Learn More About Going into the Dark.

Learn More About Going into the Dark.

What is not New at The Way of the River

What is not New at The Way of the River

I hope that you and yours are well. And if not—and I know that some of you are or have been struggling with illness, either COVID-0, chronic conditions, or allergies to spring trees—please know that I am holding you in my heart this week, as every week. There is never a week that goes by that I do not think of “my people” at The Way of the River. I don’t mean that in a possessive way, like “my toy,” but rather in the sense of the people to whom I am responsible, and with whom I work and of whom I am a part.

I think of you daily.

I think of you when I write Reflections and when I cannot write Reflections.

I think of you when I make Coffee Time videos, and I think of you when it is late in the day and I’m wondering whether anyone will watch them. I think of you on Beloved Selfie Mondays, and all through the week as I get to respond to them. I think of you when we meet for individual or small group spiritual accompaniment. I think of you when we work together to prepare for the MFC or when I help you with your professional development. I think of you when I put my classes together and when we meet in class and when we’re planning to meet. I think of you when I’m working to let you know what’s coming. I’m thinking of you when I write and boost posts on Facebook.

And I think about you a lot more of the time than that.

I think about what you might care about. I think about what might make The Way of the River a refuge for you, a safer “place” than many to which you “go,” as we say in Internet land (and have for a long time). I think about what might make you smile and what might make you think. I think about what might make you tilt your head to the side, look out the window and wonder, “Do I agree with her?”

You are my people.

And you have been my people for a long time. Even if you just recently received, “Your Perfect Day” and started following Reflections only this week, you are part of a community that is five years old and more and where many people have come before you.

And there’s something you should know about The Way of the River. Something pretty obvious, actually.

We, we comrades at The Way of the River, we are no novices at this Internet thing. We know how to make really good, powerful, connected rituals online. When other people have said it couldn’t be done, we went ahead and did it. I wrote my first ritual-based class, Digging Deep Wells, many years ago, and now we’ve added Tarot for Discernment and Making Hard Choices to our names.

They’ve all been done on Zoom.

We are no newcomers to making things happen that other people have thought couldn’t happen at all.

Do you worry that spiritual accompaniment (or spiritual direction, however you prefer to call it) with someone far away will not be as fulfilling as that with someone close by? Do you imagine that a small group setting, where people listen, see you, attend deeply to what you are saying and what you are not saying, may be somehow less valuable online than in person?

Have you heard people talking about how hard it is to create the sacred space, the holiness, the magic they long for?

We have magic, peeps. We have the magic of The Way of the River. The small group spiritual accompaniment group I run is pure, pure magic. When people listen deeply, watch, attend, there is something perhaps even more holy that happens because they are connecting from their own beds with their own pillows and from their own studies with their own books. They are physically comfortable. Their chairs fit them and are well-worn to their own butts. And they share so much together. (By the way, I still have room for a weeknight group to form…)
Two Fridays ago, the Initiation of 13 (a witches’ dozen!) new priests, priestxs, and priestesses. Thirteen new Initiates into the Tradition of Stone Circle Wicca (USA). That’s a lot, friends. And it is our twenty-first year together, depending how you count. If you want to be most conservative, it’s our first year. If you want to be centrist, it’s our 14th. But if you want to count from the time those of us who took the very first Wicca 101 class came together, it is our twenty-first year. And in that time, we, those of us who remain from those early days, have initiated over a hundred students.

And all but this year’s Initiates were “made” in a particular place. On particular land with particular beloved landmarks and holy places. But wrath and sadness and ill behavior and abuse changed everything.

And so I was asked to help create a ceremony that would allow these 13 Dedicants, from Kentucky to Vermont, from Maryland to Oregon, to Virginia and West Virginia, to become Initiates of the First Degree. All online. All on Zoom. All together with Initiates from Florida to the Pacific Northwest to South Korea.

And comrades (some from The Way of the River) from the Tradition came together and we did it. DaYUM, but did we do it.

I have been to many, many ceremonies in my time. Many online. Many more in person. And I will tell you that this Initiation was more effective, and affecting, than most of the in-person rituals where I have been a participant.

I don’t mean to brag. Okay, maybe a little. My point is just that none of this is new to the community of The Way of the River. We know how to do good stuff online, with Zoom, because we—you and I—have brought our whole selves to whatever we’ve been up to.

And I am so grateful to you. All those ways I listed at the top, those ways and times I think of you. None of them would be possible if it weren’t for these Interwebs. Hallelujah for that! It’s not perfect. Facebook is evil. Google knows everything about us from our eye color to our need for something to get after that weird fungus. But it’s brought The Way of the River together, and that is the BOMB.

If it has crossed your mind that you might like to enter into spiritual accompaniment, either individually or in a group, please set up a time to talk with me. That chat costs you nothing but time and attention, and I’d love to speak with you. Our shared time may be beautiful, and this whole gig, this Zoom thing, well it’s no news to us!

It’s no news to many of you. So let’s give it a shot, shall we?

All my love,

~Catharine~

P.S. Get ready for a new iteration of Making Hard Choices that is going to include various ways of using both “sacred and secular” techniques for discernment, this time including Tarot as part of the class. I decided there was no reason to split them up. It’ll be so much more fun with it all together, and it’s going to be a super-affordable class this year, with Pay-from-the-Heart pricing!

It’s a while from now, but I thought it wouldn’t be too soon to put a bug in your ear about something to look forward to this summer.

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