Wednesday, January 12, 2011
The Fading Face to Face
I have been on a break for the last few weeks, a mixture of being on vacation with the fam out east, and having a new day care child that doesn't sleep during nap times... whoops there went my daily blogging hour! It is funny to me the posts that I see on pagan message boards when I come back from an extended leave. There are always a few newbies asking for book recommendations, and a ton of replies suggesting Cunningham. And a few spell begging posts, and people asking about recommendations for their witches bottles or the sort, and the occasional post about what people are doing the nearest holiday, and a collection of a few other fluff pieces. And now we also have the Youtube videos. This is the one that is new to me. When I was a newbie, you had to seek out the nearest pagan meet up and then attend and sit around a camp fire or coffee cup and enjoy conversations with the elder folk. So now we don't have to do that.. we can just sit in front of our computer and watch a video or 20 about random pagan topics and cut out the face to face time with the crones. To me this was a very important lesson. Sitting around and learning how to show respect to elders of the community and learn to ask questions and hear the stories of the past was a wonderful time. Not only was it a learning experience, but it was a fun one where we got to hear the inner workings of naughty crones and have a community. It also kept alive an oral tradition that pagan folk have enjoyed for millenniums. I feel that this lack of community is hurting pagans more than helping them. Technological pagans in our times have the benefit of gathering large amounts of information on their own. This is an amazing advance for us. But by letting the face to face, no electronic devices needed convos die out, we are loosing so much. Meeting "face to face" allowed for pagans to form communities, even if it was solitaries meeting each other for special holidays. It allowed a sharing of ritual and things we probably normally wouldn't have research (internet or not) on our own. It was a way to learn crafts, food, survival skills, music, buy homemade goods and more within the pagan community. It tested boundaries with different lifestyles such as naturist, vegan, poly-amorous, and more. Now pagans can just log onto Youtube and watch the newest pagan- Julia Child give the best recipes to pagan bliss. And I know some people have trouble finding meet ups and gatherings, but that is part of it. You have to work to find it, it is supposed to be a journey.