Sunday, January 31, 2016

CanaanitePaganism Group Closing

For nearly thirteen and a half years, the CanaanitePaganism group on Yahoo! has done its best to serve the nascent Canaanite polytheist religious community.

I started the CanaanitePaganism Yahoo group on August 30, 2002 because the only group online where a person could talk about Canaanite deities and religion was the JAP-1 Listserv on Hollyfeld.org, but the conversations that needed having in regards to Canaanite deities and Canaanite religions were beyond the scope and separate from the conversations at the "Jewish American Pagan" group, since these conversations were not Jewish, not American, and became increasingly not Pagan. A handful of years after I started the CanaanitePaganism Yahoo group, the JAP-1 Listserv dried up and there wasn't even an alternate group where some of these conversations might take place, even as awkward as it was bound to be. The CanaanitePaganism list was it; for a long time it was the place to go, it was the only place to go, even on the internet, which devoted entirely to conversations about the ancient Canaanite deities. And the landscape offline was even more desolate especially in those days; it's a rare thing to honor the Canaanite deities. Thankfully it is getting a little less rare these days, and there are new opportunities for interaction on Facebook, which I hope will continue to grow our community online and off.

Over the years at CanaanitePaganism we’ve had good times, spirited discussion, and we shared a great deal of information, but it is time to close the group. Everything in life has a life cycle, and we’ve reached the end of the viable life for this group. It is time to let go and allow for some new conversations, new formats, new spaces, and new foundations. I am thankful to all who joined in the conversations and the memories there, and I wish you all well.

For both the Canaanite polytheist community and the greater polytheist communities, I offer this:
We should give things like this that half-second of appreciation instead of just writing them off completely as "Well, yeah, but all of Yahoo and Yahoo groups [or XYZ format on ABCsite.com] are crap these days. It's going the way of dinosaurs, and LiveJournal and MySpace, and Zumba pants."

This, and things like this, are big deals in our emerging polytheist traditions. We shouldn't treat them as though they aren't, even though they seem small and even if they may or may not directly affect us. It's not a matter of my having emotions here (although I do have emotions on the matter) it's more a matter of "let's not trivialize the beginnings and the endings of those beginnings, of the very polytheist movements we're trying to establish."


22 Khiyyaru, Shanatu 88

Image Credits: Hans Watzek Stilleben, 1898, Public Domain