Crafting Radical Agency in Times of Chaos
In these times, when we see monsters everywhere, when we ourselves are called monstrous, when monstrosity seems to be breaking through the crust of civility (or is it complacency?) everywhere… Wouldn’t you like to know what Monsters are? Wouldn’t you like to know why Monsters are? If I told you that the way to face a Monster is to become a Monster yourself, would that terrify or excite you?
WHAT: Anatomy of a Monster: Crafting Radical Agency in Times of Chaos
WHEN: December 21st, 2020 – August 14th, 2021
HOW: Registration submitted via google forms – Click here!
COST: Free, offered on a donation basis
FORMAT: Various methods of interaction, including:
- monthly zoom calls
- small group work and meetings
- supplemental material (including but not limited to pre-recorded trances and independent practices, podcasts, workbooks, etc.)
- asynchronous communication/discussion via online platform
This journey begins at the Winter Solstice, and for some, it feels like all of humankind is poised on this same point between beginnings and endings, teetering between the death of late stage capitalism and wondering what will be left after… will anything be left after? How will we survive? Who will sift through the ashes of an old world? Who is needed to midwife the birth of a new way of being? What if you are needed? What if your most sovereign and authentic self is necessary to our future survival in a way we’ve never before conceived?
The work of the Necessary Monster, a developing concept and curriculum that Mnemosyne and Marrow have been continuously expanding over the past two years, calls us to examine, in detail, expressions of monstrosity, both personal and cultural. It is work that reaches back to the ancient meaning of the word “Monster” and calls to the outsiders, the others, the queers, the witches, to take up that role again. It calls on us to walk the edges, to challenge boundaries, and to defend them, to serve as beacons to other seekers, and to welcome them into sovereignty. For those who face monsters, and to those who have been called monstrous… when “love trumps hate” and “can’t we just get along” don’t work, anymore… The Necessary Monster waits on the other side.
We’ll gather as a whole group on Zoom once each month, and gather as smaller cohorts twice each month, as well as share asynchronous online forum space as we work through personal and communal introspection guided by written and recorded prompts, exercises, and challenges. First, we’ll focus on our own personal relationship with monstrosity. We’ll look hard at our own fears, at our own boundaries and values. We’ll dig into what radical agency truly means, in our personal relationships and closest-held communities. We’ll hone our powers of discernment, our ability to gaze unflinchingly at reality, and we’ll learn to wield both fear and desire as tools in sovereign service to what we hold sacred.
Then, we’ll rest. We’ll integrate. We’ll take a month off to let what we’ve shaken up, settle.
Then we’ll shake it up again.
The second cycle will take everything we’ve learned together, and apply it to our cultural shadow. What are the monsters of our culture, and what fears birthed them? What lines are they marking, and how can we (should we?) challenge those lines? What kinds of monsters are we, from the perspective of the various cultures we live in and move through? In what ways are we feared? In what ways are we desired? What power does that give us? And how will we choose to use that power?
While there is no prerequisite course work, we acknowledge that this is advanced work. You will be asked to look directly at fear, to suspend judgement, to hold paradox, to have confidence in your own spiritual autonomy and respect for the autonomy of others. We are going in search of monsters, and allying unflinchingly with our own monstrosity. We ask that you inquire honestly of yourself, before committing to this course, if this is work that feels safe and fruitful for you to embark on at this time.
You’ll need internet access for this online course. We’ll use Zoom for large-group meetings, and MeWe(?) for sharing between calls.
Because we believe this work is vital and timely, and because we know those most in need of this work are likely to also be the ones struggling hardest with the impact of the pandemic on all types of resources, we are offering the course on a donation basis. We appreciate any exchange you feel is appropriate and sustainable.
The Reclaiming Principles of Unity state that, “We try to balance the need to be justly compensated for our labor with our commitment to make our work available to people of all economic levels.” Truly sustainable energy exchange is rooted in transparency, and in the spirit of transparency we offer the information that the development, creation and facilitation of this course will require approximately 200 hours of labor on the part of each facilitator.