My Craft is steeped in open-secret herstories that question and compel the Witch to examine those parts of mythology, history, and stories told in the U.S. that seem too neatly packaged, too much in favor of the victories of war, of the discovery of “new” (and always strangely “uninhabited”) lands, and the continuing legacy of paternal patriarchy that defines more than half of the human species unable to hold agency over their own lives, with of course, the myth of skin tone as a measurement of anything but melatonin.
For some folks (like myself and many of you) who are part of a legacy of colonization, marginalization, sometimes annihilation, and often forced assimilation, there can be a certain level of exhaustion from continuously being presented a story of humankind that either victimizes or ignores the complexity of who and what we are as humyn creatures. In some parts of the modern American Pagan movement as a proof of “learned-ness” I hear folks within circles, conversations, and blogs guffaw the unconventional as absurd. The foolish idea, for example, of feminist scholars writing back into history the fact that, just maybe, women were not always subservient, there were more than just two rigid genders, and we may have been a more peaceful species. Dismissed are the ideas that cultures have been continuously rubbing up against one another, sometimes clashing, sometimes joyfully reproducing, and often a bit of both – that our ancestors were as innovative and exploratory in their practice as we are today – and ignoring that spiritual and magickal practice is often in itself one big Unverified Personal Gnosis that is only verified by our own gnosis.
What I think is important to strengthen the Craft and the growing Paganisms of the United States is to not so quickly dismiss the unconventional in order to be taken seriously by the overculture conventional. Instead, let us re-imagine + re-member (literally put back together) our legacy as modern Pagans that seeks to expand the narrative of our origins because we are a truly multi-cultural people, with a religion that has traveled round the globe many times, and continues to do so today. As a multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-ethnic humyn creature, Pagan, and Witch, I have been continuously humbled by the legacy of Paganism (used in the broadest definition of the word) to survive in a world that is full of the beating drum of the global evangelicalism of homogeneity. My practice is a revolutionary tool, forged in the questioning of so many narratives we have taken for granted that leaves a tremendous amount of experiences out of the story, and recognizing the fluid, foldable and continuously accessible stream of time. By telling the complex stories we begin to breath those dormant seeds into life, planting them as sturdy future-dreamings that give us a foundation to hold firm to as we dismantle the structures that oppress us today.
I am a product of those herstories, whispered myths, challenging narratives, heart-breaking songs, ugly speeches, and mumbled charms – so are you. I am a stream of this legacy as so many of us are and I know we’ll continue to shape the edges of water and land with our desires and yearnings, with a radical Pagan practice and revolutionary craft that never takes magick for granted, but certainly lives it as a terribly beautiful subversive dance.