I mulled over my life the other day. Between my depression increasing in ten folds and the past two years resulting in nothing but “I guess I woke up today”, I needed to look forward to something. I needed to figure out a life goal for myself that was attainable and fulfilling.
So, I thought about making a sorta community center for Polytheists.
As I chronicled on this blog, my interactions with the pagan community have been disappointing to downright awful. But those are “pagan” communities. From people sharing experiences on Tumblr, I’ve realized that my experiences are unfortunately the norm at in-person pagan events. That there is little to no attention given to hard polytheists and no thought given to Recons.
But what if I made a center focused on Polytheism? A place dedicated to them–to us.
I know that I would like that, but I wasn’t sure about other people. So I posted on Tumblr in the tags to see the responses, and they were really positive! So that got me excited. Which got me thinking. And planning. And, so, here are things I would want to accomplish with the community center:
- Either a library or bookstore with helpful books. Things Recons put on “Recommended Reading” lists.
- Feasts, festivals, and holiday celebrations! I know I would want to have a celebration for the Four Gaelic Festivals, but I’d open it up for other people. (Like if a NeoWiccan group wanted to use the space for Full Moon Esbats, or a Kemetic wanted to use the space for Wep Ronpet, or if a Norse Recon wanted to host a blót, etc etc. It’d be dependent on the community.)
- Educational workshops. Sometimes one-day things, sometimes multiple classes, etc. Maybe a weekly meditation class?
- A monthly book club–which may just end up being a monthly “talk about what you’re reading!” club.
- A weekly service of some sort. Probably revolving around me taking a folktale and talking about it, or talking two pieces of scripture and discussing them.
- Summer camps for kids to learn about various mythologies and folklore: ranging from Christianity to Egyptian to Japanese.
- Shrines! I think it’d be wonderful to have community shrines for the Gods. Not one shrine for ALL the gods (I can’t imagine how a Kemetic and a Gaelic Polytheist could share a shrine while respecting their respected cultures), but a room dedicated to Gaelic Deities, a room dedicated to Kemetic Deities, a room dedicated to Hellenic deities, etc etc etc.
Things I would like to include, depending on resources:
- A really, really cheap daycare. (I’m really sick of how babysitting is $10/hr and minimum wage is $7.25/hr. I don’t think babysitters need to be paid less, but people need to be paid more. Otherwise, I kinda just wish I could give free daycare to single parents or struggling families so they can earn a living to feed their children.)
- Athletics of some sort. Maybe just as simple as intramural activities.
- Activism projects.
- Other classes, like maybe dance classes or martial arts.
I haven’t really put it all together yet in a business plan (as my boyfriend is urging me to do) because I’m not anywhere near ready to even ask local people in the area if they’d be interested (since it’s one thing to have various people on Tumblr support the idea, and another to get local support.) I am fairly sure I need to dive deep into a theology and history degree to be an adequate teacher for the core classes. I don’t know where I’d even get a degree to really cover what I want to be knowledgeable in.
This is all ignoring the fact that I failed my attempt at re-entering the academia world because I had panic attacks (again) getting to classes. So I first have to get over the hurtle that is my mental health before I can even begin to grasp the building blocks for this endeavor.
Still… It would be nice to have a safe place. No racists allowed, no sexists allowed, no bigots allowed. People building friendships and family, helping each other grow. It’s a real nice thought.