As someone with multiple chronic health conditions, I’ve found that information is incredibly helpful to me in making decisions about what I do with my time and who I spend it with. This page shares more information about what accessibility options are possible. If you have any questions, please get in touch and we can figure out what the options might be.
- I have multiple chronic health issues. This affects some choices in my home, and sometimes means I have to cancel or adjust plans if one of them is flaring.
- Email is the preferred communication method about group events and plans.
- Most coven events take place in my apartment. This has some common allergens (a cat, scent) and some mobility challenges.
- My apartment is near several bus lines, and there is also plenty of on-street parking.
My chronic health stuff is generally well-managed, but sometimes something flares.
Scheduling: Sometimes I need to cancel or rearrange plans, especially if we’re talking about a more complex ritual or class that I’m leading. I can generally give at least 12 hours notice, often more. (Right now, we end up cancelling about once a year, and rearranging plans once or twice.)
Long-term planning: More demanding things – even the good ones – take me more recovery than most people. Those include things like bad storms, travel, or getting a minor illness like a cold. I plan ahead to avoid changes due to this when I can, but it sometimes affects our scheduling.
Email is best for group-related communication: Some of my health stuff comes with brain fog. Email allows me to mark things to respond to later, and to remind myself what we talked about previously.
Texts are especially hard for me to keep track of. I keep an eye out if we’re about to meet up, but otherwise I often do not see them or remember to respond to them promptly.
I am not a phone person. My ringer is usually off, and I often do not see texts or voicemails quickly. If you’d like to set up a time to talk about something, though, I’m glad to arrange that by phone or video call.
Text: As you might have noticed, I tend to think in paragraphs of text. Reading is also a big part of our training (both online and in books) to expand on things we’ve talked about or give you more background on a particular topic. If reading is difficult for you, we can talk about options, but some parts of training may take longer to cover.
Covenstead: By default, we meet for coven activities in my apartment. I live two blocks from several bus lines that stop at various Red Line stops (Harvard, Porter, or Alewife), and about five blocks from a bus to Lechemere. There is plenty of street parking near my apartment.
It is a walk-out basement apartment in a private home, so we do not have outdoor space near my apartment.
Access: You get to the apartment via a curved path (one spot is steep), with a single step to get into the apartment. Once you’re inside, it is step free, though a couple of angles are tight if you use a larger mobility device.
Allergens: I have one cat who will likely glare anyone who isn’t me from the bedroom. The apartment has wood and tile floors, and I run an air filter in the living room at all times. I sweep and vacuum regularly.
(Service dogs are fantastic, but due to my allergies and my cat’s needs, I’m not able to have service dogs in my living space.)
I use scented items (perfume, ritual oils) on a regular basis in my personal practice. Avoiding a specific scent for half a day before ritual is usually possible, but avoiding all scent isn’t possible.
Other notes: No smoking in my apartment or in the area immediately near the house. If you smoke, please let me know up front, so we can talk about the possible options.
Many people find that Dedicant year brings a lot of changes to their lives. It’s common to reevaluate major parts of your life – job, relationships, hobbies, interests – and decide to make some changes. It’s also possible that you’ll have a deeply moving experience in ritual. Starting from a reasonably stable place gives you a better foundation if these things come up for you.
As noted on the Questions page, if you have chronic health conditions, they should be reasonably stable for at least 6 months before considering becoming a Dedicant. (That means you’re not in the middle of trying new treatments or making significant changes in medications.) You also need to have access to appropriate professional care in case something flares up.
Some of our ritual practices may have additional challenges, risks, or difficulties for people with chronic physical or mental health concerns. Since some portions of the tradition are oathbound, you may not know in advance all of what will happen during ritual. (Also, sometimes things just come up during ritual.) We do our best to provide as much information as we can, while respecting those commitments.
Part of the process of requesting to become a Dedicant is a series of questions that check in about additional details of your background.
This does include sharing some medical information so I can help you make informed decisions about specific issues. (You know your body best, but I know the tradition and what things we’ll be doing, as well as experiences people with similar needs have had in the past with some exercises.) It also help me ask better questions as we go along about whether a particular practice is working for you, or to suggest alternatives. (I also talk about my own health issues and adaptations as relevant.)
We also have some specific practices to know about:
Incense: Stick incense is a key part of our ritual, but the scent and ingredient choices are fairly flexible. We normally burn a single stick with good ventilation, but it is possible to have it lit for only 5-10 minutes or so and then put it out.
Food and drink: We share food and drink (usually a small amount of wine and something baked), but alternatives are possible. We generally prefer an additive model (for example, adding something else if someone doesn’t drink alcohol)
Post-ritual potlucks usually have a range of food. We ask that people explain or label their food (and it’s fine if you don’t eat everything), but the kitchen has nuts, gluten, and other allergens, and some of those may be present in potluck foods. Please talk to me more if you have environmental food allergens, so we can talk about options.
Adaptations: I have experience adapting things in our ritual practice for people who have difficulties for various reasons (such as breathing techniques causing problems with previous surgery). I also have extensive experience with people who lip-read or who are visually impaired. Mobility issues (i.e. needing to sit down during ritual) are also pretty easy for us to sort out.
Indoor: We do most of our ritual indoors. (I’m temperature sensitive). I prefer things cooler than average, but have plenty of shawls and blankets for loan and we can talk about moderate adjustments.
(Last updated on March 30, 2021)