We all like to have a feeling we belong somewhere. In earlier times, this would be easy: you were born into a family of peasants, worked and lived your days in your neighborhood, in your own little community, until you passed away and your children continued this line. Even before that, during the hunter-gatherer times, you were strongly dependent on the people of your community to provide food, clothing and shelter for all, and a natural sense of belonging was inevitable. Nowadays, it’s not so easy.
Most of us do not have the same job for a lifetime. With the changing of jobs, you might also live somewhere else, and for your education, you might need to study in a different city. You could even choose to migrate to another country! We are way more mobile now and the connections with the place we were born are (for many of us) not that strong. I don’t particularly feel that way, though, if I had my way, I would get a job close by and we could continue to live in our hometown. So physically, the place where we live and work or where we entertain ourselves is prone to change.
But then… (imagine drums ruffling) there is also the possibility of community not bound to where you are physically! The Internet is vastly expanding and offers tons of possibilities. Based on your interests, you can find like-minded people and form a community of your own. You form a group, a family, and can really feel you belong there and you know the people, even though, perhaps, you’ve never spoken with them face to face.
In my daily environment, I know only a handful of people even remotely interested in paganism (as far as I know… it’s not a topic for light conversation at my korfball club). It’s so incredibly weird, because in paganism, interconnectedness between everything and everyone is so big, and here, I have nobody to share it with. Not here. But HERE I do! Online, I can connect with all of you and get that feeling of belonging. The international pagan community is strongest online, on various places. Blogging is the way I choose right now to be a part of that community, but in the past I’ve been active (not very) on Witchforum and I’m also checking out YouTube (and thinking of perhaps starting my own channel for Dutch pagans, but that’s a whole other chapter). You might know even other places for pagans to meet. And we all come out stronger, BECAUSE we feel we are part of a community.
I feel empowered being part of the online pagan community, and I hope you do too.
- Spiritual Community:Finding Home. (mysticbanjosisterhood.wordpress.com)