I have thought a lot this week about the definitive choice I made this past Monday (to step down from RCG Council), probably even more than I was consumed with the consideration of the idea across the last few months since the introduction of their new policy and the alteration of several traditions older than my own longer than a decade.
I didn't make this choice for other people, or even because of the over a three dozen women who have come out against these new decisions (some who've been in RCG longer than me, some who are brand new, some who were scared away long ago, some who left for these same reason but 1-3 years ago). I made this decision for me. Singularly. Solely. For me, and the sake of my soul, my happiness, my future.
I have heard several times that those who stay are sad that people didn't give the new process a chance, but I have had several problems with this idea. I have spent years, watching changes come into this group, constantly telling my 'have faith, trust the system, trust the group, trust your sisters, and give it time to grow.' I have twitter/facebook statuses that go back years saying this that have stabbed my heart through all the last year realizing how far back, but it wasn't these either.
Two very big things hurt my ability to be able to call myself proud (of RCG, of our path, of myself as a member, priestess, teacher, leader).
The first is that for years I have been so proud about the way we made decisions, calling the whole group together and letting them spend a whole day together, talking, growing, to change just one rule, and only making it when every single person there had agreed.That for just one rule.
Where this time everything was changed about the power structure, growth structure, change to hierarchy from full group inclusion consensus (after it being presented several times as non-hierarchal before it was blared as exactly that), the ability to join the group, deep magic exclusion, on the basis of one visioning and the decisions of perhaps, at the best, two dozen people that would effect five or six.
The second was the necessity to judge and level-place every member of RCG. Add to this the qualification that level placement will not to take the length of their involvement in RCG SA into account, nor anything included therein. I do not feel called in my life to judge anyone, and I do not feel called in my life to be judged by anyone. I have joyfully taken part in covens for years long, while peacefully refusing to take part in any thing that involved myself being part of the leveling process (while, simultaneously, celebrating, joyfully everyone else's ascents who did want to take part in that process).
This is why it took me so long to be willing to step into being a council member.
Even after attending every council meeting as a participant for over five different years.
I'd avoided every single hierarchical Pagan power system for more than twenty years, seeing the vast number of downsides to them and the vast inequality of power, position, offerings, and balance. Joining RCG's council -- a role that was all about service an inclusion community based about full group consensus -- was one of the best decision I'd made.
I am sad that has changed so radically, but it's a distant sadness already.
It is as though the whole world had been waiting for me to make this decision, for months, maybe even years, and for me catch up with it. My heart has only expanded (with almost no regret, and nearly no looking back over my shoulder) and the universe has only thrown more options, more chances, more organizations, more people, more events, more, more, more at me since the moment I made that decision and put it out into action.
[This entry was originally posted at http://wanderlustlover.dreamwidth.org/2310002.html. Comment on either at your leisure.]