Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Elders, Hierarchy and Listening
A few thoughts that aren't fully fleshed out for this post, but that I wanted to get out there. Maybe I'll expand upon them in future posts.

Anne Hill has an interesting post on her blog about Elders, hierachy and social needs in contemporary Pagan traditions, particularly Reclaiming. It's worth a read.

She also talks about the quality of deep listening as a magical skill that is not taught often enough (and a skill that for her is a hallmark of a true Elder). This is an opinion that echoes my own very closely. Knowing how to listen and listening deeply to others as well as ourselves is important. I also feel that listening skills are also too widely ignored in secular education as well.

The ability to listen well is a crucial aspect of communication.; yet it is rarely taught. It seems that it is something that we are expected to simply know how to do, or pick up as we interact with others. For me, listening is a 'muscle' I need to exercise.

One way I do this is through silence. The year I spent working with "to be silent" was so wonderfully rewarding for me because I spent so much more time listening and being in 'the moment,' instead of talking and mentally thinking ahead. By listening I learned more about people and ideas and 'things. I also spent more time 'noticing.'

So, yes. Listening. Noticing. Elders. Authority. Food for thought.

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