The “spooky” season of the Wheel is right around the corner. Some would argue that its already here. Me? I’m not much of a horror film fan, so the “spooky” side of Samhain doesn’t appeal very much to me. (Sorry to disappoint those of you that really get into that stuff) This time of year is usually the start of the deep dive that I take into my personal Spirituality. Where I eventually surface, I never know. So, I have no idea where things are going to eventually take me.
Many times, in the past, this time of year has brought about questions of the future. Where are things going? What will Paganism look like in the near term? What about the far-flung future? What contribution will I have made towards the future? How will I have shaped the future? How am I shaping the present?
All of this presents an aspect of heady thought, much of which can be reduced to a single perspective: am I really THAT important? I tend to shrug off the idea that I have any true importance in the wider Pagan community. I have no desire or motivation to be considered as a motivational aspect of Pagans, or even Druids. I’m not trying to shape Druidry or Paganism into something that I believe it should become. I’m not arrogant enough to believe that I am someone who has the answers for anyone, other than myself. My Path is aimed towards trying to do better by myself by trying to be the best individual that I can be.
I write the blog. Its never been for me or even about me. Instead, my (hopeful) focus has been to provide advice to those that read it. Whether that be now or sometime into the recesses of the future. In a manner of speaking, I’m trying to be a narrative history of what Paganism, and Druidry mean to me. Perhaps, someone will find some synchrony in what I write with their own Path. That what I leave behind will turn on that light in their own thinking, providing them with an easier direction in adding to their own lives.
I write my journals. Each day, I spend a few moments at the end to surmise what’s happened, as well as what’s on my mind. In many moments of synchrony, what I write in the blog tends to mirror what I wrote in my journal. After all, what’s on my mind is what’s on my mind. 😊 Should my journals somehow survive beyond…maybe someone gets something out of those as well. Perhaps a future ancestor. Who knows?
Perhaps, what I consider to be the biggest imprint that I can leave behind for the future is the interactions that I have with others. Whatever my lasting imprint will be with those people, will likely be the legacy I am remembered for. For some folks, there will be a happiness that is my imprint. For others, my imprint will be one of disappointment or anger. Look, I’m not fooling myself into thinking that everything I’ve ever done is “good”, “happy” shit. I’m no choirboy. However, considering this time of COVID, with enforced solitude, those lasting impressions are not done face-to-face as much. Rather its managed through video conference, and more so through written communication. But its there, for better or worse.
Am I THAT important? Do the things I do help to shape and reshape Paganism within this day and age? I would posit that the answer is yes. Not just for me, but for everyone out there. Everyone supplies the change and reshaping of Paganism as we continue to move forward into our future. You might think that you don’t, but you do. We all do. Because we’re living it every single day with everything that you do.
Paganism, for better or worse, is moving into a realm where the individual is becoming more and more important. As an individual that does not work in groups, this move only feels “natural” to me. For those that are wedded to groups being the be-all, end-all – it can be construed as a disaster in their minds. The reality is probably closer to being cyclical, in the end. Somewhere in the Past, the practice of Paganism (or whatever alternative descriptive there may have been for it) was more likely done in solitude and secret. I have no proof for that statement, only supposition on my part. However, looking at where things are in today’s modern Paganism, I would posit that this move to a more grounded, individual practice comes from that potential cycle.
The reality is that this potential cyclical change doesn’t matter. What matters if what you believe, what’s in your heart, how you connect to environment around you. What you call it, doesn’t matter. How you do it, doesn’t matter. What matters is that you do it.
Yes, I do wonder about the future of our collective modern Paganism. I do wonder what all of this will look like in ten or twenty years. I do wonder what effect I will have had on that future Paganism. No matter how small or insignificant. What would it be? What shape will it have taken? What I realize is that it really doesn’t matter what effect I will have had on the future Paganism. What matters is how I effect my own approach on Paganism within myself. The shape that my effect will take is in the shape of myself. A shape that may physically disappear over time, but it will have been here. It will have provided the energy that I put into my practice. It will be supplied by my own motivation and drive. Because I am here.
Paganism, in whatever form it has been, currently is, or will eventually come to be – happens because of each of us. Each new Pagan, the passing of our Elders and those before their time, our explorations into new experiences, new environments…all of that continually shapes and reshapes our collective Paganism. Wiccans, Druids, Witches, Heathens, Love-and-Light Pagans, and so many more make up the multi-colored quilt that we are. We keep adding patches and pieces, creating something unique and cherished. That’s what the future will be…what we make of it. What we add to it.