Many have tried over the past ten years. After all the time, energy, and money those of us have put into this community. I have come to know how communities work. It's about setting aside all your differences. I have only seen a handful of people do it. Community is not about entitlement, nor personal gain, it's about working for the greater good of the community in a reciprocal process of care and support. It means we look after each other regardless of our differences.
Druidism encourages a love of each other by fostering the magic of relationship and community, and above all a love of life, by encouraging celebration and a full commitment to life – it is not a spirituality that tries to help us escape from a full engagement with the world.
What makes a community is in no small part the willingness to at least try and accommodate anyone who wants to be part of it. Community means negotiation, hearing differences, accommodating the diversity of wants, needs, outlooks, and intentions. It means people working together, not gurus or other forms of ‘glorious leadership’. Sure, having people in charge of one aspect or another can be productive and necessary, but in a community, that’s about getting stuff done, not an ego trip.
I am reminded by the words of Wiccan author Kerr Cuhulain and founder of the order of Paladins “You go into a dojo, and you put on a black belt. It doesn't mean you are the master. What you are doing when you put on that black belt you are telling everybody in the room to ‘test me’ I am prepared to be tested.” In Covens of witchcraft rather than Wicca or witchcraft you go through a series of initiations. Through each stage of initiations, you get a colored cord. This cord is your measure. A 3rd-degree witch has a black cord. In Karate, A black belt is a master. If you think your battle stops, when you become a 3rd degree, you would be wrong! The challenges still come. No matter where you go you will always have challenges and you will be measured by the “belt” you put on. If you say you are a High Priest and expect everyone to respect you for that title alone. People will test you to see if you are for real. Just like any Sensei or Shifu in Martial arts, if they enter a school or training center that they are not known in, and say I am Sensei or Shifu, they will be challenged to a sparring match. Why? Because to say you are a master is to say you are willing to be tested.
When I put on the title of Magister, meaning Teacher, Magick Practitioner, or a teacher of Magick. I knew that I would be challenged according to that. I have had my fair share of tests, trials, or challenges and still have them. This community has tested me in many ways and I have stood up to everyone. I learned many things along the way. Patience with people was one of them. It has not been easy to be in service to this community and the challenges have been difficult and still are difficult but I haven't given up like so many have. I have the perseverance to continue the fight. The fight to see this community a better place. Some would rather see me not do this. But I ask you what are you doing to make a positive change in this community? What have you done to try to make a positive change? Just remember, when you put on the Title of a witch, druid, or whatever in the community you will be measured by title.
Going around pointing fingers and casting blame is not making a positive change, talking negatively about others behind their backs is not a positive change. These behaviors just make you look dishonorable and childish. It does nothing for the community, other then, further causes a rift that divides us. As pagans, we are a minority, and we should be helping each other to raise to our fullest potential as practitioners. I would like to see more pagans set up and make a positive change in the community, even if it's something simple like attending a meeting, class, filling out a survey, or letting a teacher know that you want to learn this or that subject. Let's work together to bridge the gap in the community. Let's heal, not harm. Now go out there and be glorious!
Magister Jay Woodwolf