[Our Fall Funding Drive is still going on. We have 9 days left! Your support is what make our work possible. If you like columns like the one below and our daily coverage of news, please consider donating today. Your donations will help us grow and expand our coverage. Donate here.
In ways the various founders, visionaries, and clergy could never have anticipated, modern Pagan faiths have thrived and become world religions. In many instances our faiths have entered the mainstream. Sometimes, embedded within the interconnected Pagan communities, dealing with the day-to-day controversies and obstacles, it’s hard to see just how far we’ve come. This isn’t to say that no challenges remain, or that we enjoy complete parity with other, more dominant, faiths, but we have reached a place that few could have initially hoped for. Further, larger shifts in Western culture towards a post-Christian social and political reality, along with important advances in interfaith initiatives, create a fertile soil for a number of religious minorities to grow at impressive rates in relative peace.
This is a follow-up piece to the two-part series on solidarity written by Heather Greene for The Wild Hunt. There is a great deal of conversation taking place around A Question of Pagan Solidarity: Part 1 and A Question of Pagan Solidarity: Part 2, and this post offers a practical example of how solidarity can be experienced by solitaries, and how that experience of “solitary solidarity” can inspire those in the broader community to approach solidarity as a meaningful practice. Some have asked, “How can we have a conversation about solidarity if we can’t even agree on how we define ourselves?” I’d suggest that having a conversation about solidarity might help us have the conversation about identity, especially if we engage with one another with the intent to experience solidarity, rather than simply define it. I’m going to offer up an example of solidarity in practice, particularly solidarity for solitaries.
Last week, I reported on the Atlanta Pagan community’s wreath project. As explained, the wreath’s purpose is to build a sense of solidarity for that Pagan community. Following the post, several readers launched into a discussion that probed the very nature and meaning of Pagan solidarity. As one reader asked, “What is the purpose?”
Additionally, readers explored the concept of solitary solidarity. Can such a thing exist? Or, as one reader put it, is the concept of the solitary group “oxymoronic?”
These are serious sociological questions that, in exploring, could help to define modern Pagan practice as it expands and diversifies.