On May 11th someone started a Facebook Page “100,000 to get Jason Pitzl-Waters on the Daily Show.” As of this writing 3,147 people have spent 2 seconds to click “Like.” Following standard FaceBook rules we can expect probably 2 more weeks of growth at a similar speed to reach about 10,000 before tapering off and slowly growing from there at about 100/week. (I WOULD LOVE TO BE WRONG!)
While I think the world of Jason, I was one of the people who didn’t click like for a long time. I am confident that Jason is a capable and intelligent representative for Pagans… and that was my hesitation.
Participants on the Daily Show are expected to either A) make fun of themselves, B) get made fun of, or c) do a REALLY good job of making fun of something else. I doubt that Jason will or or even should go in swinging, and I doubt that that there is enough recognition of Pagans in the Larger Culture to reasonably allow a Pagan Representative to field Comedic Interview Softballs, without playing into the very stereotypes that this whole petition intends to highlight in prime time.
I hate to say it, but this feels to me like a case of a young child (paganism) ineffectually screaming and trying to get his way to prove to himself he has power. We “don’t matter” yet… and that can be a good thing. There are times when being perceived as ineffectual can be to your benefit.
Case in point… I am a leader of a group called Reno Magick. We are holding a week long Midsummer Campout “Summer Solfest 2011.” Even though we have scheduled 7 days of AWESOME rituals and feasting along with classes and other events, it is looking like it will be a small festival of about 50-150 people this year. Because we “don’t matter” yet we are able to bypass some of the challenges that the big players have to. We’ve basically been told that there is no point to having event insurance since the non-profit currently has no assets to lose in court. Additionally, even though we are marketing the event strongly locally we haven’t even received a dirty word from local fanatics… because we just “don’t matter.”
We dream of becoming a West Coast version of “Pagan Spirit Gathering,” so next year we have plans to expand the event to try to attract up to 500 people. We will have to spend VASTLY more on the Venue, Insurance, Resources and Licensing. The effort to “Matter” will come with large costs and we’re going to have to listen to Spirit regarding doing so. In fact, merely intending to do so places burdens on us that we didn’t even have to pay a second mind to before.
This one year gives us an amazing opportunity to reach toward a very valuable goal… let me explain:
While Christian leaders “lead the flock,” leading Pagans is historically considered to be like herding cats.
Leading the flock is a powerful metaphor to having a lot of people co-dependant on a leader, and herding Cats is another powerful metaphor to having a lot of independent people doing whatever the hell they want. Ten Points if you see where I’m going with this…
There are three Stages to this pattern: Co-dependence, Independence and Inter-dependence. Each stage is greatly more powerful than the previous.
The best part about not mattering to the greater community at the moment is that we are experiencing an awesome opportunity to grow into something more powerful than any fear based religion can dream of reaching, WITHOUT THEM NOTICING or interfering.
At this very moment, we have leaders following in the footsteps of the successful hippy communities (YES they do exist) and beginning to organize communities of powerful INTER-DEPENDENT persons.
To make a metaphor:
- Many old religious cultures are co-dependent: Marching to their destination.
- A larger portion of our greater culture is independent (pagans are mostly here right now): Driving Cars wherever they want to go.
- Inter-dependent communities are slowly coming together: Building Giant Rockets…
Historically when powerfully inter-dependent groups above a certain size formed they accomplished a good amount before being torn apart. Sometimes the causes have been internal pressures, but often external pressures were brought to bear as the power of the group was scary to persons outside the group.
It is difficult being inter-dependent. There is a LOT of trust and communication needed. Each member needs to be strong enough to be independent while also learning to trust other people as they accomplish far greater things together than anything a person could accomplish alone. Once a solid inter-dependent group is formed it can be expanded carefully and still maintain very good solidarity, but there is a time period where all members have to be able to ride out the shockwaves of this change. As long as the stability is reached the group is only limited by its vision and drive to achieve it.
With this awareness, it becomes clear that it is much more powerful for Pagans to choose to focus on continuing to build inter-dependence and other value for ourselves, than to scream ourselves hoarse trying to be heard in the thunderous roar of millions of people who haven’t even come to the conclusion that independence is a good idea… as well as the hundreds of millions so focused on independence that they can’t see a more powerful option exists. Our voice matters little now, but we have a great opportunity to speak softly… while continuing to fashion ourselves a VERY big stick.
Let’s celebrate, that the awesomeness we are creating is being completely ignored by the fearful barbarians who would gladly destroy it out of fear of the power we are going to receive.
This article is my first "soapbox speech" on Power Before Wisdom. I've written similar articles previously on other venues, but I didn't feel that this was the proper location for this material before. However, I have come to feel that while magic is powerful, I am actually disempowering myself by trying to keep this site entirely about magic. There is A LOT more to Power than esoteric/spiritual knowlege and theory. If you have ideas on positively making this transition make sense please share them in the forums. :-)