Cptsd, Books, and Created Spirits

Today, I discovered something. Namely, that I do not particularly like living in other people’s worlds.

What do I mean? I mean reading. But not the usual kind of reading. I mean, there comes a point when the reading is too engrossing, that you start feeling the story live around you. I hope im not the only one to experience this, because it is unsettling. Even more unsettling is the fact I have no control over where the story or setting will go. So I try and read faster to rip off the bandage and get it over with. But that usually just engrossed me more, and I sink deeper into this world.

It almost feels like a mist around me, today. The feeling, the aura of this novel I’m reading. In an esoteric sense, I suppose one could say the created soul, the Grigori of the book has been summoned. But it bothers me.

It really, truly, bothers me because the only stories where I want to live and feel myself in and around me are ones I can control, at least to some degree. Where I can halt the pain. Where I can truly enjoy myself without too much fear. There is uncertainty in every writing or true artistic endeavor, I suppose. But I like to imagine that I, the author, am in control of the art.

But in the past few days I have sprained my wrist rather badly, and so have been reading others novels instead of immersing in my own. In fact, I’ve done more reading in the past 24 hours than I have in a month. It has been fun, but rather unsettling. I feel like if I push the envelope, I will be bridging two worlds, that one I live in and the one I am reading about.

Thinking of it in terms of a created spirit, a Grigori, makes sense to me now, but it is still unsettling. I sort of feel like the silver tongue in Inkheart, who could create things by reading them aloud (or so I recall of the story). Truly, I am sure, there are many spiritual ramifications to this, from the neopagan perspective as well as an authors perspective. But I dont want to go there too much.

I like reality, but I also enjoy my own fantasy worlds. Today, while being all cozy, I realized that I truly enjoy immersing in my fantasy worlds and half living in them. I say half living, because they are all I think and breathe for half a day, or a quarter. They fill my mind and obsess me. They bring this aura to me, this presence of joy. It makes me feel accompanied, loved, and surrounded by magic. But it saddens me to realize, as I did today, that the only tasks I am truly successful at are ones that involve sinking into these fantasy worlds. Tasks related to reality and observing it, like cleaning, I am terrible at.

Maybe I am looking too much into things, but maybe I am not. Cptsd makes me often want to escape, to run away, to forget. It has made me sensitive, I suppose, but also makes me… unreal at the same time. I feel, because of my memory loss, a disconnect from the past. Like it didn’t actually happen to me. At the same time I feel a void where my memories should be. In a sense, I feel forever young because I am not aging because I have so few memories and ties to reality.

Anyways, I am writing this purely because I wanted to share. If you are out there an have lived something similar, this bridging of worlds between books and reality, please let me know. I’d like not to be the only one. If you read this and find it curious, I’ll admit that it is! But please don’t just think “oh thats weird” and move on. Entertain me a little, and think on what ifs and ramifications with me. Discuss with me, I’d greatly enjoy it.

In any case, I wish you all the best. Have a lovely day 💗

Discussion on Mental Health and Paganism – Where are the Disabled Folks?

I saw an article the other day, in a free pagan magazine. Yay! It was about mental health and paganism. Wow! I was so excited!

Yay, yay, yay, I thought as I first saw the page-long article. Something interesting to read! Finally, some in-depth something on the topic!

Uh, yeah no. After a few sentences, then a quick skim-through, I was instantly depressed. Because apparently, just because we say ‘merry meet’, we’re a welcoming bunch. And the fact that we do fire gazing? Wow, that, like, taps us into ourselves and allows us to be grounded and shit. And the way we say ‘so mote it be’? Well, that allows us to accept things as they are. So, basically, (according to this author) we pagans are well equipped to deal with mental health issues because of these three things.

I was floored. What. The. Fuck.

This article, in my personal opinion, was like saying you get your vegetables from a pumpkin spice latte (Hint: there’s no pumpkin in most pumpkin spice lattes). I mean, really? Really? Not only was this a super-shallow discussion on the topic which failed to acknowledge SO MUCH of the discrimination that happens in neopagan circles, it felt like it was written by someone who had NO knowledge on the topic.

Now, maybe that person does have lots of insights and experience, but that their one article was just poorly written. Because really, it felt like a lazy slap in the face. It was just like a cotton-candied fluff of an article saying ‘don’t worry, it’s all fine, we’re the best, and here are my poorly-researched reasons as to why’.

Ughhh. Here, let me recap for you: most pagans don’t believe in medications, which are essential for most mentally ill people. Most pagans not only demonize psychiatric medication, but they also straight-out prohibit people taking certain medications from entering into their circles. Oh, and many pagans think mental illness ‘doesn’t exist’, so it’s all fake and we don’t really need clinical help. We should just, go trip out with a shaman or something and tada, we’re all cured. (this is a simplistic recap, by the way, but it would be a HUGE rant if I got into details about it).

I guess my point for this article is to vent, and to really say -> please don’t brush off this topic. It’s a real, vital, topic. It’s not something to be taken lightly. It’s meaningful and deep, and has repercussions for people’s mental health. To claim a hostile environment is, in fact, safe, juts because you haven’t experienced the discrimination as a non-mentally ill person is… flabbergasting? To put it nicely.

Also, why is it that there are so few wide-spread articles on paganism and mental illness from seriously disabled mentally ill peoples? Why is it that the articles I find are from people who had mild depressive bouts, not people who are schizophrenic to the point of a disability, crippled by anxiety to the point of a disability, or people with uncontrollable OCD? Why don’t we get people talking about their experiences as Wiccan or pagan in a psych ward?

It feels to me that our discussion, which should be written by very disabled and chronically ill people, is instead being discussed by abled and at best temporarily incapacitated people. Even the course I’m taking on self-healing at Woolston is not led by an ill person, but instead by an abled (to my knowledge) practitioner, and I find it shows in their approach. I really wonder how the discussion would look if we instead had all the disabled and chronically ill through mental illness folks sitting at this table. If you do have resources that are written my disabled folks, especially blogs and such, I’d love to read them. But for now, I’ll just grump and brood in my corner.

Old Mother Frost

Hey everyone! This is a promotional post for a fellow pagan who’s launching (or has launched?) a pagan children’s book! Check it out and support them!

Here’s the info:

Bio
Old Mother Frost is a Yuletide book based on the pagan origins of the holidays. It is based on ancient tales of a German goddess who predates most of the popular characters of Norse mythology.
Although Pagan Kids began as a book project, since May 2020 it has evolved into a larger resource for Norse pagan children. Now the website, pagankids.org, offers everything from free printable activities and mini lessons for kids, activity planning ideas for the family, and quick and in depth articles based on many related topics.   

For fun facts based on the history of the Old Nordic people, their lifestyle, traditions and mythology, follow @PaganKids on Facebook and Instagram. 

About the Author
Jennifer Hartman, the author of Old Mother Frost, is also the creator of @PaganKids; an online resource full of simple and educational material based on Nordic folklore, beliefs, mythology and history. Goals Pagan Kids began as a book project covering the Norse pagan origins of Yuletide. Jennifer Hartman wanted a Yuletide book for her kids encompassing the general feeling of warmth and magic the holidays bring, while basing it on the Nordic origins and traditions of Yule. Not finding anything available, she sought to write Old Mother Frost, a humble and inclusive book for all children. The goal of Pagan Kids is to provide free missing resources for children based on the Norse pagan culture and mythology. The Project Old Mother Frost is a Yuletide story of an ancient Norse goddess who sleeps all year long, waking only to make sure children are happy, healthy and festive during the longest and coldest nights of the year. The official launch date of Old Mother Frost is November 13, 2020; but you can pre-order now and until October 23rd and make sure your hands on a copy before Yuletide starts!

Order it on Indiegogo here: indiegogo.com/project/old-mother-frost

Links

Launch Video: https://youtu.be/yqnRLfOdsCA

Website: pagankids.org

Pre-Orders: indiegogo.com/projects/old-mother-frost

Facebook: Facebook.com/pagankids

Instagram: Instagram.com/pagankids

Pinterest: Pinterest.com/pagankids

Patreon: Patreon.com/pagankids

Welcome to Circlet School – Prologue

She walked into the room like a breath of fresh air, if air was terribly sexy and choked you up.

She was- wow. Silver hair hung down in curls across her shoulders. She was wearing a black suit that looked somehow classy while bearing some ruffles on it. She had on a pencil skirt and – to baffle it all, knee high black boots. Her face was oval and pointed, her eyes a steely gray. She was taller than me by far, though I wasn’t hard to beat.

I rose from the waiting chair and we shook hands. “Hi,” she said in a sweet but stern voice. “Come this way, please.”

I followed her, eyes glazing over. I watched her silhouette, wondering how I’d manage to even stand in her presence. Something about her just – hit me in my core. I followed her like a lost puppy, down the stale hallway and into an office.

Let me give you a visual. She was like ‘wow!’ and I was like … puppy? I hadn’t been sure how to dress for this interview due to its strange nature, so I’d chosen a plain black t-shirt and jeans let my blond hair do its thing in various spikes. I let my pentacle hanging out on top of my shirt, for the first time in an interview ever.

“So,” she took her place on the ‘boss’ side of the desk and sat. “Your name is Thunder?”

“Yes,” I relaxed slightly. It was always nice to meet other pagans. Around them, you felt like you could just be yourself. Even if it was just in tiny ways, like using your magical name.

“Well Thunder,”she drew up her tablet and propped it up on her desk. “Let’s see, you’re a third degree in the Gardnerian tradition in Willowsvale, right?”

I nod, palms sweating.

“Any reason you haven’t started your own coven yet?”

I nod again, but then remember I’m supposed to say something. “I uh, not very good with the whole people part of it. I mean- I get along well with people but with organizing? Not so much.”

“I see,” and she nods. She stares intently at her tablet and I feel like running. Not because it’s bad that she was intimidating, I kind of liked that about her. She felt really, really, in charge. It’s that I felt so worthless before her.

Maybe if I was one of those super buff manly witches who could lift a woman in each arm and then squat with them both…

“And- you’ve got a degree in herbal medecine as well? And reiki third degree?”

I nod. Yup yup.

“And you have teaching experience,” she adds.

“Five years,” I say proudly. In a high school no less!

Under the desk, I cross my fingers. If I got this job, the horned man was getting a nice cup of wine tonight. Heck, he could have the whole bottle!

“Now,” she looks me full on in the face. “What is your approach to teaching?”

“I’m flexible,” I said, hoping that was the right answer. “I understand this school to be very learner focused and that’s an approach that I’m very passionate about,”

I drone on and on, trying to convince her that, yeah, she should hire me. In the back of my mind, I visualize my spell unfolding right now, rooting my good qualities in her mind and bringing me this job.

Once I was done my schpiel, she nods. Then she looks back to her tablet. “Now, given the specific nature of this school, how do you expect to interact with the parents?”

I clasp my hands and say a quick prayer to the horned one. Aid me! “I am hoping to really connect with them on a grounded level. On a one on one level, but to still maintain a level of professionalism -”

Again, I go on. She nods, and I feel like I’m either sinking or synching it. Either way, I say my reel. Then she nods some more.

“And your approaches to gender theory?”

I balk. That was not on the ‘top 25 teacher questions’ on the web. Uh. Well. I clasp and unclasp my hands. “I,” I try and think fast. Fast but honest. “I think it’s important for students to feel safe. I think, that in this case, we will have students who will be exploring their gender within various frameworks. I do not know all the cultural frames that they will have, but I am always open to listening and willing to research more so I can help them understand themselves better.”

A spark goes off in those steely grey eyes. Ah, hah. I did it.

Moments later, the contract comes out. Absolute secrecy is a special clause. Professional silence and discretion all the way is harped on one final way. No hexing is another one, as well as a clause on no nudity or barefoot-ness in the school. No sex rites.

“Beards cannot be longer than a foot,” she said firmly. Then, with a smile, she adds “No matter who you were in your past life.”

I grin and sign my name. She takes back the contract. We both rise, and she shakes my hand. Her grip is firm, and her eyes spark with excitement.

“Welcome to Circlet school,” she says proudly.

Damn straight. I got hired! And not just anywhere either. I got into the first ever Wiccan private high school in Canada. First year, first try.

As I walked out of that office, I said a prayer of thanks to the Horned One. This coming school year was going to be so… exciting? Whatever came, I was sure it was going to be great.

 

Depression Tips for Covid 19, Spiritually Speaking

 

Depression sucks. I’ve had bouts of it and gah. It literally felt like the world was grey and bleeding black around me. It was awful. My heart goes out to anyone experiencing depression right now due to the confinement situation, or from their work overload. So, today, while firing up my blog, I thought ‘hey, why not talk about tips for that?’.

I tend to focus on anxiety, because that’s what affects me the most, and I’m under the impression that it’s more common than depression. It’s also the general feeling I’ve been seeing people expressing online about this pandemic.

Yet, anxiety and depression tend to go together for me. Like, if I become very very anxious, depression can kick in. Yes, they can be separate, but as my mood swings are often anxiety based, so then can be my depression. My point is that they can be ‘co-morbid’, that they can go together as a package deal.

I sincerely hope that you, dearest reader, don’t suffer from chronic depression. If you do, I really suggest getting it checked out as soon as possible and get both medication and therapy as much as possible.

But what do you do if it’s ‘just’ the pandemic affecting you? If staying at home is just getting you ‘down’? Well, thankfully, that’s where our spirituality can kick in. We can use our spiritual practices to care for our inner wounds, and to boost us up.

That’s great and all, but how? How exactly can we use our spirituality to boost ourselves?  Well, I’ve compiled a list below. As usual, do what feels best for you and respect yourself and your limits. Also remember that there are hotlines that you can call if the depression gets too bad.

Ideas to combat Depression in the Pandemic:

  • Host a spirit party! You can’t have living people over, but what about the dead? What about the spirits? They certainly can’t give or catch ‘the virus’, so have them over!
    • you can make this a solemn affair as in Samhain, if that suits you, but I personally suggest making it more of a party. Throw confetti around, bake a cake, have some alcohol if you drink, and have all your guiding spirits over and eat with them! Read aloud some jokes, fairytales, and do some spirit communication however you feel (tarot, rune castings, trance work, etc).
    • Pro Tip: don’t forget to thank and ‘dismiss’ when you start feeling tired. As any party, don’t exhaust yourself energetically. Respect your limits!
    • Extra Pro Tip: use napkins or disposable plates to serve, to make as little mess/clean up as possible!
  • Do divination on a topic that’s not pandemic related. It could be on your garden’s future, your personal development, your psychic powers, what your talents are, and how grandma is doing on the other side. Just anything that’s not pandemic related. The point of this is to see/focus on all the life you still have, on all the projects that will continue beyond the reach of this pandemic.
  • Host a dumb supper/silent grieving period for those dying from the pandemic. The point behind this is to express our collective grief due to the pandemic. It’s normal to be upset by what’s happening, and (I think) it’s healthy to express it. This will not only give you a period within which to mourn, but it will also signal an ‘end’ to the mourning, at least for that day.
    • You can make this a daily ritual, depending on how much grief you feel. Say that every day you check the death tolls then find yourself crying. Then, instead of beating yourself up for being upset, make it part of a mourning ritual where you give yourself permission and space and a set amount of time to feel your grief. Then, when the time is over, try your best to move on and change your mind.
    • If you choose a dumb supper, you can lay out plates for the dead of specific regions, or do a specific region per day. Say, you grieve for Italy one day, Iran another, etc.
    • If you don’t have a lot of energy or want something simpler, you can simply burn a candle with the intention that it will guide the dead peacefully along their way to the otherworld.  an example of what one might say is, as lighting the candle “I light this candle, consecrating it to shine its light for those deceased of the COVID-19 pandemic. As this candle burns, a gate between the worlds is open, taking in all the wandering dead due to the pandemic and guiding them home by the light of this candle.”
    • You could also recite prayers for these dead, asking your presiding spirits/ whoever you feel like to take care of the spirits of the deceased due to the pandemic.
      • An example of such a prayer is “I pray to Anubis, Lord of the Dead. Please take those who have died of the plague in your arms. Be gentle with them. Ease their griefs and suffering and that of their loved ones. Weight their hearts gently and ease their passing into the other worlds.”
  • Pray to a solar deity to bring light into your life and banish depression. A prayer of this sort could go like: “I pray to Ra, Great God of the Sun. Please shine your light within my mind, within my heart and soul. Chase away the darkness of depression from my mind, heart and soul. Purify and invigorate me!”
    • Pro Tip: leave an offering to your preferred solar deity and engage in not only prayer, but also a deepening of your relationship with them. It can be as simple as putting up a sun picture, or baking them a cake and eating it with them. Just engage with them, and you will probably feel them in your life more!
  • Do exercise! Now, exercise is great for boosting the mind, but why not use that energy you’re creating to spread happiness in your home? A way to do this would be to visualize a rune such as Wunjo and imagine it radiating out from you as you exercise, spreading its energy out from you.
  • Cleanse and consecrate/charge your crystals to boost your mood. Simply laying them for a few hours in the sunlight, on a piece of paper on which you wrote ‘banish depression!’, can do the trick.
  • Obviously, you can burn invigorating incenses (like cinnamon!) or boil potpourri.
  • Ring bells to cleanse the air as well.
  • Do magical crafts! Ideas include:
    • Overhaul your altar!
    • Sew yourself a ritual robe, or embellish one you already have!
    • Practice a psychic skill.
    • Practice your basic ritual structure, such as circle casting, invoking, evoking, etc.
    • Write in your grimoire or BOS

Then, we have some basic pointers that are less spiritual

  • Let in sunlight
  • Call friends/relatives
  • Read books (especially books on spirituality!)
  • Paint/do crafts
  • Listen to uplifting music!

 

I hope this was helpful! Please take care of yourself and yours and have a great day! Lots of love to you all! ❤

lavender and massage oils
Photo by Elly Fairytale on Pexels.com

Anxiety tips for COVID 19, Spiritually Speaking

flowers on opened book
Photo by Alina Vilchenko on Pexels.com

What with the sudden influx of people checking out my mental illness posts, I took a wild guess that people were reaching out for help. So, behold! I’ve decided to put together some self-help tips that try and take into consideration our limitations due to the pandemic. I mainly focused upon anxiety and worry, as it seems that’s what most people are dealing with in these trying times.

  • smudge/burn incense that is purifying and banishing of all negative energy. I am particularly prone to burning cinnamon (yes, the spice). Just pile it into a little pyramid (no bigger than an inch tall or wide, otherwise it might be too much heat for your holder), and light with a match.
  • Do a guided meditation (like this one) where you visualize yourself giving up all your worries to your favorite spirit.
    • Sit down comfortably. Close your eyes and relax. Or cry a little bit, that’s okay too. But whatever you do, relax and let your emotions come bubbling up to the surface. Feel them, hold them. Place your hands on your chest and try and, stretching your hands forward, visualize yourself taking these worries as tangible objects out of your chest and holding them out. Now, pray to a healing deity (my thoughts go to Bast or Sekhmet for this one). Ask them to take your worries away, to heal them and guide you through this pandemic safely.
      • The prayer can go something lie “I pray to you, O Great Sekhmet. Here are my worries, my inner plague. Please erase them from me, leaving me wiser and calmer. Let me, by your guiding grace, pass through this pandemic unharmed.”
    • After this, clap your hands and dust them off away from yourself. They are now empty and your worries are symbolically gone. Rest, focusing on feelings of rejuvenation and calmness.
  • Paint a Dagaz rune on your scarf/mask to help keep the virus out. You can use consecrated water to trace it invisibly as well.
  • Meditate on ice, Isa rune, to calm down and help you reach stillness. Visualize the rune in your chest, wherever you feel your worry the most. Breathe it in and feel it filling you, swelling and cooling down your worry. Exhale and feel it absorbing your worries and transforming them into cold calm.
  • Write down on a piece of paper a list of all things that are worrying you about this pandemic. Light a candle to Sekhmet or your favorite deity (simply say “I devote this candle to ___, to function as a channel of true speech between us” as you light it, or use your favorite invocation), and light the paper with the candle. Allow it to burn as you pray for her powers to destroy not only your worries but all harm that may come to you through this pandemic.
    • Prayer could go something like this. “O Great Sekhmet, here is a list of all that worries me, all that I fear. Please, with your burning powers, O Great Eye of Ra, destroy my worries and all harm that may come to me. Keep me and mine safe from this pandemic, this virus that engulfs the world.”
  • Offer up a prayer for all affected by the disease, such as This Brilliant One

 

I hope this was useful ❤  If you are suffering from something particular and want a prayer or ideas on how to cope with it spiritually, feel free to message me (I can send it to you privately) @ mdaoust245@gmail.com

flowers on opened book
Photo by Alina Vilchenko on Pexels.com

My (attempted) Program for Paganism and Mental Health Recovery

The other day, someone arrived at my home unexpected and uninvited. It was a relative who had just had their first panic attack. I was not home, but my wife was, and they spoke and relaxed, and the person felt better. The next day they came by to see me and we spoke, relaxed and chatted, and I tried to give them advice on getting better. After they left, however, I felt compelled to keep up my series on mental health. I couldn’t help but think ‘what would I tell a fellow pagan as steps to get better?’. This got my wheels turning, and I finally sat down today to jot down some ideas.

I wish I could make up an awesome 13-step (because why not 13?) reforming program for pagans that would magically cure everyone. Maybe I’ll be able to. Maybe I won’t. But at least I’ll have tried.

What would make a pagan perspective on reforming from mental illness unique? I think there are many ideas involved in paganism that, when applied, make for a completely different perspective on recovery. These may be, but are not limited to: beliefs on magic and magical influences upon the body by external forces and from within, beliefs in external spiritual beings who may influence the person and/or their lives and life events, beliefs in crystals, beliefs in healing through nature, beliefs in ritual practices, belief in Jungian principles, beliefs regarding spiritual purity, and so on and so forth.

When taken into context, these perspectives can really help guide a person’s recovery, and even create a framework within which to recover. But, seeing as paganism is quite diverse and everyone believes differently upon such topics (even within branches) my goal is not to tell someone what to believe in order to get better, but rather to guide them on how to use their own beliefs to get better. I’d like to provide a framework that can apply to most pagans to better their lives and mental health, irrespective of their differing beliefs.

So yeah, I’m going to try and do that. Wish me luck, comment if there’s a particular problem you’d like me to discuss, and let’s do this!

My Coloring Book is OUT!

It is! My coloring book is officially ready to be colored in, courtesy of Amazon and coffee (haha!).

This cute lil coloring book features 25 pagan pictures celebrating the season of Yule. They are printed on only one side of each page, so that there won’t be any bleeding through the paper/smudging of colors.yule snow1.jpeg

I am so so excited for this coloring book, and really appreciate any and all support that you show. Share about it, repost, or even buy a copy for a fellow pagan!

Thank you one and all for your support and encouragement ❤ it means the world to me.

Mental Health Advice from a Buddhist Nun

Hey everyone! I haven’t been active lately, at all. I’ve been very busy taking care of myself and living life, which, is apparently full of stressful appointments.

But one lovely thing happened this weekend. I met a Buddhist nun for advice regarding meditation and my mental health/illness.

And you know what? She was just so nice and kind and logical. When I brought up my hallucinations, she advised focusing on the reality, not on the hallucination. A thing that, I think, would help reinforce reality instead of the hallucination. And really, why did no one ever mention this to me before?

It was so counter to all the advice I had ever gotten from the esoteric crowd. Instead of telling me to indulge in the hallucination, to go deeper into it, to try and find its meaning, it was rather to focus on reality. Wow. For me, that was ground breaking.

Furthermore, she advised me to lay off psychic activities until I feel better. Another thing that esoteric people won’t tell you to do: lay off the psychic. Wow!

Honestly, it was just so nice and refreshing to be told these things, because they felt true and they resonated so much with me. They didn’t feel dopey or about self-inflation. Rather, it was all just so logical (that was my one biggest impression of her. Logic and kindness.).

So yes, that was my lovely encounter this weekend. Other than that I’ve been working on the next birdie coloring book and haven’t been writing one bit at all. I’ve been knitting, working on Christmas gifts, and they haven’t been coming out totally well, haha. One sock was just so small I had to undo the whole thing. But I’m trying.

So anyways, hopefully I will find more time soon to keep writing and posting! Lots of love to you all, and I wish you the very best. ❤

 

So here I am, alive again. Not that I died. Rather, a part of me was gutted and taken away -metaphorically speaking.

Starlight, my pagan project, crumbled dramatically. Now, for all who were enthusiastic about it, read on to follow the thrilling end! For those who don’t care, skip this part.

Because what happened was that I asked for advice regarding Starlight on the last equinox. I received a dream that left me screaming myself awake, wherein I realized that those who I was leading the group  with were not in fact, following me. As I grappled with what that meant I had to do, I decided that it meant I had to do my own projects and follow my own path, and not those of others. So, I decided, I was going to do what I’d always wanted, and I was going to fully host all the events at my home. After all, that was part of the reason I moved where I did.

Well, the moment I made that decision I spoke to the other member who usually hosted. I told them of my dream, of my decision. They decided on the spot to not only quit from hosting, but to quit the group entirely, dismayed that I wasn’t catering to their needs as a stay at home single parent of two young children. Why, they had already said that it was easiest for them to host! They would have to get a babysitter otherwise?! How could I ask that of them?! (Keep in mind this member drives three hours away every weekend for an aromatherapy class and had no problem getting a babysitter for that, but for the holy days? Impossible!)

Well, so that was one member of my triad of administrators. When the other two found out (through me telling them) that I had made a decision off of a dream and, though I was willing to discuss it but was unlikely to be swayed, they threw basically a tantrum. They decided that I was a cult leader, that I wanted nothing but minions, and were dismayed I was making such an important decision based off of only a dream. They all quit.

So yes, that was the dramatic ending of my group. Two years of work, of trying to get people organized. But you know what? I’m glad it’s over. Because it was a ton of work and effort, and I was the only one who seemed to want to do anything but just get together and party (and occasionally get high). I felt like the only one who wanted to build a project, to gather ideas, and to help others out. Everyone else loved my ideas, loved participating and raising energy. But something was lacking in the organizational sense. And obviously, for them to have turned on me so quickly, something else was lacking. For all their love of me, they abandoned me the moment I made what they thought was a mistake. They scolded me, but instead of forgiving or trying to fix things (I have never run an organization before and openly admitted that the way I’d made my decision was maybe a blunder), they called me a cult leader and abandoned me.

Well, a microcosm is not a macrocosm, but I feel this says a lot about paganism. We want all the fun goodies, none of the responsibilities, and to do no work/structural work. We just want fun.

I feel like abandoning paganism as a social group, but my apprentice doesn’t want me to. They are adamant that I keep teaching, but I don’t feel like it. For what aim? What goal? What’s the point, when we can’t basically organize ourselves and get stuff done? And do I even want to be mixed in with people who treat me so badly? Because seriously, my local pagans seem to be a really unpleasant bunch.