The Sickness

I got it! Why Pantheacon left such a bad taste in my mouth—why, of all the years I’ve gone, I got sick this time. Con crud has always passed me by before. I thought my “secret” was purely physical, a protection conferred by my homeopathic remedies and the fact that my job exposes me to basically everything, as well as all the walking I do, the trash I pick up barehanded, etc., etc.

It was something much older that made me sick, something I thought I had learned back in grade school when I became an outcast, and later, when I couldn’t find a boyfriend like everyone else. I realized then that there was no point in wanting what everyone else had. I knew, in a moment much like the one I experienced at the beginning of this week, that what everyone else has will never make me happy. Life is not one size fits all.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit it. What I wanted was to become a Big Name Pagan. I wanted to give talks and write books and not have to go back to this job that was not the deal I made with the Earth, lo, those many years ago.

Now it isn’t that I don’t have a book in me. I have many, as a matter of fact. I have songs and albums, the Awen has a metric fuckton of work for me to do. But not for attention. Not for status. For Gaia, and for Saturn, my taskmaster. For Taliesin, my inner container, strong and skilled, into which the Awen pours beauty. I forgot for a moment that all this stuff wants is a conduit to come through into the world, and that Cerridwen told me that all I had to do was serve my purpose. The rewards will come, and their form will be surprising. Jupiter will make me wealthy. I just have to remember that my conception of wealth has very little to do with money.

I forgot all this, and I made myself miserable and sick.

I’m all better now. Life is crammed full of wonder and wealth. The sun shines gold on me, the rain pours silver on my head. I met Rambling Jack Elliott yesterday, a Uranian twist of fate if ever there was one. I accompanied him around the vessel he knew well back in the day, listened to his silly jokes, and how he was chased off the boat at nineteen by the guy who used to own her in the Thirties. Amid the sound of the chipping hammers I’d do anything to be able to swing again, pulling dainty little covers off capstans that have no need of such fripperies, pulled from my servant’s station where I had been placed by the Hollywood Pirate who will never see these gallant Ladies as anything more than a rung on the ladder of status.

I went back to my bench, with my laminated slices of My Lady’s History, under the cotton candy clouds, beneath the brilliant blue sky, and realized that I am exactly where I need to be, for now. My sentence is coming to an end, with every status-seeker who moves on, with every story I tell of the 5,000 year history of deforestation that passed through our vessels, with every light that goes on behind the eyes of some traveler who thought they were coming to see the “pirate ships.”

You got more than you bargained for when you ran into this Bard, no? My workplace got more than it knew when it hired a resident Witch. And the Ladies got exactly what they deserved.

4 Replies to “The Sickness”

  1. There aren’t many people who would admit to wanting to be a Big Name Pagan for the fame involved, so kudos to you for admitting that, and congratulations on getting past it.

    I’m not a Big Name Pagan, though I’ve written several books.

    I write the books that I would like to read. I write to address gaps in what is currently on offer.

    Specifically, I write to suggest alternatives to the relentless heterocentricity of large swathes of Pagan practice. And every so often I get confirmation from the gods and ancestors that they like what I’m doing.

    I would like what I do to have a beneficial effect on Pagan practice, and to change things so that LGBTQIA people and disabled people and POC are included fully.

    I must admit that I would like it if posterity noted my efforts.

    I don’t want acolytes or neophytes or adoring fans (too much effort) but I would like fellow travellers to practice with.

    So I don’t want to be a Big Name Pagan in the full sense of that term … but I do want my efforts to be recognized and valued. Thankfully many people do recognize and value them.


    1. I just had the insane idea in the back of my head that I could be better employed elsewhere. Which is actually nothing more than the truth for all of us who are employed making money for our “betters.” Being a BNP just looked like a way out for a stupid moment in time. There is no shortcut out of the yardstick economy where we work to pay off thieves. A book contract would have jack-all to do with it… In any case, this isn’t an individual problem and it will never have an individual solution. We need to leave this world a better place than it was when we got here, and while all I really want is to spend my days chronicling this wonderful, terrible, crucial time we all inhabit, that is not where Gaia put this battered genderfluid footsoldier.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah ok gotcha.

        It’s pretty unlikely that a contract for a Pagan book would enable you to give up the day job (but you probably know that).

        And if you want to stay sane, I’d try to avoid the “hey I could make a living out of my hobby / spirituality”. Quickest way to destroy your spirituality. I started down that road; it doesn’t go anywhere nice.

        Also, waves to fellow genderfluid person 🙂


  2. Homeopathy is nonsense, whether you look at it physically or spiritually. Physically, the dilutions remove all but the tiniest active ingredients of a remedy; and simply shaking a compound mechanically and diluting it provide no infusion of mana/spirit/nwyfre etc.


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