Sunday, November 26, 2006


I cannot be the only person who's sick to death of defining and redefining and going over the same stuff over and over and over and over again. This comes up particularly in the environment of Reclaiming (and CoG as well, for that matter), when topics have been discussed to death and then beaten some more, something more or less suitable has been written to memorialize the discussions, and then, lo! six months later that same topic comes up again like it's brand new, like no one ever thought of if before. Aargh!

This bears, to some extent, on what my friend Katrina claims is a lack of respect for elders, in the sense that elders carry the history. It also arises from people not bothering to learn their history or to care about whence they sprung. If you don't respect your ancestors and your heritage, and pay them the courtesy of learning something of their experiences and what they know, then what kind of movment are you?

WTF is Reclaiming? I don't know what Reclaiming is but I do know who I am, and that I practice a form of Craft that I clearly see as Reclaiming tradition, at least the trad as I learned it, helped to create it, and continue to practice it. Which is not to say that trads, or any other living thing, don't evolve, and that Reclaiming hasn't evolved or isn't evolving. But one might think that a good working description (as opposed to definition) might work in a general way, at least for a few years. Sheesh!

I'm just running this off the top of my head right now because of recent posts in various communities that have been irritating me. Obviously this is not a considered essay of any sort.

Am I just a crotchety old fart, or do you, dear reader, appreciate similar experiences?

Second question: why would I care? Why would anyone care?


Marjie said...

Well, you see we (Humans) have to hear things many, many (exact number forgotten) times before we remember it. So, please keep caring and when we bring up an old topic, gently remind us that we know the answer to that already.

Broomstick Chronicles said...

Thanks, Marjie. The thing is we have notes. Nobody ever seems to realize we have notes, and no one ever seems to know where they are. What's the point in taking them? It's not that having notes means things cannot be changed, but it surely is a helpful starting point from which to proceed.

Sorry if I sound cranky. Crankiness is general and not directed towards anyone in particular.

steward said...

"no one ever seems to know where they are" - case in point, the discussion a year or two ago on "clean and sober" and whether that was an SFBA thing only or if the Spokescouncil (now WCC) had ever consensed to it. When someone finally dug out the notes and found that there had been consensus, some of the people who had consensed had apparently forgotten - not only that the issue had been raised, but that they themselves had consensed to it!

So I would guess that either you, as consensed archivist, or one of those consensed committees need to decide whether or not to post the consensed definitions of local, national, and/or international groupings in Reclaiming on the web, in hopes of people being able to find them.

Because if you don't post them, the state of no one knowing where they are - or even that they are - will continue. You might take as a model the way the Internet is governed, by "RFC" (Request For Comment) documents. These documents identify clearly whether they are informational, or standards, or if they obsolete a former RFC (in which case the older RFC on primary sites is then marked "obsoleted by RFC nnn " or something like that).

The "official" - insofar as they can be, the governance of the internal workings of the Internet being moderately anarchic - record of the RFC's is maintained by the Internet Society at You might want to look there for some ideas - assuming, of course, that you or whoever gets to make the decision thinks it's a good idea to get these things out where everyone can see them. ;>

Broomstick Chronicles said...

Thanks for your efforts, Steward, but if you think airing gripes is asking for solutions, you misunderstand the nature and purpose of gripes. I know plenty of good solutions.

I'm not archivist, consensed or otherwise. I facilitate a cell/hub/node/something called History & Lore.

Anonymous said...

It does seem like there is a lot of reinventing the Wheel in the Pagan Community!
"We set something like that up two years ago, I think ____ may still have some of the info on it...maybe."
I think though that we are finding our ballance point as a community and culture/subculture. The first 10-15 years of modern Neo-paganism was mainly about rigid structure and hierarchy, the next 10-15 were more about free-form growth and exploration and improvisation.
We'll get there, and it's elders such as yourself MMN that will help us get there...

Anonymous said...

Well, I know why *I* would care. I'd care because I was first attracted to Reclaiming because of specific things. Because of specific people, and because of specific definitions and practices that started growing before I was even born. If those things don't matter anymore, then there's no more Reclaiming for me, is there?