Friday, February 17, 2017

Gen Hex: Pagans of the In-Between Generation

Caught between the huge populations of the Boomers and Millennials, and caught between their back-and-forth blaming and insults, sits my generation.

Gen X.

While every generation gets pelted by insults from generations before, Gen X is the first generation that endured major media around that conversation. The insults to us were immortalized on VHS, then DVD, then Blu-Ray, and so on.

The technological advances grew hugely during our younger years, and we grew with it, making us the first generation to focus, not on a specialty technological knowledge, but specializing in a sort of fluid understanding of how to learn technology (individual results may vary). The Millennials got that, too.

Gen X had the most under-parented childhoods in history, due to divorce, parents working outside the home and latchkey lives. This allowed abuses to happen in unsupervised lives. Now, Gen Xers over-parent and over-protect, as a whole.

Gen X music and art hugely reflects our mindset: Depeche Mode, U2, grunge and hip hop. Our expressions reflected our cynicism. But that cynicism wasn't pessimism.  It was more of a critical look at how things had been done, how things were presented to us, how things were organized.

We were criticized as a generation, but I've seen Gen Xers jump to defend other generations from that same criticism. We don't accept "that generation" attitudes; instead, we know WHY Millennials hustle, and we will explain it to others.

We are the first to criticize how things are run, from companies to economies to governments. We don't "respect" our bosses just because they are our bosses. You have to earn our respect, the hard way. And our criticisms often have real solutions. We aren't just complaining; we can see the better way to do things.

What does this mean as Pagans?

Because of our lack of numbers, Gen X Pagans have been wedged in between. We are watching as the elders get older, but still lead. And we watch as the Millennial Pagans come in talking about getting ready to "take the reins".

But we've been here longer. Some of us were born to Paganism, in greater numbers than Boomer Pagans. Many of us have decades of experience and learning, which isn't often true for Millennial Pagans.

We walked the Path and many of us broke off and forged our own, embracing the solitary Pagan ways. True to form, we dismissed Traditions as being unnecessary - unless that's what spoke to you.

Gen X Pagans brought in the slow but steady voice of acceptance and tolerance for non-WASPs (white anglo straight pagans). We lead charges of calling people out for bad behavior and we picked up the narrative of triggers and consent within the community.

We are Gen Hex

As Pagans, Gen Xers are more willing to do the dirty work than Boomers and we have more "elder authority" than Millennials. Our over-protectiveness leads us to swoop in and try to save everyone. We point the spotlight and refuse to let hate or abuse crawl back under a rock.

We are too young to be entrenched in Traditions, but too old to be concerned about our place in the Pagan world. We are hedge witches, kitchen witches, solitary witches. We start new covens and traditions when the old ones aren't available or just plain don't work for us.

And, when push comes to shove, we will use our powers for... not good, but the Greater Good.


  1. Yeah, these are generalizations. Obviously. Talking about generations is talking about generalizations.
  2. Of course there are exceptions to everything I've said here. Those would be individuals that do not fit the overall trend. I love exceptions. They make things interesting.
  3. I would love to have numbers backing up what I've said, but Pagans are notoriously hard to get statistics on. These statements are based on my years of watching the Pagan community.
  4. I'm sure many of you have had experiences contrary to what I've said here. That's great, and we could spend weeks debating whether my experiences or your experiences are the norm or the outlier, and we would still never know who was correct. I'm busy, you're busy, let's just skip that whole thing and acknowledge that this is just my experience and opinion. 

Interesting articles on Gen X

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