Over the last couple of months – especially while I was on the road, I found myself talking about what I appreciate about the Pword community. Now, there are times where people online (and occasionally in person) make me want to tear at my hair or beat something. That’s definitely a thing that happens.
But meeting new folks and seeing familiar faces all over the country PLUS coming home to some really awesome local faces reminds me how amazing this community can be. I can look back over the last couple of decades and see growth, change, and steadfastness as well.
(Which is a lot more than I can say about some other communities I have been a part of. Hmm that sounds jaded. But alas, I’m currently out of fucks over that.)
Ahem. So focusing on the positive, my brain managed to spawn a pretty chunky list of great things about Pwords. In no particular order, except with numbers so we know how many there are….behold my listicle! 10 Things I Love About Pwords! Yay!
- People of the Library. I really love the saying, we’re not people of a/the book, we’re people of the library. Everywhere we went on tour this summer, there were shelves of books and even whole rooms to admire in every stop – homes, offices, temples, and stores. And when folks come to our home, they’re often sucked into our collection of books (or at least the ones you can see). People who read a lot, generally think A LOT – and typically creative and critical thinking as well when the reading is diverse.
- Embrace The Dorkness. Pwords on the whole tend to be dorks, geeks, nerds of many varieties. It can be about sci-fi, or making oils, making music, or growing herbs, or some obscure hermetic practice. They are happy to acknowledge it, and welcome each others’ geekery. This cuts down on posers and superficial nonsense. Who cares about what’s “cool”? Tell me what you’re excited about!
- Body Positivity! All shapes, all sizes, all colors, all abilities, all ages. Every gathering I go to is a mix of all of this, and people generally making sure to be respectful of each other, and to make others feel comfortable. The body is a sacred vessel that hold our spirits – and we honor both the spirit and the vessel.
- Inclusiveness. One of the biggest currents I’ve seen in Pword-dom in the last few years is striving to be more inclusive – of different paths, genders, sexualities, and everything included above. This is a big change of consciousness, causing people to think beyond themselves and consider those around them.
- Hospitality. No matter where we were on this tour, we experienced wonderful hospitality from Pwords. From food and drink and places to stay, to providing spots for us to perform, and making newcomers feel welcome. It means a lot when people open their homes to strangers, to pull together what they can to make others feel comfortable. It’s a lost art in a lot of corners of society today.
- Coming Together Despite Diverse Paths. We have more in common then we don’t, and I think (and hope) more and more people are realizing this. I love going to events where people from very different backgrounds/spiritual paths can work together, share experiences, respect each other – in order to get something done.
- Getting Shit Done. On that note – yeah, Pwords get shit done. I have mentioned before back when I was at the Pagan Leaders Summit 16+ years ago, trying to get Pword symbols on soldiers’ graves, legal organizations, prison ministry – etc: these ideas were just getting out there – and now we accept them as standards. Two decades is NOT a lot of time, considering some people have been arguing the same crap for half a century without making process. Believe it, magick works.
- Open To Change. You know what helps to manifest birches? The ability to be open to new ideas and willingness to change. This probably has a lot to do with #1 – that people who read more tend to think more, and therefore tend to be more open to new ideas, learning, and change. If you are open to ever-learning, then you are willing to find new solutions, create new traditions, and get rid of things that don’t work. This is truly a blessing.
- Magick & Creative Solutions. In order to bring about change for real, you often have to get creative. Creative thinking resides largely in the right brain, the place of imagination and imagery. Visualization, trance, and sympathetic magick all stimulate the right brain, so in turn, thinking with the right brain strengthens magick. Understanding and belief in magick helps you be open to change, possibilities and opportunities, and thinking far outside of the box. There’s nothing fantasy or fiction about it. Magickal thinking can make shit happen.
- Embody the Divine. I can’t think of anything more beautiful than someone who is able to recognize the divine within themselves and others. Pwords are able to see the divine in the world around them, and often see deity as present and immanent. There is such inherent power in this ability. Rather than seeing god as separate/outside of this world/needing a go-between to connect with the divine, we speak directly to it – no matter how you may define the divine.
(About the photos: Alas, I don’t often take a lot of photos at events – not everyone is out of the broom closet, and many events have strict photo policies + I’m usually so busy I’m not thinking about it, so that results in not many photos all around that are safe to post….so these are just a few with some of my favorite folks..)