The drive was smooth and comfortable. Decent weather (Monday was spectacular). Our first chance to get the new Elephant out onto the highway to stretch it’s legs.
Many good conversations, chances to reconnect with friends we don’t get to see except at PCon. It’s amazing how much you can learn hanging around with folks who have been continuously involved in the pagan community for 30 years and more.
Speaking of traditions, a friend presented her observations and experiences of folklore and customs surviving in the Balkans since pagan times. I’m especially glad that she was able to contrast the villagers carrying on the long traditions and beliefs with the staged and rather abstract versions presented to the tourists, since the staged versions are superseding and supplanting the real traditions.
At another presentation I attended, the presenter stressed the importance of having active, dynamic content on an organization’s website if it wants to generate news and attract people. And I thought “Yes, this is an issue we’ve been dealing with for the last decade- both in publishing the dead-tree version of Red Garters (which is why it went under) and on the website: the NWC doesn’t do much that we can share with nonmembers and thus there is very little content generated.” NWC focus is internal; providing support and fellowship for our member traditions and their covens and elders. We act as a professional organization for BTW elders, establishing dialog on topics ranging from continuing education in Craft history, magical techniques and research to the ethics of group leadership. We provide an avenue for people seeking to become involved in member groups and referrals to other groups in areas where we have no members. The things we discuss and the people we serve are not “public”, so dynamic content isn’t going to be generated. Our presence on the web is primarily informational. There are book reviews and recommendations, contacts for membership inquiries and seekers, white papers, flying rolls, reports and articles. There will be occasional events open to public participation, but most NWC functions will remain internal. So, we don’t present “hot” media but I think that there is still a need and a place for us.
Discussions of philosophy by-and-large bore me, especially after a full meal. There are several people who represent the (seemingly) polar opposites of pagan philosophy: highly structured neoPlatonism vs. post-modern realism. So, given that I don’t personally have a need for rigid structure in my Craft practice (making neoPlatonism not as useful as it might be), and that post-modern realism seems solipsistic (sorry, no Marxist religious dialectic for me, kthxbye), is there a possible compromise that will allow me to pick and choose the bits that make sense to me? Or can I dispense with philosophy altogether, and just dance?
See ya next year at PantheaCon!