Chats

I’ve been hearing a lot for the past year or so from people interested in witchcraft, paganism, and magical practice who have questions, and aren’t sure how to move forward.

Sometimes they’re stuck in the search process and don’t know how to get past their stuck. Sometimes they aren’t sure how to make sense of sources that say very different things. Sometimes they just want more context about something, a chance to ask a question a book can’t answer. Making connections across different resources can be particularly challenging.

I also know a lot of people who are trying to find ways to make their practice more sustainable, incorporating adaptations to make it more accessible for their needs and wants. (And as someone with chronic health issues, I want that too!)

I don’t have all the answers, but I have a lot of ideas and knowledge and a fair bit of experience.

More to the point, I’m a librarian as well as being a priestess and witch. I spend my professional life helping people figure out how to learn more about a range of topics, and I spend a lot of my witchy life doing the same thing. I’d love to help you with some of that.

This project:

Once a month (through at least April 2022), I’m setting aside an hour for a live call (via Zoom) where I’ll talk about a topic and tackle some questions people have shared. This is a trial run, so we may adjust some things as we go.

Access to the call, submitting a question, and the audio recording/transcript are all free (no cost). There are some options for support if you’d like to help me free up more time and energy for this project (read on for those details).

The calls will be on the second Saturday of the month at 4pm Eastern United States time. You don’t need to be on the call to have your question answered, but I’m hoping at least a couple of people will show up and chat! I’d love something that’s got some interaction.

After the call, I’ll share an audio-only version (for people who prefer to listen to information) and a transcript (for people who prefer to read, or who want to be able to jump to a particular question or topic easily) with anyone who is registered for the call and also anyone who supports me via Patreon. 

The transcripts are being human-created from the captioning thanks to a friend, so they won’t be immediate – you’ll get the recording and the transcript at the same time.

There will also be a Discord server (link coming when I send out the first call information) where people can hang out and chat about related topics. 

What kind of questions are fair game?

I’m open to discussing a wide range of topics under these two broad categories. Questions can be fairly general (without personal examples). It’s also fine to share some specifics if you’re comfortable. Examples of questions I’m comfortable tackling in this context include:

I’m getting started, but I’m overwhelmed.
Questions about how to find out about different paths or practices, make sense out of some of the interrelationships.

Where can I go to learn more? Questions about finding resources on specific topics, learning more about working with groups or teachers (in a variety of settings: informal online spaces, in-person spaces, workshops, courses, group work, covens, etc.)

How do I figure out this author / teacher / reader / group leader’s background?
This can be particularly complicated for these topics and communities. I’ll talk about clues you can look for, and some things that might be warning signs.

These sources conflict, how do I sort that out?
Tools for looking at different sources, figuring out more about where that information came from, and how to evaluate which option is best (either in a more analytical sense, or in the sense that it’s best for you.)

What kinds of things should I be exploring if I want to develop my practice or learning in this direction?
I might suggest some specific books, or I might suggest strategies for figuring out what those resources might be.

I’m interested in these things, but I’m not sure if they fit together / how to put include them in my practice.
Discussion about what kinds of practices can overlap or work together, and which ones might not (or at least be more challenging.)

I have some specific accessibility / disability / chronic health needs, how could I adapt things?
These might cover issues around tools you can’t use safely (candles, incense, fragile objects), planning (fatigue and energy, focus, time sense), limitations for raising energy for magical work (what method might work well for you), sensory issues (vision or hearing limits), or other related topics. I don’t have all the answers, but I do have ideas and experience figuring out options that work for people with a variety of needs.

I have limited time / energy / quiet time, how do I build a practice I can keep up with?
Whether your time is limited because you have a lot of commitments, you have kids, you have chronic health stuff, a family member who needs assistance, there are a number of sustainable practices you can build into your life, and I’m glad to suggest some things to try.

Other questions along these lines.
If you’ve got a question that seems relevant, feel free to ask so long as it doesn’t fall into the categories below.

Questions I’m not tackling:

Nothing harassing, abusive, or dismissive of me, other participants, or other people in general. Hateful comments, bigotry of all kinds, threats, and related comments make learning and interacting in good faith impossible, and will be moderated. (This can range from a warning/removal of the comment to removing someone from the space, depending.)

No questions about medical or legal issues.
I’m a librarian, not a doctor, lawyer, or other professional. While questions about adapting practices to your needs are fine, anything that gets into specific medical needs will get a “Go talk to your doctor about this.” and the legal equivalent. (As appropriate, I may suggest something specific to ask about or terms that can help with more information.)

Direct instruction in spellcraft, ritual, magic, or related topics.
I’m glad to talk about how to learn these things, but many of them take time to learn and involve specific choices about ongoing practice, ethics, and what your personal priorities and values are. In other words, I have my librarian hat on for these calls and conversations, not my coven leader hat.

Explain why these two authors disagree
or Tell me what you think about this specific book/author/tradition. I read a lot, but I definitely haven’t read everything, even within fairly narrow ranges of our community. (There are just plain a lot of books.) It’s fine to give me examples from multiple sources, but I’m going to focus on techniques for evaluating them or integrating them into a practice, not on a deep analysis of a single work or author.

How this works:

There are two ways to get a link to the call registration:

Two weeks before the call I’ll send out a note in both these places with a link where you can register for the call and a form where you can submit questons. 

Once you register for the call, you’ll get a reminder. Don’t worry if you can’t make it – that’s where the audio recording and transcript come in. 

My Patreon and newsletter will also get a link to a Discord server where you can chat with other people with similar interests, ask researchy questions, share interesting resources, and so on.

Is there a cost?

No cost. You can ask questions, get access to the call information, all for free.

However! My time and energy are often limited. Backing the Patreon at any level will help me free up some of my resources to spend more time on this particular project. That might mean being able to spend longer on calls, being able to answer some questions in text between calls, or other goodies depending on interest.

You can also make a one time donation via Ko-Fi if you’d rather do that.

Questions? Reply to this email, message me via Patreon, or you can use the contact form on my website

Hope to see you and your questions in October! 

Witch in Practice – Leo season

Coven

It was a quiet month for coven stuff, except! I had two inquiries from Seekers, and so we are working through the “Let’s do some classes and discussions together and see how that feels” process now. (We had our first Seeker class last week, the second one is next weekend.)

We’d been hoping to have our first face to face coven gathering for Lammas, but the rise of Delta cases made that a bad idea.

If it’s helpful to others, I am using microcovid.org for a sense of the degree of risk. We’re all fully vaccinated, but I am still at higher risk of ongoing complications even with a mild case, so I am continuing to be extra careful. (See ‘personal’, below, for more on that in general.) The key issue here is duration: putting people in a space the size of my living room for two hours or so is just plain a lot of exposure space.

(I do not have useful outdoor space, alas, or we might try something else, and neither does anyone else who might reasonably host.)

Also:

  • Lammas, low key, simple ritual, discussion of bread recipes
  • Rune discussion (our penultimate one, though we’re skipping a rune discussion in September for scheduling reasons)
  • Initial Seeker conversations
  • Full moon ritual (simple)
  • Discussion with one of our coven folks about job hunting magic (I do intend to write some of that up for this site in the not too distant future.)

Witchy

I’ve been gearing up for a more indepth inhalation of astrology, focusing on working my way around one house per month (I mostly use whole signs, which makes this easier, and we are starting in my 9th House for Virgo, because it’s where my Sun is. And ok, because I don’t want to wait several more months to get round to the 1st House.)

I’ve spent a chunk of this weekend working through both moving my notes for various things into a new location, and doing further synythesis (and adding a couple more sources in on my list for tomorrow.)

I also got a permanent crown on one of my molars (this was from a root canal two years ago, where we were waiting to do the permanent until the tooth settled down, and we ran smack into the pandemic. Best we can tell I damaged the root in my teens in a horseback riding fall, and it had been causing me mostly mild annoyance ever since, because all of that stopped once I had the root canal.)

My dentist told me you can get tattoos on your crowns (they paint them on by hand just before firing) so now I have a particular constellation on my molar, which completely delights me. (It is one I adore for magical reasons, and also personal enough I’m not going into here.) It’s on the inside of my mouth, so I can touch it with my tongue when I want, but no one’s ever going to see it.

(I’m going to either be a usefully identifiable mysterious corpse in a forensic mystery, or confuse some future archaeologist. I was already down 8 teeth, so the second one isn’t a huge reach, thanks to having teeth out in the hopes of saving my wisdom teeth, and then having to have those out too.)

Personal

Other than the dental stuff and one other medical appointment, I am continuing to be super careful about where I go – I picked up doing most of my own grocery shopping again a couple of months ago (going over my lunch break in late morning when it’s not busy), and I pick up my farm share (that one’s outside anyway)

My lungs are perennially cranky at best, and I do not want to make that worse, because it might well be the thing that tips me from ‘generally functional’ to ‘back where I was 10 years ago when basic household stuff was too much’.

However, I had my six-month checkin with my allergist (and also allergy testing again because it’d been several years. Still allergic to stuff, less allergic to several things than I had been.) She was delighted at the current state of my lungs, which sound very good right now, so we’d like to keep it that way as long as I can (not getting a couple of colds over the winter as I usually would was a thing…)

My work was planning to bring non-student-facing staff back on campus this fall: I think it’s unlikely that’s going to be October like they were planning earlier this summer, but I went into work early in August to do a few things in our stacks and clear out a few questions that needed particular print resources.

Witch in Practice – Cancer season

Short and sweet this month, because things have been fairly quiet.

Coven

We had a (two person) picnic for summer solstice – other people’s health and needs didn’t allow. (It was nice to talk, though!)

We’ve been pretty quiet since then, since I’ve had a series of other scheduling commitments in July. (We don’t schedule things over three day weekends generally, then I had something on the 17th, something this coming weekend, and long story short, we’re picking up for Lammas on the 31st.)

Witchy

I’ve been making steady progress on my seasonal projects, the rune study, and so on, but didn’t get brains to do a bunch of other stuff this month. That’s okay too. I have been walking (whenever it’s not too hot) and enjoying seeing the plant and nature changes, and my fairly minimal container garden is doing nicely.

Personal

The 17th was my entire family (my mother, brother, and sister) getting together in one place for the first time in a decade. (There are not many of us, we’re spread out geographically, and we often have competing ‘when we’re free for travel’ schedules.) Also my brother in law, my nephew, and one of my niblings.

That was a good outing, and it was good to see and chat with people not in email.

This coming weekend I’m at a virtual but intensive (8ish hours a day for four days), so a lot of this week has been clearing the deck of household stuff and other stuff I need to do to make that happen.

Witch in practice – Gemini season

Coven

The big news is that we have a new initiate, as of the 12th!

It feels wonderful that the first time I had someone over since mid-March 2020 was our new initiate (for a pre-initiation step in our tradition), and then her initiation (with our other initiate). We had a little chaos on the front end, but everything worked out wonderfully.

We also had a (okay, two person, people had to cancel for various reasons) picnic for summer solstice. (I got a bit too much heat, and spent the rest of the day sitting in the cool dark without much brain, but that’s okay. I’m awfully heat intolerant.)

We’re continuing our rune discussion (we’ve got three months left…) And we’ve got coven things scheduled through December, though the next big one is Lammas in early August.

Witchy

It’s been a fairly quiet month on the personal front. I’ve been thinking about some things I’d like to reset about habits for summer solstice (so far so good, half a day in…)

I’ve mulled some mead with spices for offerings this quarter, and have been sitting in my living room watching a candle burn on my shrine while doing some witchy reading and monthly prep. (I do a spread in my journal for the new sun sign, plus did a Tarot reading for midsummer.

Some conversations after the initiation ritual and some other things out in the world have got me thinking about witchcraft and transformation – I’m hoping to get an article about that up on Seeking this week. (I’ve got a few others in progress, but need to wrangle an afternoon sometime to get them formatted and up online. Watch this space for notes when they’re up.)

Personal

We’re still not sure exactly when we’re going to stop working remotely (My office is in the same building as kids, many of whom are medically fragile, so they’re being incredibly careful about bringing us back. I’m fine with this, especially in the summer – my office has air conditioning, and so do our stacks, but the main library space doesn’t.)

In the meantime, I’m focusing on nudging some habits and patterns better so when I do start commuting again, I’m in good shape with them. I’ve started getting my farm share (from a farm the next town over that’s been going for almost 150 years…) and thus have many vegetables to do things with.

I’m taking some vacation around the 4th of July (for editing purposes) which I’m looking forward to.

Witch in Practice : Taurus season

Coven

Again, another quiet month. We are – excitement! – preparing for an initiation in June, now we can put vaccinate people in a room without masks. We have a preparatory piece that we’re doing this coming weekend, and then the initiation is scheduled for June 12th.

Other than that, we’ve had rune discussion, and then Beltane.

We’re making plans to do a picnic outside for summer solstice, as the first time we’ll have seen each other in person in 15 months or so (no ritual plans, just hang out, maybe share some food, and catch up.) Also very exciting!

We’ve also plotted out coven calendar events through December, which makes me feel really good, because I can tell when I have weekends free to do other things (mostly writing-related.)

Witchy

A couple of conversations with seekers recently have made me kick around the idea of doing some non-training discussions with plenty of time for Q&A about stuff people are trying to sort out.

Note! I’m still figuring out what this might look like, and I’m not planning to start until September or October (I’m expecting the eventual return to work in my library in person to take a bit out of me for a while…)

If you’re not signed up for my newsletter, keep an eye out there for more early details, or here and my Patreon for more specifics as I get things set up.

My theoretical plan is a once a month web call class on some topic, probably focused not so much on “how do I do witchcraft”, but more on “how do I figure out useful sources of information for witchy/Pagan/magical/etc. stuff?” and “what do I do when things contradict, how do I figure that out?” and “how do I put together a way to learn about this that doesn’t feel totally scattered”.

My current thought (which may change in the next few months…) is to make it available to anyone who backs my Patreon or makes a small donation (and by small, I really do mean “very small” as the minimum, like $1), with some options if online payments or money are a problem at all. (Money will help support the time and energy need to put something like this together.)

My thought is to make the audio (plus any slides or handouts) available to anyone who’s registered, but not video (because I don’t really want my video self out on the Internets). There may also be a Discord channel.

As I say, still a work in progress. If you have topics you’d love to see me tackle, let me know!

Personal

I released another book in my 1920s romances with magic series! This is, as I have said elsewhere, my “Did you have pedagogical issues with the fundamental structure of Hogwarts? Me too.” It’s about astronomy, the power of eclipses to change perspective, academic politics, and a friends-to-lovers romance.

(The next one involves people putting together a complex ritual more or less on the fly, and takes place on an ocean liner in 1901 in the icy waters of the north Atlantic.)

Other than the writing, I have been working on figuring out what routines and habits are working well for me, so that as we look at being back on campus eventually, I can keep up momentum on writing

Witch in Practice – Aries season

Coven

We’ve been largely quiet month or so.

Our one current Dedicant is taking a break for a bit (due to a bunch of life change coming up.) They’re still going to come to rituals, but we’re pausing classes. We’ll revisit sometime this fall (or maybe next spring, depending on how things go, and if we have any other interest from other prospective Dedicants in the meantime.)

On the exciting front, we’re moving forward with an initiation that has been on hold for about 10 months (our prospective initiate completed all the relevant stuff late last spring, so we have been in “when it is safe to do ritual together.) Now, the two people who need to be involved (me and the prospective initiate) are fully vaccinated, and the other person we very much want there (our other initiate) is in process, and we have an initiation date in June!

(We have one more step a couple of weeks before the initiation that they get a couple of weeks to prep for, so lead time is a thing. Lead time also gives me a chance to redraft the initiation ritual for two people and my current apartment layout… This is one of the few times we get super detailed with that, but it’s also one of the times we really need to make sure everything goes smoothly.)

Stuff we’ve done:

  • Rune discussion (March 27th)
  • A couple of individual discussions with people.

Coming up on May 1st, we’re going to spend some time talking about what kind of scheduling people want going forward (including whether we continue doing some things online by preference once we can start meeting in person again, what people need to feel safe doing things in person, etc.)

Witchy

I’ve continued making progress on some personal learning and projects, though not as much as I wanted. Aries season has had a focus on other things. I’m thinking about what’s working for me for new and full moon personal work, and the fact that no, I apparently don’t really want to do specific things for first and third quarter moons most of the time.

I’ve also been really enjoying getting outside and walking more again. I live about three quarters of a mile from a large and historically interesting pond, off the main bike path, and I walk down there most days right now. (Tomorrow, I’m going out to a farm owned by the Massachusetts Audubon Society – it’s only about a 20 minute drive from where I live now, but I haven’t been there since I was in summer camp there in my late grade school years. Since it is a) a farm and b) it is baby animal season, that seemed a great place to go while I’m on vacation this week.)

Personal

Part of why I’ve been light on the other things is that now I am fully vaccinated, I have been catching up on things that needed in-person visits. Like an eye appointment, where I have tipped from “glasses sometime in the future” to “glasses, yep.”

(I am delighted to finally have the last checkbox on my stereotypical librarian checklist ticked off. Cat, yes. Hair in bun, yes. Sensible shoes, yes. Cardigan, yes (even if mine are mostly geeky choices from Svaha) And now glasses!

I saw the optician on the 10th, and picked them up on Saturday afternoon (the 17th) so I’ve only been wearing them for two and a half days, but so far so good! Because I spend 90% of my time on a computer, we went for computer specific glasses, and I’ll be getting some distance frames (with either transition lenses or clip on sunglasses) later this summer when my FSA account rolls over.

The one thing I’m currently finding weird is that when I’m on the laptop in the living room, I’m used to looking up and being aimed at my shrine space, which is now modestly blurry (because it’s well out of the range of the glasses focal point…) This may or may not provoke me to do some actual sitting in front of the shrine practice more regularly, we’ll see.

(Right now, I’m trying “don’t put on my glasses for my morning devotional stuff”. I don’t need them to be able to function, more for “eyestrain is no fun”)

Other than that, I’m taking vacation this week, doing a lot of work on my authorial wiki, and doing some planning for the May-July quarter of the year. Whee! (This is how you can tell that I’m a Virgo Sun and a Capricorn rising, I suspect… Besides my love of spreadsheets.)

Witch in Practice – Pisces season

Coven

We’ve had a quiet month, for the reasons described last time.

  • February 20th: Rune discussion and Dedicant class
  • March 20th: Ostara ritual (online still, of course) and I have a bit of tradition-specific ritual to do later that afternoon.

One of the things on our list to talk about – though it will still be a few months before we start making changes – is looking what being able to see each other in person again might look like.

My goal for this discussion is to talk about what kinds of things we want to aim for (when we can meet in person again, do we want to keep some online meetings for discussions to help with childcare needs and travel time, for example? How’s the timing working for us?)

We don’t need to make any decisions yet, but I want to give people time to think about what they’d like to do and what will work for them, since I know some people’s situations have shifted a bit (and probably will again.)

Witchy

I finished up the astrology class series I was taking. (I felt not-great for the last two, including the interpretation class at the end, so I definitely have a ton more reading and practicing to do.)

It’s been a relatively light month otherwise, because of the health and cleaning stuff.

Personal

I got my second vaccine dose on March 6th. My immune system likes throwing fits about things (autoimmune conditions make that interesting). I didn’t have miserable side-effects, but I was definitely unusually tired from Sunday (the day after I got it) through about Thursday. I’m very glad I cleared my schedule.

I also took the 12th and 15th off from work, and spent that doing a bunch of spring cleaning, which has felt great.

Witch in Practice: Aquarius season

Welcome to the second half of February!

Coven

We’ve had one person decide that she’s not able to keep up with coven things right now (entirely understandable), so she’s left the coven. We’ll be glad to discuss coming back in the future if/when her circumstances change.

(Talking about this stuff is always a little weird, because it’s internal group stuff. On the other hand, I want to mention it briefly, because this is a really normal process for group work. Things change and flow and that’s okay.)

We’ve also had:

  • January 23rd: Rune discussion and Dedicant class (on ritual tools)
  • January 30th: We had our (online) Imbolc ritual, and initiate discussion time.
  • I cancelled things on the February 6th (see the personal notes)

Coming up tomorrow, we get into one of my favourite Dedicant classes . That’s talking about what a magical persona is and why you might want one, which is one of those topics I still need to figure out how to write about, because it’s not something widely discussed in a lot of books. And more rune discussion.

Witchy

I’m currently taking a series of astrology classes (Five classes meeting every two weeks via Zoom) with a local priestess and astrologer. I’m enjoying it a lot.

“Get deeper into astrology” has been on my list for a couple of years, and thought that this framework would give me a good jumping off point. It’s definitely doing that, and helping me figure out how to combine material from multiple sources

(I’m also using this as a model for some of what I’m going to be talking about in the Pagan Learning project, which is slowly progressing.)

On the other hand, it’s taking up both class time and a lot of note-taking time.

Personal

Two bits of personally good news!

The reason I cancelled coven things on Feburary 6th (and will be figuring out alternate options for what’s scheduled March 6th) is that I was able to get my first dose of the Covid vaccine via some extra doses available through my employer.

(I’m not planning on changing my activities any time soon, but I do have a couple of medical appointments I need to do in the next few months that I will feel a lot better about dealing with post-vaccine.)

And on the writing side, I released a new book at the beginning of the month, a number of people have loved it, and it has been my best sales month by far so far. (We’re starting from fairly small numbers here, mind you!)

I am so very delighted by that, and comments like “I was up until 3am reading this” are never going to get old.

If you’re interested in the Scottish Highlands in 1922 with a broken magical portal, a possible dangerous mythical beast (a beithir), everyone having secrets, and a fair bit of magic, you can learn more over here.

I’m currently in editing mode for the next book to come out, set at the elitist magical school of my world. It is fully and unashamedly influenced by my experiences as a student in boarding school and a librarian in an independent school. And by all the ways that Hogwarts as an institution of learning completely frustrates me. (The staffing is completely inadequate for the stated schedule, never mind the lack of attention to pedagogy or wanting qualified teachers.) Also contains lots of astronomy and teachers trying to figure out how to help their students.

In other words, hi, I’m keeping busy around here.

Witch in Practice: Capricorn season

New pages and posts on Seeking:

Coven

Fairly quiet, on the whole. I didn’t schedule anything between our solstice ritual on the 19th and January 2nd, both because I was taking some time off to do other things, and because various people have kids and other bits of their life to coordinate.

  • January 2nd: We’d planned on a rune discussion, but ended up with just two of us there, and had a chat about some other witchy things instead. Dedicant class in the afternoon, talking about ritual theory.
  • January 9th: Dedicant class, talking about mythology and deity.

This weekend, we’ve got another rune discussion scheduled, and another Dedicant class (tools and altars, and I need to figure out some of how to share that usefully virtually: I have photos of most of the relevant stuff I took a few years ago.)

There were also several longer emails in here – some Dedicant questions (yay!), plus the one described below in the “world at large” section.

Witchy

I spent most of my vacation time working on writing related projects (the kind of thing where I needed to load a book into my brain, not disrupt it for the better part of ten days, and redraft substantial chunks of it) which meant I didn’t get as much else done as I was hoping.

One of the things I’m really liking about my planning adjustments for this year (which comes out of working through the HB90 material) is that I sat down and figured out when I needed to do the prep work in advance of some scheduled things, put it in my to-do list and calendar, and now I don’t have to worry I’m missing something.

So, this week, I sent out email about our Imbolc ritual plans, and Sunday afternoon I spent time on the “work through Nigel Pearson’s Walking The Tides: Seasonal Rhythms and Traditional Lore in Natural Craft” project I’m working on this year month by month. I’ve done December, January, and now February, putting notes into the private wiki that I use for this kind of thing.

I also did some work on the stuff in the Upcoming Plans section.

In sadder news, there have been two deaths in my larger communities, one of whom was my confirmation sponsor, back when I was in my teens and Catholic. (She was a fantastic example of how being deeply religious doesn’t have to take a single form, and how to be curious and engaged about the world and finding meaning.)

The world at large

The world at large is complicated, demanding, and distressing in all sorts of ways right now. After January 6th, I sent email to our coven email list with a few things that I’ve found helpful (my page on coping in hard times, as well as some thoughtful comments and advice from Bri Saussy.)

But it’s not as if I have all the answers (far from it), and I’m also very aware this year that while I’ve thought a lot about “what can I offer to people in my coven as a priestess”, doing significant pastoral support (in the way clergy in other religions do) is … not entirely in my scope.

Finding the line between being supportive, sharing helpful things, encouraging people to figure out what’s helping them, and getting myself into a situation where I don’t have the resources to maintain it is tricky (because I also have a day job that hasn’t stopped, chronic health foo, all the usual life maintenance stuff, and so on.)

And it’s not like I didn’t spend more time than I likely should have watching/reading/listening to news. (The line between ‘getting new information that might be actually important’ and ‘doomscrolling’ is more obvious at some times than others.)

Upcoming plans

I announced the following over on my Patreon and mailing list on January 3rd. Subscribe to the mailing list for updates about the project! (Though I’ll also mention it here in the monthly updates…)

I am likely going to be moving the mailing list to Substack in the next month or so. It has some additional tools – like being able to do comments and discussion – that I think would be neat.

Here’s what I’ve announced: (taken from the Patreon post)

Conversations with several friends and acquaintances (plus watching a lot of people struggle with this in the various Paganish spaces I read) has led me to sort out a new project, focused on how to learn (and research about) Pagan, witchy, and magical topics. 

It will focus on:

  • How to figure out some things about how you learn best
  • Some tips for planning time (and energy) to keep you moving forward
  • Why religious and magical research is different from what you learned in school…
  • … and how you can do it differently, with less frustration and stress
  • A research process that adapts to a wide range of needs and topics
  • Different approaches to keep track of what you’ve learned
  • Help with common issues – how do you deal with contradictory sources, issues of cultural assumption and appropriation, concerns about trying something new.
  • Advice for how to incorporate meditation, ritual, and divination as part of your learning and research process.

It doesn’t have a fancy name yet (my draft file is called “Pagan Learning”. Very inventive, I know.) 

It’s also a large project: my outline has at least 60 subsections, and I keep adding more pieces. It’s going to take me a while to write, edit, and share. 

Format: 
I’ll be sharing it via an online course platform (probably Teachable). The first segment, on how to figure out how you learn well, will be free, so you can get a sense of how the structure works for you. I’m hoping to have that up by the end of March at the latest. Watch this space for details. 

The rest of the segments will be available for a moderate fee.

(I’m thinking in the realm of $20-25 for the whole thing, about the price of a full-length print book, and I expect you’ll be able to get specific segments for a small amount of money, like $5. There’ll be discount codes for anyone on the Patreon or my mailing list.) 

For right now, it will involve text-based information, with screenshots, worksheets, and other supporting material as makes sense for the topic. I’m open to adding some video or audio down the road, but they’ll involve some additional tools on my end (and time to make sure everything’s fully accessible), so let’s start with the text. 

The current outline has 9 segments. Once I get the first one up, I’ll have a better idea of the timeline for the rest. 

Additional options: 
Once I have 3 segments up, I’ll be adjusting my Patreon levels to include access to the course for anyone who backs the Patreon at a modest level. I’m thinking about setting up a Discord for talking about anything and everything related to Paganish research and learning (which, really, covers a lot of topics) as a perk.  

I’ll also be sharing additional content on Patreon once I get going. This will include comments on specific books relevant to the project, maybe some bibliographies, that kind of thing. I’m also open to suggestions if there are things you’re interested in seeing here. (It’ll be a month or two before that starts up, and I’ll tell you before I get rolling.) 

When I get everything done I will look at doing a book version (hey, I’m set up for self-publishing…) 

Related: 
I have plans to do a separate course on planning and productivity from a witchy point of view (see my recent posts to get a sense of how I do that)

Not so much ‘how do you schedule your witchy work’ (other people do that well and I’ll tell you about them too!) but ‘how do you set up a system that is in tune with and supports your religious and magical practice and values’. 

I hope to have this piece out in October, to help you get ready for 2022. 

If you have any questions, comments, ideas, things you hope I cover, the contact form is over here for those.

Doing All The Things – intro

Hello! A slightly unusual series of posts from me this week, because as we head into 2021, several people have made intrigued noises when I talk about my planning and productivity tools.

So here’s a set of four posts talking about those things:

  1. This post (an overview of what my goals are with this)
  2. Long-term planning (how I approach it)
  3. Doing things (task management)
  4. Tracking (keeping track of what I’ve done)

First, let me be really clear: I am writing this up in case any piece of it might be useful to you. While it’s less actual work than it looks like, I suspect this is a lot more fussy than most people want to do.

However (based on previous conversations), I also bet that some specific pieces of it might be handy to others. Since I can’t tell which, you get me talking about them all!

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