Upgrades and Down Roots

“...This is the Hour of Lead--
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow--
First--Chill--then Stupor--then the letting go --.”
-Emily Dickinson


It has been a long time coming, but I needed to change the website. I moved it to a new platform and there are new features coming to the podcast which will allow for easy subscriptions. So I hope this new, simplified version of the site is manageable and easy to navigate. It is a true reflection of my spiritual life as well: the many altars reduced to the few, a singular pattern of focus and intention without the bullshit of others’ influenced experiences.

In the solitude of mountains, I have gathered about me tools of inspiration: The trees whisper their secret warnings, eyes open to watch the unmaking of our world as wolves return to hunt. My domesticated and feral natures work in harmony now. There is a delicate madness to this balance.

Pagan, Enough?

I am not terribly interesting. I am a heterosexual woman born and raised female. I am married with one husband, one child and 3 cats all living together. I am highly educated, middle-class taxpayer with high speed internet and a retirement plan. I drive a 12 year old paid off car. I have a huge amount of student loan debt, which I work a government job to pay for. I recently bought a house in a small woods and brand new living room furniture for the first time in my adult life. I am a librarian. I don’t make and sell witchy wares nor do I belong to any esoteric groups; as a matter of fact, every group I have ever joined either disbanded or kicked me out.

As a Pagan I am drawn to community worship… as a Witch I long for the deep experiences found only in solitude; why public rituals and conferences are a double-edged sword. I have found there to be two kinds of folks: ones who practice magick and are Pagan, then the ones who just want to socialize and worship together without any magickal practice. Both are valid paths of transformation and religious experience, but can be mutually exclusive of their opposites. I can see the confusion during public workings, when witches attempt to be inclusive of all regardless of magickal training… it taints the current with amateur energy and a chaotic focus. There was a reason our ancestors left these kinds of things to the religious specialists, Priests and magick workers.

After attending Pantheacon for nearly 5 years straight, it seems I have outgrown it spiritually. It no longer feeds my spirit, inspires me to try new things nor encourages me to meet new friends. Every time it is the same people covering the same topics for newbies, teaching technologies I have discovered on my own, and new innovations in activism or intended for the niche collectives. The anger and hurt permeating our communities, the fear which feeds it.. all poisons and contagions.  

The winds of fortitude are stripping all bare, leaving us exposed. Sexual abuses in many religious communities both internationally and in our microcosmic Pagan circles...bones picked clean over time and rot. The fervor of persecution justified by regrets and frustration spread the suspicions… a witch hunt amongst witches. What must our ancestors think, to see the once powerful and feared Arte reduced to Instagram memes and pettiness amongst practitioners? Those of our Crafte history would not crumble at the thought of a feminist historian presenting on Women’s History at a Pagan Conference. Women who are born with the genitalia of women, raised female yet find the courage to practice witchcraft are looking to connect with others in a safe way. Instead they are experiencing gender apartheid by the majority.

We shall gather together under the guise of night, hidden mysteries for those who seek in private places. The integrity and innovation is out there, not presenting but in the doing. Grinding the herbs, slathering the salve and meeting at the wild places in witches’ hearts; journeys that cannot be sold nor bought, only earned through practice and patience. The knowledge is passed down in the sweat of effort and blood of dedication; no weekend hotel party. So for those who search, may you find Truth and be fearless in it’s embrace.

The Silence of Snow

Under a cold blanket, the sun begins to shine through. Filtered as light does, the jagged edges of ice refract and call into memory something primal. Codes of survival written into skin, hair and instinct. The call of blood to hide away, allow the storm to pass over is strong. Gusts of frigid air fill my nostrils, the muscles of my chest tense up and the sobering reality of Winter’s death grip comes into focus. Having enough in the house becomes a real focus; a simple drive to the store has become a journey of fortitude...planning and patience are virtuous to sit out the drifts. The taste of a wild kill is something modern Pagans rarely know. The bloodshed for another to live, sacrifice of the land is not lightly taken. Feeding the land is the price; offerings of milk and honey, felling diseased trees and composting the shed leaves.

These are more than poetic words, pretty as they seem. The romanticized rural life is one many don’t understand in our modern context; trying to reconnect to a past that never existed for some. Since moving back into the countryside, I have sunk deep into the roots of my spirit. The moments of uncertainty, arousal and serenity were unfamiliar but I have learned to sit in the middle of it. Like a rock, half buried in dirt and ice, exposed to sleeping earth below: I am witness and ally.

And so I burrow deeper into the land beneath my feet, finding stability in hidden root systems. Trees are a community never taking more than they need, providing support to each other and allowing the weak to die off for the good of healthier forest. The mentoring nature is one Pagans should look to for examples of equanimity and compassion. Only those who find nourishment in dark places will weather this storm, of social and climate change.