Grey Cat - Pagan Manners Or Are There Any Dead Animals in The Soup (94.0 Kb)
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I can hear the outraged screams already. there are people out there who believe that the very idea of "Pagan Manners" is a conflict in terms that "manners" are outdated, dishonest and hypocritical. Well, think again. Manners constitute the only successful technique ever discovered by humankind to enable groups and individuals, holding moderately disparate views, customs or beliefs, to get along together. There are things more improtant than manners but, without manners, its unlikely that a discussion will ever go to ... More >>>
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I can hear the outraged screams already. there are people out there who believe that the very idea of "Pagan Manners" is a conflict in terms that "manners" are outdated, dishonest and hypocritical. Well, think again. Manners constitute the only successful technique ever discovered by humankind to enable groups and individuals, holding moderately disparate views, customs or beliefs, to get along together. There are things more improtant than manners but, without manners, its unlikely that a discussion will ever go to them.
Pagan manners are fairly simple and have nothing to do with which fork you use or how to word an invitation. They have to do with respect for others' feelinsg and beliefs. They most specifically have to do with recognition of the fact that you should "judge not th path of your brother or sister for their path is sacred." Manners are also the only way of attempting to grant everyone the personal space which each of us needs. There have been a number of attempts to write down a list of "thou shalts" and "thou shalt nots" which will cover Pagan life.
Grey Cat (1940 - 2012) was elder and the author of "Deepening Witchcraft: Advancing Skills & Knowledge", and a contributor to several other books, including "Exploring the Pagan Path: Wisdom From the Elders," and the Chas Clifton-edited "Witchcraft Today" series. Grey Cat served as the editor of The Crone Papers for four years, and had held leadership positions within the Covenant of the Goddess and Ar n'Draiocht Fein. Grey Cat founded the NorthWind Tradition of American Witchcraft, and was an elder is several other American Witchcraft traditions.
Perhaps Grey Cat's largest contribution to modern Paganism was her outspoken advocacy for elders within our communities, and the need to ground our traditions in wisdom and hard-won experience. She was part of a larger movement towards acknowledging the aging of the Pagan community's first and second waves, and the changing spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of those populations. "Deepening Witchcraft," which was published in 2002, along with similar books like Ellen Cannon Reed's "The Heart of Wicca: Wise Words from a Crone on the Path," published in 2000, were seen as a corrective to a Wiccan/Witchcraft community that had become overly focused on younger adherents, "101" instructional tomes, and unbridled eclecticism in the 1990s.
On March 30, 2012, a friend of Grey Cat announced that she had passed away. In November of last year, Grey Cat told friends and followers on Facebook that she had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and had less than a year to live. Her last post was made on March 8th, where she said that "the oddest thing about knowing you're about to die is that there is so little to say about it." Already, her profile is full of condolences and remembrances from the many people whose lives she touched.
"Word has come to me that my old friend Pagan elder & author Grey Cat has died. She had a deep love of the Craft and shared experiences & perspectives in her book, Deepening Witchcraft. She was connected with a variety of groups, festivals, & communities over the course of her life, including the Pagan Spirit Gathering. I join the many who mourn her passing. She lives on in her writings & in the many individuals & groups she touched. Blessed Be, Grey Cat." - Selena Fox, Circle Sanctuary
Grey Cat was a much beloved figure for many Pagans who treasured her wisdom and plain-speaking, her absence will most certainly be felt. May she rest in the arms of her gods, and return to us again.