Recently, someone with whom I'd been conversing on Google+ for a few weeks was surprised to realize I was an author and she owned one of my books.
It might seem odd that her surprise surprised me. I asked why she was surprised. I don't know if my question seemed ingenuous and pretentious. She kindly responded that she does not run into authors. Ah, of course! I understand.
The thing is: I get out of touch with stupid consensus realities, so forgot it is unusual for a best selling author to be available, acting just like a community member. That's why I didn't initially understand her surprise.
But as long as big name Pagan authors are hard to be in contact with, they help create a class system in our community.
For many people, walking is a seasonal activity – specifically it’s something to do in the summer when the weather is good, it’s dry underfoot and warm. My preferred time of year for walking is spring and autumn, when the cooler days can make the whole experience more comfortable, especially when climbing a hill!
That this is an unobvious time of year to talk about walking tempts me to do so – part of the point of this wheel of the year exploration is to be slightly perverse and flag up as many alternatives as I can think of.
I always look forward to Yule as a celebration of both metaphoric and literal “light” returning to my world. In Downeast Maine, it has been dark by 4PM for a while now. And when I say dark, I mean in-the-country-dark. As a recent import said, “I’ve never seen dark like this! It’s like someone put a sack over my head!” As far as I know, no one has. So the lengthening of the days really means something here.
I posted this a long while back with a focus on boundaries as an activist, and I included it in my book The Leader Within, but this is a fairly good general primer on boundaries for leadership. It's essential for anyone in a leadership position to understand the concept of boundaries and to work with their own issues around this; ultimately, I think that the only way we get healthier groups is if everyone involved in a group is working with their boundaries.
A lot of activism and leadership begins with changing your self and your own life so that you can begin to effect change in the world around you. Some of this kind of personal transformation work can be very difficult.
Like the Sabbat of Mabon, the secular holiday of Thanksgiving gives us a chance to sit down with loved ones and enjoy a meal. The bounty of the table is essentially an altar where the abundance in all aspects of our lives is symbolized. It may be bounty that we have, or bounty that we aspire to. Vegan Pagans add the component to this ritual of aspiring to be deeply aware of where each recipe ingredient comes from. Though we are as imperfect in this pursuit as everyone else, we seek to practice harmlessness toward others. Therefore a turkey’s body will not be at the center of our altar. We will seek to eliminate other animal-derived products, as well. Many of us will also take fair trade and other consumer issues into consideration. Is it all too overwhelming?