Tag Archives: Byron Ballard

Death, Community vs. Movement, and Pagan Legacy

One of the fascinating confluences of this year’s Sacred Space conference (still time to register on site for the weekend) has been, on the one hand, a set of workshops/rituals focused on aging, death, and dying and the workshops that, whatever their titles, wound up being about legacy, what happens to what Jason Pitzl-Waters called the Pagan Movement (a term that he prefers to Pagan Community and I think he’s likely right: good framing makes good neighbors) as many of us die (Byron Ballard said: Oh, just say “death.” Quit with the “passed away” and other euphemisms and I think she’s likely right, as well), or become too old to participate in the movement at our current levels.

One of the ideas humming around in my head is that there is actual research on how different generational cohorts (e.g., the Baby Boomers, GenX, GenY (I’m sorry, GenY; it’s true. I forgot you guys and had to come back and add you. So everything you think about how you don’t get the credit you deserve is true), the Millenials, etc.) process information, act in organizations, find fulfillment, etc. I’m also thinking about yesterday’s post about making people feel that their authentic selves are genuinely included (if you didn’t read Joe Gerstandt’s short and good post on this topic, you REALLY should). I’d love to see sessions at Pagan conferences that would actually present the research (so that, just for example, we “olds” as my friend Atrios calls us can quit getting mad at “the kids” for their short attention spans and so that the kids can stop being mad at the olds for their orientation to hierarchy and to earning your cred before you get responsibility) and then have a panel discussion with representatives from the different cohorts.

I’m going to be 58 tomorrow. It’s unlikely that anyone in my family will continue as Pagan once I’m dead, although that Pisces G/Son with the elvish blood, well, we’ll see. But I’d like to leave Paganism a living tradition. I’d like it to be easier for young women to come to the Goddess than it’s been for me. I’d like some future white-shoe law firm Pagan lawyer to not even have to consider being in the closet.

The only way that can happen is if we reach out and allow young people to be their authentic selves in an inclusive environment. (Now, seriously; I mean it. Go read Joe.)

Picture found here.