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Community - Commentary
Volkhvy -
12 / 19 / 2004

Some Thoughts on My Community

We were discussing community at an MEP session the other night, and I started thinking about who exactly is in my community? I mean, I'm a Wiccan, but I don't belong to an active Wiccan coven; I'm a Shaman, but I don't shamanize for a specific group of people. I'm a Druid, but I don't belong to a Druid grove; and so on, for Zen, Toaism, Heathenry, and Slavic Reconstructionism. (Yes, I'll admit I'm probably the original Wiccan, Shaman, Druid, but I was that long before the song of the same name...) So does that mean I don't have community? That's a bit of a startling revelation for someone who started this whole Mentoring Elders thing rolling.

"Damn…" I was thinking, "I should practice what I preach. On the other hand, I'm in my mid-fifties, so it's a BIT LATE to be thinking about starting a community now!" Then it hit me, "Hey, I do have a community." It's just very different from what most people think of as a community. My community is not one particular group or tradition; instead it consists of the mature adults—or rather those I consider to act like mature adults—in a number of different groups, who are interested in strengthening their communities. Sure, we're a very diverse bunch, but part of what community is about is embracing diversity while maintaining a unifying set of core values. Our core values center around an alternative form of community. One that is healthy for the individuals in it, not destructive. And we all care very much about the legacy we will bequeath our children—whether of the body or the mind.

So I do have a community—an intentional community. I don't serve a specific coven; I serve those covens that are interested in still being around for the next fifty or a hundred years. I don't shamanize for one group of people; I shamanize for those groups that want pass something worthwhile to their children. I don't help a particular grove; I help those groves that instictively feel that there has to be a better way to interact as a group. And so on, in service to all my other fellow elders.

In some ways, this is very scary. I find this much diversity is exhilerating, but it can be extremely challenging; you can't take anything as a given. It's not for everyone, nor should it be. It's just right for me.

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