Trying to decide what to write my second "I" about this week in the Pagan Blog Project I had no one to bounce ideas off of. So that is what I decided to write about... Isolation.
I know many Pagans who feel isolated and alone. In many groups I am a part of people state they are far from others of like-mind.
In my case, I live in a very small town and my husband is traveling for work. So I am here in a town that is very conservative with no one of like-mind. This can make me feel very alone and isolated. I end up spending the majority of my time on Facebook as it is the only interaction I get. Part of my particular isolation comes from moving to a small town. It is well known amongst us "outsiders" that you can live here for 40 years, but if you were not born here you will always be an "outsider". Isolation also happens here as I live in a very self-proclaimed "uber conservative" small town. So while my husband is gone and its just me and the kids here I feel very alone.
All of this got me thinking. Thinking about Pagans of yesteryear. Pagans (OK truthfully everyone) were all fairly isolated. And I think there is a benefit to this. A benefit that until recently I had never thought of, or appreciated. Back in the day, people were isolated living on their land and most of their time was spent only with family. This is where family traditions come into play. In these families beliefs, practices and rituals were created and passed through tradition. There was little, if any, checking what your friends were doing. People did what felt right. What their ancestral memories led them to do. People thought for themselves.
I think in this day and age of internet and communication we have lost some of this. Many who start this path are looking for the "right way" to do things. They want a teacher to explain how, what, when, where, why and validate what is done. I think this accessibility is becoming a hindrance.We are losing the ability to trust our instincts. To hear our ancestral memories.
Now I must admit that as I write this I am currently enrolled in the Women's Thealogical Institute and just started my course in magic. However, the realization that I had is this; I am using this course as a mentor not a teacher. Someplace to guide me but not give me a cookie cutter education about how things should be done. That is one of the reasons I so adore this program it is individualized for your own beliefs and practice. In our loss of isolation we have gained a belief that there is a definitive right and wrong way to practice and believe.
So I think its good to have mentors and those that will help us learn things such as herbology, but as for beliefs and practice, I think the isolation may be good for us. Forcing us to think for and trust in ourselves
Thanks for reading! I welcome all comments!