PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT: I may have posts on my feed that do not necessarily reflect my personal opinion and are good points to consider for thought and discussion. I have said before that I will not publicly debate people on line and that stance holds. You are welcome to post your opinion or point of view as long as it is done so with respect and a lack of personal attacks. Any bigot, misogynist, transphobe, Christian bashers, Muslim bashers, Jewish bashers, lesbian bashers or homophobs will be blocked on general principle. I welcome inquisitive debate and exploration of concepts. I believe in direct resolution. If you have some personal issue with me, you are welcome to come to me and I am willing to pay for mediation between us. This ends my yearly public announcement.
When I am not sure how to deal with something I marinate on it. This means I sit around thinking through what has happened or been done or said and then respond. Months and months ago, a review for Family Coven: Birthing Hereditary Witchcraft was posted.
I read it and was wholly offended by portions and understood other points. Ultimately I didn’t respond to the review when I knew there were several factual errors in the review and omissions that would have shed a different light on the review.
After posting about qualifications on Monday, I decided it was time to set the record straight and found the comment section on this article closed. SO… I get to do it here.
Witchcraft, Wicca, Paganism
I am not going to continue this debate. The author suggests that I am confused. I am not. I understand the alleged distinction between these three terms and I categorically reject them. I feel like these distinctions are most often used by traditional Craft to further divide our community.
Inexperience & Idealism
It is true I only had one child. It is also true that I have a bachelor of science degree in psychology and that a portion of every chapter of my book was written by different families of different types and make ups. Further it is true that the initial writing of the book occurred when Tree Bear (please note the appropriate name), was younger and the book was re-worked when Tree Bear was nearly sixteen.
I stand by what I said when Tree Bear was three through seven and there are some things I would have done differently that are directly related to my personal journey and the personal journey of my Family Coven. None of this detracts from the fact that the ideas presented in this book were not only tested in my Family Coven. Many different families utilized the tools I suggested and gave me feedback long before the book was published and for me this gives the information a much more grounded perspective than if this was just “my idea.”
Further I took great pains to research, study and research different types of parenting and learning styles that are presented in the book. All of which seems to be missing from the author’s judgement of my experience.
Children In Ritual
This biggest issue the author takes is around my assertion that communities should make room for children. She jumps right into the fray about how children’s presences isn’t appropriate in ALL rituals and completely blows by the fact that the last chapter of this book actually charges parenting partner(s) with the responsibility of ensuring a child’s readiness to participate in community events (Family Coven, page 263-269). Many of these points can actually be read on line on the Willow Dragonstone Community website. This particular article in some form has been reprinted numerous times and has been complimented as an excellent guideline regarding children and ritual or children and gathering attendance.
To be clear, I don’t care if someone doesn’t prefer my view point of family and craft which I have termed Family Coven. I do care, however, if criticisms are inaccurate and incomplete. Anyone can take one sentence out of a book and build a rant about a book to suit their view point and opinion, especially if they leave out points that would counter the stated argument. I have learned long ago that paganisms many flavors are not savored by everyone and I see nothing wrong with that.
I also know that it is a radical thing to empower families to behave as a spiritual entity first before joining with community. I understand that it can be idealistic to hope that someday a book of shadows created by you might be cherished by another. I also understand that questioning the unilateral authority of traditional covens is offensive to those who hold power.
I can live with all of that. Just get my son’s name right and don’t leave out important information and we will be all good.
Lady Chirona suggested this week’s question be around leadership and compassion. Doing a search for this I came across Greater Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life. In an article about Compassionate Leaders, I found the following quote particularly interesting.
The first and perhaps the most important finding in the book is the role of leadership. It takes a very special type of leader to bring a company from goodness to greatness. Collins calls them “Level 5” leaders. These are leaders who, in addition to being highly capable, also possess a paradoxical mix of two important and seemingly conflicting qualities: great ambition and personal humility. These leaders are highly ambitious, but the focus of their ambition is not themselves; instead, they are ambitious for the greater good. Because their attention is focused on the greater good, they feel no need to inflate their own egos. That makes them highly effective and inspiring.
Given the use of titles and the often exaltation of pagan leaders, I have to wonder what the relationship is between humility and compassion. Which brings us to today’s question – In leadership, what is the relationship between humility and compassion?
It does NOT have to be “us versus them.”
While I write under a pen name, I am completely out of the broom closet. At this point, if you have known me for a few months/years and do not know that I am Wiccan, then I am completely surprised and you haven’t been paying attention. Sometimes though, I wonder about my fellow Tae Kwon Do students. One woman who I have known for several years was completely surprised when she found out I was Wiccan-two months ago. Granted, there isn’t a whole lot of time for chatting about spirituality and we don’t hang out often, so maybe I shouldn’t be too surprised.
Recently one of the younger students (15 ish) was advertising a 5K for his church to sponsor a mission trip to Nicaragua. He asked me if my husband and I would consider being sponsors since we are business owners. I hear the words “mission trip” and, like…
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I have been a little slack on posting ogham pulls even though I have been doing them at home. I am struggling with some flagging energy right now so I tend to draw into myself and cut down on the amount I expect. Of course you can learn more about my continued journey to the best wellness for myself at A Token Life.
My new blog Family Coven & The 2nd Law of Magick ~ Knowledge is out today at SpiritOne Ezine. Why not surf over there and check it out?
Here is a teaser:
Transferred to a Family Coven setting, The Law of Self-Knowledge says that you must know each member of your Family Coven in a spiritual way to create effective Family Coven magick. You have to know and understand yourself and how you relate to the members of your Family Coven. How you relate to each one will vary drastically. You have to examine your own issues around your family coven members. Are you a step parenting partner? Do you feel like you are not really respected by some family coven members? Do you feel like you and your parenting partner(s) aren’t on the same page when it comes to a) money, b) family coven rules c) how to discipline any children involved d) how to deal with any pet children involved or e) when to discipline children or pet children?
I found information about this tree rather thin on the Internet. Blamires has this tree at the top end of the progression of trees and links it to the Birch. This is interesting because Birch has come up as a symbol with a magickal friend of mine. Birch meaning beginnings, Blamires says that this is the beginning that starts when you have obtain significant knowledge on a subject and are ready to experiment.
Given my focus on leadership writing and exploration I find that focus is needed to decipher what the gods are trying to tell you. The language between humans and the gods is filled with symbols and suggestions and can often leave even the most solid practitioner wondering what they are trying to tell us.
So, today, I am glad I have people around me that I can talk through the messages the gods give me and I am being encouraged to continue to focus and courageously look at all the information I am receiving.
Visit my new post at Agora: Birthing Hereditary Magick – all about creating powerful magick within your own family.
After a couple of intense days, I feel like we can move toward a more normal existence today. My take on #BulletsfortheMorgian continues to offer a different view of that entire debate and may actually
lead me to write an article about how spirituality and political correctness do not necessarily to hand in hand.
When I last drew this Ogham, Morgen noticed my comment about not understanding her key words “Endings <> Consequences” in relation to all the other readings I had done around this Ogham. She sent me a private message, a portion of which I would like to share now:
In terms of the endings, it is more of a context of the ending transitioning to a beginning. More of an ending in order to bring about the new. Everything is circular, so not just a flat stop. And the consequences aspect doesn’t necessarily have the typical negative aspects. It’s more an acceptance for what you have created, good or bad. Acceptance for actions so that forward movement may happen. You aren’t wrong about inspiration – it’s all about personal intuition
PTSD and other mental illnesses are often reflected in this type of thinking and drawing Ruis today in the context of this explanation makes sense.
As PTSD rolls through a person there is a transition that happens into a type of madness. The abuser is everywhere and currently out to get you, even if you know rationally that it isn’t true. As you learn methods to cope with your triggers, you learn to end this madness and transition into a beginning. Each time you do this there is a feeling of great accomplishment and a real sense of rebirth and renewal. You wake, as I did today, hopeful not having had night terrors and better able to deal with the world.
When you first deal with PTSD, while in its grip, you react in extreme ways. You do crazy things that have a tendency to create drama and horrible consequences that will resonate throughout your life long after the episode of PTSD passes. It isn’t unusual for persons who suffer with PTSD to have problems keeping relationships or sticking with jobs or have periods of manic purchasing or spending. These impulses emerge as your psyche tries to figure out how to elevate the internal stress and pressure PTSD creates.
Over time, and with lots of therapy – specifically cognitive behavioral therapy, you learn to stop. You learn to try not to interact with others. You learn to not make big decisions. You learn to not write posts about people being snippy about you self identifying as Wiccan. If you write it, you learn to not release it (or not).
You learn to recognize the rage and anger that well up when PTSD has got you in its vise grips.
Over time you come to recognize when the PTSD releases you and you feel like you take take a deep breathe and you feel you are safe. You identify the new triggers and start working on making them less effective at triggering you. And you come to the place where you look back on the days or weeks the PTSD had raged and assess the damage you did while possessed.
Today, looking back over the approximate seven days of PTSD possession I have had this time, I am actually pretty proud of myself. The worse thing I did was be a little snippy to someone who doesn’t know me well, write a rant about the semantics of pagan versus Wiccan and publish it, and be a little ornery with Stone and Tree Bear. My family coveners said things like, “I am sorry your so frustrated.” I was able to assure them all that it isn’t them. This time I recognized I was in the grips of a PTSD episode about four days into it. Had I realized it sooner the whole Pagan/Wiccan thing would have never left my desktop. (Mind you, my opinion about how stupid that whole delineation is wouldn’t have changed. I would have approached any article on the subject differently).
I managed to not spend money in large quantities. I managed to not wreak or ruin any important relationships. I managed to do very little damaged as I processed. So as I come to grips with the consequences of having had a severe episode of PTSD, I am pleased at this ending with what I have to work with today.