You Should Totally Know Her

April 20, 2016

It’s a bit odd to have someone obsessed with you. Well, a couple of someones. One of them’s written 22 posts about my work in the last 30 days. Apparently, I must be pretty important to them.

Of course, if anyone took up that much time in my head, my friends, lovers, and gods would all kindly point out that I might need to go for a walk. Or at least take a break from the internet.

But either way, I guess I’m glad to have given them something to write about?

Unfortunately, one of the two people obsessed with me also just attacked a friend of mine, which is kinda shitty.  But rather than get upset about it (who’s got time for so much anger?), I figured It’d actually be a good time to honor that friend, especially since they’re one of those people who hangs in the background making things happen rather than standing in the foreground where all the attention is.

That person is Syren Nagakyrie, and she possesses the rare power of manifesting other people’s hopes, dreams, and passions..

InstagramCapture_b0701b18-c1cc-4941-b80b-662a399d4eb2Syren’s why Gods&Radicals actually exists at all. Though Alley Valkyrie and I came up with the idea, Syren is who built the framework, crafted the by-laws and articles of incorporation, and did all the organisational stuff I’m no good at.  She’s the treasurer for the board at Gods&Radicals, and without her, the site wouldn’t be around. Seriously.

Syren is also one of the organisers of Many Gods West this year, along with Niki Whiting. Having been involved in putting that conference together last year, I can tell you it’s an epic amount of work, and we really could have benefited from someone like Syren (well, actually, specifically Syren) being able to guide us through all the things we airy folk tended to completely overlook. The other organisers are lucky as all get out that Syren’s involved, as are the rest of us who’ll get to go to a conference other people are making manifest.

Simultaneously, Syren founded and runs the Shekinah Mountainwater Memorial Fund. which “supports self-identified women doing the spiritual work that calls to them. Projects may include research, publications, events and rituals, music and art, spiritual activism, or anything that provides service or education to enrich the Goddess community.” There’s nothing else like it to my knowledge, and there are very, very few organisations and funds that will help others build community.

She also consults with folks to help them put together their own non-profits. The work is epic, you should know. And without someone to guide you through it, you’re left either becoming part of larger umbrella non-profits (which take a 10% tithe of all funding) or just not starting one at all.

A few months ago, Syren also went to India to mentor and support people working on gender-based violence through a non-profit organisation. She’s just now starting to tell some of those stories, including her experiences in temples to Hindu gods.

And in the midst of all this work she is doing, her sister died unexpectedly. While an internet storm raged about two of the groups she helps make happen, she went to mourn her sister and support her family. Her absence during that time was felt very, very deeply. She makes things stable, makes things strong, births things into the world that few others can ever dare hope to accomplish. I was not nearly as available as I should have been for her, letting myself instead get distracted by utterly irrelevant people. For that, Syren, I am deeply sorry.

Syren is one of the strongest people I know. When the critic suggested her name should be familiar to you, it was nice truth amidst some awful words. Even if you don’t know Syren and never meet her, she’s one of the driving forces behind quite a few powerful and beautiful things that are changing the world and creating precisely the sort of community that polytheists, Pagans, and others have desperately wanted.

I’m utterly in awe of her. And yeah, you should know her. And read her. And maybe encourage her to start a Patreon, because almost every amazing thing she does in the world is unpaid.

Thank you, Syren. I am honored to know you.