Looking Backward – Gavin and Yvonne’s Archive – Wicca.org

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Okay, our visitors have gone, and it’s time to get serious again about doing the blog. Yesterday it snowed heavily here, so that’s yet more grounds to stay home and work at the computer. The sunlit snow makes the river valley and the mountains look even more beautiful than they did a month ago when the trees were turning color.
The snow brought back memories of other snows in other places : As a kid making my own sled in England, the trick was to use coppiced saplings for the runners, steaming them to shape. It was considered not cricket to have an adult help you with making your sled. Then we would all race them down a local hill. Many of them collapsed … but it was all in good fun, and the winner got to light the bonfire at next year’s Guy Fawkes celebration on November 5. The only thing comparable is the construction and racing of soapbox cars, with lots of adult involvement (legally or illegally) and large cash prizes.
More recently in Germany I remember giving the driver of the horse-drawn sidewalk plow a bottle of beer for his work. I wonder whether they’re still using horse-drawn plows for snowy sidewalks over there in Munich. It’s easy to look back and forget the bad and remember the good; but I have to say a lot of the good was really good.
It seems to me that the Kennedy assassination marked a turning point in the history of this nation. Before that, we had hope for the future; we had a vision and optimism. Today most people are only existing, feeling that the best they can hope for is that the future won’t bite them in the ass.
A West African word, sankofa, means
“It isn’t forbidden to go back and fetch what you forgot”
with a symbol of a bird looking over its shoulder. It is often interpreted as a call for African people to look back to their roots. Similarly, the Bolivian government of Evo Morales has a motto:
“Moving forward by looking back”.
Have we forgotten in Wicca how great the early days were? How informed we were, and how deep the arguments over theology really went? –Yet the disputers could still circle amiably together. People of different traditions enjoyed one another’s company. And we all had a vision. Today we can only shed a tear for that vision that we’ve lost.
Can we as Wiccans do less than go back and fetch what we’ve forgotten? Are there better ways to move forward than by looking back? When people arbitrarily change such things as the Charge of the Goddess to make it more correct politically, when they change rituals so that they are shorter or held on a more convenient night, do they not realize that they are destroying that which in the past was as beautiful as sunlit new snow on mountainsides?
Blessed be. Gavin and Yvonne

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