On Bowing Out

Last week, the Vanic Conspiracy held our seasonal Trance Devotional ritual. We try to hold these whenever there is a 5th Friday in a month, which happens about 4 times a year. It’s a very convenient interval for honoring a strongly seasonally-influenced pantheon. I believe the ritual went very well. I was worried it might not, however, because I was feeling critically low on spoons. Indeed, as we were gathering to start the ritual, I was downright cranky, and trying (and, I suspect, failing) to avoid taking it out on any of the gathered group. I still led the ritual, […]

Rebuilding After Personal Abuse

This is not specific to Paganism. As has been noted before, communities outside the mainstream tend to have more people with a history of abuse, because abuse often drives people away from the mainstream. Pagan communities reflect this reality, so discussions of abuse tend to be particularly relevant to us, even if they don’t specifically address the experience of being a Pagan abuse survivor. I originally worked this out in 2010, talking with friends and going over our respective histories of personal abuse. I made a post to my LiveJournal at the time, with the initial version of this outline. […]

What Does It Mean To Be Clergy?

There’s a long standing joke among Wiccans: “How can you tell which is the High Priestess in a coven of witches?” “She’s the one with the broom!” It’s only funny if you get the unspoken visual of said broom being used to physically clean out the space before and after the ritual takes place. In other words, you can tell who the clergy are by who is getting the mundane work done. When I tell people I’m clergy, they almost never ask me what that means in my case or tradition. They tend to assume they know. And much of […]