Pagan Programming & Community

These are things I’ve been thinking about for a long time and now I’m ready to write about them.
The first is a network of all-Pagan programming. We have about 20 channels of christian programming on our cable and it would be wonderful to have something available that speaks to Pagans and is created for our unique spiritual needs. I envision all kinds of programming:

* Witchy shows like Bewitched, Charmed and Sabrina for children/teens.
* News of interest to the Pagan community, with traveling correspondents.
* Original programming.
* Yoga and other fitness-oriented programming.
* Arts/crafts/creation of ritual items and ritual tips.
* Pagan talk shows, featuring prominent or famous members of our community.
* Call-in shows that offer support to anyone who has a problem or is experiencing harassment, with a counselor or psychiatrist.
* A short morning show, perhaps 10-20 minutes in length, featuring daily devotions.
* A short evening show for the end of the day (10-20 minutes), for those who do their daily meditations at night.
* Shows that teach meditation techniques.
* Music for meditation or ritual/to have on during prayers.
* Shows about environmental issues and tips for green (or vegetarian/vegan) interests and activism.
* Children’s programming (animation, original series, Pagan education).
* Televised, all-inclusive rituals so that viewers who can’t attend in person can still feel connected to their community and participate (both live and archived).
* Announcements from all over the world regarding events, festivals and workshops.

Of course, the programming would be both non-denominational Pagan and Tradition-specific and I’d want to make sure that as many traditions are represented as possible. No witch wars, no judgement, no ‘You’re doing it wrong!‘ elitist bullshit. Just open and friendly conversations and information. I’d also like to have a website available with streaming media in case viewers are on the road and their cable system doesn’t have the channel (and let’s be honest here, most wouldn’t touch non-christian religious programming) or the viewers live in an area that doesn’t carry the channel at all.
Something like this is way past due. It’s time. If I had the money I’d finance it myself, but since I don’t and such a venture would require a lot of capital, I expect that it’s just going to stay in the visualization stage indefinitely.

Another thing I’d love to do is start an all-Pagan community.
What I’d like to build is something I’ve had in mind for years. Think Summerisle in The Wicker Man, without the BS about human sacrifice. I’m not talking about going completely off the grid like a lot of folks would like to do; we’d have electricity, running water and sanitation. The last thing I want to do is get a large group of people in place and end up with disease running rampant in our little colony. People need heat. Even raw foods advocates need to cook something on occasion and no one doesn’t want a cup of hot coffee or tea in the morning.
I’m also not advocating secession. We don’t need to create our own little country out of the wilderness and we don’t need to write our own laws; the ones already in place (when enforced) work just fine. This wouldn’t be a cult type atmosphere, either, people are encouraged to come and go, have their families and friends visit, maintain their jobs and attend classes. No one has to give up their lives, their individuality, their possessions or their personal spiritual path to live in our colony.
I’m still on the fence about offering to make it gated so that we don’t have to deal with salespeople, canvassers or door-to-door evangelism, but that would really be something we should vote on as a community and decide if we want it. Putting up a wall around it would take a lot of time and money and some of us won’t want to have the feeling of being ‘penned in’.
Something I know a lot of us would definitely get behind is organic farming. Clean conditions, cruelty-free and self-sustaining. Not everyone will be required to work on any farmland, but the ones who do will certainly be welcome. Producing as much of our own food as possible means less reliance on factory style farming and healthier results. Organically produced milk, for example, is free of hormones and doesn’t take anything away from the calves because the cows are milked according to their own natural cycles of production. Organically produced vegetables and fruit require a bit more work but the end result is worth the effort. Individual gardens would be not only welcomed, but encouraged (though not a requirement for living in the community).
There would be monthly town meetings to discuss the current state of things and field suggestions for future projects or improvements. Everyone has a voice and is encouraged to use it. If anyone thinks we need to plant more peaches, speak up! If you think we should use a certain area of the property to build a stage, or you want to perform some live music at the next meeting – say so! I would advocate for a meeting without time limits so that everyone can be heard, and attendance at the meetings will not be mandatory, as we will have someone there to record it and post the video by the next day. No one has to be left out because of work, illness or lack of child care. We could even set up a system that would allow people to attend online in real time. I like that idea.
There are many, many traditions that fall under the heading of ‘Pagan’ and all will be welcome. Worship areas will be all over the place and all inclusive. Altars of wood, stone and whatever material the community wants. Everyone is invited to add their own personal touches to the altars/circles and worship in any way they please, including skyclad if they feel so moved.
I’d love for everyone to celebrate the esbats and sabbats together as a community, but if they feel more comfortable as a solitary, that’s okay too. There are no boundaries or requirements. Everyone will be invited to every event and happily welcomed but they don’t have to be there.
One thing I’d like to see implemented is community support for people who need it. Call me a Hippie (hell, I do), but being part of a non-majority religion is very difficult in this country and most of us will probably leave during the day to go to work or school and I’d like to provide a little Kumbaya when they return if needed. Mentors of all ages and an atmosphere of love, trust and acceptance.
Housing…that’d have to be up to the individual. Since we’ll have to build the whole thing from the ground up, we’ll have to make sure that both sale and rental properties are available. Some folks will want to dig in permanently, but there will also be growing families that start with a smaller home/apartment and upgrade as their families get bigger or military families that may not be able to settle down for long. The town hall won’t also be doubling as a ‘Homeowners Association’. I refuse to live in any area that has one of those and I don’t expect anyone else to put up with that, either. Paint your house, put up your symbols, build a shed, raise backyard chickens (I’ll be doing that eventually myself for the eggs and for fun), do as you please with your own home and plot of land.
I’d like to make sure we have a nice big, safe, centrally located play area for children with swings and things to climb on. Something that welcomes all ages and has plenty of comfortable places for families to sit and take a break when they aren’t playing with their children on the equipment.
Basically, I want something where we are free to be Pagans, and with everything each family needs to grow spiritually and as individuals.
Of course, it would take a long time to create. Location would be crucial and money…well, there isn’t any. I expect that if it ever does happen it will start out with just a few families and maybe some farmland, then grow to accommodate more people as time goes on. It wouldn’t be perfect. No place is perfect, however good the intentions of the people involved. It would be ours, though, and pretty wonderful.

Both of those dreams are full of ‘Hopefully someday…’. I hope that if I never have the resources to get started, that at least someone else somewhere will be able to do it and make the network or the community as amazing as I imagine them to be.


2 thoughts on “Pagan Programming & Community

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