Circle of Joy and Sorrow

Everything that exists is in a manner the seed of that which will be. -Marcus Aurelius

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Tomb of the Unknown Guard

Now I spent some time stomping down mole holes in my lawn today mulling over this old essay on 'Reflections on Old Guard Paganism.' Written back in 1988, what's most noticable about it is how little good it did the state of anything. Once you get past the whiney tone, and the effacious grandstanding. Blah Blah Blah. Most pagans I know choose crystals over charcol filters to purify their water. Most Wiccans aren't up to creating an initiatory experience that sticks.

While some smaller groups of pagans have begun to form their own traditions (Hellenismos) in response to Nichols complaints, for the most part these have begun to rise up from the younger generations. Nichols may slaver through many of his paragraphs at the idea of having younger pagans properly worshipping prone before his old, encrusted boots. Still, there is the hint of salt. Yet did his essay change anything?

Where Nichols went right he still ended up wrong, because whatever forms of traditional divination he used, didn't work any better for him than a quartz crystal ball. Youth itself is not a reason for unreason, and the need for community drives people apart more than it unites. Elders of the 'Old Guard' considered themselves elders at an age they now insist in others leaves one a Seeker. Anti-intellectualism rooted deep in the Craft through astrology and the old love of dear dead grandmothers.

The pagan fields lent themselves well to all that the 'Old Guard' bemoans, every bit of foolishness and folly. And many are the 'Old Guard' rituals I've attended that were in the nicest term possible, pure drivel and deadwood. If there are moles lurking under the surface, they have only been drawn to the feast so well prepared in their honor.

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