Last Saturday, I had the privilege of attending a Q&A session with Oberon Zell.
If you’re not familiar with Oberon, then allow me to introduce you to this esteemed elder of Modern Paganism. He is an author, teacher, artist, and wizard, who through his artistic masterpiece – the Millennial Gaia – has touched the world.
During his presentation, Oberon shared with us the vision which brought forth this beautiful sculpture of the Earth Mother. Through combining a love of science and an esoteric vision experience, Oberon created a representation of the Earth as a physical “mother” form. The message found within Millennial Gaia’s intricate detail puts forth an idea so powerful that one might hear the voice of Gaia speaking her mysteries while gazing upon her or holding her in their hands. She is a representation of our intrinsic relationship with the Earth Mother. A relationship which has been lost to many people through patriarchal dominionism.
A relationship with our Earth Mother (the planet) which can be revived.
Phyllis Curott is returning to the Pagan community with a message of similar theme. A call to all Witches, Wiccans, Druids, Heathens, and Pagans to embrace the role which had once been held by our ancient shamanic and wise woman ancestors. She is echoing Orion Foxwood, and other teachers such as John Beckett with his personal vision of a Pagan future, who remind us that the Pagan community is meant to act as healers and leaders, not only within our own spiritual communities but as part of the wider world.
So, my interpretation of these messages heard at Pagan festivals, or through blog posts written by the BNP’s (Big Name Pagans. Thank you for that one, Jason Mankey – BNP!) is this:
“Now is the time for all Good Pagans to stand up and do The Thing.”
Okay. Yeah. I get it. I’m in total agreement with doing “The Thing.” The question we must answer, however, remains how do we do The Thing? A question which has been asked by many people but to which the response has been a bit murky for the most part.
Oberon Zell suggests what we are seeing is “The Awakening” of the children of Gaia. The Earth Mother calling out to the Pagan community to restore an understanding of our relationship with Her. Indeed, when you consider the growth of witchcraft and Paganism in recent years, one can see how a change in Earth Mother consciousness may be true but not necessarily new.
Social and consciousness raising trends such as Oberon’s “Awakening” tend to be cyclical.
The founding of Earth Day, environmental activism, solar and wind power as an industry, organic farming, urban farming, the growth of vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. All of these have been a kind of awakening by individuals and groups to “right the wrong” which has occurred to our environment, strengthen what industry has weakened, and restore the balance with nature for future generations. In my view, this includes activism responses to the current atrocities being perpetrated on our southern border and toward decisions enacted by the current administration which impact our biosphere.
These cycles of “awakening” or “awareness” are good.
Even so, in recent years there seems to be a distinct call to action within the Pagan community and it’s coming from the Earth Mother Herself. She is calling her Witches, Wiccans, Druids, Heathens, and Pagans to step up and be counted on Her behalf. She is calling us to restore the relationship between humanity and Herself. A relationship which understands that we live as one with the plants, trees, birds, animals, bugs, and all other creatures (seen and unseen) on this planet.
Not above, but within.
The question is how do we answer The Call? What specific actions can we take moving forward?
I wish I knew.
But maybe there isn’t a single answer to be given. What if the key is found within each of the messages of leaders such as Oberon, Phyllis, Orion, and John? Could it be that each one of these individuals has a piece of the puzzle? By listening, can we understand what it means to be part of the “Awakening”, learning how to “Awaken the Witch Within” (hmmm, interesting correlation there) or take steps now to ensure our Pagan future? Is there an answer found in a voice or voices still young and yet unheard?
I believe the solution must be found within all of us as both individuals, groups, and the wider Pagan community regardless of path, tradition, or belief. Maybe there aren’t even specific actions we need to undertake, other than starting to live in that relationship with the Earth Mother ourselves, and show others (regardless of their belief system, path, or religion) how to do so as well.