Friday, 13 August 2010

Passages

I never met Isaac Bonewits; I knew of him as I know of so many other seminal figures in the modern neopagan movement of which I have been a part now for more years than really seems possible. He has been eulogized at length and eloquently now by those who did know him, so I won't even make the attempt. I have no real belief in or expectation of any kind of afterlife, but even so a return of our physical matter back into the matrix of nature whence we came doesn't seem like such a bad ending for a druid who clearly honored and exalted that matrix through his life and his work. So thank you, Isaac, for helping to more clearly mark the path that others would follow behind you.

Neopaganism is a new religion that's gotten old enough to see its founders start to age, and in some cases, die. That's a startling and sobering thing in itself. Gardner was long gone before I ever heard of any of this pagan stuff, and others like Sanders and Leek and the like passed on while I was still very young. But now I'm older myself, and more aware, and seeing the elders of this movement growing old, growing ill, hits down at that level where the nightmares lurk--as I am now, so shall you become, chilling as an eroding epitaph on an ancient tombstone (in a moss-shrouded graveyard at midnight, and with a vulture perched on top). We see our own mortality writ large in the passage of those who go before us. And even though our various systems that cluster under the "pagan" umbrella give much lip service to the idea of revering death, in the end who doesn't honestly fear the Reaper, just a little? It's not so much the actual death part that holds the horror, but the process of getting there.

1 comment:

  1. *THIS* Thank you for putting into words what I have been struggling with internally ever since I heard of Isaac's passing.

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