Many debates have taken place over the Milena concerning the validity of certain religious views and practices, who is right, how you should achieve greatness ,knowledge and wisdom and ultimately of course, power.
When I first embarked upon the ship that was paganism it was a pleasant place to be, the lack of written knowledge had meant that nearly all its participants were on board because of some kind of self discovery, at this time the bookshelf in Waterstones labeled "mind body spirit" contained only a few books on the Tarot, some Kabbalistic,Crowley and occasionally a little gem, a gem that would always confirm that "yes there was something else".
But most importantly , we were on board because of an instinct. Some you might argue through genetic or family connection, others maybe a spiritual past life scenario, but all of us were there because a voice in our heads told us that was where we needed to be.
The first moots we went to were fabulous, by today's labels there was everyone from the ritual magician to the wiccan, the "hedge" pagan and Druid to the spiritualist tarot reader, the left hand alongside the right, we were there because we enjoyed the esoteric nature of life, and not one of us chose the faith, it had chosen us.
We were all right in what we were doing and we all excepted that everyone was right to do what they were doing as well, sometimes we would get together for a celebration of the seasons, other times just for a bit of a drink and chat, finding out how others planned and celebrated the seasons and the magick.
Needless to say, we all eventually went our different ways, although I am still in touch with some of that crowd we are all following what were our original beliefs that have been finely tuned perhaps with a few tweaks here and there.
That bookshelf in waterstones is now 100 times the size it was, unfortunately it is about 100 times less authentic with 100 times less integrity, there are some good books out there, mostly books of suggestions and not the ones entitled "THE XXXXXX BIBLE" that are worth a look.
Gone are the days of having to search for arcane knowledge, it has its own sub category, chat rooms and blogs like this have replaced the jovial moots, which in them selves are not such an exchange of ideas but a meeting place for those who cant think for themselves or cant find any other working groups from which to start, or no established covens want them.
These poor souls have bought into an off the shelf religion, one that has told them the way to think so that they become blinkered and ignorant of the facts, paganism is becoming Christianity, imagine that.
I was at a moot recently , at someones house, the altar had all the accessories available from countless Internet shops, cloths, knives , plastic pentacles you name it, what was missing were any of the signs of the year, perhaps a snowdrop or a hazel twig, there was nothing that showed any instinct at all, all layed out in proper order with as much soul as the altar in a church, another off the shelf belief.
I could rant on and on but the fault is not theirs, it is ours, we should have kept the knowledge to our selves , freely giving it to the true seeker and not the person requiring faith as a commodity.
The numbers would amount to much the same, but it would give these people a sense of instinct, to feel the wild magic of the world.
To those of my peers that cashed in on the new age, a shame on you, you failed the world, you never suggested you told, you never encouraged you only pushed, you sold your beliefs.
There are some of you that have maintained your integrity but there are more who did not, that you may come to regret and you know who you are.