One of my international friends asked an incredibly loaded question recently about where we go after 101 as solitaries. She and I are both solitaries and we are both way too familiar with the lack guidance once you’re past that 101 stage. She asked, specifically, about spiritual investment and how we help teach that as it’s hard to really pick up alone.
I’m not going to get too much into the actual topic she was speaking of right now, but rather the frothing, raving ranting masses and what they bought to mind. The most active people on the topic have been the ones saying you can’t teach people that kind of thing and then going forward to snipe and snarl when it’s suggested that because they can’t or won’t doesn’t mean that no one can.
Active engagement with the spirits, with your practice and with the community.
Yeah, I know, sort of random. From a personal perspective I’m quite good at being actively engaged with my practice. For the most part the spirits and I are happily working together – I have some blanks when my depression gets bad or I’m super busy and let things slide but I’m only human and all that.
My engagement with the community, actual engagement not behind the scenes work, is lacking however. I’m a member of a few forums. I’m a mod of one of the biggest facebook based ones (and isn’t that a whole new world of fun on a daily basis). It’s not much. I have a lot of knowledge tucked away, and a good practice based on a lot of trial and error that is constantly shifting and growing. I have a lot I can teach in the abstract sense if I am willing to step out of my ‘fuck off and die you’re all annoying’ box and engage.
There’s a risk in engaging however. In the pagan community if you don’t engage people in a certain way, give a certain type of service and refuse to compromise yourself you’re more likely to be attacked than anything else. Anyone who steps up and lays themselves open anywhere risks brutal and petty responses, but it’s something I’ve found particularly rife in the Pagan community. A nasty kind of tall poppy syndrome where anyone who doesn’t toe the party line is seen as trying to show up the community or control it.
I’ve never really been interested in making myself a target, and yet…
I can hardly continue to bitch about the state of the community if I am unwilling to step up and share my own experiences with people. So here’s to an attempt to share what I do a little better.