Hey folks! I know it’s been unusually quiet around here – finishing up two book projects at once has been kicking my butt, but one has been sent off, and the other is nearly there. So there hasn’t been a lot of time and energy leftover to put some good content here. But I’m taking a short break from the book to post some love.
Elders behaving badly, the loss of cherished community leaders and voices, and the fact that we can see time marching on – all can get a person down about the state of things in the Pword world. There’s also the strain of media popularity and the tendency to look askance at “kids these days.” Oh no, what hope is there for the future?
You know what folks? The “kids” are alright. In fact, they’re more than alright, they’re pretty freaking awesome. I’m actually excited to see what they’re going to be bringing to the table in the future, because they’re already cooking up some pretty neat things right now.
I have been endeavoring to figure out tumblr (find me here) – where the majority of the users are in their teens through early 20’s. While I may not look it, I’m technically old enough to be their parents (yeah, that freaks me out a bit, not going to lie). I’ve discovered #witchblr, which gives you a wide scope of posts to look at in the search engine versus what you follow in your feed homepage. It’s absolutely fascinating once you get the hang of it.
Back in the day, I would hang out in IRC channels like PaganTeahouse, Wicca, etc, and places like @nonfluffypagans on LiveJournal and online forums on traditional Witchcraft. Folks would be asking questions, giving advice – and in the realm of IRC, unless someone is recording the channel, it all vanishes…and everything would repeat ad nauseum. With tumblr, the questions get posted, people share them, add their feedback, can message people directly, post their own inspirations, photos, artwork, etc. It’s like a giant interactive scrapbook and community reference board. And while there is still some eye-rolling worthy things that pop-up, a lot of intelligent, creative and grounded discussion is going on. It’s beautiful.
Also, right here on the Patheos Pagan channel, there are some amazing young folks, all under the age of 30, busting their asses. They’re working hard on their paths, often at the same time going to school, working a full-time job or for themselves, and/or raising a young family. I’m not going to out them, but each of those writers should know how freaking proud I am of you all. I swell with pride with every post and exploration.
There is a lot more too than just the tumblr crowd and writers here – that’s just part of the rising tide. There are community leaders, young authors, activists. These younger generations are extremely aware of the issues of the world, and not afraid to stand up for what they believe in. No, we’re not just talking about young, uninformed idealism or unbridled enthusiasm. They get it. They really do.
Of course, I’m not exactly “old” either. Heck, if I use Selena Fox as a comparison model, I’m just barely getting started myself. That lady is the Pagan energizer bunny, and I don’t think she’s retiring any time soon from doing the work. I’ve got nearly three decades and counting to get where she’s currently at. Doreen Valiente really only started to get to work in her early 30’s, and rocked it out for the rest of her life. (I reclaimed my life in my early 30’s, after being active from my late teen’s to early 20’s, so I relate to her as well.)
I’m not alone either – I have quite a few rocking contemporaries who all also fall into this “in-between” stage. We’re not the kids anymore, but we’re not the old crew either. Many of us are just starting to take the helm and put down new roots. The deities are alive and magick is definitely afoot.
So the next time you hear someone bemoaning the state of the Pword community or claiming that Witchcraft is going to go astray or tragically mainstream or some other nonsense, know that they are full of Such Horrible Ignorant Turpitude – and carry on. Support takes a little more effort than bitching, but it sure pays off!
Let us raise a cauldron-shaped mug in honor of the emerging young Witches and Pwords!