In my mundane life (what a strange term that is), I teach classes in Information Technology and Business Applications. In order to keep up with the changes in technology, I keep a sharp eye on the Technology and Business news. But I also spend a lot of time reading about the past as well. One area I find particularly exciting is that of the world of hardware. People tend to remember Steve Wozniak and the beginnings of the home computer revolution. The reality is that this particular era was the second generation of the modern computing revolution. Doug Englebart, J.C.R. Licklider, and a host of others led the original charge. The revolution of mobile technologies has hastened in another new era of the modern computing field, as well. Each successive generation has yielded inventive and innovative new ways to approach the basic technology of computing devices.
Paganism is going through an understanding of the same process. Well, modern Paganism, I should say. I’m not going to debate the where and when or even the makeup of a “generation” – but I will lay out what I personally see. The first generation of the modern Pagan – in my estimation – starts in the late 1950s or early 1960s. The primary concern seemed to be on finding the Path and laying the foundations for the next generation. Exploration, if you would like to consider that terminology. The next generation starts somewhere around the mid-to-late 1970s. This particular generation moves forward with exploring a bit further, laying the foundations in those directions, and expanding on the conceptual aspect of “magick” and the processes that it encompassed. The next generational step comes in the early 1990s, and brings a deeper concern into the background research for what is formulated as Paganism. This also leads into an exploration of ritual – both from a format perspective and a manner of free-form expression. There are also areas of concentration in the aforementioned aspects – but not nearly as free-reaching as before.
Now, if you’re hung up on the precise aspects of what I am describing above – then you are not quite getting where I am headed. I’m not here to debate any of the above observations – in fact, none of those observations is primary to my point, merely expressions of it. This is about building upwards and expanding upon information and knowledge.
Each generational cycle – my personal observations noted above – takes the materials, lessons, information, processes, procedures, etc etc., and continues moving the ideal known as “Paganism” forward. Forget all that bullshit about Wiccans, Hellenists, Asatru, and what not…I’m talking about the wider concept of Paganism – the “big tent” that many folks refer to. Everything we do – every ritual we participate in (alone or in a group), every blog post we write, every podcast we make, every point we debate, and things I can’t even think about at the moment – every single bit of that is a part of the recorded memory of us all.
Its not about us as single individuals. Speaking only for myself, I don’t blog, podcast, or participate in my various Pagan communities (physical/online) to further my name or make myself into some BNP (Big Name Pagan) or into some better known “Priest”. Anyone who knows me well enough, is well aware of my dislike of titles, or being treated as a “celebrity” of any sort. I’m extremely uncomfortable in both situations.
What I do blog, podcast, participate, and communicate for is to further the overall perspective of the Pagan mind-thought. Its not about me. Its about the future generations that come down the line. I’m nobody special. I’m just a single voice. I am a teacher – whether I like that or not. And I do have a vision of what I hope for where Paganism is concerned. It might not happen in my current lifetime…but I know my singular voice can be added to the hundreds of thousands out there right now, which can be added to the millions yet to come — and we can and will be heard.
I look to the future of technology, and I’m excited. I see all kinds of possibilities. I look to the future of Paganism, and I’m ecstatic. I see possibilities for the immediate future, and the far-ranging future. I see where Paganism can heal a rift between our modern, technological society and the beautiful, fragile natural world that we are a part…where harmony can be achieved…in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — I have a dream, a dream of where Paganism can go, and where it can take us. And I want to share that dream….