- No surprises
- No contempt
- No noise-making (idle chatter and gossip are considered gratuitous noise)
- No selling (we don’t sell, we serve)
- No complaining
- No messes (always be cleaning)
- No rushing (no ‘being rushed’)
Seven Cardinal Sins:
- Creating surprises
- Expressing contempt
- Making noise
- Making messes
- Rushing around or making others rush around
We never did a lot of vetting before on the Sisters who came to us. That’s all changing now as the efforts to punish us for not meeting individual expectations ramp up. More on that subject in newsletters to come.
After decades in corporate America, and when I finally got around to working on something worthwhile (the Sisterhood), I knew that people are either good at interviewing or not and that it doesn’t necessarily mean that because someone is good at interviewing, they are a good candidate for a teammate. On the other hand, someone can be lousy at interviewing but still be a great teammate. I didn’t want to have to sort the bullshit. I thought, whomever Mother Goddess sends my way, I will know in time if they fit or not.
The problem with that is I desperately wanted to make a fitting place for all the women mother goddess sent to me. And not all of them carried good will in their hearts. Some are deceivers and connivers and do not deserve the generous opportunities given to them.
The Cardinal Rule of all Cardinal Rules is the ‘No Surprise’ rule. The ‘No Surprise’ rule is the most commonly broken rule. All upset comes from the surprise of it, we believe. All anger is rooted in someone not telling someone something until much later than that information should have been conveyed (is our theory).
If you want to run a household, tribe, business with excellence, all news, good or bad, has to travel fast to the top.
With the wonderful group of people I work with these days, it doesn’t happen very often now (the breaking of the ‘no surprise’ rule), and when it does, it is usually because someone spun a situation, unintentionally. “I thought you said all the blinds were done at the Wilbur Street house and when I made a visit on my bike ride route Saturday, I saw the old blinds are still hanging in the living room. I was surprised.” I explained to the Manager of the Groundskeeping team. “Oh, sorry Sister Kate, when I said the blinds were done, I meant for all the standard size windows. The living-room windows need a custom order.” Surprise! Put it back on the list, it’s not done. Why didn’t the tenant notice, I wondered? He knew that new blinds were authorized, he requested them!
All our rules are there to guide us to be excellent in all we do and communications are important. I crossed the blinds off the list and I shouldn’t have. I didn’t have two sets on my work list – custom blinds and standard blinds. I just had blinds. You see what happens when humans mingle?
We believe in transparency. If you are going to work with us and live with us and keep big secrets, or make big secrets, then you wouldn’t like it here. If you thrive on petty gossip and drama, you won’t like working with us.
The ‘no contempt’ rule is one of the original cardinal rules: no rushing (always be planning), no surprises, no contempt, no messes (always be cleaning). With the team we have assembled now, this isn’t something we have to call anyone out on ever. We used to. For the first years of the enclave this was a common violation.
When the happy omnivore innocently put his cheese in the drawer where the militant vegan kept her vegetables, there was hell to pay. The noise from their argument was deafening. Both of them ultimately left because neither could contain their contempt for others.
We Sow Prayer into our Work
We have to have it quiet around here because prayer goes into our work. Sister June cooks prayers into our meals, Sister Kass cooks healing into our medicine, and I cook healing into our books. (Ha, cooked books, get it?) No, wait, that’s wrong. No cooking happens with our books. But yes, in my own way, I put prayer into my office work. And you can’t have prayer while noise and commotion is going on, so we insist the place is operated as quietly as a library or a confessional. (The children are here sometimes and we have no expectation of quiet with the children present, although, it is surprising how calm and quiet they can be, falling easily into the flow of things here.)
If you are used to talking all the time, or if you are accustomed to having music blaring or TV blaring all the time, you won’t like it here. It has been more than four years since I had to meet someone out front and tell them that they aren’t allowed to blare their music when approaching our farm. Because some of these people I had to explain to weren’t very bright, I would learn which direction they approach from and give them a street name at which to turn off their radio’s, to make it a simple process to follow. In those first few months, I was driven to tears by how many times I had to do that and how many times I had to tell the same folks. Those are all people long gone now, because, like I said, this can be an uncomfortable place if your idea of excellence doesn’t match ours.
We think noise disturbs our medicines and our ancestors. We pray for help from our ancestors and spirit guides and loud noises chase them away.
If you like to have theological discussions about unborn babies, that’s noise to us. We will ask you to stop making noise. We are not allowed to engage in debate about invisible beings until the day comes that we stop making species go extinct every day. When we stop with the extinction of species, then we might lift that rule about discussion of invisible gods and invisible babies.
In summary, when the visible gifts of Mother Goddess (Creator God) are protected, then we can move on to worrying about the invisible gifts.
Selling is an aggressive act and serving is a submissive act. As humble servants of the people, selling is not something we do. We get the plants from the ground to the kitchen, transform it to medicine, and distribute it to the people. People pay us for the work we do, so we do not have to beg alms – the exact same model used in the Castles of Europe by our Beguine ancestors.
We are not a religion because, by law, religions in America can only sell words. If you see monks selling wine, you know they have a separate business for the wine because you can’t sell anything or make an honest living in America and call yourself a religion. You have to be in the business of picking people’s pockets in exchange for giving them your words. That’s why we are not a religion. We used to be one women-owned business, but now we are a string of women-owned businesses. We think that growing women-owned businesses, all by itself, is a holy action. We don’t need the moniker of religion. We don’t want a moniker that means ‘charge people for words’. Not that words can’t be healing. Some words are worth paying for (counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, tarot card readers). But that’s not what we do for our people. We make and sell CBD medicines to alleviate suffering. Where the natives believe sage bundles and sweetgrass shouldn’t be sold, we believe words shouldn’t be sold, not in the way that mega-churches do it, anyway.
We seek to help women empower themselves to be their best business-woman, to be not afraid to own property and businesses. Complaining is like whining and is not empowering. However, presenting problems and issues is not the same as complaining. We run a business operation, a new age intentional enclave, and a movement. Things happen, things go wrong, problems present. Relaying that there is a problem is not the same as complaining. Relaying a problem, however, is for the express reason of getting resolution. If the person is relaying the problem because they like to complain or they are searching for someone to fix it for them, then that is a violation of a cardinal rule. That is both manipulation and contempt. If a person complains three times about something without taking measures to address the problem, that is a red flag. The red flag document is being put together by Sister Quinn. Maybe she will write an article about the red flag process of keeping harmony in the ranks.
No Messes (Always be Cleaning)
We start our days by finishing our night’s sleep by giving gratitude for another day while making our beds, dressing, and tidying our personal spaces. We are busy women (and men) and can’t afford to waste time looking for things or tripping over untended projects. A disorganized living space is the sign of a disorganized mind. We have no place for that here. Do not stash things. If your closets are bulging, they will be un-bulged by the cleaning crew.
We plan ahead. The morning of departure for a trip, if there is texting and phone calls happening that morning, it means people are violating this rule. They are causing us to be rushed because they didn’t plan in advance, they didn’t read the material relative to the trip. This is one of our oldest and most sacred rules. We fight to return dignity and respect to women who have been disparaged and disrespected along with the cannabis plant. (Did you know first term abortions were only made a sin by the Catholic church at the same time the cannabis plant was demonized?)
When we aspire to be empowered as the women leaders of clans were in the year 800 in Europe and the north islands of England, we do not see those women being rushed by men or children. They would not be. If one is empowered, she is not going to be bullied into rushing around for someone, for anyone. On the other hand, she is wise and plans everything, so she has no need to rush. If others around her are not so wise, not so prepared, she is not to respond to their poor planning, she is not to be washed up in that.
When we see images in our imaginations of our ancient mothers in teepees or caves, do we see the white guy rushing them to get the food prepared? Have you seen how white land-owners make the berry pickers run from post to post? Have you seen how they blare loud music so no one can talk or be distracted from their work? None of this makes sense to us. We are against that. We move with the dignity of royalty or not at all. Do not rush us because you can’t plan. We plan everything. Our weeks and months are planned long in advance. That’s our way of cloistering ourselves and protecting ourselves from energies that diminish us.