The past few weeks I’ve been thinking more and more about the concept(s) of community, tribe, and clan. And I’m beginning to see others who are writing on this subject as well. I’m sure it’s been written for a long while, but because it never came onto my radar, that is, I never thought I needed community, tribe, and clan, I didn’t pay much attention to the idea.

At the end of Desire Inanna discusses community.

We occupy a unique cultural moment in which community can’t be taken for granted as the place where you’re stuck and the people you’re stuck with. Community needs to be built intentionally – and I think that’s a good thing – but I also think that most of us don’t know how to do that.

I agree with Inanna. It’s not as if classes on community building are abundant, so we have to feel our way around in the dark, attempting to reach out to make even the briefest connections.

Tribe, being smaller than community, can be even more difficult to create. Before you create it, you must ask the questions put for by Cypress Nemeton

Who is it that you will, without thought, take extreme risk to protect or to help, without thinking of the possible consequences? That is your Tribe. It is, or should be, a clear, bright line of demarcation, and a group one should be very careful about letting people into.

Over the years, my tribe has expanded and contracted. A half decade ago I would’ve put many more people within my protection circle. A decade ago it would’ve been larger. But as I’ve aged my tribe has gotten smaller and more select. There are few I would protect using physical or legal violence: my lover and our animal companions. Maybe my goddaughter.

So how does one create a community, tribe, clan? Do those within the self-selected circles have to have same faith, political belief, and social agenda as you? Must you be related by blood, marriage, or both?

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