0 The Fool -
Smith-Waite Centennial Tarot
Halloo everyone! I'm back. Did you miss me? I hope you did, just a little. This is not an April Fool's Joke. Really. It's me!
I thought about starting this blog back up before April but I really did need the time away. I'm very excited about some decks I recently received and I can't wait to start sharing them with you! The last couple of months I have been dealing with a combination of personal and health issues along with more commitments then I could handle.
I certainly had time to do a daily card draw, however, I did not have the time to diligently interpret and write about it every day. I could also have done a card draw only some of the days, but it would have been unpredictable and sporadic. It felt more sensible to take an actual planned hiatus and begin again when I could at least stick with it on a fairly regular basis.
I AM A SURVIVOR OF CAYA COVEN
during the cult leadership of
Jessica "Yeshe Rabbit" Matthews
I left primarily because of gross abuses by the leader of the group: Jessica Matthews aka “Rabbit” Matthews aka Yeshe Rabbit aka Reverend Mother Matthews, and possibly using her husband's name, Robles. Now that everything has blown wide open and so many victims are coming forward, there is a lot more to deal with than the pain I had so neatly compartmentalized. What I did not know in the years after I left was how many other people besides myself, had been peeling away. When you left or were forced out, all your former friends, who you thought of as family, were discouraged from speaking to you. I was not aware that everything had come to a head with a huge, verbally abusive, transphobic rant last year, followed by a fracturing of the group and many revelations about Jessica's improprieties and lies. I am aware of approximately fifty victims and as is the case with any serial abuser, there are more who have not come forward. A private investigation was begun by the CAYA Council, however, given a “heads up” by an ally, and rather than face the charges against her, Matthews hastily resigned and fled the SF Bay Area.
Beware! She's Still Out There!
There are a few well known people in the pagan community whom she has deceived that are vocally defending and supporting her. Many of these so called leaders are known TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists) which should tell you something about her. I suspect others only know her public face and have been taken in by her flattery. She still has her hooks in a few original members who are acting as puppets for her agenda. One of these is someone I used to consider my closest friend. Recently a respected pagan online publication, where she used to work and where she evidently still has plenty of allies, interviewed several victims and rather than use the details given to them, essentially gave Matthews a platform while diminishing the victims' accounts. They say they had an independent editorial review for bias but it was very disappointing. When victims talked about their experiences in the comments, some of which the publication knew about but failed to include, supporters of Matthews were allowed to respond with abusive tirades and then the comments were suddenly closed.
* I have decided not to link the article at this time because I feel it was so biased and poorly written.
Even CAYA itself, which has lost the vast majority of its membership and is struggling to recover put out the mildest most, legally covering their collective asses, statement possible but it was enough to raise questions. You can read their statement HERE: CAYA COVEN PUBLIC STATEMENT
I was heartened when several respected pagan groups: Solar Cross Temple, Strong Roots and Wide Branches, Coru Cathubodua Priesthood and Black Rose Witchcraft, put out a more definitive statement. It was the statement I would have liked to hear from CAYA.
Statement From Prominent Pagan Groups
Public Statement From Devin Hunter: Author, Sacred Fires, Black Rose Witchcraft, Modern Witch Podcast.
This will continue to be a lot to process. There is a reason I have been pulling the cards for myself personally that I have been: The Tower, Judgment, etc, or as you can see above, from my gorgeous new, Whispers of Lord Ganesha oracle deck, “Revelation!” So, even though I still have to deal with all of these things it's going to feel really good to get back into this discussion and introduce you to new tarot decks new interpretations ways of reading and talk about my passion.
I plan to write more about my experiences on my personal blog. For now, if you want to know more I am including links to public statements and the blogs of former members and students.
Wishing you all a Happy Easter, Ostara, Passover, a slightly belated Norooz and may whatever celebration that ushers in Spring for you bring you joyous blessings!