I’m poised to head to the Henge of Keltria’s annual meeting, this time in Minnesota. Naturally, it’s an exciting time — and also an anxious one.
Truth be told, the only Henge members I’ve met in person are those who have practiced with White Cat and have chosen to join. I’ve never quizzed anyone on this matter, either. While I naturally think that the Henge is comprised of a great bunch of folks and has a lot to offer, I also understand that even a modest membership fee can be a true hardship in these lean times.
It’s an interesting commentary that one meets more fellow co-religionists over the web than in the flesh. To a certain extent, that’s a consequence of being involved in a Pagan path other than Wicca. Druids — particularly those who would like to practice with others — just aren’t as common as Wiccans. You can add those who follow other non-eclectic paths in the same category: Kemetics, Hellenists, Roman religionists, Asatruar, etc.
Not that there is anything wrong with Wiccans, mind you. A non-Pagan probably couldn’t tell the difference between one path and another, truth be told; divisions are most important to the groups in question. The average Hindu probably couldn’t tell you the difference between Catholics, Baptists and Methodists, although he or she could recite divisions in his or her own faith system.
And so, the Internet can be a saving grace for smaller faiths, or practitioners in areas with few group worship options. Ideally, though, it shouldn’t substitute for living and breathing community. Words on a screen cannot show us the depth of another’s humanity, the quirks of character that make each of us who we are. They can comfort with distance, but not the intensity of a warm pair of arms. They can discourse, but not with the nuance and passion coloring the voice through the medium of one’s vocal chords.
And so. Off to HoK!