god, and Hindu Asuras (jealous gods)). The situation that presented itself was that there was either , I accepted this as God’s will, God was messing with me (yes he was) or there was a much bigger supernatural and paranormal world out there (Oh yes very much so). I was 21, and Pagan was a label that I had to slowly assimilate into.
As a seeker, trying to get an education with, with an essentially dismantled GI bill, going to work, and finding anything and anyone that I could learn more from, was difficult. The few groups in the area were women only. We had Marcia Pickands who was adopting the Sangreal Sodality ceremonial magic methodologies for William Gray’s version of Kabbalah. The particular problem she saw with me was that my experiences had already outstripped any of the initiatory processes that ceremonial initiations had to serve. My experiences and my processing of them would not mesh with those of that group or for that matter many others. She suggested I start teaching myself. This is 30 years ago. Traditions and revelatory initiations provide a context for spiritual development. Just as school and other rites of passage. In those cultures each of those have a context. Shamans have that opportunity. In Siberia, Altai and other areas, the spirits work directly with individuals. If they are lucky they have another shaman to help them develop their role in society. Other type of shaman develop their skills on their own or teach individuals that have the skill, but it is a one to one mentor protege type of relationship. I have spent a considerable amount of personal effort to understand different spiritual methodologies and experiences from many different viewpoints. My personal teacher that I found at age 50, had teachers from his own family that was Native American, but not on a tribal list, trained by teachers who adopted him in NE California and Nevada, and others in the 4 corners area. He was taught by a teacher in Korea. Some of it was traditional, much of it was from a group of practitioners who shared their knowledge. This wasn’t something typical either. My experiences and takes on them meshed with his and his experiences, and decided to teach me more. I was taught some non-traditional methodologies and practices and most of the common practices I had pretty much knew or had learned. It is nice to get some confirmation after all those years.
369 books listed http://www.librarything.com/catalog/Archonstone Most of which I read. Many are resource books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc. Some of the books are on anthropology, psychology, philosophy, religion, practices and other assorted and related topics.
Books I’m reading currently, Ba Gua Circle Walking Nei Gong 2012, Kriya Secrets Revealed 2013, Ling Bao Tong Zhi Neng Nei Gong Shu 2015, Meditations by Aurelius 1997.
I am sure I have read other books along the way, some lost, some pilfered by others, and many skimming through at libraries. And no I don’t remember all the book details. I do try to make sure they are valid, academic, or at least supported by traditions, and can some hermeneutic scrutiny can be made on the contents of the books.
I have supported CUUPs briefly at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Schenectady NY in 1990. I led a couple of the Sabbats, with a third degree individual as a mentor. He was satisfied that generated the type of space and energy that third degrees would do. (With this out of context and not in a traditional setting, it is what it is. I was glad that the participants found the ritual useful and transformative. ) The UU got a new minister and the congregation changed its focus to more conservative christian focuses.
In the late 80’s, I supported a group called Heathens on the Hudson. This ended up being a drumming group, with one woman who was a multiple addict, got into Reiki, and had issues that took control of that group. The group disintegrated. I left before it fully degenerated.
I ran a computer Bulletin Board Service (BBS) called the Wizard’s Workshop. It was designed, to help people explore what their path may be. Most needed to know they are not a freak, and other people have talents. No they aren’t evil, wrong, and no they don’t have to follow the first “so called” experts that come along. Use critical thinking, question what these people are about. Guard their sense of selves, they don’t have to bow down to any one, ask questions, and not to feed the vampires. There were a lot of predatory types in the upstate NY and capital district area during that time.
One reason why I may have difficulty with people. My hard life and personal history doesn’t make me relatable. I don’t deal with people who lie and take advantage of other people. It is exceptionally difficult to be in a position to help others, when a sociopath sees that you have good intentions and targets you with their cultivated enablers. When you are targeted for being male, large, too intelligent, geek, nerd, experiences that no one can relate to, too young and now too old, too conservative too liberal or whatever leverage du jour that has little to do with what I know and what I can show people. Lastly, I have gotten to the point where I value my time and energy, and won’t give of myself indiscriminately, to be used over and over by people won’t value what I have to offer beyond what they can take advantage of.
If you are a seeker, what might be about you that you shouldn’t use me as a teacher. If you are looking for an excuse to live without ethics or morals. Personally, I am an ethical hedonist. People who look for justifications for bad behavior, don’t waste your time. If you are looking for power over people. I am not good at that and even if I were I wouldn’t teach you. How do you serve the people? If you believe magic doesn’t require work. To progress, work must be done. There are practices that need to be done more or less daily. And the practices build on each other. If you can’t do that, then you will not progress, and won’t have the experiences that I can help you with a new set of exercises to discover for yourself. At one point I become a guide. Not a teacher. Once you have experiences, that we can relate to, then we will have a common frame of reference to talk about it. Until then, there is no talking or teaching that will get you there. And it will be evident that you haven’t done the work. T. Coyle’s book infer this in her own teaching from the Feri tradition. As part of a tribe and a community, there has to be a desire to work to some sort of service.
What type of person won’t fit into People Embracing Change (PEC) the tribe. Anyone that fails with the above. Magical traditions and methods can vary. The ultimate spiritual goals can be vastly different. What can not be different, is that we have to sophisticatedly work with each other as family, society, community and tribe. If you have no respect for people who have been there, and cause drama to tear apart any structure, method, or tradition, then you won’t develop the skills and understanding to be respected enough to actually help the tribe to evolve. People who think they know, when they are just there for themselves, will destroy a group very shortly.
As long as there is an interest in the group, I will be giving about 6 hours a week to the group. Some of that is prep time for the classes, or focus on organizational issues. The rest of the time is divided between work and family.
PEC is still just starting. Several starts of classes have been on and off for the past 8 years. There were two starts of classes we had self serving people come in and prey on others. This again is in that fragile beginning. Enablers won’t be supported. They will be asked to leave with the sociopaths. There was one group where we had an open eclectic social sabbat group. There were different people with their own agenda’s all vying to make and hold the group to their influence, it started disintegrating. Trying to expand the group and functions, the vying to control each aspect and squash what couldn’t be controlled, caused the group to explode. The details are only important to describe human behavior. I have learned my lesson. I for one wanted to see that type of Sabbat keep going as a social and community event. I and a few others wanted to add classes and other type of spiritual groups and practices.
PEC has its organization outline, it is inclusive, but with ethical guidelines. It allows people to have multiple paths, of study, and development. In the end, community, family and developing a sophisticated and healthy supportive culture is more important. One’s spiritual path can’t be devoid of having a meaning in a context with the world and community. The last time anything like this has been done, is when tribes have hived off to create new tribes. From my studies, this hasn’t been done in more than 400 years, and the last places may have been by Native Americans or West Africa. So we are doing this with no current precedence.
We are currently planning 4 – 6 hours a month in classes and lectures.
Sabbats are run by Elders currently until there are enough trained individuals or society groups, that have been formed have taken it on as a service, rotated with other society groups.
Number of books for each level of training. There are no levels, except what is respected in one’s work and development. The books to read will be suggested. There will be no deep teaching unless people put in the work to study. Depending on the individual’s temperament, direction of study, we will make recommendations.
Each spiritual group, whether it is Wicca, Heathen, lodge work, will have their own internal organizational methodologies.
As part of the tribe, each member must be belong to some spiritual society for personal development. Council members must be a leader from one of these groups, to represent the group. To become an elder, they need to experience and develop an ecumenical skill set with different groups. Show a deep understanding of the group, the people and a sophisticated skill set to develop leaders and encourage the tribe to grow and work toward resolutions. Elders focus is the growth and transformation of the tribe. Cultivate leaders and a culture that can be cherished, transmitted, and evolve to meet the needs of the people. This is no small task. They will need to develop respect from each of the Elders and all of the council members, and a trust from Tribal members. Without it there is no leadership. As Elders it is coaching others to develop their leadership abilities. To help build respect and how to work with each other, along with developing conflict resolution.
We are looking at some sort of recognition ritual and methodology. Some of it needs to be managed from each magical society, others by service. We have ideas, but they won’t make a difference until we all start working together, to make it a working cultural idiom.
The structure of the public classes will be based on the published curriculum. This is to help individuals to understand the basics to psychic development, and the different levels of magic so that they can decide their own path, and have the basics to understand individual groups, methods and objectives and see if it matches their own. As it develops there will be more advanced classes added to the schedule.
All material I have is published online. My bibliography is listed on-line. Classes may shift depending on the individuals needs and the questions that are asked to help with individuals growth at the time. As I write, I will keep adding it to the web site. Other material will be in books, to be read on site. Individuals will need to invest in themselves, and groups into each other.
People can hang out and learn. If individuals become disruptive to other students they will be asked to leave.
Societies that have their own initiatory traditions or revealed traditions, if they desire to be part of the community can close various levels of training to the tribe and or their particular group.
We do not allow illegal use of drugs. We have respectable jobs and do not wish to lose our careers nor endanger others careers with illicit behaviors.
Alcohol may be available to post ritual feasts. But in general this is a bad habit to get into. We will not encourage it.
The Elders and I support polyamory and other lifestyle choices. If the choices are about honest and ethical relationships. Until we start having larger celebrations, we expect people to retire to their own homes.
All individuals are to hold each other’s dignity and safety a priority. Sexual predatory behavior will not be allowed. Such behavior will be a reason to dismiss people from the tribe. Adult flirting and other type of behavior as long as it is consensual and not making each other uncomfortable, we are not against this. Common sense is needed, respect for people checking in each other. And no means no. We prefer that people use explicit consent.
What type of leader am I?
Honestly I don’t know. It really depends on the people who share the dream. How I can facilitate that dream. What other leaders and individuals who want to build something greater than themselves.
I hope I can teach. I hope I can create a passion for developing spiritually. I hope I can inspire people to study. Study magic, people, society, others, and most importantly to love, each other, the community and a country that needs a better way than what it is doing to itself now.
If I can’t build a better world with one model at a time, I hope I can find at least one person that I can teach all that I know to. I don’t want all that I have learned to be lost.
Archonstone. What is this nickname moniker that I have chosen. Archon is by a Greek definition an elected leader. As a Gnostic term it is a being that heralds a new age. A stone is a worked rock. A stone is used as middle eastern metaphor for a person’s skull and sometimes a seed, from a fruit or a grain. The root letters are similar and can be used as a spiritually laden pun. I want to be a seed for something that worthy to be grown and cultivated in the future. A stepping stone, for a new eon of human evolution. Or at least a new age. My original Pagan name was Witan. It was a handle I used in the BBS days of the late 80’s before the internet. I ran a BBS called Wizard’s Workshop that was dedicated to magick, philosophy, and religion. Like any BBS of the day it was targeted by hackers and I lost a lot of my investment from them destroying my computers from that activity. The Wizard’s Workshop was held every other Sunday afternoon. It helped people psychic talents recognize that they were normal, not some bedeviled, possessed individual. That there were many paths out there. Maybe not in that area. There were books and precedents for many things they experienced. We did some spiritualists exercises, that helped hone our skills and give each other feedback on what was being done. When the internet replaced the BBS and there IRC chat rooms, Witan was a common moniker used by different people, and some very vocal rabid individuals that devolved that social media into another quagmire of drama and mediocrite, and who claimed I wasn’t who I was. I chose this moniker for its complex, rich and challenging meanings for me to grow into. I am still working on that.