Most Pagan clergy do all of their work for free.
Too bold? I take it back. Let me try again: “Probably all Pagan clergy do all of their work for free.”
A day in the life of one witch’s attempts at community organizing, group leadership, public Paganism, and joyous shenanigans. Balancing inner work with external obligations, a professional career with public Paganism, and a full social calendar with gratuitous amounts of sleep.
Things are tense these days, no doubt. But you already knew that. You’ve already read a few dozen blog posts about how crappy things are and how they’re just going to get worse. You’ve scrolled past even more Facebook memes, ridiculous and terrifying, insulting and true. And I’m sure you’ve had more than just a few panicked conversations with your friends and loved ones.
What you don’t need right now is another arbitrary blog post about this, that, or the other thing. What you need, what I need, what we need, is a reminder of some beautiful things. Here is my list, and I encourage you to comment, to reply, and to add your own List of Beautiful Things.
“What is remembered lives,” the old Civil War captain said solemnly. He clutched his gray hat in his weathered old hands.
“What is remembered lives!” shouted his comrades – more civil war soldiers (both Union and Confederacy), Regulators, fighters from the American Revolution, escaped slaves, freed men and women, Red Coats who loved the king, and Victorian ladies with big hats and tight bodices. Those of us among the living shifted on our feet. We were a bit tired from walking, but warmed by hot cider and laughter and stories. Around all of us, both the living and the dead, danced and chanted little white ghosts. Their faces were painted white and their costumes were generously sprinkled with shimmering glitter....
I love October.
I mean, I really, really love it. Do you know that fluttery, warm, sparkling feeling you get when you hold hands with your beloved, when you catch the eyes of your crush, when you see a message or note with that special name on it?
Well, my calendar is showing that special name. October’s eyes are bright. October’s hands are cool. October’s name is like sweet honey on my tongue.
I recently facilitated a large, public ritual at a local state park. A lot of friends and old regulars came, and we were lucky to have a few new faces, too. One of our surprise guests was a young mother who we have known for a few years but don’t get to see very often. She comes to events when she can, but I really only end up seeing her once a year or so, at most. Much to my surprise, she brought her kids with her to the ritual. They’re sweet, clever little devils, and they have a history of being somewhat rowdy and in need of a lot of re-direction.
The children came rushing up to the altar as soon as the family arrived at the park. This was one of those moments where Childless Trivia thought in panic “Ooh... right… kids…!” I took time out to speak to them about the altar, making it very clear to them that they could look to their heart’s desire but touching was absolutely forbidden. The children nodded solemnly and then went to go play on some rocks, immediately forgetting about candles, statues, and various other temptations....
My friend’s mother died this past spring.
The stroke happened suddenly and her passing came a few weeks later. Despite a lot of preparation for a worst-case scenario, the death hit the family hard. My friend had a difficult relationship with her mother (something many of us can relate to, I’m sure) and her ambivalent thoughts and emotions have been complicating an already difficult grieving process.
My friend announced her mother’s illness to our group, but she kept the news of her mother’s passing to herself. She had been out of town a lot to be with family, and it was only recently that I saw my friend since her family tragedy.