Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Reclaiming Tradition History & Lore Archives

20 March 2013


I, M. Macha NightMare, aka Aline O’Brien, have transferred all of my e-collection, including listserve archives, of miscellaneous Reclaiming history and lore to Slippery Elm, aka Geordie McIntyre Kennedy.

Other early Reclaiming papers, notes, and ephemera have been sent, and continue to be sent, to the New Alexandrian Library in Delaware, where they will be catalogued and archived.  Some sensitive materials will remain sealed for some years and available, in time, to credible researchers.

Having disaffiliated myself from all Reclaiming organizations, and having been the keeper, both casually and later officially, of various history and lore materials (i.e., when and how certain chants and songs came into use; earlier forms of teaching and organization; earlier constellations of personnel; etc.), and feeling that these data are worth being preserved for others and for future generations, I have chosen to entrust this material to a younger person still active in the tradition.

I have chosen Slippery Elm based on our personal relationship, his word as a poet, and his dedication to Craft.

All inquiries about access to this material may be directed to Slippery Elm at
and/or the New Alexandrian Library.  I remain available to respond to personal queries if, in Slippery’s judgment, they are appropriate.

This transfer of materials marks another step on a personal path that diverges from my “mother trad.”

Spring cleaning done!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

On the Matter of Big Name Pagans

My friend Peter Dybing has posted this blog, "Killing the Big Name Pagans," at Pagan in Paradise.  I tend to get more inspired when writing something responsive to the ideas of others, which often means I just post a long response.  When I do that, my thoughts don't make it beyond that feedback form.  So today I've decided to post my full response here:

I agree with the opinions expressed in earlier feedback at Pagan in Paradise by Thorn, Peg and Elizabeth. Here are few factoids that inform my opinion:

*  How one conducts oneself is more important to me than how high one's public profile is.

*  Leaders happen. Some people have leadership qualities, like initiative, and others have less or none at all. And just because someone takes on a leadership role doesn't mean that others have to follow. With no followers, one is not leading anything or anyone. But the emergence of more informed and/or influential and/or accomplished individuals is natural. Nature, is Nature not our teacher?

*  There is a big difference between those who see an opportunity to be of service, to do something worthwhile and that probably benefits many, and those who are building a career out of being some 'Pagan personage.'  Whether it's selling books, acquiring teaching gigs for money, whatever, that's somewhat different from leadership, per se. Which is not to say that one cannot be and do both -- be of service and sell books. My point is that motivations may be different. If you have to make some money to pay the rent and what you do to earn money is sell books and give workshops, you have a different motivation from someone who's just doing some kind of labor-intensive and responsibility-laden Pagan-oriented work (like organizing a festival or keeping the account books) that I would also view as a leadership role.

*  Lastly, we live in a culture of celebrity. No matter how 'different' and unaffected by mainstream mores we may claim to be, every one of us lives within, and is affected and informed by, the overculture.

Having said all that, I will conclude by mentioning that when you see Pagans doing work you consider beneficial or worthwhile, it's nice to give them some word of appreciation. As a sometime-recipient of words of encouragement, I can tell you it really feels good. Conversely, it doesn't feel so good to be overlooked.

By the same token, if someone is doing something publicly on behalf of Paganism and you think what they're doing is not good, it's appropriate to address the things you think are problematic or those with which you don't agree. To hold that person accountable, at least to the community/organization on whose behalf that person acts. That does not mean trashing the person. It only means speaking to specific issues.

And if you really hate what someone is doing in the public forum, you really disagree, well, jump into that sandbox and build your own castle; put your own ideas in motion.