A good number of my friends have formed a coven together and are meeting full moons, dark moons, and sabbats, which is a lot. Several of them had their training interrupted when their previous coven disbanded, and so there are a lot of first degrees coming up.
I have been worrying about this. Their coven is not one that meets my needs, and so I have chosen not to be a part of it. It does meet their needs and so they have chosen to be a part of it. I can and must respect that. However, the reasons behind why I am not a part of that coven are based on some personality conflicts and criticisms of mine.
This is relevant because I began to question myself regarding the Time Bank. If I feel this critical of others in my community, then do I really want to be closer to them through the aegis of the Time Bank? Perhaps the community is a lost cause and I should just accept that. Perhaps I should accept that all of my criticisms are true, relabel them discernment, and live in my lofty ivory tower of perfection.
As I did my emotional processing, though, I realized that I was afraid of how I felt like these friends in the coven were drifting away from me, was worried about their experience in the coven based on my outsider's criticisms of it, and was behaving in just the divisive manner that has caused our local pagan community to be so fractured.
If anything, the experience has shown me just how important the Time Bank could be and how difficult it might be to get it started. Nothing like personal experience to make things real. The Time Bank could provide the foundation for a common project/experience that is not specific to the practice of our faith, and so can cement relationships that have fractured over pagan practice-specific conflicts. I am coming to understand just how radical this shift might be.