The Standing Stone and Garden Gate podcast is hosted by Juni and Bren. The February 21, 2011 Episode “Reasonable Doubt” discusses Pagan unity in the opening segment. Listen to the podcast at stonegatepodshow.net/ Bren and Juni discuss Islam and how praying to Mecca creates a powerful sense of unity since members know millions of others are doing the same thing. Bren mentions that it is simple to become a Buddhist or Muslim. The new member simply says some words to a Buddhist priest, or recites part of the Koran, to another Muslim. However, in the Pagan community our rituals are complex (Bren acknowledges that there are important reasons for this though he doesn’t specify) and self-dedicated practitioners are sometimes scorned as unauthentic.
They go into depth about why it is important for a group or movement to have a sense of solidarity: so that it can accomplish a common goal. For me, the first goal of a spiritual community is to create a sense of belonging.
They then wonder if Pagans could have a shared sacred location or words that could be acknowledged to help create a sense of community. They ponder if there is a text, such as the Charge of the Goddess, that could be recited in part at ritual.
They encouraged listeners to share their views so here is what I wrote. “Since the modern Pagan movement is so varied culturally, the only place we can all connect to is the mystical principal that the sacred center or navel of the world is actually the whole of the earth and sky. Though we all may celebrate the solstices and equinox and full moon, we may not include a gesture or words that acknowledge the greater community. What I learned as a Pagan and magician is that when a circle or sphere is cast it becomes a time that is not a time and a place that is not a place and all circles are one. It is a mystical principal of unity.
We’ll need something more concrete, such as simple words, that can be said at some point in a rite, that acknowledges all of our Pagan brother’s and sisters. Though the words are simple, they can be a reminder that we all walk the same earth, live under the same sky, share the same circle, and stand together while honoring our diversity.”
To clarify, these words wouldn’t be from a specific text since different traditions agree in part or wholly on different resources. These words may need to be new but could be influenced by something each tradition says in some way.
Please share your views of the topic after listening to the show’s opening here stonegatepodshow.net/ Also, what words would you choose as a common acknowledgement of the greater Pagan community?
I personally like, “The circle is open but never broken.”