Tomorrow night, I’m having a pre-Dedication conversation with my current student.
One way I think about the oaths in my tradition is that it gives us a really good point to stop and talk about a number of community interactions clearly and directly, without making assumptions about how other people view the issues of personal privacy, sharing experiences, or giving people space to have their own experience of an event. Over time, I’ve come to the decision that there are some basic principles behind the oaths that I agree with – and then some practical things I also keep in mind.
I think there are many possible combinations of options here: I think each of us will have a range of possibles, and some things on either end that we would not consider for whatever reason. So, here’s my list, broken down by situation, with some comments about why.
I have a ‘day’ job I care about, am passionate about, and have invested quite a bit of time and money in (yay, graduate school). It’s also a career that I think adds to the betterment of the world.
I’m also fond of a certain amount of safety-net. I’m a single woman, living alone, with some chronic health issues, and it’s hard to manage health care and a stable income in that setting without a day job. (I am deeply in awe of the people who do.)
In other words, I don’t expect my religious or magical skills to pay for my general living expenses, in any way shape or form. While I would like to devote more time to writing and to other creative work in the field, it’s something that needs to be fit around my school-year job for the forseeable future.
Apologies for lack of posting – I was seriously wiped out by a nasty cold for the last week (and not feeling great for other reasons for a few days before that.) And, of course, I’m about to be out and about for Thanksgiving, and likely not near a computer much if at all.
This did, however, get me thinking about magical jewelry, because I’m trying to decide what to pack for my plans (I’m seeing friends, and there may or may not be some ritual time, depending on how things fall out.) Especially since I’ve just done another talk at work today (to our comparative religions class) about Wicca.
Now, there is, of course, the old joke about the race for priestesses: each priestess puts on all of her jewelry, and whoever can drag themselves to the finish line first wins – because, somehow, we all accumulate it.
I try to be very good about this – as people around me have heard me say, I have only one neck, and only so many things that are going to go on it at a particular time. I therefore try really hard to make sure that any new additions meet a specific need or fill a gap when I wouldn’t otherwise be wearing something.
[The following is something I’ve written up for internal coven documents, because I wanted to spell out what I thought my role was. I’ve run most of it by my covenmate, and included some other thoughts at her suggestion.]
Or, rather, I should say roles: I think there are a number of things going on here. To many people, the HPS is the one responsible for making sure the spiritual and religious stuff happens. At a basic level, there’s three parts to this, in my eyes: anchoring the spiritual core, providing direction, and making sure the practical details fall into place.
I’ve had this post titled “Plan A and Plan B” sitting in my drafts folder for, oh, two weeks now. See, I’m not sure where I’m going to end up getting the professional library job I’m looking for currently – and the details of establishing a new group depend to some extent on whether I stay local to the Twin Cities (what I really want!) or not. So, let’s try a slightly different take.
While I’m figuring out the job thing, I need some plans.