In early December of 2019, Recluse invited me to speak on his podcast The Farm on the topic of misogyny in the paraweird, focusing on my own personal experiences. This is a topic that has been very important to me for a long while. I have been outspoken about wanting to create a climate where women, especially younger women and women of color, feel welcome and aren’t harassed or belittled. But I was nervous speaking on this topic, as I’ve often had my concerns downplayed or dismissed by men in the field, and recalling incidents of harassment, pursuit and assault from over the years was distressing.
I was concerned that I convey the systemic nature of misogyny, and elucidate the ways in which regular women act based on previous assaults or close calls – that we are hyper aware of this threat as it’s been followed through on in our lives or the lives of women close to us. As the day of recording grew closer, I was more and more uneasy, not least as a fairly prominent paraweird man was particularly argumentative with me and publicly called for people to block me on social media (if only he had included a link to my blog!).
Thus, on January 2 I was delighted to have an excellent sighting of a great egret whilst on my regular walk – I was even able to get some video of the bird taking off into the vineyards.
On January 5, I noticed a white feather on the ground near the same location – an egret’s feather. This was unusual, as it had been a couple of years since I’d found an egret feather, so I did some web searching on the divinatory meaning of the egret. The next morning, I posted my findings on facebook – I was encouraged as the egret is messenger of Athena, which was a good omen for my misogyny talk.
“January 6 at 7:11AM
Yesterday I learned that egrets are messengers of Athena, Greek Goddess of wisdom, handicrafts, and war – specifically the strategic aspect of war. Traditionally she will only throw in with people fighting for a just cause
Here’s hoping the latter is the case.
Egret Symbolism | Heron and Egret Society (dallasegrets.org)
Athena – Wikipedia”
That morning, my mother tuned in to coverage of the electoral college count and we watched as insurrectionists stormed the capitol, in a violent assault that left 140 police officers injured (15 were hospitalized) and five people dead (watch crowd pull a police officer out of the building and beat them).
A little later, when Recluse and I sat down to record the show, we had no idea how events would unfold – simply that we were in a very volatile political situation, an attempted coup, and things could look very different when we were done recording.
Thankfully mob violence did not prevail. However, as more has come out about what happened that day, I was particularly interested to notice Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaking out about her own experiences. In an instagram video she made recounting the events, she happened to mention that she is a sexual assault survivor – and this aside was what editors chose to feature in headlines about her account.
Congressmember Ocasio-Cortez has been subject to people dismissing her testimony, accusing her of lying or overplaying the threat for manipulative ends – which is a typical reaction to women speaking out about sexual harassment and assault.
But I was struck by the confluence of Recluse I speaking out against misogyny at the exact time of the storming of the capitol, which event has ended up reenergizing our society’s ongoing discussion of systemic misogyny. As far as speculating on why this would be so – it seems to me that certain locations in time/space have the ability to attract and amplify particular themes and meanings. People who have a sincere interest in these ideals may well find themselves acting to further them at these locii.
On a more personal note I have had many synchronicities involving fireSTORMs, including having to reschedule recordings due to firestorms erupting, speaking while firestorms rage a few miles up the road (threatening power outages as a result), etc.