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Introducing Medusa’s Ladder, a new column by Richelle Hawks, at Binnall of America.

You know how you go through little life-eras of drastic change, when the old is falling away, and the new is getting all built up, and there is just a great sense of Transit (with a capital T) on all fronts? Well, I begin my column Medusa’s Ladder in Binnall of America in such an energized state. And it seems somehow quite fitting.

It’s all good change. My longtime partner, the paranormal writer Stephen Wagner of About.com Paranormal Phenomena just purchased a huge, lovely house in a small town in upstate New York for us. Now, I begin the long process of somehow extracting myself from the beautiful West—the Gothic Deseret of Utah that has been my home for the entirety of my adult life.

But I do love New York, its Old World Americana charms, its aura of beginnings. New York is a birthplace, harboring the historical, mega energies of feminism, abolition, Spiritualism, and religious reform. I could easily belong there. Plus, the pizza is amazing. But I’ll miss the fry sauce.

In a more minor but important transition, I have very recently begun homeschooling my brilliant, young teenage son. It has been an absolute liberation. We have struggled for years within the public school system—charter schools, customized plans, etc. I would not trade the experiences that these schools have afforded my son through the years.

I highly value the charter school framework--the hands-on, non-traditional approach, kid friendly innovations, and fresh, developing approaches in tangible American education reform brought to the table by teachers, parents, and students. It’s just difficult to implement functional, healthy ideas through a dysfunctional, sick system.

Utah has the dishonor of having the lowest per-pupil education budget of all 50 states. Ironically, we are also #1 in child population, per capita. This discrepancy is apparent and directly palatable within the public school experience. Unfortunately, it simply doesn’t work for us. It seems homeschooling has become the only viable solution and wise choice for us. It seems to be working, too.

I otherwise spend my days alongside scruffy, cranky men scavenging thrift stores for valuable books; I maintain an online used book store. I am also a bodyworker with a large private practice. As I have grown into this work, I have become interested in an ‘urban shamanism’ type of approach, and until recently, I would have thought that sounded abstract, meaningless, and even pretentious. But, it seems it is my path.

Like writing. I have an academic background in English, and I have been involved in various literary pursuits for a couple decades. My interest in the paranormal and similar fanciful things has been lifelong, as it is for many. Recently, I wrote a comment on a popular blog in response to a question about the cool factor of UFOs: “UFOs and their mysteries call their own, and that is the essence of coolness.”

I would naturally extend that to the entirety of the esoteric tableaux in general. I am very pleased to have the opportunity to share my musings, ideas, ruminations, and theories with the Binnall of America audience--those who have likewise been called by the Mystery.

I am interested in all aspects of the esoteric, but I’m especially fond of occult matters, UFO theories, early Spiritualism, the afterlife, and folklore. Also, it is a very precise interest, but I am very compelled by aesthetics within esoteric subjects.

The idea that our landscape of forms, large and small, natural and contructed, carry high meaning, comforts and engages me. I am fairly a deconstructionist by nature. Yet, I am also a generalist; I tend to find patterns and see dynamics and then hone in on particulars and details, sometimes exhaustively, to glean meaning. I’m all about gleaning. With my column, I look forward to being part of this fine think tank.

Contact Richelle Hawks

Visit Richelle's blog: Beamships Equal Love