The Birth of Wild Thorn Hollow

Posted by Jessi Arnn on Friday, February 27, 2015 Under: Wild Thorn Hollow Updates
When I first shared the founding document of Wild Thorn Hollow with my coven, posted here on the "Founding Principles" page, I knew it was unlike anything I had ever seen in the Pagan community, and likely unlike anything they had ever seen.  I anticipated some questions, and I wanted to share a little insight into why I chose the direction I chose for The Hollow.  As it is now time to take it public and open its doors, it seems fitting to share those words here, and perhaps expand upon them a bit.  

I did a lot of prayer and meditation going into the founding of this tradition, and gave a lot of thought to where problems arose in each of the two previous tradition I had a hand in founding. One of the places both gr
oups had trouble was where we had backed ourselves into a corner with our own structure. This was particularly true in instances where defined leadership could not come to a meeting of the minds, but even problematic in cases where individual members treated the membership structure like a race to the finish line, and developed a power hungry thirst to reach the end, rather than maintaining a spiritual focus. By de-emphasizing the structure, I hoped to avoid both the problem of individual members becoming overly concentrated on it, and the issue of the structure itself becoming the problem.  I chose to keep the actual writing on the front end very short and to the point, sort of like the U.S Constitution, I suppose.  A simple founding document that could be built upon if needed, but always referred and reverted back to.  I could envision simple, singular structures coming into place as needed, such as volunteer committees for event planning, and dismantling once the task is completed.  Perhaps even temporary councils being put in place to help us through tough decisions or get us through tough times.  But always, we would go back to that original founding document, with all situations being handled on a case by case basis.

I also spent some time thinking about the teaching materials I had written for each preceding tradition and realized that inevitably, not too long after they had been finalized, I would always come across adjustments that I felt needed to be made. I thought it would be fascinating then to not have set doctrine or specific teaching guides. Those who feel called to teach may develop their own teaching tools, and those tools may even be shared some around the tradition, but none of them would be the set standard of the tradition. Instead, the idea would be that what we practice and what we teach should be constantly evolving, changing and growing as we do. I thought about cultures I found spiritually influential, such as Native American tribal culture or legitimate pre-Christian, ancient Pagan culture, and realized a couple of things. Within those cultures, rites of passage and spiritual milestones would have been observed, and certain figures like teachers, clergy, shamans, healers, and yes...even sacred clowns!...would have emerged within the community. However, they would have had nothing like a typical modern tradition's structure in place, or a fixed set of procedural steps in place for procuring that recognition. I thought it would be interesting to see what happens if we let adults be adults, each pursuing their own spiritual growth, coming together as community because they choose to. I view it as a bit of a social spiritual experiment.  I have, however, felt a calling to found a tradition for many years now, and this third attempt will be wholly my own, so I feel like sink or swim, it will allow me to finally close the book on that chapter.

In : Wild Thorn Hollow Updates 


Tags: "wild thorn hollow" birth beginning founding 

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