Virtual vs. Real

Virtual vs. Real

ADF is, in many ways, a virtual church. Many of our members have no grove or protogrove connections, and their only contact with other like-minded ADFers comes through the Internet, or in the pages of this journal.

But what happens should the web go down? Many scientists predict that there will be occasional systematic failures in the ‘cloud’, and even solar flares could disrupt the flow of the Internet (and even our power distribution systems). While there is not a high risk of this happening any time soon, it is inevitable that our virtual world will face disruptions in the future.

The idea of being cut off from our iPhones and Blackberries, our computers, tablets and iPads, even our electricity, is a sobering one. Our culture has become used to being constantly connected, and the possibility of becoming isolated from each other, even for a fairly short time, can be unsettling.

This is where our religious and spiritual practices come in. As orthopraxic Pagans, our praxis, or practices, are what make us who we are. Meditation helps us find our centers as well as discipline our minds. Daily devotionals keep us in touch with our Kindreds and our inner selves. Full rites, conducted alone, with our families, or in our groves bring us a connection with Spirit, a give and take that can sustain us in difficult times.

So when all else fails, we may always fall back on our usual practices to provide a quiet and stable foundation in our lives.

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