I had an interesting discussion with a friend who is an Elder in a different Tradition the other day. We talked about what Community is within the Craft communities across this wonderful wide world, how it is defined by its members, and the lack of communication between Elders of differing Traditions.
Within the Puget Sound area community we have Ecelectic, Reclaiming, NROOGD, Kingstone, Mosian, Alexandrian, NECTW, OBOD, and a plethora of other Traditions and groups. Yet, Elders within these various groups do not meet together to talk about issues, share tips, or even to socialize. That is a huge shame. Each and every one of them has good stuff to offer to the others, without the risk of breaking Oaths.
Why is that I wonder? In other areas of the country folks from different Traditions seem to be able to put aside petty (and in some cases not so petty) differences to talk. If you are reading this, I would really like to hear from you on what it is like in your area.
What defines an Elder? Is it time spent in service of the Gods? Life experiences (a term my Maiden absolutely hates, as she has been raised in the Craft, and has 15+ years practical experience, but because she is only 18, is often looked down upon by others as having no voice to share). She was recently at a festival, where she offered to share her experiences as a public ritualist, and was politely told that “when she was older, then she would have experience to share”. She was rightly peeved as was I as her Priestess, mother and fellow ritualist. She has been Priestessing for public rituals for the past 3 years. Is it any wonder that our children have no desire to learn our religion? Let me say that she does actually understand that she does not have the life experiences to speak as an Elder, but she has something far greater IMO — she has been raised in the Craft, and does not have to unlearn so much of what the rest of us have had to, being raised in other Religions. She comes to the Craft with a completely different point of view that I do, than her Priest does, or for that matter the majority of the rest of her “Community”. We, as Priestesses and Priests need to start learning how to listen to our children that we have raised in the Craft, rather than shushing them. They will be the Elders in another 20 years. What are the skills that they have that they can share with us? Listen to them, and learn.
To contact me about this, or any other topic write to me at Raven, c/o this website.
Raven, Lady of Nemed Cuculatii