faery altar"We are all longing to go home to some place we have never been a place, half –remembered, and half-envisioned we can only catch glimpses of from time to time. Community. Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free."

A quote from Starhawk's book "Dreaming In The Dark: Magic, Sex & Politics" which still serves as a muse for me when ever I consider community.

It has been our experience through the years that as a relatively new community trying to find it's way back to a past half remembered but desperately longed too, that our greatest obstacles come from within not from without.

One of the biggest concerns I have for us over all is the rising of fundamentalist attitudes within our community about celebration. Celebration – is – spiritual. It is faith in action. We need safe places where we can come together with out judgment of our chosen paths. Celebration has been a part of our culture long before we became Neo-Pagans.

"All acts of love and pleasure are my ritual," comes from the Charge of the Goddess. It means that joy in and of itself is spiritual, sacred.

"The Charge" are words to live by. It's good for the soul, and for the spirit, and more than anything having safe places here we can commune and have fellowship with each other is paramount to our healthy growth as a community.

We all need places we can go too. Places we can feel safe. Places where we can meet others of like mind, network, find spiritual communion, the mothers and fathers of our children, or just to be among others of like mind.

The Sabbats of old were gatherings where great celebration occurred, music and dance brought together at the fire; the best drink and food were feasted upon in thanks to the Gods. At Sabbat gatherings energy was raised, and hope was kindled in the hearts of participants.

Our Sabbats and our community observations are not so different these days. Now, just as in the past, there are Sabbats that include games of skill and competition. There were ones for naming champions and this wheels Earthly representation of our Gods. And the tribal ways of our ancestors lives on.

Maeven Eller
Former Executive Director (2004-2005)