about

Welcome to Thoughts from a Threshold. I use this blog for public discussion of all sorts of Pagan related topics (in a very broad sense) from books to research methods, extended metaphors to ritual theory, interacting with seekers to pedagogical techniques.

Besides this site and an info site where I park links to published stuff elsewhere, I started and maintain the Seeking site, which has over 120 essays and articles focusing on early stages of learning about religious witchcraft (with a substantial amount of it also being of use to people interested in other Pagan paths.)

This section of pages

These contain some useful background about me, this site, and how I use some terms and concepts.

more about me

The basics:

Female, 40, live with my cat in the Boston metro area.

I grew up in a different Boston suburb, went to college in the area, and then moved to Minnesota for 12 years (where I became Pagan, found an initiatory tradition, and eventually got both my 3rd degree and finished my Master’s in Library and Information Science degree in the same 6 months.)

In August 2011, I moved to rural Maine for a new job, and then back to the Boston area (for a different new job) in May 2015. I’m delighted to be back in my home ground, and near lots of friends and awesome things.

I have a small handful of chronic health issues which range from ‘tedious’ to ‘seriously affecting daily life in complicated ways’ depending on how many of them are flaring at a time.

Religious life:

I’m a priestess, a witch, and general geek about religious theory and practice.

I’m particularly interested in the use of music in magical and ritual work, group dynamics and other ‘healthy community’ issues, and how to spend more time doing the things I like and less time on the things I’m not so crazy about. I’ve also focused on how to improve research and critical reading/thinking skills in the Pagan community. My personal ritual work tends toward the meditative and introspective side, with a dash of magical work for specific reasons.

I was on the board of the Twin Cities Pagan Pride event from 2005 to 2011 mostly as Programming chair or co-chair. It’s given a lot for me to think about in terms of community interaction, though my preference for ritual work is in a very small group (small coven) environment. I was one of the co-founders of Paganicon, a spring hotel-based Pagan conference and was the hotel chair through 2014.

Interests:

I read anything that sits still long enough. On the fiction side, there’s an emphasis on thought-provoking urban fantasy, dystopia novels, and character-driven speculative fiction. On the non-fiction side, I’m fond of narrative non-fiction and microhistories. I’m on the computer a lot, and read a lot there.

Computer interests include online communities, online gaming (I’ve played World of Warcraft on and offsince it came out, though I’m very much a casual player), and a number of online discussion forums. Non-computer hobbies include drop spinning (a recent passion), a 29 string folk harp, and making bread.

Day job:

I finished my Master’s in Library and Information Science degree in the summer of 2007, and I worked until June 2010 as a school librarian at an independent non-religious high school (grades 9-12, or about ages 14-18 for non-US folks.)

I then spent nearly four years as a librarian focusing on information technology training and resources at a small public university in rural Maine.

Since May 2015, I’m effectively a special librarian: I work at a larger educational institution, and provide research and reference help using a unique collection. A lot of my job is helping people track down very specific resources or details, and I love that.

Professional interests:

  • Just plain helping people find information (and other resources) that matter to them.
  • Online safety and literacy issues (from a non-alarmist point of view)
  • How libraries can better serve ‘invisible’ populations (with a particular interest in minority religious groups, especially Pagans)
  • Reader’s advisory (the library jargon term for “What do I read next?”)
  • Policy development and practical adaptation.

Got questions?

The easiest way is to use the Contact Me form (tab on the top header). Unless I’m amazingly busy or offline, I usually answer email within a day or two. If you don’t hear from me after 3-5 days, please feel free to leave a comment on an appropriate entry.

If you leave me a comment, I can see your email address (and can reply privately) but other people can’t. So you can leave a comment with “Hi, got something I’d like to discuss in email.” and I’ll email you from there, if you prefer.

  • Hey, don´t we by the chance know each other from Ecauldron? I used to correspond with a Wiccan priestess named Jennet and she was about to receive some degree…

  • Jenett

    We do! I’m still at the same email address, if you want to pick up that conversation.

  • Great! I just finished an article you might be interested in, about Paganism in my country: http://arbor-nocturnus.wz.cz/inter/eng/paganism-czech-republic.php

  • Dani

    Hi, Jenett,

    I’d like to send you an email, but I can’t find the contact link (it is perfectly possible I am experiencing selective blindness). Help?

    Thanks!

  • Greetings,

    I am hoping to begin a degree in Library Science in the fall, the fates and my pocketbook willing :-) At 50, it’s exciting to take another left turn.

    Any suggestions for those of us about to dive in?

    Sia

  • Jenett

    Oh, yes, definitely.

    First, the library job market is *very* tight right now: I finished my degree in August 07, and am still looking for a professional library job – this is totally in line with many other people I’ve seen (everyone says expect the search to take 12-18 months right now) My older sister is a professor of library science in a different metro area, and she’s seeing the same thing.

    Things that help:
    – Get library experience early and often, especially in the type of library you would eventually like to work in. Volunteer, intern, get a part-time job, whatever it takes: the experience is often a deciding factor between applicants to jobs right now (plus, not everyone turns out to like library work, and finding that out before you get a job doing it is good.)

    – Get and constantly update your technical skills. There’s a lot of emphasis on ability to adapt to new technology and how it can be used in the library. A number of state library associations are running training (the Minnesota 23 Things on a Stick training was free to all librarians in the state: you can work through the lessons/activities yourself at http://23thingsonastick.blogspot.com for an idea of how libraries use different tools – you just can’t register or get prizes if you’re not in the state.)

    – Having run a blog is fantastic, but one of the problems I’ve hit is that I can’t share some of my online skills easily without also revealing information about my religious beliefs, etc. because that’s part of the blog. I’ve taken steps to establish an under-my-legal-name professional blog and website, that includes information on presentations I’ve done professionally, resources, etc. I probably should have done it earlier in the process. Establishing a name/presence on various library lists in a positive way is also worth doing. (I’m a periodic poster on the New-Lib list, for new librarians and students, for example.)

    – There’s lots of things you can do with a library degree: if you’re interested in jobs outside of traditional library jobs, there’s a lot more hireability/job prospects than working in a public/school/academic library. (For me, I love reference work, and other specific things in libraries, which is making it hard.)

    – I’m always glad to chat in email about different topics. Feel free to ask stuff as it comes up.

  • Aine

    Jenett,

    I’m wondering if you could give me some tips? I am planning to do a full moon ritual with a few friends (about 6 or 7 max). One of my friends is leaning toward Wicca and I would really like for this ritual to be very meaningful. She pretty much knows nothing about Wicca, but is very insterested in reading about it. I have a ritual that I could email to you, perhaps you could give me some feedback on it? Also, this is the first time I have led a public ritual (as I’m not a member of a coven, but a solitary witch who is most likely bitting off more than she should be chewing) and I’m feeling a bit nervous. I’d appreciate any help.

    Thanks so much.

    Aine.

  • BettyAnne

    Merry Meet! I am a seeker, 45 located in Palmerton,PA; I recently have been having conversations on the BeginningWicca site and it was sugguested I visit your website. I have found it most engaging! I have a question on “Drawing Moon” cermonies, I copied several very good rites from the Wicca website by Patti Wellington but it has been suggested that these rites should not be done by a seeker without experienced teacher by Rowan Moonstone. I have self taught myself since I was 16. Mostly reading Raybuckland but also a number of other authors. Could you please give me your feedback on this subject? I have not as yet tried any of these rites, but feel strongly drawn towards them Thank you for you time and any advice you would like to send my way. BettyAnne

  • Jenett

    Hi, BettyAnne – I’m going to reply to you in email, but also want to make a post about this in the next week or two…