Guest post: “My Circle of Me.”

Ciao, my lovelies.

Whilst I’m still off conjuring up my next debatable screed for Moriquendi, I though the dozen or so of you who follow this blog might enjoy reading the following guest post of sorts, written in a personal message from my inamorata. I thought it raised some interesting points… interesting enough that I wanted to share them here. She agreed, and here we are. Her text follows, between the hearts.

♥   ♥   ♥

I was at some work training about networking or business communication. The teacher drew three nested circles on the board, the first quite small, the next only three times the diameter of the first, and then a huge circle that filled the rest of the space he could reach. He pointed to the first, smallest, innermost circle and said, ‘This is what you can control. This circle only contains you.’ He pointed to the next circle, ‘This is what you can influence, this is your environment, your family, your co-workers.’ He pointed to the huge circle. ‘This is everything else, and it is beyond your control or influence.’ The next fifteen minutes were about how to grow the circle of influence, and it was very interesting, but not the most important thing I took away from the meeting.

I like to be in control of everything around me. Some call it ‘control-freak.’ I call it anxiety or PTSD. I lived in unsafe conditions where I couldn’t depend on anyone for too many years, and my angels of self-reliance then are my demons of control-freakishness now.

Changing my perspective from ‘control’ of my environment to ‘influence’ has helped a lot. Of course I cannot control everything around me, but I can influence it, and if I consider it as influence, my hand becomes more gentle. I can suggest instead of command. I can request instead of do.

I’ve been sharing this idea with my highly anxious step-daughter who is afraid that if she forgets to tell us to be safe even once when we’re finishing our nightly phone call that something terrible might happen to us and it will be her fault.

Wanting to control everything around you creates a false sense of responsibility for things outside of you, your influence, and on into that outer circle of things you cannot even touch.

But the thing about this metaphor that struck me today, an unexamined idea sitting underneath the whole thing, is that I am in control of myself. I am in control of my Self. This isn’t just, ‘I am responsible for my actions,’ because of course I am, but also, ‘I can choose differently.’ I can choose better. I am in control of me, and I can choose compassion, empathy, action, learning. I can choose security, hope, helping, love. I can choose.

My circle of me might be small, but it is wholly mine.

♥   ♥   ♥

Ashé, dear readers, until next time.

Owning It: Autonomy, Accountability and Liberty in Faery

Hello once again, beautiful creatures.

Careful readers may notice a slight difference in the tone of the piece to follow. As the saying goes, there’s a reason for that, chaps. Under normal circumstances, I’m writing for myself. (And for all of you, of course. Never forget that. You’re all my favourites.) As such, I’m beholden to no tastes but my own. If I choose to wing off on a stylistic flight of fancy or to level a scathing indictment, the weight of that ultimately falls on no-one but me.

This time, though, things are a bit different. The following essay is being written, in part, for publication on the Anderson Faery website, which is as close to being an ‘official’ organ of the -y side of the Sundering as I suppose is possible… that is to say, it presents a wide range of opinions from a number of wise, delightful Faery, a bunch not noted for uniformity of thought. If you’re at all interested in Faery, you should emphatically be reading their stuff. They asked for a piece about autonomy in Faery—what it looks like, how it works in practice—and, as it happens, I’d been kicking the following around for a little while. When they put their call out, I decided to dust this off, pound it into shape, and see if they liked it.

They did, and here we are. The following essay will be appearing on Anderson Faery at roughly the same time as it publishes here, so while you’re welcome to continue reading it here, I do encourage you to check it out there, as well, and to read what others have written. There’s solid work there to put in your noodle.

As ever, I do want to stress that the following represents my opinions alone, and should in no way be construed as ‘the official Faery position’ on anything, nor indeed the official position on any-bloody-thing at all, other than ‘what Mori happens to think about autonomy, the Pearl Pentacle, and Immanuel Kant.’

I hope you find something of value it.

Ashé, dear readers, until next time. Continue reading “Owning It: Autonomy, Accountability and Liberty in Faery”

A brief addendum to ‘Money, politics, and the Feri you see.’

Just a quick note, darlings, before I rush back to my hidel once more, with a bottle of wine and the latest Ian Rankin novel in tow:

It’s been suggested, and fairly so, that the matters and concerns central to my previous essay have been somewhat overtaken by events, rendered obsolete by the actuality of the sundering of the Andersons’ lineage and legacy: in short, that the time for such commentary is long past. Maybe so, maybe so… but as Feri charges merrily forward into the public eye (with a featured article in the style section of New York magazine, no less!), I would suggest that such commentary is not only timely, but needful, perhaps even obligatory. Think of it as something akin to the concept of ‘loyal opposition’ in parliamentary forms of government. Both halves of the term are relevant: ‘loyal,’ in the sense of maintaining fidelity to the heritage we both share, and ‘opposition,’ as we are foursquare against the fundamental philosophies and worldviews at work behind the decisions and actions of our increasingly distant relatives.

I would suggest, moreover, that those of us watching from ‘under the mound’ are ideally suited to analyze and comment on the such decisions and actions, and on what effects they may yet have. Thus, in a spirit of ‘putting my money where my mouth is,’ I’ve chosen to put my considerable mouth to the task of voicing my concerns, my criticisms, and my sorrows.

I would suggest to my siblings and kin under the mound that it behooves those of us with the skill and the will to offer such loyal opposition to do so, when and as we may. Doing so serves our own interests, to be sure. More, though, it offers a countervailing voice, both for those initiates on all sides of the divide who feel something amiss in the state of Denmark and for those seekers who might otherwise, out of a genuine desire for magic, find themselves taken in by hucksters and charlatans.

And lastly, I would suggest to those who identify more closely with the public face of the Andersons’ legacy, as gently as I may, that criticism is not the same as aggression, that disagreement is not the same as condemnation, and that silence is not the same as consent.

Ashé, dear ones, from the loyal opposition.

Money, politics, and the Feri you see.

Hello again, my lovely ones. It’s been quite a little while since we’ve chatted, hasn’t it? I hope the past year or so has found you well and good, fat and sassy.

I suppose I must address having dropped into radio silence in that interim, mustn’t I? The short version is that life in the magical, nigh-mythical world away from the keyboard has required rather more attention of late than usual. Moreover, I haven’t really had much I felt needed saying of late, and rather than attempt to fob you off with half-arsed posts written with little time or effort, I chose to wait until I could fully arse a post for you.

Truly, there’s no need to thank me. I live to serve.

girl-who-kickedThere are a few bees merrily buzzing their way around the spacious interior of my bonnet at the moment, though, so let’s get back to it, shall we? Let’s see if we can get some conversation going. Let’s talk about something interesting, something timely yet perennial, something guaranteed to foster lively debate—always in a spirit of compassionate understanding, of course.

Let’s talk about money.

(That got your attention, didn’t it?)

Continue reading “Money, politics, and the Feri you see.”

To what end?

Hello again, my lovelies.

So, where to begin? There’s just so much to be said. Things I want to say to you, yes, and things I want to say for myself—or, perhaps, to say to myself, things I wish someone had said to me, back when I was first circling around the bewitchingly bright candle-flame that is Faery. (Of course, we called it ‘Feri’ back then, but never mind.) No secrets or ancient lore, I fear… but really, if you were expecting this to be That Sort Of Blog, you likely wouldn’t have made it this far, would you?

There are several subjects in the queue for upcoming posts, all of them tapping on my window glass insistently and refusing to go away no matter how pointedly I ignore them or ask them, politely but firmly, to go pester some other big-mouthed Faery with a blog. I had settled on a nice, juicy one to start us off, and even gone so far as to write the first paragraph or so, but then a conversation with one of my Fey kindred got me to thinking down some other paths, and along one of those tangled, thorny paths, I tripped over one of my own phrases and fell headlong into a thicket.

I extracted myself from the thicket and said it again, savoring the short, sweet syllables, and delighting in the directness of its inquiry.

The phrase was, To what end?

Even as I heard it coming out of my mouth, I knew was important. Pondering it for a moment, I knew it was key to the problems I saw within the Anderson traditions, and might even point in the direction of a solution. And then I knew it would be my next blog post on Moriquendi. Start as you mean to go on, right?

Right. So, enough talk. Let’s dance.

Continue reading “To what end?”

Rules of engagement, rules of the road.

Well, hello again.

I must say, I’m a little taken aback at the degree to which this humble effort of mine has captured the attentions of all you bright, shining stars out there in the night sky. My guess was, it’d take at least a week or two for this to turn up in someone’s search-engine results for ‘feri tradition,’ ‘feri faery schism,’ ‘witchcraft marketing scam,’ or most likely, ‘shut-in agoraphobe.’ Instead, within two days I’d had over two hundred hits on the page—and at least half of those weren’t me fussing with the layout! Heavens, I feel like a Real Life Blogger now! (Or, wait, that’s a different site. WordPresser? Ergh. Never you mind.)

Of course, now the pressure is on: to produce, to appease, to perform. Fortunately, I don’t suffer from performance anxiety. Much, anyway. (Where the hell did I leave that bottle of alprazolam…?)

Now, waaaaay back at the end of post numero uno, I promised to share with you some of my basic guiding principles, and truly, I’d hate to be a disappointment in the first week of blogging here. Excited yet? I know, a good rousing discussion about ethics and principles really can get the blood all riled up, but do please try to contain your enthusiasm long enough to make it all the way through the list.

Conversely, for those of you dreading this, expecting a trudge through a pile of self-justificatory moralising and legalistic mumbo-jumbo, well, what can I say? Strap on yer wellies, we’re goin’ deep! Putting all levity aside for just half a moment, though, I believe it’s important that you, dear reader, understand where I’m coming from, and why I feel as I do. There’s anger in some of what I write, yes, but I hope the following will help to make clear that it’s an anger born of sorrow, disappointment, pain, and love, and that ultimately, the purpose of all my work is constructive.

I realise that’s not nearly as sexy as a Good Old-Fashioined Internet Feri Throw-down, but I hope you’ll struggle on regardless. There’s a cookie in it for you at the end, I promise.

And so, to bed. And by ‘bed,’ I mean ‘the salt mines,’ apparently. Continue reading “Rules of engagement, rules of the road.”

A beginning, a welcome, and a few explanations.

Well, hello there. Welcome to Moriquendi.

I’d be delighted to offer you a seat, a cup of tea (or similar social beverage), and a snack, but let’s be honest: I can’t. It’s a lovely conceit, the notion of online hospitality, but it’s a conceit all the same. You’re reading a webpage, at home or on your phone somewhere, at a remove in time from when I’m actually writing it. The best I can do, here, is offer you a sincere welcome, and express my gratitude for any time you spend with these words.

And if you wish to fetch yourself a cup of tea and a biscuit, I shan’t complain.

So, then, to the matters at hand, shall we? Continue reading “A beginning, a welcome, and a few explanations.”