Considering that I did not even establish this blog site until the latter part of 2006, I was surprised to discover that I had in fact made the finalist list for DeafRead’s 2006 Best New Blog category. (Update – I did not win this category, but still consider it an honor just to have been nominated!)
Okay…I admit it – I did let it be known amongst my friends that this contest was taking place and they were free to make nominations, but I still figured that in that vast galaxy known as the Deaf Blogosphere, I was just a tiny remote little planet.
A little planet, perhaps…but obviously one people do enjoy visiting from time to time.
However, as much of an honor as it is to be nominated for an award, this is not the reason I created Deaf Pagan Crossroads.
This site really began as the result of two blogs which I wrote as a Guest Blogger for DeafDC.com – “The Spirituality of Gallaudet” and “The Magick of Gallaudet” (both of which you can find on this site). I am indebted to Shane Feldman and the rest of DeafDC for this opportunity to share my views on the Gallaudet Protest…from a Pagan perspective.
The result of the posting of such blogs is that other Deaf Pagans came out of the “broom closet” and acknowledged their own spiritual beliefs. Yet at the same time, they also expressed a concern about the lack of resources available for Deaf Pagans – both on-line and in real life.
This got me thinking…would a blog for Deaf Pagans (and other interested folks) be of any value?
I hemmed and hawed over this for a couple of days – while I enjoy writing, I’m not a technogeek, and wasn’t sure I wanted to get into the hassles of learning the ins and outs of blogging.
But the Goddess kept tapping at my shoulder and telling me “you can do this!” and thus with a little encouragement from my friends (amongst them being Queen Alpo, to whom I owe a special debt of gratitude), Deaf Pagan Crossroads was born.
This blog is my opportunity to share with others my own experiences of being Deaf…and Pagan. It’s my chance to express those beliefs, thoughts, philosophies, perspectives, insights and knowledge that all together encompass this human being known to the Pagan Community as Ocean, to her friends and family as “Gin,” and to the mundane world as Virginia L. Beach (the person, not the place!)
This site truly is a crossroads. It’s a place where people of various cultures, and beliefs, and backgrounds can come together…”in perfect love and perfect trust” as we Witches like to say…to learn together, to explore together, to journey together.
In the short time that this site has been up, I’ve been amazed by the diversity of people who have come to visit and either left comments, or sent me private emails. They have included Pagans and Christians; a Jew, a Muslim and a Buddhist. They’ve included Deaf folks, Hard of Hearing folks, Interpreter folks, and Hearing folks. They’ve included those who deal with their own struggles of Double Marginalization, those who find their own solace in the garden, and those who have also sat at the dinner table wondering what the heck their family members were saying.
I’ve gotten emails from Pagan organizations expressing an interest in possibly working with me to make their events accessible. I’ve gotten emails from Deaf Pagans stating how good it feels to know they are not alone. I’ve gotten emails from Deaf people telling me how my site has helped them in better understanding Paganism, and from Hearing people informing me how they’ve gained a greater insight into Deafhood and the Deaf Community.
That’s what this site is all about. It’s not about winning awards, as nice as that might be. It’s not about how many hits I get, or how many comments a certain blog receives… although those are certainly nice also!
It’s about being that crossroads, and about being that place where people can come together and share.
If…on a daily basis…this site succeeds in helping just one individual to become enlightened, educated, informed, or inspired…
it will have served its purpose.
Goddess Bless and Goddess Keep,