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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Pagan leadership

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Public Abusers in Paganism

Yesterday I heard the news about Susun Weed: that she was arrested for choking one of her students, that her abusive behavior is apparently nothing new. I've never really followed her work, so I didn't know about her reputation for hostility; when I followed the news and read all the accounts, old and new, of her mistreatment of students--when I saw that behavior justified and rationalized on her very own website--I immediately thought of other abusers in witchcraft, pagan, and earth-based communities. (Ahem.)

Some abusers are very good at crafting public personalities that mask their behavior in private. "What?" people claim when the allegations come out. "So-and-so would NEVER do that! They're so warm and kind and gentle!" Other abusers, though, lack that skill. They can't help but engage in very public, very visible abusive behavior: lashing out when they're challenged, screaming at people in rituals and classes, belittling their followers, enforcing corrosive hierarchies. Yet what should be obvious red flags are explained away. "Well, she's very passionate about her work." "He's calling someone out because he cares about justice." "They've got a warrior's spirit!" "Oh, she's a crone, don't take it personally." And here's the thing: even if, for some reason, you're okay with violent behavior in public, public abuse is usually only a taste of the abuse that's occurring in private, where power dynamics can be twisted in the abuser's favor. Think of 45: was anyone really shocked to learn that he's a violent rapist when we all heard him bragging openly about grabbing pussies?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Virginia Carper
    Virginia Carper says #
    One more comment, this was discussed in another forum which featured a writing from Weed. In it, she compared herself to Baba Yaga
  • Asa West
    Asa West says #
    Working with "dark" deities can be a really transformative experience if you undertake that work mindfully and with a commitment t
  • Virginia Carper
    Virginia Carper says #
    What struck me was why put it on her website and have people focus on it? It is a red flag to a casual observer that this person i
  • Cristina Potmesil
    Cristina Potmesil says #
    All abusers have to justify their behavior. Most often it is by projecting blame onto the other person for a baffling assortment o
  • Virginia Carper
    Virginia Carper says #
    As a parent, I was told to never yell at my children. Yelling was useless. It was also a sign that the adult gave up. Yelling was

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Thing About Leadership

The priest-in-residence of our regional pagan land sanctuary was taking us to see the sacred spring.

Never having been that way before, we kept stopping to look, for indeed, there was much to see.

The priest kept going. He never looked back. Eventually we lost him.

In time we found his trail, and he brought us into the secret valley where, among its lost orchard, the Ancient Tree bears its golden apples, and the Hidden Spring flows sweet and pure.

In this Season of the Ancestors, I remember my teacher, Tony Kelly (1943-1997).*

He, too, led without looking back.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • James H. McCoy
    James H. McCoy says #
    I agree with Tasha. And I found out by accident... and first-hand... you keep doing lead by example - it can be a tad scary if you
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Interesting observation. I prefer to lead by example rather than any other way. That way you don't have to worry about losing sigh
Sacrificing Perfection for Excellence

 

Some of us are haunted by the idea of perfection. It holds us back from our creative work; from any of our important work, for that matter. We fear we won't be able to do justice to the idea in our head. We've tried writing or painting or dancing, and somehow the brilliance of what we envision becomes corrupted as soon as we try to make it manifest. And there's that nagging voice in the back of our heads telling us what we have always known...that we're not good enough. That we will never have the skill to create what we dream of. That if it's not perfect, they'll deride us, they'll tease us. They'll reject us. Nobody will like us.

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