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…Pagan community by providing a communal ritual and place people both new and experienced to the path could socialize, learn and make new connections. Not only that, but the active, behind the scenes, magical workings helped to to grow and realize my spiritual strength and my strength as a Priest.
I made many great friendships in the ToB years for which I am incredibly grateful and most continue to this day, but my friendships with Jane and Cassius influenced my current viewpoints the most. Jane inspired me with her liberal sensibilities and commitment to building strong communities with common sense and hands on work. In Cassius I found a kindred spirit of sorts, who taught me through his experiences how to walk a magical path in a mundane world, while still being true to one's self.
One of the most formative and life changing magical experiences I have had was a series of magical works the Temple undertook involving the rediscovered Goddess Senua in late 2003-early 2004, leading up to what we believe was first ritual in her honor in over 1,500 years. Experiencing Senua's Divine spirit changed me forever, and I was renewed.
The end of 2005 and first half of 2006 was a key time in my spiritual development that shook me to my core. I had grown a lot spiritually though my participation in the Temple of Brigantia, and my commitment to being Pagan clergy was strengthened by preforming my first marriage rite for two of my good friends on their wedding day. But at the same time my marriage had become increasingly toxic and one sided... Until finally the last thing came along and shattered all the illusions I held about it.
Divorce is a time of reassessment for anybody. Especially so when it is on bad terms and you go from being loved, to being tolerated... at best. My first marriage took a real toll on me. Although I had gained a spiritual strength I had never known before, the roles I had drafted and willingly cast myself into for that relationship had drained me of much of who I was. I looked at myself and didn't know who I was anymore. One thing that had been lost to me was my connection to the primal masculine, the God essence, and the acceptance and love of that nature, both light and dark, within myself. As I picked myself up off the ground, I embraced these traits within myself in a spiritual way for the first time in my life, instead of ushering them away as being stupid, weak or childish as had been told to me over and over again. I embraced my inner boy, man, father and God, in darkness and light, and felt whole again. With a new vision, I found it okay to be a man again.
Keri: How did you become involved in 13 Moons Coven?
Jason: When Shelley and I became separated, she chose to leave the Temple of Brigantia. I, on the other hand, accepted an offer to move into Jane and Cassius's guest room and would remain a housemate with them ultimately until November of 2007.
In late 2006 I began exchanging emails with a most intriguing Pagan woman in Oregon by the name of Kimberly Mathison. Although neither of us were looking for a long distance relationship, but as the weeks passed and the phone calls began, we each knew that we had met someone special. Perhaps it was because we each have a particular mix of spirituality, practicality and whimsy that drew us together with our personalities complementing the other. And due to our life experiences, we were comfortable in letting each other simply be ourselves. It was for those reasons and others that Kim flew to Maine In January of 2007. Needless to say, things went well and in a year, I proposed to her.
Kim and I had discussed the idea of holding Pagan events of our own as soon as we became tenants in our current home. But as Kim had joined the ToB and I had maintained my membership, we were really too busy to make any serious plans. This all changed in the spring of 2008 when Jane and Cassius separated and the Temple of Brigantia closed it's doors.
We saw a need in the community for continued public events. So, after Kim and I were Handfasted in August of 2008, we decided to found 13 Moons Coven together and began holding open Pagan ritual. We have kept the coven as a duo so far, working as Priest and Priestess in the model we learned from ToB, and have incorporated a number of techniques we have learned from other public rituals and groups we had attended. Initially, we had intended to work with a different specific Pantheon of Deities each Lunar Year, hence the name of "13 Moons Coven". However, when we started with the Egyptian Pantheon family of Deities, Kim and I enjoyed the rituals we created and learned so much from them, we decided to stick with the Egyptian Pantheon family indefinitely.
Now well into our second year, I'm very proud that we are maintaining a tradition of service to the Pagan Community that was so instrumental to me finding my own faith.
Keri: What would you say to the You-you-used-to-be if you could meet him now?
Jason: Wait a minute! I've seen way too many time travel movies not to know that no good will come of this! No mater how innocent or well intentioned my intent is, somehow it will screw up the space time continuum, and Marty Mcfly, Dr Who, and the Terminator will have to face off against Cthulhu and 10,000 Daleks in my living room, all because I told "past me" to buy some stock in Google. No thank you!
I would, however, save my neon pink Hawaiian shirt with Flash Gordon comic book prints on it from the trash can when my Ex insisted I part with it. That thing was classic.
Keri: What would you say to the You-you-are-becoming as a message from his past?
Jason: "Continue to try. You make me proud."