In Michigan, we have come to the time for us to recognize that the time of Eldering is upon us in order to ensure the next generations of magickians, witches, Wiccans, occultists, Pagans, etc, are properly prepared and guided. The sixties have come and gone, and the icons have begun to age and pass down their torches to those who are coming after them. This is a vital time, because every generation is a new challenge, a new opportunity, a new time to either save the values and foundations of belief of our Traditions, or see them destroyed, dissembled, and degraded to the lowest forms. This is why Eldering is so important.
What is Eldering? The Eldering Institute defines it as
"... living life as a contribution.This is what those who have come before, gone through the trials and rites, and lived the life have to offer us. Too often their insight is seen as censure, and experienced observations are seen as attacks when they are not. Right now in the Land of the Fresh Water Seas, the Elders are quietly leaving us to find our own ways. But not in the best way in many times.
When we share the best of who we are, we have purposeful conversations that matter. We are generous with our time and energy. We listen non-judgmentally and give people our full attention. Rather than focusing on contributing knowledge or information (which quickly becomes obsolete or redundant), we share our wisdom—our insights and perspectives, our ‘way of being’ in the world—in a way that brings out the best in others and helps them live life more successfully on their own terms"
There is a perceivable wave of despair shadowing the land. Those with knowledge to share are being ignored, pushed aside, and sometimes even purposefully subjected to character attacks by those who would replace them. It is one thing to find your place in the sun. It is another to be shone upon by the light from the flames of the pyre upon which you sacrifice your rival.
The need to grow and change is ever present. However, to grow implies a starting point. If one does not acknowledge where the beginnings are, what the basis of beliefs were founded upon, good and bad, then how does the community rise as a whole. How do you cut off the roots and expect the tree to stand?
Money has been a real motivator the world over, and throughout the ages. That being said, it is insinuating itself among the leadership that is taking the helm of the ship. Instead of it being a means to and end, the would be Now Generation of Michigan Magick is being slowly affected by false elders, those described by Quill Mastercraft in "The Travail of Pagan Elders" as ones who
"set a goal to become a Pagan elder, thinking they can amass money, fame or power in such a position. They promote themselves as experts, usually on a specific tradition or subject matter, and either offer themselves as public speakers or preachers, hold classes for a fee, write articles or books. In today's society, where so many people gullibly (sic) believe what they see and hear - often ignoring their intuition or better judgement - such self-proclaimed elders draw the naive to them, and proceed to mislead, confuse and sometimes totally disillusion them about the true meaning of their Pagan faith"This does not mean that the earning of money for time and work is wrong or to be looked down upon. However, there is more to being an elder than gathering followers willing to finance you. As Patti Wigington wrote in "Elders - What Is a Pagan Elder?",
"Often, someone who has been involved in the Pagan community for a long time, and has shown that they have a significant amount of knowledge and wisdom to share, can be considered an Elder. People who are teachers, counselors, authors, and other leaders can all be designated as Elders, if others feel they have earned it"Thus, the author can sell the books, the teacher can charge for classes, the festival organizer can charge event admission, etc, without losing their spirituality in the process. The key is that they have earned the title through doing the work and it will show in everything they do, not in the grand way they turn a phrase when they self proclaim their status.
Lineages, Traditions, Paths, Books, all of these are valid things, but without the heart, blood, and Souls of those who have established them, practiced them, and learned from them, they mean nothing. If you have never heard the voice of your Gods, how can you lead others to that deity? If you have never walked the Way, then how do you find it?
Elders are there as guides and pools of knowledge and experience that are here if people will use them and allow them to share it. When you walk into the local store and see that woman behind the counter with the serene face, the grey streak, the energy pouring off of her, and you decide that you know it all and do not have anything to gain, you have missed the boat.
People give a lot of lip service to honoring the ancestors. But why wait until they are the Mighty and Beloved Dead before you recognize their worth? What good is sitting vigil years later, when the feast is before your eyes now? Sit at the table and be served.
When you go to the local events and the gentleman sagely watching it all and speaking little sometimes, or who is sometimes very vocal about things that mean a lot to him, pay attention. There is the lesson. You may not agree, but you have had the blessing to hear and the chance to process what you have heard from those who have sailed those waters before you and can say, yes, there there be dragons.
One more thing to remember when we do wrongly by our Elders was summed up best by local
Elder L.J. Rose, local owner of Lotions Potions Notions is that
"there is no way that they will ever get an elder to come back to serve after the way they have been treated"Words to heed.
Republished from http://www.examiner.com/article/eldering-a-new-generation-of-pagans-michigan
Special Regards to Ki'a Dragon