I have a blessing or gift. It’s also somewhat of a curse, depending on how you look at it. It is my ability to maintain calm in the midst of chaos. I should note that you could define chaos in both negative and positive connotations here. Everyone’s super excited about things? I am calm and absorbing it. Shit’s hitting the fan? There I am, scoping things out, gathering information, formulating plans. It’s a curse in the sense that it sometimes gets me in trouble with others because I don’t exhibit strong reactions from their point-of-view. ( FYI: I’m not on medication of any kind, but I do have low blood pressure. But mainly I think it’s a behavior I learned growing up, finding it highly effective for getting things done.)
But I can also guarantee you, per my name, when it’s time to say or do the thing, I do it in full force. All the way.
There has been a lot of chaos around Patheos in the last week, for better or for worse. If you want the TL;DR version: I’m not going anywhere. If you want to know why (and especially where I believe it ties into witchcraft), please keep reading.
Late last week, I got the head’s up that all Patheos writers (all of the channels) would be getting an updated contract. When the contract arrived, some of the language did not sit well with me (or a lot of other people). However, even though I am not a lawyer, my past experiences with contracts is that in most situations, you can most certainly work to amend them. That was my plan.
I’m not going to comment on the drama that happened, except that I think we would have reached the same conclusion without it, with a lot less stress. Others might not think so, but we are entitled to our opinions and perspectives. Everyone right now everywhere is freaked out. We are all on edge and on the defensive. It’s very easy to start seeing bogeymen everywhere and incite a riot. Sometimes the latter is necessary, but I prefer a more grounded approach, especially in these times. No need to waste energy that can be used to manifest birches.
When Jason invited me to move my blog over to Patheos, it was a no-brainer. From their mission statement/about page: Founded in 2008, Patheos.com is the premier online destination to engage in the global dialogue about religion and spirituality and to explore and experience the world’s beliefs. Patheos is the website of choice for the millions of people looking for credible and balanced information about religion. Patheos brings together faith communities, academics, and the broader public into a single environment, and is the place where many people turn on a regular basis for insight, inspiration, and stimulating discussion.
That’s exactly what I needed. While I do indeed write for some great P-word-targeted sites, like Witches & Pagans, I feel that right now, more than ever, it’s extremely important to be visible, to make our voices heard, and Patheos is an excellent platform to make it happen. We don’t gain anything by hiding in our caves or cottages. We can’t only have the comfort of our echo-chambers. They have their uses, but my work requires getting the message out beyond those boundaries.
In our house, we have 3 rules that originated from my partner years ago:
1. Take care of yourself. (because no one else will take care of you if you don’t do it yourself)
2. Take care of others. (because we’re nothing if we don’t look out for each other.)
3. Don’t be a dick. (be kind, be compassionate, and be strong, don’t hurt people deliberately unless it’s necessary, and usually it’s not.)
I take these rules into consideration before I act, nearly all the time. And it’s always done me (and others) well.
When the revised contract came through after the negotiations and discussion of facts, I was happy to sign it – because this is a business and the terms allow me to do what I need to do. It’s not much different than any other contract I have signed for art, design, or writing. The speculations were largely unfounded, and no different of a situation than any other place were I have worked or contracted. As long as I have the freedom to say what I need to say, then I am on board.
I have been working with so many people over the last 20 years through art, dance, writing, and music – they come from a variety of backgrounds. I’m not going to turn away students because they believe different from me, or are interested in something that doesn’t align with my personal beliefs. I am not going to waste that opportunity to MAKE THAT CONNECTION with them, and share with them my views. Nor have I had that approach with any company I have ever worked for. Business first: get the work done. If I feel in danger or pushed, then it’s my choice to get out. Right now, my witchcraft calls for being as vocal in my own way as possible.
Lastly, I respect every writer’s choice to do what they feel they need to do. I might not agree, but it’s not my decision to make, it is theirs. And I respect that deeply. Here’s a key thing about witchcraft folks – it’s important to be able to respect others – even if you don’t always agree with them. That’s how things get done. That’s how energy moves best.
I believe standing at the Crossroads allows for some mighty powerful magick. It’s not exactly safe, but it’s where things get done for me and my work.
Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. And remember, #WeAreAradia