Received as email to Rabbit Testimony
There was a time when I thought JM was my best friend, maybe she thought so too. She was one of the first friends I made when I moved to the Bay Area about 15 years ago. In the beginning we were so close. We were in Oracles of the Living Tarot together, and founded Come As You Are coven together.
The first ritual was a Samhain ritual that we did together in her living room with about 50 people, that was before the name was made public and she announced that she wanted the coven to be "open". She also mentioned that she wanted to work with a collaborative of priestesses.
Stella Iris and I were graduate school friends and I remember inviting her and her husband to the first CAYA open public ritual that was being performed by Molly Blue Dawn, another friend I had made through Oracles of the Living Tarot. I then invited my oldest friend Szmeralda Shanel to be part of our collective and others were invited as well.
After about a year Rabbit announced that "there were people that wanted to study with us" so we should take initiates. This was hard for me at first because even the open structure of the coven was new to me as I was used to practicing with smaller concentrated groups that were often invite only. She assured me that this was a good idea and that she had a system in place to protect the coven, so I agreed.
We began to have "Hives" of initiates, the first of which I was the "mother" or point person for the training which was a lot like a group skill share because every initiate came in with their own tradition and practice.
We started out as a Collective. First a collective of priestesses, and then a collective of initiates, than clergy.
During the training of hive 1, I became pregnant and was less available to the hive and to CAYA as a whole. However, the relationships stayed strong, and I felt spiritually connected to the group. Captain Jane, formerly Rowan, even helped to deliver my baby and I am the God/Gaia parent of one of the hive 1 clergy members.
When I became pregnant she yelled at me because my pregnancy was unexpected but eventually we mended our relationship. Although me and JM still remained close, I was noticing a shift in her. She became very focused on expansion and was personally wounded if anyone decided to "leave" the coven. This caused her to be very paranoid. She used to tell me that she knew when someone was going to leave because she would vomit foam, which I actually saw happen once. She would then black ball the person that left.
I also saw her appoint herself in a hierarchical role as the "presiding high priestess" who had the final say in all matters. No one ever argued with her, because they knew they would not win.
When I began to point things out that were troubling me she distanced herself and I stepped down in leadership of the coven. Our friendship became sporadic, but when we saw one another we would drop in as if a day had never passed. During these drop ins, she would fill me in on other members of the group who had left and the personal projects she was working on, expansion was always a goal. She also confided to me how hard it was that she had not been able to have a baby and how much she desired one. This desire made her judgmental and critical of any mother in the coven. She confided to me once that she needed to stop talking to one of the clergy for awhile because she was so jealous of the baby girl she was about to have.
I eventually resumed my relationship with the Women’s group and with CAYA as a whole and began to hear reports of how truly critical she had become of the mothers in the coven and the staff of the store she believed that she was co-owner of. She would berate mothers who needed to be at home taking care of their children and did not have time for 3,4,5 hour or all day long meetings.
She once confided in me that she was “so happy that I was a 'black mother' because white mothers just wanted to be friends with their children.” At one point during an argument she was having with some coven members she said to me “I guess I just can’t be friends with white women anymore.” Although I knew she was trying to bait me with these types of comments, I was very loyal and often held her while she cried about one thing or another. I was the one who held her when her misconduct was made public at Hexenfest. I was loyal until the end, although I believed my sisters, I was trying to make sense of how a woman I had known for so long could have strayed so far. I wanted her to make amends, but was willing to stay her friend while she worked on that.
However, I soon discovered that she felt sorry for nothing, and admitted no fault. I also found out that pathological lying was somewhat of a sport for her. I found this out on a personal level, when I was made aware of a pernicious lie that she told that personally involved me. JM came to my son’s birth and was one of the first people to hold him. She praised me often about being a good mother, but never could bring herself to actually spend time with me and my son. I later found out that she told a mutual friend and coven mate that “she could not believe that I had been allowed to have a baby when she wasn’t”, and that my son had been conceived in a weekend long haze of heroin use; a drug that I have never once tried. Interestingly enough, a drug that has often been associated with the black community, even if unfairly so, as there is clearly also a “white face” of heroin.
In her statement, my “best friend” who had once asked to take me home with her and her girlfriend on Beltane (I didn’t go), my “best friend” that I had comforted and held through countless tears like a mammy, had bastardized the birth of my child, the thing that is the most sacred to me; the one thing she could never have.
She preys on who she believes to be weak. I believe her to be truly psychologically unhinged and dangerous. The words narcissist, or pathological liar, do not even begin to explain what she is capable of.