My Gods tend to keep me leashed and tethered to specific things. There are some folks who understand the meaning behind this. Others will attribute this to my desire to be a slave that is led from one place to another. In the end, what others understand makes no difference. I cut my Bargains a while back, my position, duties and requirements were laid out very clear and concise. But clear definitions do not always carry clear labels with them.
Not a Priest, Not a Shaman
Some of what I am asked to do, some of the roles I am asked to assume…well, these cross-over into the territories of the Priest and/or the Shaman. But I am neither. Those titles – and their respective definitions and duties – are not for me. Others have those roles, and perform those functions and duties as their Gods require of them. Nor am I an appointed Guardian of some ancient wisdom or relic. In fact, even with thirty-plus years of experience within Paganism, I am still very much a babe in the woods when it comes to learning where I am in this world. That much was made crystal clear to me. Divination, while not forbidden to me, is something I am completely terrible at. And spell-work, well I tend to use it as a completely last resort in solving issues for myself.
The truest measure is that I am never really quite sure exactly what my role is, within Paganism. I have no area of mastery, and not much talent towards any one direction. Perhaps, I am what is referred to in the Information Technology industry as a “Generalist.” Of if it is a bit more preferred a jack of all trades, and a master of none. But I wonder if this is a bad thing…
Specialization is Important
Let’s face some aspects of reality here. Being a specialist is an important thing. In common vernacular, a specialization means that you are considered to be an expert in the subject matter. For instance, my first Masters degree is titled as “Master of Information Systems Management”. The point being that I was taught a specialized skill of how to manage Information systems resources within a Business environment. Looking for a system or a data set that will help you decide if your company needs to upgrade its production line? You would turn to an information system to gather the required data points, and place everything into a report or series of reports to help determine that need. Its a simplistic perspective, but my job would be to manage the system that would handle all the data and computations related to the determination. My degree did have a specialization with it as well: “Information Systems Security” which denoted that I was further specialized in the methodologies and technologies related to the protection of the systems, processes and data related to said information systems.
The same can be said for seeking information or assistance within the Pagan community. You need a Tarot reading related to a specific question or issue? You are likely to seek someone that is extremely well skilled in such divinatory practices. Me? Doubtful I would be your first choice. Or even your one-hundredth choice – unless I was your only choice. You would be much wiser to seek out someone with a much better skill at reading what the cards may provide for you. But like I said, in a pinch, I can do that for you. Nine Hells, I would likely know someone I could direct you to, who would be a better choice than I. I could even introduce you.
Does It Really Matter What Role You Have?
So, if I had to design a perspective for myself, I would definitely call myself a Generalist, in terms of Paganism or Druidry or what have you. I would hardly call myself an expert in any particular area of Paganism. Well, except being an expert on how Paganism works for me. But really, does it matter what role you might have? Do you have to have a lead role in the play? Would you be satisfied with a background role, provided that the overall play was superbly awesome? Because it takes more than a lead role to make everything work. I learned that in the United States Air Force through their Leadership Schools. Everyone has a role on the team. And every role is important to the overall mission, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem to be. Not everyone is meant to be a pilot in a fighter jet. Still the jet doesn’t fly without munitions placed on it. The jet doesn’t fly without fuel put in the tank. The jet doesn’t fly without maintenance, routine and otherwise, being diligently performed on it. The maintenance, munitions, and fuel do not get to the plane without transportation, communication, and yes, even paperwork, being completed on-time. None of that happens without the base being secure, the mess halls serving food, and all the other associated parts.
Like I said, my Gods keep me on a leash or a tether in regards to what I do. Its not much. Its not even seen. I’m not even supposed to be specific about it. But I do it. Why? Because I gave my word. Sure, some of it comes back on to the measure of battling against the Storm that everyone speaks of. But my word is more important in that regard. Leashed, tethered, oath-bound…my focus is small and narrow, and They insure it stays that way. I do not see all of the big picture, nor do I need to. I just need to do what I am supposed to do. What I agreed to. Its really that simple.
Specialization? Not really. Not for what I do. If there is any specialization to be found, its that I can fulfill any necessary role as needed. I won’t be the star MVP compared to whoever’s spot I am holding the gap for. But I will be adequate enough until the individual(s) that need to be there arrive. or until I can get you to the people that can really help you. There seems to be a lot of specialization within the wider arching community, but truth be told, I’m happy being in the position of the Generalist. I may not know everything about a single subject, but I try to broaden my knowledge to at at least know something about a lot of things.