The nature of Paganism has changed since I started practicing. When I was first learning, the goal was always to join a local group. Even books that were aimed at solitaries often talked about attending group rituals or festivals and starting study groups. But today, the internet allows us to have a full practice on our own and still work with others virtually.
Many groups now offer virtual rituals, either through live video chat, group phone calls or chat rooms. But we can also join together energetically and create amazing movements that create change for the things we don't like about how the world works.
This is not a new idea. At other pivotal points in history, people have joined together to bring awareness to issues and to direct their joined energy toward the outcome they desired. This joining may take the form of prayer, moments of silence, simultaneous candle lighting and meditation or spell casting.
Banding together lets us combine our efforts and boosts each of our contributions. When we work alone it is easier to feel so small, as if we are trying to move an ocean with an eye dropper. But when we know others are working towards the same goals and that all our work will combine, we no longer feel like we have to do it all by ourselves. If we can do even a single thing, spare a single thought or pause for just one breath, we can contribute!
Change doesn't come easily, but sometimes all it takes to get the ball rolling is for one person to lead the way. I think that the global temperament is often like a pot of water. The heat gets raised slowly, and we become accustomed to it. We can look back and say things were better before, but there is not always a big change that causes things to boil. In fact, you can super heat water and it won't boil until there is a tiny speck of something else, some outside particulate, and then the water erupts!
I feel like the water temperature of the world has been rising for a while now. Sure, there are a lot of things that have become better, and many ways in which we have been moving forward as a global community. But there have also been a lot of ways in which we have taken huge steps backwards. Atrocities still happen, and it is very easy to think that as a single person, there isn't much you can do, especially when things are happening across the world.
And yet even when we see things happening right around us, in our own country, our own state, our own city, our own neighborhood....we may still feel like there isn't much we can do. And if we only stand alone, there is a limit to what we can effect.
As a single person, I can lift so much, shout so loud, take up so much space. I am easy to overlook as a single person. What makes people powerful is the number of other people they can effect. So if I am just one person, my sphere of influence appears quite limited.
But what if I start talking. I talk about the things that upset me, the things that I feel are wrong with the world, the things I can't tolerate any longer. And I talk to all the people I know. That still isn't that many, even with the wonders of the internet! But if every person I talk to then talks to all the people they know, and so on and so forth, pretty soon my words have reached a huge audience. I am no longer one person, I am now the start of a revolution.
Revolution can be a scary word to many people, but being a part of a revolution doesn't mean that you need to attend protests or overthrow the system. Thought can be extremely revolutionary! It all starts with an idea. When you change the way people think, you change how they act. When thoughts become unbearable to people, they no longer do things that make those thoughts reality. And that is when true change happens.
We all have gifts and we all have resources. Each of us has things we are good at! These are the things you must do, the things you offer to any revolution you participate in. Your gifts may be subtle or they may be loud. You may not think you have gifts, but you do!
Your gifts may be that you can inspire others to acknowledge their own inner feelings of unhappiness with the way things are. Your gifts might be the ability to organize people with similar ideas towards a common action. Your gifts may be to figure out the best actions to take at this moment in time. Your gifts might be to help keep people thinking clearly, so they are acting in their best interests and not just becoming an angry mob. Your gifts might be to silently bear witness, to watch and acknowledge those around you. Your gifts might be to sooth those who are too heartbroken to do anything.
When you find a cause that you believe in, something that makes you want to change the world in order to make your vision of what could be into reality, that is your revolution. When when we meet others that belong to our revolution, these are our sisters and our brothers, our revolutionary family. Together we can pool our gifts, clasp hands and hearts and focus our intentions towards creating change.
So seek out your family, find people who have reached the end of their rope, and work together. Though you may be far apart, you may never meet or speak in real time, we have the tools to organize, to share our outrage, our hurt, and our visions of a better future. Discover your gifts and let them shine. Do your part to bring about the world you want to live in!