Magical Mefites March 18, 2017 10:39 AM   Subscribe

In a recent post discussing witches and feminism/political activism I received a few emails of interest about getting in touch with other magical mefites. I made a forum for us!

The catch: I have no idea what I'm doing making a forum. If anyone would like to help with development and implementation, let me know. I have made us an empty forum but while I used to know a bit of html I have forgotten all of it apparently.

My current ideas for topic section will include things like-earth based spirituality, exploring the goddess, divine feminine across religions and spiritual belief, action related to human rights and environmental causes, animism in practice, sharing personal experiences and growth, herbology, general group actions to create good whether spiritual or practical (and discussions of the ethics and details and difficulties of doing so), and basically whatever anyone interested in this would like to see. I feel like indigenous groups are doing what they can to awaken those with a colonial mindset and those of us from cultures who have forgotten can do our part to help ourselves awaken and remember.

I am flexible about what this space is so those interested can help define what this is. Anyone with an interests relating to compassion, human rights, history of magic (for which I imagine mefites would have especially interesting reading recommendations), goddess spirituality and feminism, earth wellness, indigenous rights and support and more is welcome. Atheists with an interest are welcome, but only if you have a sincere interest and aren't arriving to proselytize and debate. Many paths up the mountain. I myself am agnostic about my own woo but know that woo is permitted and we're not being mean to each other or debating about our various weird woos on this board. It's not really a debate space. It's a kind space. I can't even begin to promise the board I would make will be perfect for everyone but I would love to see people create their own nooks if it inspires them to see more clearly exactly what they want. Because this is a space to allow woman and earth based spirituality thrive where patriarchy and patriarchal religions have suppressed it, criticism and discussion of these harms would be ok so far as I'm concerned. And yes I personally would have stricter policies on people with dominant narratives even atheism using this space to pick apart earth based and feminine oriented spiritual practice. (AND YES I know the entire word and concept of female, feminine, etc can be debated and picked apart. If members feel this is useful we can have a space for that, but I hope we can also give each other some slack seeing as that associated with feminine has been so mistreated being able to talk positively about traits associated with the word seems worthwhile.)

Those interested let me know a bit about yourself and what you'd like to see/be part of! Memail for the forum address and if you want to be an administrator and help make it pretty and functional let me know. You don't have to out yourself in the comments here to join... :)

We truly are stronger together. I think in general pagans and witches can have a hard time forming compassionate oriented groups as we are often strong willed and that makes us awesome but also difficult lol. But I believe we can do this, weave harmony and peace and equality based spirituality in our lives and the world, even though it can be hard. Not the empty peace of passive submission but the vibrant active peace of true justice and equality.
posted by xarnop to MetaFilter-Related at 10:39 AM (11 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

I love this idea. PM'ed you.
posted by Ruki at 11:04 AM on March 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

Not that into goddess/feminine spirit type things as a lot of it has tons of baggage with trans people and I'm largely lapsed in all of this anyhow, but I like the idea of having this kind of space for this sort of stuff. Barbelith had a subforum for, "Faith, magic and mysticism, bodywork, and applied psychology," which was fairly good. May be worth a glance for general structural ideas. Casting a wide net and being as inclusive as possible (without indulging the sorts who show up just to be dismissive) is probably the ideal way to go here.
posted by byanyothername at 9:29 PM on March 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

"goddess/feminine spirit type things as a lot of it has tons of baggage with trans people" Yes I've seen that as well, was just discussing the cult of Cybele in both the past and present. Celebrating the motherly arts, traits associated with mothering and femininity in history and in a lot of cultures of the present, respecting the existence of the divine mother as often or more than the divine father whose name has been touted for hundreds of years while she has been erased... I think there is space for these things to be ok while allowing each individual to define what gender means for them, how they identify, what gender related to spirituality means for them, or if gender is not part of their spirituality (or even their lives at all). All of those things should be ok. Even among those who identify with and celebrate the more motherly aspects of the feminine, I think likely most of us want freedom to be fierce, to be defiant, to be strong, to be brilliant, to be basically whatever we are in the moment or what is called for in a situation. Many goddess and even mother oriented goddesses like Durga were known for being fierce in battle.

I think as we evolve a better understanding (and also our culture learns from ancient culture's and cultures in the present who have a more complex understanding of the diversity of gender) we are growing in better language and concepts to support so many diverse needs among people without stomping on the welfare of people to express and be themselves fully. I don't think these are issues unique to the spiritual side of being a woman, but issues we are struggling through in women's empowerment groups in general- what does it mean to be a woman, to celebrate being a woman, what are women allowed to celebrate and cultivate and grow in themselves? Is the term woman or the construct of gender even useful or does it hold us back? If there is a better way, how to we celebrate diverse traits while acknowledging that certain traits associated with women have been shunned for so long?

I most certainly can't promise I can create a space that is perfect at that but anyone who has concerns and wants the space to be friendly to diverse genders is welcome to chat with me about how we could do that or host a section on the forum that they can moderate by their own rules (could even be made private to the rest of the group).

___________Also I created a functional forum for now, so I no longer need help with that part... :)
posted by xarnop at 7:19 AM on March 19, 2017

I'll look into that, I'll be happy to do so if I can figure it out! I'm still trying to figure out how to work all this stuff. <3
posted by xarnop at 1:41 PM on March 19, 2017

PM'd you; I miss active Pagan forums and would love to join this one. Have much experience with Pagan forums in the past - can happily discuss what worked, what didn't, and what were Instant Flamewar topics.*

They're a bit different for Pagan-intended groups vs welcome-to-curious-outsider groups. All of them were technically open to outsiders, but there's a difference in focus - the "intended for Pagans" groups don't bother defining their terms for casual visitors, and that keeps most of them away; silencing people who obviously only wanted to discuss "Why Christianity Is Good; You People Have To Agree That It's Not Evil" got rid of most of the rest.

When I saw "kind space," I almost flinched... I've seen too many places with phrases like that in their mission statements, that actually meant, "everybody must be nice - according to the standards I believe are polite." I'm trusting that a strong metafilter background will mitigate that, because I've seen that metafilter can have polite, empathic discussions that aren't about "plz never mention actually disagreeing with someone else."

*List available on request. Not posting it publicly, because... no really, Instant Flamewars. And while most of those lists are more than a decade old, I'm pretty sure some of the terms/concepts on them are still hot-button topics for a lot of people.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:59 AM on March 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

xarnop - I just memailed you before I checked MeTa! Good morning. I'll read this and respond shortly.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:57 AM on March 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

OK - where do I find the forum? I'm not seeing a link...
posted by Sophie1 at 8:01 AM on March 21, 2017

Hi xarnop, just MeMailed you. If for no other reason than I'm dying to know if fellow MeFites are participating in the Trump binding spell...
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 8:37 AM on March 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

ErisLordFreedom-- I'm pretty sure I recognize you from the Cauldron.... :D awesomesauce. I pretty much turned up there asking who would help me save the world with the magic of love and everyone was like MY DEMONS WILL EAT YOU.

That's about how it went.

I might have to reread what actually happened before you quote me on that lol. My goddess cries for the suffering and is working to help-- I have been seeking those who want to rise up and alleviate the suffering and do good works. I have found often that it seems pagans are crochety about compassion and uniting to do good because it reminds them of Christian missionwork .

But for me I'm coming more from Taoism, Jainism, Hinduism- and trying to be European about it since I am European and don't want to appropriate. A lot of people seem to think European indigenous religion never developed pacifists or animal lovers or divine love for all life like is found across basically the rest of the world (i.e. specific groups from any continent practiced such things in particular times and places). If divine love and compassion is purely Christian and no Europeans ever cared passionately before Christianity came along then, I confess I am either embarrassed about my ancestors or want to know what circumstances were so horrible they were holding us back as I respect that dark times breed dark natures.
posted by xarnop at 11:32 AM on March 21, 2017

By the way I should clarify because I went and checked- ecauldron is and was a very kind space though there is a lot of debating....

it was a totally different forum that I am thinking of that I had that experience!!! Just in case anyone was thinking about joining the cauldron, I give the cauldron two thumbs up!!!
posted by xarnop at 11:55 AM on March 21, 2017

I finally figured it out and got all signed up. Thanks for doing this xarnop!
posted by Sophie1 at 12:47 PM on March 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

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