I probably will start writing a lot more now that my cyber-stalker lost in court. That would be the lawyer representing the town of Catskill who has put everything I write or wrote under a microscope looking for anything that could be twisted and used against us in court for more than seven years now. In the end the best he could come up with was a single phrase that was totally accurate that someone setting up a charitable housing project should check and see if they are eligible for a property tax exemption in their state.
I will start off by pointing out we got a LOT of grassroots support from Pagans as individuals but almost nada from Pagan organizations that purport to exist to help Pagans in the situation we were in. And unlike the majority of Pagan groups, we dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's legally and thus should have been bulletproof.
When the Wild Hunt first covered our story, comments were made we were unworthy because we were a tranny religion, by the last couple of months of the case, a whisper campaign had been started that we were transphobes. That seems typical of online Paganism these days. To the best of my knowledge and Google searches, the only Pagan blog that covered our victory was the Wild Hunt... the only one other than a brief shout-out from WiccanWoman, but we got coverage in the Washington Post, the Albany Times Union, both the local papers and our case is considered historic in property tax law circles. During the case we were featured in the New York Times and Forbes magazine. So why is that?
Neo-Paganism has never known how to view us. We are essentially mono-theistic in a community of many gods. Unlike the apparent fashion in Paganism, we actually believe in the Goddess and live that way day to day. We are actual scholars. A typical weekend gathering at the Maetreum would do an academic conference proud with spirited exchanges of ideas on pretty much any topic you care to name but especially on history and theology. We do real world charitable work, more than 35 women have been supported fully living at the Maetreum while they got their lives back in order over the past decade. Our rituals are fairly simple other than the solar holidays but they include round table discussions of theology as part of them. We don't cast circles except specifically for protection because we view the entire world as sacred space. We worship in an actual Temple we built ourselves. We own real property and try to set an living example of living lighter on the earth with wind and solar power generation, our flock of chickens, gardens etc. We are involved in our community instead of cowering in fear in a broom closet.
We don't do the Pagan conference circuit, sell witchcrap courses or self promote relentlessly. Before our case, most Pagans never even heard of us. Apparently this makes us dangereous to some Big Nose Pagans and Big Nose Pagan wannabees. Relax BNP's, other than I will be calling out some of you for actually working against us during the case, we have no designs on neo-Paganism because we are the real deal..... Pagans with a legitimate history and without a neo tacked on the front.
One new group mentions us on their webpage as a reason to donate to them but they didn't raise a penny for us. The founder goes on and on about accountability in Pagan leadership while quoting a known liar, blowhard, writer of soft Pagan porn and self promoter running around giving Pagan leadership workshops while her only credentials of Pagan leadership is giving her workshops. They just had a pay for online Pagan Activism conference but no Cybeline was even invited to participate let alone lead a discussion despite the HUGE victory we just won.
We are different. We are going back to doing our work for the Goddess and our community, we won't be a huge presence at your Pagan get togethers. But if you are an adult who understands the value of freewheeling debate, free exchange of ideas and discussions, drop by sometime, join the conversation and have a cup or two or three of coffee or tea on us. The last Pagan Emperor of Rome and devotee of Cybele, Julian, charged Pagans to "Be thou the one" referring to doing public works and charity and thus providing a living example to the rest of the world. We live by this at the Maetreum. We challenge other Pagans to follow our example and be thou the one by coming out of their broom closets and being open and active members of their local communities.
We have proved that if you fight the good fight for the right reason you can prevail regardless of the odds.
"Be thou the one and renew the light" -- Rev. Mother Cathryn-