Sam Webster, M. Div., PhD(c) is an initiate of Golden Dawn, Wiccan, Druidic, Buddhist, Hindu and Masonic traditions, publisher at Concrescent Press and author of "Tantric Thelema." He founded the Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn in 2001, and is the Executive Director of the Pantheon Foundation.
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Accountability is a critical aspect of leadership in any community. For Pagans, this is a special challenge because our structure and power dynamics are neither the norm, nor easily shaped to produce accountability. Ordinarily, there is a strong dimension of economic and regulatory reciprocity in the relationship between leaders and the communities they serve.The CEO is hired by the board of directors.
Today there are engineered foods designed to not trigger leptin, the hormone that tells us we are full, so we eat the whole bag. Planned obsolescence has us throwing away rather than repairing appliances and other consumer goods, so they go to landfills and scrap yards. Advertising is intended to cause desire and dissatisfaction, so we buy things we don’t need and don’t even want. We are told that economic growth is the way for all of us to financially succeed. Yet the growth since the 2008 crisis has been entirely to the benefit of the ownership class; this tide floats only the yachts.
Ministers are among the legally mandated with a duty to report abuse. But what a minister is in the Pagan community, is a vague notion. Some folks call themselves ministers or “reverend” because they lead a group of Pagans in religious activity. While this is certainly an appropriate position for a minister, the profession of ministry requires a lot of education (4 to 5 years) and that education is rarely undertaken by Pagan religious leaders. The expense is only one of the barriers.
Have you heard about the GM ignition switch recall? It was a longstanding problem that resulted in a number of deaths but ignored by the executives. Rightly, many are horrified but few have the magical insight or the systems theory to understand how GM could be so stupid. Here is how a Pagan might understand the problem:
Corporations are useful tools. They are one of the most effective and efficient ways of humans to work collectively.
Ours is a religion of living rooms and backyards. How this will change as we Pagans become more prominent in society remains to be seen, but the conversation is underway. Recently Rynn Fox focused her Perspectives column here on The Wild Hunt on the “Gods of Place” and elicited a somewhat surprisingly uniform set of views on the topic, centering on the spiritual beings associated with places. Moving here from my other blogspaces, I am more mindful today of the place than its spirit, the tension we have with place and what the future will require of us as we take our place in the wider world. Humans have been making places special far back into the depths of time.