“Do as I do” is not a leadership style, it’s a cop out

A dear friend whose mind I respect deeply recently made an observation that joined Granny’s quote from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld — “The only evil is when you treat people like things” — with Grace Hopper’s legendary quip that “you manage things, but you lead people.”

In the course of the very interesting discussion that followed, the concept of “leading by example” aka the “do as I do leadership style” came up. And it got me thinking, which always seems to end with me writing a blog.

It’s important to preface this whole discussion by being specific about what I mean…


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The Talking Heads Wrote the Perfect Lammas Song

We have been living in the midst of the bright, chugging energy of summer. Hot days. Long nights. Some of us are enjoying new ability to move about the community, courtesy of vaccines. We are all of us in a rhythm that has been building since those first halting moments of spring when life began bursting forth from the seeds. At Midsummer, we saw that lightness technically reach its highest point. And yet the energy rolled on, blew past the peak, rolling and bubbling on.

And then, right around Lammas, is when it hits us — we aren’t where we…


Tarot cards scrambled facing up, the card marked “Justice” on top
Tarot cards scrambled facing up, the card marked “Justice” on top
photo by: Jekaterina Timofejeva

I should start by explaining that I have been a student and practitioner of Tarot even longer than I have been a witch. I have been in a relationship with the cards for more than 35 years. I have read professionally, taught workshops professionally, and have researched as much as I can about the history of the deck and its use.

I have always been aware of a relationship between the Romani people and Tarot. Recently, there has been a lot of discussion around the idea that non-Romani people should stop using Tarot decks for divination, because Tarot-reading is a…


Copyright: j.borzicchi

I don’t know about you, but I’m a little tired of clickbait articles that try to pit generations against each other — Gen Z wants to tell Millennials they hate their skinny jeans, Baby Boomers are to blame for why everything has gone to shit, and must be shamed for it. Gen X, of course, sits on the sidelines in their lawn chairs with their popcorn poking fun at the show. …


Being a good noticer is vital to good Craft.

God is in the details, or so the saying goes. The saying, by the way, appears first in France, sometime in the early 19th Century. It is often attributed to a number of folks, including architect Mies Van der Rohe, German art historian Abi Warburg, and to French author Gustave Flaubert. The origins might be murky but the meaning is clear — what elevates something to the level of divinity is attention to detail.

There is, of course, the flipside axiom, “the devil is in the details,” which means that it is when one ignores the details that one can…


How do you get what you want?

Some people never make it to this question. They get stymied on the issue of deciding what they want. They have too many choices, or they don’t like their choices. They don’t trust the Universe. They don’t trust themselves. Deciding what you want carries with it its own set of issues one must work though. But we’re going to presume you’ve mastered that.

Once you know what it is you want, how do you go about getting it?

“An it harm none, do what you will.” The phrase has prompted nearly every thought…


There’s a buzz in the air — a persistent hum that represents an intensity of activity that belies the relaxing feeling the sound can produce.

It’s the bees. And this is the time that things are getting a little hectic in the hive. Spring has sprung and the bees have been busy — collecting pollen, making honey, reproducing, and with all that activity and productivity, the hive has become a very, very crowded place. Perhaps too crowded. There is too much buzz and activity to be contained in this hive.

Or maybe the bees have awoken to discover that their…


What makes a group “good” or “bad” is not what you think it is

Opinions are not like assholes. Because most of us have WAY MORE than one. I joke around when I teach Witchcraft 101 students that if you put 10 pagans in a room you will get 15 different opinions, and all of them will be right and all of them will be wrong. Part of what makes this community so simultaneously amazing and infuriating is that we have lots of strong opinions about how things ought to be, and they are all over the damn place.

Nowhere is that more evident than when pagans talk about groups. Remember, we don’t have…


Let’s just tell it like it is. This winter was HARD. And we are all sick of this pandemic. And there’s a vaccine now — three of them actually. And while it’s been happening in fits and starts and very unevenly, it looks like we might actually get to the other side of this thing.

If there was ever a moment where everything seemed ready to bust loose, it’s now.

Ostara is really about that feeling. That moment when all of the beautiful green things, all the life that has been hibernating, that has been preparing, begins to burst forth…


When you say the word “devotion” it carries with it a lot of connotations. Devotion is not just about liking or even loving a person or thing. Devotion is more than just showing respect for something. Devotion carries with it the idea of sustained service, of a willingness to make sacrifice on behalf of its object. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary includes among its definitions of “devotion” that it is “an act of prayer or private worship — usually used in plural” and that it is “the fact or state of being ardently dedicated and loyal.”

Religious and spiritual leaders have recommended some…

Alythia of the Ash

A believer in magic and justice and the right to be exactly as you are. Anything passing for wisdom here is likely the product of surviving my own stupidity.

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