The world has officially ended. You may now depart after the earth comes to a complete stop. Please watch your step. I have been designated an elder of the community.
A local activist that put on an extremely successful Central Valley Pagan Pride is working hard to organize the pagans in the area. She is very respectful of the various paths. Among her activities is the creation of the Black Hat Society. This is a group of local elders whose mission it is to teach introductory classes. At the moment that is it. However, I feel it is also a way of making various traditions and points of view available to local seekers. Assuming that she keeps a steady hand on the group and quashes any political strife, she just may bring together what used to be a very fractured group of local pagans.
Naturally, a group like this only has the authority and respect its members earn.
I have been tapped as one of these elders along with fellow blogger, Witch Doctor Joe. I find it odd to be considered an elder of the community. I suppose I am. Also, Golden Dawn style work, which I am very known for locally, is only nominally pagan. My other group, The Conclave of the Greek Key, is much more pagan but few are aware that exists. I am also not sure how much detail I would give about that publicly.
I find it quite strange that this group is forming and I've been invited during such a time of mental distress for me. I am not exactly the picture of stability at the moment. I have no doubt I will recover...someday. Hopefully, I will be of some use to the local pagans.
Speaking of the Conclave, I recently read an article about a reconstructionist that doesn't refer to himself as pagan. His reason was that his practices do not fit well into the neo-pagan/wiccan influenced community. Simple put, they don't understand his rites and his group does not understand theirs. He said there is no animosity they just have little in common.
The Conclave may be the same way. We don't celebrate the wheel of the year, except for which deities tend to make themselves known at various calendar points. We don't cast a circle. We don't do spells. We don't call the quarters. We deal with a variety of gods/goddesses not just a pair. We simply commune with the gods as those gods choose in a very direct and loud manner.
I am not sure what neo-pagans would really think of our practices. I know that a few years ago, I would have called them dangerously whacked! Yet there seems to be no negative connotation at all with our work. The hammering I have been taking lately is more closely related to my normal initiatory path.