This isn't the blog entry I intended to write this week.

The blog entry I intended to write was going to talk about the article featuring me that appeared in my local alt-weekly, the Dallas Observer. It was going to talk about the reception of the article in the Pagan community, which was surprising in ways both pleasant and not. It was going to talk about the way that I've seen coverage of Paganism change in the Dallas press over the last 20 years. 

And then this week happened. Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. The ambush of police officers in the heart of my city, from the parking garage of a community college where I used to teach. My country and my city bleeding from a thousand wounds, some of them decades old. Myself, called into action in my roles as activist and priestess and educator and simply as friend, trying to hold space for my Black and Brown and Indigenous friends who daily have to stand up for their right to simply exist in a society that says that their lives don't matter, even while it screams that #alllivesmatter.

And so I stare at this screen, knowing that the blog entry I intended to write must wait for another day, yet unsure of what I can say that should fill the blank space.

I don't know where we go from here, as a country and as a community. 

I know that we have to confront the racism and New Right ideologies that are popping up with ever more frequency in the Pagan community, and especially here in Texas. I know that we must realize that, while Pagans tend to value tolerance, there are some beliefs that have no place in our Big Tent.

I know that we must confront the sexism that seems to grow worse within our community with each passing year. I know that we must fight what my circle and I call the "bro-ification" of Paganism, which manifests in the objectification of women and anti-women and anti-feminist sentiments, and which all too often comes packaged with racism of both casual and overt kinds. 

I know that we must confront these ideologies, because they are part and parcel of the institutional, systemic, and endemic bigotry in our society that leads to the shooting of unarmed people of color. To the abduction, rape, abuse, and murder of Indigenous women. To rape culture, which impacts women most directly, but which poisons and harms us all. To the devaluation of life, even as we proclaim Pagan paths to be life-affirming.

I often say that I came to Goddess Spirituality for the liberation and stayed for the transcendence.

We need to reclaim that liberation. We need to root out the oppressors in our own circles, in our own groves, in our own festivals. 

We all need to do the work of decolonizing, of confronting our own oppressive beliefs and behaviors, and holding our co-religionists accountable.

I am not sure yet how we do this.

And yet I know that we must. 

And so, though this is not the blog entry I intended to write this week, it is the one that I did write.