The weird part about starting a new blog is that you have nothing to fall back on. No previous words, nothing to review or revisit. There is that generic first post and that’s it.

WAY back in the day prior to Facebook, Dreamwidth, and even LiveJournal, when discussion forums were still a thing that people used, I had a website. It was titled “The Land of the Phae” – my handle at the time was Phae Talon. This blog was named for that long dead website.

For anyone who doesn’t remember the origin story:

Phae Talon was born after my very first (and very only) Dungeons and Dragon’s game in 2001.  Her first incarnation, as Fae Talla, was a clumsy, and ridiculously charming thief that had me head over heels at first glance.  Even then I knew I would likely never get to play DnD again, I couldn’t let her fall into obscurity.  Her stats page bore a small simple sketch, and through this personification, she began, blossoming into a pagan witch known as Phae Talon (Talla / Talon … get it?  I knew you would).

I wrote that paragraph, and the post that followed it back in December, I believe, of 2015 (the time/date stamp of the post is Feb ’16, but the comments are date stamped Dec ’15?). Back when we still believed that fascism couldn’t really win. But here we are, twelve months later, and our outlook is not so arrogant. Turns out fascism can win.

We are now drawing to a close on 2015.  Donald Trump, the ridiculous bigot of hamster hair, is running for president in the United States.  And people are following him.  He breathes flame on bigotry, xenophobia, and fascism, and for the first time since the Patriot Act passed into law, people are truly afraid of the rise of the US’s own brand of Nazism.

I find myself missing Phae desperately.  I miss those of us from the Charmed generation who grew into solid, strong, spiritual people who stood up and refused to be cowed because of some misogynistic interpretation of lore.  I miss a world where empowering women wasn’t some kind of a joke, it was a road we walked to find our true selves outside of imposed labels.  I miss my youthful naivety in believing that deep down, all people meant well.  If anything, this past year has shown that deep down, a large number of people are afraid.  And in order to live with that fear, they turn look for a scapegoat and turn it into hate.

Now that 2016 is coming to an end, I have seen a lot of those fears become reality. And every day it gets a little bit worse. And I miss Phae again.

With the threat of a Trump presidency looming, a lot of folks are moving away from more modern and monitored forms of social media back to places that are a little darker, a little quieter – worn old paths that were all but forgotten a decade ago. People all over the US are taking steps to protect themselves. From removing “othering” religious paraphernalia, to training in self-defense, people are beginning the process of retreating back into the shadows.

And even though I am not directly under threat from the rising hate crimes that are sweeping across Trump’s America, I have suffered a dangerous “outing” of my own that has caused me to retreat and reconsider the importance of things I had previously taken for granted. I wonder to myself if it is really so important to share magic with my kids. I think that perhaps wrapping teachings in the cloak of cultural heritage will keep us all safer as the world around us descends further and further in to fear and hatred.

And with every step I take away from discomfort of public scrutiny, the wings of Phae Talon open to welcome me home. To Keep Silent. It’s the one pillar that I’ve struggled the most with.

The pluses, of course, are that working from the shadows allows for the work to continue unhindered. And yet there is a big part of me that rankles at the idea of this sort of prudence. I like to believe that this moment of retreat is tactical – that it will allow us to regroup and gather our strength for the next battle. But a deep part of my soul knows that the time of retreat will last longer than it should. The coming war will be a long one, and for every inch gained the price will be blood spilled.

This past summer I had a vision from which I got the distinct message that “The Morrighan is building an army.” The Queen has been gathering her people for more than a few years now. A more recent vision has illustrated to me the role I am to play. And for the moment, all I can do is wait, watch, hope, pray that those who are fighting now are sustained and protected.

And for the time being, reviving Phae Talon seems prudent. The name is remembered. It is strong. And her strength may help to carry me through when my own will falters.