Have you ever noticed how history is cyclical?
I was at a Pagan meeting this afternoon.
The Pagan scene in Dunedin, New Zealand, where I live, has been very, very quiet for a long time. It was very active a few years ago – a little over half a decade ago – then it all died off for various reasons to do with a conservative element and a few nasty elements in the community – and everything went really quiet.
Interestingly, I’ve also got a Munch (social gathering) tomorrow for the kinky community tomorrow. The kinky community in Dunedin has also been very. very quiet for a long time.
It was very active a few years ago – a little over half a decade ago – then it all keeled over for various reasons to do with a few nasty elements in the wider community – and everything went really quiet.
At the Pagan meeting I went to, I heard how the University Women’s Officer used to do Womens Rituals. I just about died from shock when I heard that.
Imagine that! In conservative Dunedin! That all stopped of course, a few years ago. About the same time as everything else.
About that same time, the conservative city council of Dunedin began closing down student pubs, tightening up student behaviour they deemed inappropriate for various reasons, and generally restricting anything they considered to be not “suitable” for a staid and stodgy town.
To “clean it up”, was the excuse given, among a number of other excuses.
Can you see where I’m going with this?
Pots boil over
The thing is, life goes in cycles. And as much as a conservative trend may try to close down stuff it doesn’t particularly like, pots will always boil over in the end.
You can’t bully whole communities into submission and expect things to last that way forever without dissent and uprising and change.
I think that’s what’s happening now. The wind is changing.
Written in the wind…
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the sub-communities are struggling to their feet again at the same time, afetr being all but killed off.
I don’t believe that you can close down pubs and venues for fun and letting off steam for students, and just expect that they’ll stop needing those outlets for fun and relaxation. Life doesn’t work that way.
Life is swings and roundabouts. Life is change. You can’t keep the Old Gods down.
Too conservative stifles our breath!
In Dunedin, there’s a really strong and powerful element, and it’s in charge, that would like to see Dunedin as nothing but a conservative, neat, polite, vanilla town full of suburbanites who wear suits and go to Church on Sundays and watch TV in the evenings and never, EVER would consider going to a Drumming-Trance-Pagan event or a play party.
Oh no, not ever.
That same element doesn’t approve of student pubs and student experimentation and kink and creativity and challenge and free thought, because those things are scary and uncontrolled and can’t be made a profit from easily.
But what it forgets is that we’re human. Not machines. We don’t come in little boxes, one size fits all. A fair number of us like to party. And drink. Some of us even like to do Pagan ritual, or kinky sex.
The lid has been kept on the pot a little too long. All the while we’ve been here, quietly simmering away, but now we’re boiling over, and expanding out into the world again.
Swings and roundabouts.
The more you restrict a subculture, the more it will grow and expand and thrive. Right under your nose. You just won’t see it happening until – bang! – suddenly it’s on your doorstep demanding rights.
Dunedin may seem a conservative town on the surface, but beneath that surface things are beginning to get really interesting.
I don’t know what will happen, but I’m sure looking forward to finding out.
And Happy Mabon! 🙂 May the Old Gods rise again!