Networking Pagan and Plain
by Ruby Sara
Greetings best beloveds from the splintering and freezing light of the fiercely wild urban midwest! Those blissful and brief days spent in the arms of my beloved Texas are plenty over, and we find ourselves back beside the wide and vasty shoulders of Mother Lake. The snow falls in fits and starts, the days are cold and colder yet. Happy New Year! Late!
Imbolc is already nigh, and we here at PG headquarters are up to our eyeballs in work. I’m still a little fuzzy on how it got to be the middle of January. The first couple weeks of the new year I often regard as Life On Pause, as we take a few deep breaths and contemplate the old mixed with new, the season of promise we find ourselves in, the peace of the Solstice/Christmas season still beating in our hearts…this year, however, seems to have gone off like a firecracker; Johnny and I are hard at work on our liturgy in honor of the Flame-Haired Smithwoman that we are excited to present at the upcoming Earth Traditions Winter’s Waning celebration in just a couple small weeks, and there is writing to be done and potlucks to pursue and thoughts to be had and conversations to engage. For a while I quailed at the thought of all this busyness, but the miracle of Vitamin D in heroic doses (supervised by a health professional, yes) I suspect has something to do with this freshly amazed attitude I find myself in all of a sudden. The world seems to teem with potential. I turn over a rock and there’s something to talk about. Forgiveness, “brokenness” in a Pagan vs. Christian context, the phenomenon of altar-building, the new David Abram book and how much it rocks my world, the upcoming Sabbat and the season of hope in which it nests…all things I’m flexing my fingers to tackle. But still, friends, one thing at a time. The winter is still knocking its whispered meditations on my windows, and while it may be a winter of bustle and groove, nonetheless my body tunes to the hush, and I find myself consumed by thoughts once again of simplicity and silence.
Yep, it’s January, and I have once again been thinking on the phenomenon of plain dress/living in a pagan context, spurred by a recent comment on that same wee post I made back in 2007.
To recap, in March of 2007 I posted a very short post about some thoughts I’d had regarding plain living and paganism after reading a book on the subject by Scott Savage. Since then, that single post has received the most hits of any blog post I’ve written, and continues to elicit comments from folks who run across it, usually after entering some variation of “pagan and plain” into Google. A number of fascinating testimonies, conversations and comments have come up there. In January of 2010 I revisited the subject (exactly one year ago today weirdly enough), musing a bit further about whether plain/simple dress could be considered compatible with pagan theologies. In response to that post, a lively discussion ensued in which there was some argument and conversation regarding gender issues, the romaticization and glorification of poverty, the possible cultural appropriation of Amish, Plain Quaker and Mennonite dress, the efficacy of personal choices in regards to ecological activism, etc. At the time, I said I would tackle each of these in individual blog posts. Well, the vagaries of human existence plus my magpie attention span plus the fact that all of these topics are huge and interesting and deserving of much more attention than a single blogger or comment section would ever be able to give…and, well, a year later I still haven’t really done any of that.
However, I continue to come across others on the web who seem to be exploring the same issues. So, as a result then of all of this pondering, and in response to that recent comment on the 2007 post, I decided it might be a good time for the creation of a discussion and networking space for those pagans looking to explore these issues together.
Here is that space. It is my hope that this site will provide a space for those interested in plain dress, simple living and related concerns to come together and explore their thoughts on the subject, whether they are just curious, interested in implementing some aspects of the theology or lifestyle into their own, are already doing so and are looking for others to chat with, or even find the whole idea antithetical to paganism and want to know why those who like it are entertaining such heretical notions. If you are interested then please join us and welcome!
More to come in the new year, friends and best beloveds! In the meantime, I pray snow and bonelight. Slate and winter sparrow. Imbolc rises – the serpent in the land is dreaming. May you walk beneath these cold gray skies singing to the rhythm of your red hearts.
Grok Earth. Pray without ceasing.