New pages and posts on Seeking:
- My series on yearly and regular planning (four parts, that link takes you to the first, which links to the other three and gives context.)
- What’s a coven? People use the term in different ways.
- Seeking a coven in the time of Covid
- What kind of witch am I?
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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…)
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.