Hello, beautiful creatures.
I have something to say to you all, but if you don’t mind, I’ll to ask you to indulge me in a long-winded preamble first. (I know, I know. Groundbreaking, right?)
Of all the characteristic qualities of the modern esoteric spiritual movement loosely comprised of various strains of Paganism, polytheism, and occultism, perhaps the most confounding for outside observers trying to make sense of us is the sheer scope of diversity in belief and praxis to be found in what is ostensibly a “community.” This quality is so profound as to make discussing this movement in any sort of generalized way virtually impossible. No one umbrella term is broad enough to cover every path, tradition, organization, practice, belief, and system which could conceivably fall under the rubrics of “Paganism, polytheism, and occultism.” In fact, it could rightly be suggested that these are three separate movements which have intrinsically very little to do with one another. As such, very little can be said to be “universally accepted” by the conglomerate strains which make up this movement: not tools, not deities, not fashions, and certainly not beliefs. The closest I’ve been able to find to a common belief amongst our crazy-quilt movement is the generally-accepted notion that everything that has a beginning, has an end. Lives, stories, songs, eons, all things reach their terminus. For those who see existence in a cyclical paradigm, that end may be the beginning of the next cycle, but even so, what was before is no longer. Nothing gold can stay… or, to steal a line from George Harrison, all things must pass.
And so, I come to my point, which the astute among you have seen coming a mile away.
As a blogger for the Patheos Pagan Channel, I’ve been privileged to have my work published on the largest blogging platform for spirituality on the Internet. Through this blog, I’ve made a myriad of personal and professional connections with people, some of whom I now count among my dearest friends. I’ve spent the past three years and change laughing, arguing, and pondering points with some of the finest thinkers in the modern esoteric movement. In the process of writing this blog, I found a common thread in many of my posts which, when gathered up and woven together, formed the basis of my first book, fulfilling a life-long dream of mine. At a time when genuine discourse seems to be at a premium, I’ve been honored to be counted among the writers at Patheos Pagan, contributing to a collection of blogs which comprise something truly phenomenal: a virtual agora of Pagan, polytheist, and esoteric thought and praxis, a meeting-place for the exchange of ideas and experiences.
As such, it is with a very real sense of sorrow that I must now take my leave of that august company.
Effective immediately, I’m resigning as a blogger here at Patheos. Hanging up my jersey. Turning in my badge. However you want to phrase it, I’m riding into the sunset.
Mind you, that’s not to say I’m resigning as a writer. I know this will disappoint a few folks, but anyone concerned about getting a semi-regular dose of Misha’s snarkiness and academic pretensions need not fret; I’m not disappearing into the void or anything. Interested parties can follow my further adventures at my website, mishamagdalene.com, or on my various social media accounts at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
As I’m packing my personal effects into a kerchief suitable for tying to a bindle stick1, I want to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to Jason Mankey, the indefatigable manager of the Patheos Pagan Channel, who took a risk on an entirely unknown writer on the strength of a single recommendation (hi, Tempest!) and a writing sample. Without your support and belief in what I do, it’s entirely likely I would never have had the chutzpah to do it.
This blog will remain online as an archive, which pleases me. I’m quite proud of the work I’ve written for this blog, even the near misses. If I’ve accomplished nothing else in my short tenure as a writer here, I hope I’ve given folks some things to think about, and maybe a few laughs. I’m delighted to imagine some unsuspecting soul ten years from now looking for information stumbling across “What Your Favorite Wheel-of-the-Year Day Says About You” and collapsing into helpless, bemused laughter.
If that’s the legacy of this blog, well, I won’t be mad about it.
And that’s basically that. Chins up, gang, and fresh glasses all around. Forward, upward, and onward.
Most of all, be kind to each other, and to yourselves.
Moreover, be true to yourselves…
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
—William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 1, Scene III
See you, space cowboys. ♥
- I couldn’t resist the opportunity for one last needless, pompous footnote, this time to make my reference to the Fool card in the Tarot as heavy-handed as possible, and also to share one of my favorite quotes of all time:
“Ah, well, I am a great and sublime fool. But then I am God’s fool, and all His work must be contemplated with respect.”
—Mark Twain, quoted in Mark Twain, a Biography: The Personal and Literary Life of Samuel Langhorne Clemens by Albert Bigelow Paine