Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Re-mineralizaing Tooth Powder

I will write more when I have the time about the full WHY of some of what I am about to share, but I have a number of initiatives that I am undertaking.

This post is in service of two of them.

1.  I am trying to gradually eliminate single-use plastics from my life.
2.  I am trying to gradually eliminate toxic chemicals from my life.

One of the places that I am working on this is in relation to personal hygiene products because they both tend to have a lot of toxic chemicals that we put on or in our bodies and they also tend to have a lot of plastic packaging etc.

This evening, after my philosophy group let, I made my first tooth powder.  I did a fair amount of research and came to several conclusions.  The purpose of fluoride in toothpaste has to do with remineralization.  However, fluoride is also on the toxic side of life and there is some research suggesting that in the little bit of time it is in contact with teeth through brushing (unlike fluoride treatments you get at the dentist), it doesn't really help as much as it looks like some other ingredients do.

Plus, I have a pretty strong aversion to mint flavored toothpaste which leaves me with either Tom's of Maine Cinnamon/clove toothpaste or my Greek toothpaste.

A lot of the most toxic ingredients we have in our products are preservatives...but the toothpaste you can make at home goes bad.  But tooth POWDER doesn't.  The way you use tooth powder is that you get your toothbrush wet and then get some of it on your tooth brush and...brush!

Apparently, acid is really hard on teeth and causes the enamel to demineralize, so you want to offset acidity with ingredients that are alkaline.  Also, you want the enamel to have access to the minerals it needs in order to strengthen itself.

I settled on the tooth powder recipe by Wellness Mama.  https://wellnessmama.com/5252/remineralizing-tooth-powder/

It includes:
·      1/4 cup bentonite clay (is alkaline and produces an electrical charge in water, removes toxins, and can help remineralize teeth with calcium, magnesium, and silica)
·     3 TAB calcium powder (minerals for enamel and whitens)
·     1 TAB baking soda (minerals, alkaline, removes stains)
·     1 TAB ground cinnamon (anti-bacterial)
·     1 TAB ground cloves (anti-microbial)
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·     1 TAB + xylitol powder (keeps bacteria from sticking to teeth, which prevents demineralization)

You can also add powdered mint or some mint oil.  I choose not to do so.

You put everything into a mason jar and then shake it really well.  Put some aside into a smaller container where it is easy to dip your wet toothbrush into it.

I spent $36 on ingredients and made the recipe three times over.  If it lasts me as long as 7 tubes of toothpaste, then I will have broken even on the expense.  I have no idea if I will.  However, I also have a ton of bentonite clay left over and a bit of the xylitol left over.  I could order a bit more of the food grade calcium and make even more.  The reason it is expensive is that the smallest bag available of bentonite was $17 and there was a similar situation with the xylitol.

It will take me some time to figure out if I like this, if it is worth it, and if it helps my teeth.  But if I do, then this was easy to make and, while there was some plastic in the ingredients packaging, the hope is that it will last long enough to be less plastic than the tubes of toothpaste.  It certainly does not have questionably safe ingredients.



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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Cynicism Can Bite Me - I Choose Hope

Our country and much of the world is currently in thrall (enslaved) to a large number of powerful glamours.  When I say a “glamour,” I am referring to a type of delusion that occurs at the level of being in which cognition is mixed with emotion.  Most of our waking experiences are characterized by cognition (thoughts) that are mixed with emotions.

Glamours are incredibly dangerous because they function by inviting someone to feel powerful, especially in relationships to others, while simultaneously stripping those in thrall of their actual power.  I want to give you an example of one of the most powerful right now and invite you to become aware of its operation and to reject it when it invites you to give it your power while pretending to give you power.  Glamours are defeated by awareness and an act of will in which you reject it.

Let’s talk about the glamour of Cynicism:  Cynicism is pervasive, but let’s look at it in the context of politics. It is the attitude that everything is rigged, so there is no point in trying, or if you are going to try it will be in some grand protest that is not actually a strategy. The cynical person believes that they see the putative “truth” because they are intelligent and that they are more intelligent than anyone who “doesn’t see it”.  Functionally, cynicism becomes an “identity marker” of intelligence and a way to justify feeling superior to other people. Because people who are intelligent tend to value their intelligence, there is pressure from this glamour to verify one’s intelligence by becoming cynical 

So, the glamour of cynicism removes masses of people from actually working to make a meaningful difference in their community, which is what politics is, while simultaneously enabling them to not feel any responsibility for improving things. Instead there is a self-amplifying feedback loop that absolutely disempowers those who are under the thrall of this glamour while increasing their own deluded sense of status as “intelligent” people.  The more things go to hell, the more self-righteous they feel believing they have been vindicated as being “correct” while being blind to the fact that their role is significantly causal.  

Additionally, those who are working for change are dismissed and disempowered as being either polyannas or sell-outs, and are written off as either not intelligent or not strong enough to accept the “cold, hard truth of the world,” or they are not pure enough.  And, again, this particular glamour appeals to and infects an extraordinarily large number of truly intelligent people whose talents and abilities to make change are effectively neutralized.  If I were Sauron trying to devise a spell to put humanity in thrall and spread my corrupting shadow over the world, I couldn’t do better than the glamour of cynicism.  

The next time you find yourself invited by the Glamour of Cynicism to give it your power so that it can give you an illusion, I invite you to do this instead.  Choose hope and stay engaged.  This is not a naïve statement.  I do not passively “have” hope because I think the world is good.  I choose hope, over and over again, every day, so that I can have the real power to help make the world good.  And then I go, and I do the work that I can.  

If you are of a magickal persuasion, here is a ritual to dissipate cynicism from the group mind.  https://theophaniadcdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/dispelling-glamour-ritual.pdf 

Friday, August 31, 2018

Witch Problems: The Clutter of Magic

I have read more occult books...well...I was counting up and realizing that I have self-identified as a Witch for 32 years now...and I am a librarian.  I have read a lot of occult books.  They warn you about all sorts of eldritch dangers...but the one I have never seen as a warning is that if you become even a half-serious practitioner, your life is in danger of being taken over by MAGICAL CLUTTER!!!  Now THAT is a serious bane.  I'm not entirely sure what Japanese Organization Lady would advise me to do since, "does this sealed arcane spell binding the power of a serial rapist bring you joy?" is not a sentence that should ever be uttered.  Or typed.  TOO LATE!  Because I am a witch and I say shit that certainly wouldn't be said in polite company and maybe shouldn't be said at all.

This post is coming from a Facebook post that I wrote, and I am memorializing it so it can serve as a reminder and cautionary tale for me in the future.

As an urban witch who lives in a one-bedroom apartment, I am incredibly fortunate to have a special nook just for my altars and magick.  Now...of course, I have altars and other stuff ALL OVER the apartment, but I also have a dedicated little personal temple space.  GLORY!  So superior to the years spent in the 400 square foot studio!  But it really, really needed to get straightened up.  But the STUFF.  How do I have this much stuff?  What is this stuff?  The occult books are very clear that one should not have a cluttered magical working environment.  Both, TRUE and HAH!  I mean, I live in a one bedroom apartment and have 9 altars, 3 of which get daily use and the other 6 get used over once a season.  Minimalism is just not the witchy way...no matter how much we romanticize our ancestors and their "simpler" ways.  And I consciously TRY not to do this.  Try and fail.  Try again.

Anyway, I needed to clean up my supplies.  So, I decided to clean house.  It went something like this:

What are these stones? Why are they together? There must be a reason...is that bark? Is this the molybdenite? Why did I buy this much selenite? I must have been planning to do something with it. What the hell was it? Is it disrespectful to throw this out? It was an offering at one point. I know I'm supposed to bury or burn it...but I think my apartment manager would be mad at me if I did that and I'm not in the mood to get caught digging in the park. Oh bloody hell...what is this? I know it's not one of the McCormick spices...I just used the bottle. And here are bottles of oils that the labels are no longer readable or that fell off. And save me from the collection of feathers and special bits of string and other ritual detritus. I really should have labeled my rocks better. The sacred waters are reasonably labeled at least. Note to self...I DO NOT NEED HYSSOP OIL!!! I HAVE PLENTY. Make a bloody inventory already! Why did I ever think it was a good idea to create a spell that leaves me having to keep a physical item until the end of time? That's just bad planning. Etc. etc. etc.


I know that part of this is because we feel like we need to be prepared for all sorts of unknown circumstances...so we collect all sorts of things with the "just in case" mentality.  My personal favorite, for me, was an early morning phone call from my sweetie (who is a magnificent Darren).  
I answered the phone and he excitedly burst out with a "Good morning, sweetie!  Do you need a snake in a bottle?"
 

I couldn't even fully parse what he was saying and was like, "Wha....?"


"Do you need a snake in a bottle?"

At this point, I was trying to think through whether or not this could be some really weird double entendre that was sailing over my head, or something.  Then he decided to explain."My friend at work gave me a dead snake preserved in a bottle of alcohol and I don't know what to do with it.  Do you need a snake in a bottle."  

"OH!  You mean do I need a SNAKE in a bottle."  And you know, for a witch, the answer to that question, taken literally, is "Yes...Yes I do.  I do need a snake in a bottle."  

I have a magnificent Darren.  He gave me a snake in a bottle.  Now, should there ever be an emergency in which we were thinking, "I could save the world with my wild edge-walking magicks if only I but had...a snake in a bottle..."  The struggle, it is real.  

But seriously...I am still not done organizing the clutter.  I did create an inventory.  I am thinking maybe I should capture and release some rocks back into the wild.  But I do think we need to be thinking about our magical detritus problem.  If I never, ever, ever get another random piece of special string or a candle I'm not supposed to finish burning or whatever in a ritual...this would be good.  And I am going to be much more conscious about what I saddle people with at the rituals I run.In the meantime, if I'm ever caught burying shit in the park...I promise you a weird trial.












Monday, July 30, 2018

The Abortion Debate is Not About Abortion

The abortion debate is not about abortion.  Abortion is not the issue, it is the battleground.

I know that the abortion debate is not about abortion because, if it were, there would be common ground discovered and actions taken.  We know what prevents abortion and the vast majority of abortions could have long since been a thing of the past if the mis-named "Pro-Life" forces were working with, instead of against, us in trying to shape create the changes that would prevent most abortions by making them irrelevant.

This is how you eliminate the need for most abortions.

  • Eliminate all barriers to safe and effective birth control.  
    • If we were serious, we could make it state-subsidized, free, and easy to get.
    • Eliminate all stigma around women's sexuality that would prevent them from getting birth control.
    • Make it possible for minor women to get birth control without parental knowledge or consent, so long as it is medically safe.
    • Condoms are in men's control and can be sabotaged.  They are important for other reasons, but women need control of their birth control.
    • Put more public money into developing safer forms of birth control that have fewer side-effects.
  • Mandatory comprehensive sexual education for all of our youth that focuses on de-stimgatizing sexuality, gives comprehensive understanding of how to prevent pregnancies, and focuses on sexual consent and communication.
  • Make ending rape a cultural and societal priority by embracing a culture that openly discusses consent.
  • Strengthen the social safety net, especially funding childcare and parental leave, so that women who would want to give birth and keep the child if their financial circumstances allowed them to do so can make that choice.
There will still be some need for abortion in unexpected and tragic circumstances where the woman wants to have the baby, but there is something badly wrong--with her health or with the fetus.  These are, by definition, tragedies and NO ONE outside of the woman, her doctor, and whichever intimates she allows into that inner circle of decision-making even has a right to an opinion.  

When I have tried to find common ground with those who swear that they just want to save the unborn babies by suggesting we could work together on any of the above--which would actually prevent abortions--it became crystal clear that this is not about the unborn babies or abortion at all.  The so-called "Pro-Life" side actually works against all of the things that we know prevent abortions.  The abortion debate is not about abortions.

What the abortion debate is about is whether or not women have full ownership of their bodies, or if that legal, societal, and cultural right is contingent and they can be owned by someone else...be it the father of the fetus, the husband, her father, or the state.  If a woman's right to own her own body is not absolute, then she is not legally fully human.  She is dehumanized and becomes pseudo-property.  If I can be owned by someone else--if the state can tell me that I lose my rights to make medical decisions about my body should I become pregnant--then I am legally much lesser than any man, whether or not I am actually pregnant.  I believe that the ability of the individual to have ownership of their body, the very vessel in which we walk the earth, is essential to being fully human.  The abortion debate is about whether women are legally full persons or if their legal personhood is contingent.  If it is contingent, then women are in a position where they are legally dehumanized.

Abortion is the battleground out of biological necessity.  A fetus only exists inside a woman's body.  Until birth, the fetus is in a dependent symbiotic relationship with the woman's body.  There is no way around that fact.  Once the fetus is in a woman's body, she must either have control over her body or someone else has control over her body.  You can't act "for the fetus" against the woman, without denying the woman sovereignty over her own body.  It logically cannot be done.  

I this way women are simply biologically different than men and vulnerable to having their humanity stripped from them in a way that men are not.  This is the battleground.  There are ways to prevent most abortions without resorting to a battle about whether or not women legally own their bodies--but in the actual abortion debate, there is no compromise.  Women either own their bodies, or this basic human right is contingent and women are not recognized as fully human.  If you give the fetus rights that supersede the mother, you deny women their full legal humanity.    

There can be no compromise on this battleground.  

I have never been pregnant and I never will be pregnant, but my legal-standing as a full human equal to men stands in the balance along with all of my Sisters from all backgrounds.  This is not about abortion.  It is about the emancipation of women.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Great Invocation

The Great Invocation is from Alice Bailey and has become a part of my daily practice.  This version brings together all three versions that she wrote, many during WWII, which, on a spiritual level, feels, to me, like we are picking up some of those threads again....and not just the Nazis, who are back.  I also mean things like we never have truly dealt with the reality of nuclear weapons...and we need to.  We let the great promise of the end of WWII, the idea that we could really develop the cosmopolis, devolve into state rivalries and economic colonization.  We had such promise at the end of WWII, and we squandered so much of it.  Anyway, I digress.  The language has been altered to make it gender neutral (I received it in that altered state from the Order of Ganymede, edited by the amazing Arachne) and then I altered it again to change "warring of the nations" to "warring of the factions," which is now our circumstance.  

Here is the edited text. https://theophaniadcdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/the-great-invocation.pdf

LET THE FORCES OF LIGHT BRING ILLUMINATION TO HUMANKIND.
LET THE SPIRIT OF PEACE BE SPREAD ABROAD.
MAY PEOPLE OF GOODWILL EVERYWHERE
MEET IN A SPIRIT OF COOPERATION.
MAY FORGIVENESS ON THE PART OF ALL BE THE KEYNOTE OF THIS TIME.

MAY THE SPIRIT OF PEACE APPEAR
AND END THE WARRING OF THE FACTIONS.
MAY THE REIGN OF LIGHT AND LOVE AND JUSTICE BE BEGUN!

MAY THE POWER OF THE ONE LIFE
POUR THROUGH ALL TRUE SERVERS. 
MAY THE LOVE OF THE ONE SOUL
CHARACTERIZE THE LIVES OF ALL WHO SEEK TO AID THE GREAT ONES.

MAY WE FULFILL OUR PART IN THE ONE WORK
THROUGH SELF-FORGETFULNESS,
HARMLESSNESS, AND RIGHT SPEECH.

OM!   OM!   OM!

LET THE SPIRITS OF LIBERATION ISSUE FORTH!
LET THEM BRING SUCCOR TO THE CHILDREN OF EARTH!
LET THE LIGHT FROM THE SECRET PLACE
COME FORTH,
AND COMING, SAVE.
COME FORTH, O MIGHTY ONES!

LET THE SOULS OF ALL AWAKEN TO THE LIGHT,
AND MAY THEY STAND WITH MASSED INTENT.
LET THE FIAT OF THE LIGHT GO FORTH:
THE END OF WOE HAS COME!
COME FORTH, O MIGHTY ONES.
THE HOUR OF SERVICE TO THE REDEEMING FORCE
HAS NOW ARRIVED.
LET IT BE SPREAD ABROAD!

LET LIGHT AND LOVE AND DEATH
FULFILL THE PURPOSE OF THE MIGHTY ONES.
THE WILL TO SAVE IS HERE.
THE LOVE TO CARRY FORTH THE WORK IS WIDELY SPREAD ABROAD.
THE ACTIVE SERVICE OF ALL WHO KNOW THE TRUTH
IS ALSO HERE.
COME FORTH O MIGHTY ONES,
AND BLEND THESE THREE!
CONSTRUCT A GREAT DEFENDING WALL THAT THE RULE OF EVIL END!

OM!  OM!  OM!

FROM THE POINT OF LIGHT
WITHIN THE MIND OF GOD
LET LIGHT STREAM FORTH
INTO THE MINDS OF ALL.
LET LIGHT DESCEND ON EARTH!

FROM THE POINT OF LOVE
WITHIN THE HEART OF GOD
LET LOVE STREAM FORTH
INTO ALL HUMAN HEARTS.
MAY LOVE BE BORNE THROUGH US!

FROM THE CENTER WHERE THE WILL OF GOD IS KNOWN
LET PURPOSE GUIDE
OUR LITTLE WILLS OF EARTH.
THE PURPOSE WHICH THE GREAT ONES
KNOW AND SERVE.

FROM THE CENTER
WHICH WE CALL THE HUMAN RACE
LET THE PLAN OF LOVE AND LIGHT WORK OUT.
AND MAY WE SEAL THE DOOR
WHERE EVIL DWELLS.

LET LIGHT AND LOVE AND POWER RESTORE THE PLAN ON EARTH!

OM!  OM!  OM!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Paganism Has a Creepy Guy Problem

Paganism has a creepy guy problem….and we need to face and address it.  This is a call for looking in the mirror and then having productive conversations.  So, let me talk about what I see, how I understand it, and also my hope.

First, I should be clear that I am talking about men in the Pagan community who are attracted to women.  I don’t know if this situation is also present in men who are attracted to men.  Even if so, it is likely that the dynamics are a bit different.

I believe that Paganism, writ large, is an audacious project…one in which we are establishing the nascent foundations of alternative cultures that are meant to challenge the dominant culture in which we are embedded.  We are striving to re-enchant the world.  We are trying to create ways of living that build positive, caring and meaningful relationships with beings who are non-human (including invisible/spirit beings) and all of the natural world.  We are creating traditions and structures that encourage the development of human potential at all levels of being and inculcating an orientation that holds all aspects of human nature as having sacred value.  We are developing alternatives to the dominant culture that challenge not only gender roles, but the valuation of those roles.  We want to create alternative cultures in which human beings can embrace and develop their full natures and thrive. 

Paganism provides a strong corrective to values in the dominant culture that simultaneously cast sexuality as something morally negative and use a “market” approach to sexuality that leads to objectification of humans, especially (but not exclusively) women.  Paganism has an extraordinary degree of sexual openness.  Within Pagan circles, there is a high level of acceptance of LGBTQ members of the community.  A broad range of sexual orientations and practices are accepted and celebrated as part of human experience.  If it is safe, sane, and between consenting adults, Pagans are generally fine with almost anything.  Female sexuality is fully accepted as a valuable part of human experience and women are supported in claiming and developing their sexuality in a positive way.  Given the misogyny of the dominant culture, this is revolutionary.  In general, Pagans have a strong desire to be sex-positive.

Here’s the bad.  Sexual permissiveness is not inherently sex-positive.  Sexual positivity, at its foundation, requires full consent of all partners.  Any form of coercion is antithetical.  While it is critically important that Pagan women can be fully sexual beings, this can morph into an expectation that they are always going to be sexual.  There seems to be an expectation on the part of some Pagan men that Pagan women are always open to being hit on.  This is a huge problem.  I cannot even count the number of Pagan women who have complained to me about unwanted sexual attention to the point of relentlessness.  And it isn’t just at parties.  Sex is appropriately seen as sacred, but this belief can morph into obnoxious to oppressive behavior when every moment and every context is seen as an opportunity to hit on women. 

Now, there are bad guys who I suspect are drawn to Paganism because they can get away with things in their constant prospecting for women in Pagan circles that they can’t get away with in the dominant culture.  These are the ones who know full well that their attention is unwanted and are doing it anyway.  These people need to be shamed and shunned.  If they’ve been called out and continue, they are not unaware.  But getting rid of these blights would not fix the problem.  I think that a good portion of the instances that I hear about are from men who would be horrified if they understood that their behavior was creeping/freaking women out.

I think a significant root of the problem is that they are not understanding the experiences of women or what we are bringing with us into our interactions in the Pagan community.  First, as the #MeToo campaign made glaringly apparent, there are barely any women in this culture who HAVE NOT been sexually assaulted and/or harassed.  That is part of our lived experience.  For pretty much any woman you are dealing with, you can expect that she has memories of gendered/sexual violence that make up part of her psyche.  Secondly, no matter how “nice” a guy you think you are, all Pagan women are embedded in the dominant culture also and what we know with absolute certainty is that we are all in far more danger from men we know than from strangers.  Violence against women is an epidemic….virtually all of us experience it and we all have mechanisms of trying to protect ourselves. 

So, our histories and our experiences teach virtually all women several things.  Women are in danger from men.  That is not an exaggeration--that is real.  I think most Pagan men want to change that.  Good.  We need your help.  Secondly, much like the most dangerous time for the victim of domestic violence is the moment an abuser realizes his/her victim is going to leave, the most dangerous moment for any woman is when the man who is hitting on her realizes she is not going to have sex with him.  That is when, as a woman, your risk of being assaulted sky-rockets.  It means that for most of us when you are hit on and not interested, it is a fraught exchange and this anxiety is often invisible to men. 

What does that mean?  There are a bunch of tactics that most women know and use to lessen that risk…most of which have to do with indirect ways of communicating a lack of interest/consent.  We try to keep things kind of superficial and flirtatious and avoid having them advance to a real proposition, sometimes by trying to get a third party present or involved.  We try to disentangle without having to directly say “no” to somebody because it is often fraught and frightening to get to the point where you have to be that direct.  (I know some women don't have anxiety being that direct, but many do).  One of the most time-honored and effective but nauseatingly oppressive methods is to assert that you “belong” to some other man (my husband, my boyfriend, see my wedding ring) because it is a proven fact that men will respect the property-rights of other men more than they will respect the autonomy, sovereignty and basic human rights of a woman.  (Just typing this sentence and knowing it is true almost made me vomit and cry simultaneously).  It also means that we psychologically rely on some of the divisions about when we expect to be in contexts where we may be hit on (like at a party or a bar, or going out to dinner with someone), and when we do not expect to be hit on (like at work, or in the grocery, or walking down the street, or in a class on divination, or getting ready for a ritual).  When we are suddenly put in a position where we are dealing with sexual advances in contexts for which we are not prepared, that is often disturbing if not frightening. 

So, suddenly, in a Pagan context, all of the indirect ways of communicating fail.  Even the time honored “I have a boyfriend” doesn’t work because the acceptance of polyamory frequently morphs into an expectation that the woman might be into it.  The expectation is that a woman who is not interested should just say “no,” but that doesn’t take into account all of our experiences, not just in the past, but as soon as we walk out of Pagan spaces.  It doesn’t take into account how much that really requires of many women and the anxiety-load it creates.  And for people who think that it is only men in the dominant culture who react badly and get scary when a woman doesn’t want to have sex with them…dream on.  I’ve seen it.  Additionally, there is not as clear a division about when it is and is not appropriate to hit on somebody, which also increases the anxiety load.  Plus, what many men, including many Pagan men, never seem to understand is the extreme cognitive dissonance that many women live with in which it is flattering to be told that you are attractive and also terrifying…in the same moment.  This is especially important when you consider how the dominant culture trains us to believe that our value is dependent upon being attractive to the same population who will use that attractiveness as an excuse to degrade and assault us.  That’s just a part of the lived reality of being female in this culture.

I believe that most Pagan men don’t want this for any women, especially for their Pagan sisters.  I believe that they, far more than most men, want to see the patriarchy overturned and an end to misogyny.  I think most Pagan men are aware that women are suffering and don’t want that.  I don’t have answers, but I hope that we can have some real conversations that are not about blame, but are about finding ways we can turn Pagan culture into a truly sex-positive culture and maybe provide models beyond ourselves.  Here are some ideas for future thinking.

1.  We need to kill out language and thought patterns of rejection.  The language of rejection suggests that if someone does not want to have sex with you, it is because you are less valuable and in some way it hurts you.  Instead, the default expectation should be that people do not want to have sex with you and if they do, it is because they want to share something with you.   It is easy to say this, but it is harder, in the moment, to stand strong in your center.  As Pagans, I think we need to build and strengthen the understanding that the worth of each human being is not conditional and that we are strong in our center and self-worth.  [As a related project, I think we need to be developing models of intimate relationships that are not erotic because if you are ONLY intimate with people you are sexually involved with, then there is no way to address the issue of feeling like a lack of sexual interest is a rejection of your worth].   

    2.  We need to set up some contextual understandings about when it is and is not appropriate to be hitting on each other.  Much like the Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson exercise for the workplace (imagine you are talking to Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson and treat your female colleague like you would him) we need to set up some shared understanding about what behavior is appropriate when. 
  
3.  We need to find ways to make it safe for people to express desire and facilitate hooking up, but in ways that don’t require women to use behaviors that are potentially dangerous.  Again, putting women in situations where they have to say “no” is potentially threatening.  It also doesn’t take into account a common adrenaline response, which is to freeze.  Not saying “no” is never the same thing as saying “yes.”  I think we need to have some conversations about how we can get assent in ways that are not threatening…especially in situations in which people are likely to remain in community with each other.

EDITED TO ADD:  Based on comments in the Facebook feeds, I want to make a couple of clarifying points.  First, I am not saying that women are not also sometimes creepy...but I am not assuming that the dynamic would be the same, so that is not my topic.  Out of scope is not the same the same thing as denying it occurs.  Point two is similar.  Yes, the world has a creepy guy problem.  Many other contexts have a creepy people problem.  I am Pagan.  I am interested in having the conversations about  how to make the interactions between men and women in Paganism healthier for all parties.  Point three...if your comment in any way resembles, "Not me!  I am shy and afraid of being humiliated!  How DARE you talk about this!  Violence against women is overblown!  What do you mean by creepy any way, feminist."  Your answer...creepy. And I'm not sure you aren't a Russian bot anyway.

In the interest of trying to move things along in a more productive vein.  If any women are willing to put some ideas in the comments.  What would a GOOD exchange look like if a guy was hitting on you and you were not interested?  What would feel safe that does not require the guy to be a full-blown telepath?  

Saturday, August 12, 2017

What if Reincarnation is Real?


This post is a contemplation concerning the practical ramifications of reincarnation and how it should affect our priorities if we take it seriously.