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This has been a challenging week.

My post on Monday transformed this blog into a dynamic, charged space. The reactions and responses to my account of the PPD ritual covered the whole spectrum of human emotion, and reading them took me on quite a ride.

Today, I’d like to simply offer my heartfelt thanks to everyone who visited the blog this week, especially to those of you who were willing to share your perspectives and voice your concerns. Having dialogue around matters of religious identity — which is what we did by discussing the multiple meanings of a circle and the role of inclusivity in Pagan communities — can be challenging. It’s easy to project onto each others our own doubts, troubles, or insecurities. Sometimes we do it without realizing.

I know I’m capable of this.

Digital writing, and the community it creates, provides us each the platform to share our perspectives, but there’s a risk in doing that. You never know if someone’s going to pounce or praise, if your words will be understood in context or taken to mean something completely different. All of what you’ve presented about yourself in the past, which for me is a lot on this blog, can be used to better interpret your meaning or to point out a perceived flaw in your logic.

It can get really messy, really fast.

But I believe in taking the risk.

I believe (and I’m not to trying to get preachy here) that by sharing our understandings in a respectful, open way we each become agents of positive change in the community. By working to respect one another with our words, holding back the snark for just a moment, we foster a safe space for one another to question, to grow, to be shown a new way of thinking.

Perhaps it seems I’m being overly sensitive when I consider these things. But consider that our words, these little bits of text we casually throw onto the screen, are bite sized bits of magickal intent. If we are careless with them, harm can be done. If we’re careful, compassionate, and thoughtful, our words can initiate the most brilliant changes in the lives of others.

Words are that powerful.

This brings me back to the new feature on Bishop In The Grove: Letters.

Photo by Christine and David Schmitt, Flickr

I created Letters as a way of allowing my readership to direct the conversation of this blog. My approach to writing has always been to start with something personal, to reflect on what it means to me, and then to see if there’s a way to translate that personal experience for the greater community. Most of the time I offer up questions, because I don’t have all the answers. And, I trust in the idea of a collective wisdom.

I discovered this morning that the first Letters contact form was on the blog was broken, so if you’ve already sent a letter in I’m afraid I haven’t received it. I apologize for this, and I encourage you to re-send your letter.

If you have not yet participated in Letters, please consider visiting the page and sharing a bit about yourself. Your letter can be a testimony about an experience you’ve had, a question about Paganism that you’re having a hard time answering, or anything that you think would be appropriate for discussion in the “community forum” that arrises within the comment section of this blog. I promise I’ll do my best to present your letter in a respectful, kind, and considerate fashion.

I do hope to hear from you, and again — thank you to all who visit this site and bring it to life.

Bright blessings.

[P.S. Thanks for sharing these newly independent BITG posts on your social networks!]

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  • Daniel SnowKestral

    “Three mindful aims that supports beneficial dialogue: being careful, compassionate, and thoughtful.” My own attempt at a Triad. You’ve definitely hit the nail on the head, Teo.

    We can learn so much from a plethora of insights when we share them carefully, compassionately, and thoughtfully. The very philosophical prospect, itself, in terms of dialogue, is the sharing of ideas and perspectives in a respectful, compassionate way. Those “Aha!” moments of “I never thought about it from this perspective,” creates an atmosphere conducive to growth–and, many times, creative tension, too. The plurality of of voices as sources of insight and wisdom is key to the growth of any community–and, I think, Paganism, especially. And there is no stagnant stasis in those “Aha!” moments that creates a final, overall Transparent Eyeball” effect, either. Rather, for us it is a continuing, organic everbecoming process that is continually puncuated by those ongoing exclamations of insight. This is, of course, personal and interpersonal.

    The Circle widens; it turns inwards, onwards, and outwards, to the flow and movement and dance of the seasons, and is what connects us to ourselves, each other, and what goes on from the simplest, smallest expressions to “Grand-Scheme-O-It-All” regarding the Mysteries of the Path(s) we walk. The collective wisdom of Community and Tribe emphasizes this when we agree, disagree and every insight in between. We are all particular conscious node-points, interconnected in the Web of Creation.