Anyway, I really admired this sense of dedication because, in her mind, she was creating a sanctuary. People from all around the Bay could come and practice witchcraft. They could just get in touch with her and they could have these rituals on the hill, under the moon. So we talked, and Morpheus had this wonderful sense of humor.
I was just so impressed by her magnetism, and her level of dedication. I really wanted to step into circle with Morpheus and her people and try to understand what it was that drew me in in the first place.
LJ: Yeah, well, I certainly know the dynamic of doubling back on the same kinds of recurring questions or preoccupations. I would always joke with my editor that my next book was just going to be called Even More Empathy Exams. Why am I here? What remains alien to me about their experience? All of those questions.
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This also makes me think of the way in which you and I both blend genres in our approaches to nonfiction, and how people have different ideas or emotions around that. LJ: Right. AM: I never saw that coming! I never saw you dropping Mystery Science Theater. LJ: I never thought that our conversation would have taken me to this point, but here we are.
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LJ: Yeah. Allowing both voices into the frame reckons with it more openly. AM: And your book obviously grapples with that in a major way.
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They may see you differently than you see yourself. I know, for me, some of it comes back to quite primal aspects of my personality that have to do with being a people-pleaser in a job that could not be more antagonistic to people-pleasing. But one difference between something like your essays and my book is this: this is a book about faith, and a book in which I became an active participant at a certain point. That would be absurd.
Because spirituality is inherently totally subjective. So I wanted to embrace that all the way. Can I imagine myself in that room? Would I have had the same experience?
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Some of the people commenting are open about not having read the book. And I strongly disagree. And in this culture in particular, people really love a conversion narrative in which you find God! And then you write a book about it! But I really wanted to make this book, at least in part, about this gray area.
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LJ: I love that. AM: Like, the question of how to strike a balance? A very different project. You can trace it back in a very specific way to the south of England. Completely amazing! But, from within the community, many are looking at these people as prophets, in some cases, or as sacred individuals. So I felt that was a balance that I could bring while still being respectful.
In terms of my own involvement, I think I very deliberately put myself in a number of embarrassing and vulnerable situations. I wanted to be as open as I could about my whole range of feelings about eventually choosing to train in witchcraft, and my relationship with my witch-teacher in Massachusetts, and the idea of being affiliated with a coven , and going to meet the coven on a certain date at, like, a castle in New Hampshire.
There are embarrassing things that you should know about me.
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And that makes it so much more stereoscopic. Attempts to revive the Council, first in ,  and again in ,  were met with heavy scrutiny from witches and contemporary pagans. Both revival attempts collapsed among widespread concern regarding unclear goals and lack of transparency.
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