Long ago, Patheos did a series on the Future of Religion, including the Future of Paganism. It was fun. I miss doing series like that and sitting back to let other writers speak out. I didn’t contribute to that series, but I’d like to contribute today. I don’t have any predictions, or anything wise or brilliant to say. I just have my hopes and dreams and wishes.
I hope Patheos Pagan keeps growing. I thought it was a good idea long before I ever considered being involved with Patheos, and I still think it is a great idea.
I hope festivals keep growing and getting better. I’m a fan of festivals. It is one of the few times when all the worries fall away and you can relax and be Pagan without the slightest internal flinch. You can speak without worrying what others think or what bystanders might overhear. Festivals are awesome.
I hope conferences keep growing and get better. I hope they become more specialized. I want to see a conference focused solely on polytheism, with culture-specific tracks. I want to see one focused entirely on African-influenced Paganism. I want to see one on Hellenic-influenced Paganism, from Greek-flavored Wicca to ethnic Hellenes from Greece. Why not a conference on Wicca? From Gardnerian to eclectic? Or one focused entirely on Witchcraft in different cultures. Why not one on Humanist and Naturalistic Paganism? Yeah, I really hope to see more focused conferences. I’d love to attend a Pagan conference and not know anything about what is going on. To learn completely new stuff.
I hope Pagan organizations keep becoming more and more professional, organized and transparent. I have a lot of hope here.
I hope Pagan music keeps getting better and more diverse. I look forward to Pagan music festivals that are all about the music, or Pagan-specific music venues in large cities where you can listen and dance to great Pagan bands.
I hope to see more focus on values in Paganism. Both in blogs and print. A book on all the issues and nuances of a value like tolerance. An anthology of Pagan women expressing why they are pro-choice. A blog featuring conservative Pagans explaining how, where and why their political ideology and religious beliefs intersect.
I hope to see more diversity, with the different branches of Paganism really coming into their own as separate entities with unique worldviews so that one day an interfaith panel could be made up entirely of Pagans and not lack in unique perspectives on key values and practices.
I hope to see more Pagans. Old Pagans, young Pagans. Converts and cradle-Pagans. We’re good people. It wouldn’t make me mad to see more of us in the world.
I hope to see temples. Public spaces that are a beautiful reflection of our beliefs, our values, our commitment to each other, to our community and our future. I’d like to find myself on a layover in Boston and just make my way to the quiet sanctity of a Pagan temple to make an offering of incense and meditate without asking permission or making appointments.
I hope to see the day when the public associates Paganism with kind, tolerant, generous, and community-oriented people.