Is Neopaganism finally coming of age?

What the mainstream really needs is not the flashy special effects. What many Pagans need is a healthy dose of reality.

I'm trying to decide how much of this is me and my changing perceptions (read: growing older) and how much is really representative of what's happening. I admit I'm biased, but I think the Neopagan movement is getting older.

We're not hip anymore. I believe that's good.

What that means is that the new seekers are less interested in the sex appeal and shock value and more interested in making a genuine connection to the Divine.

Without the ongoing eye candy of Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (disclaimer: I was a big Buffy fan) or even Hex, we're not "in your face" all the time. Face it, the reason we were "sexy" in the first place was because the public didn't understand what we are and because some among us tried to claim the magick in fiction as Uniquely Pagan Inspired™.

Without the possibility of a few unleashed demons here and there, or the Seduction of Innocent Children, we're really not so different. The fact is that our elders who aren't in it for the headlines are almost disgustingly normal. They're the people you wouldn't look twice at if you passed them in the street. No secret orgies or mass blood sacrifices or tampering with dark forces Man Wasn't Meant to Understand.

In reality, we're not the horror movie, we're just another human drama. Maybe a little more obsessed by the theatrical than some, but still human.

We always were.

Belonging to a particular group doesn't give insight to the universe. Belonging is a pretty passive thing. Practicing, exploring, experimenting, experiencing, that's what gives the insight. You have to go for the active instead of the passive. That's what gives you mastery. That also means burned fingers and bruises and cuts and scrapes.

The Story is not the Journey.

It's not about the costumes or the fancy jewelry or unusual tools.

It's about manifesting the Divine. That's the Mystery. That's the thing that should be with you.

If we're to live in this world, we have to be Modern Adult Pagans. The romance isn't important. If we're really "the Wise," it's not because of the colors we paint our fingernails, or the clothes we wear, or even our hairstyles. It's in the way we deal with other people. It's how we hopefully make this place a little better than when we found it. It's how we listened and kept mostly quiet. It's how we stuck to the rules until it was time to break them.

I believe that our responsibility is not how we stand out in society, but how we bridge worlds. That means you start with your society and build from there. Otherwise changes get washed away with the next windstorm.

Posted: Tue - July 7, 2009 at 02:56 PM
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