Not that long ago, I remember the Pagan blogosphere was dotted with a few pieces answering the question of what the writer wanted to see the Pagan community build. A few folks mentioned shrines, temples, and sanctuaries as possibilities. And I do somewhat recall John Beckett making a notation of a Pagan-oriented seminary collegiate type of environment. In a recent post, Jason Mankey made a point about a Pagan Broadcasting Network. All of these are fantastic ideas, in my opinion.
I even have visions of all these ideas being combined into one. A Pagan collegiate campus, focused on religious studies, with a Pagan Broadcasting Network hosted in one of the buildings. All of it encapsulated and integrated into a forested environment, where the environment is allowed to grow wild. The broadcasting arm of the campus would provide audio and video materials of talks and lectures from many different Paths, and the music of Damh the Bard, Wendy Rule, Fionn Tulach, and many others would amble along the airwaves. A vision that truly grabs at my professorial heart and appeals deeply to my Pagan soul.
But I also have to be somewhat realistic. The chances of me seeing a vision such as this happen within this lifetime are fairly remote. Sanctuaries, Pagan musicians, and even Pagan-oriented collegiate environments are a reality. So how far down the road do I see this vision of my own? To be completely honest, I have no idea. It could be five years, it could be fifty. But this idea of a “building” vision got me to thinking about what I would like to see from the Pagan community on a smaller scale.
There’s a lot of things that I could desire from my Pagan community. I am proud of the way my local Pagan community stepped forward to donate canned goods and blood during last year’s Pagan Pride Day. But more intriguing to me, is the idea of a collegiate scholarship fund for a student looking to head to college. For me, the degree would be immaterial to the point – instead, I look at the fund as a monetary manner to invest in the future of our Community. I am not sure of the specifics related to this entire train of thought – that’s not the point. Plus, I have no idea what such a fund would take to get it running and such. But it is certainly a dream that I would love to see giving a chance.
But really, I am sure there are plenty of other dreams that people can have in regards to this question. After all, the Pagan community is a rather large, and quite a diverse group of beliefs and points-of-view. In the end, any and all of the visions that can be dreamed of really lead to one point – what do we envision for the future of our community? How do we go about continuing to build and grow our community? And considering the current growing pains that the Pagan community at large currently faces — this is quite the same as asking a six-year old child what he/she wants to be when they grow up. The resulting answer is likely to be quite different than the answer that eventually arises. And while the final answer may not be quite what was originally dreamed of – oh, think of the full, wonderful set of experiences that combined to bring that child to that point in adulthood. I certainly envy the experiences that the child will go through – having been there myself. And how I relish the experiences we shall go through as a Community, as we continue to grow towards the dreams we dream together….