A Kindred Spirit
by Lady Maureen Chalmers AOS

How complicated association can become when we second-guess our compatibility with others. Often we have the "gut feeling" that a person we chance upon is a "Kindred Spirit;" a person who feels the vortex course within. He mourns the loss of things noble and virtuous. He is a person who would add to the sum of the Order.

But to invite this person to a gathering risks many things. The most obvious is the risk of rejection. We may misread the person's spiritual inclinations, and thus lose a friend because our spirituality is rejected.

We risk the loss of privacy. A person may be the revealer of our spiritual practices. Our participation in Circle or our donning of garb could become gossip and public ridicule. Negative energy could hover over us like a dark cloud.

Co-workers, neighbors or students are a difficult group with whom to share. The risk here is the lingering awkwardness of a failed introduction to the Order. They might spurn us, or the Order might decide the candidate is incompatible. In either case, the risk is change to the relationship.

I have a particularly difficult situation myself. There is a student who would make a marvelous candidate for the Order. He is martial, spiritually akin to our beliefs, and reverent to the history of the Middle Ages. Unfortunately, a mutual friend is far from appropriate, and sure to want an invitation. For me, the risk of causing another person to feel rejected is worse than experiencing it myself.

We can all probably share our own personal sense of risk. But without risk, there is no chance of success. We have all been at risk, but survived. We need to trust our intuition. Those assembled as members were at one time a risk that a senior member faced. The host member trusted his "gut feelings" when he extended the invitation

Along with trusting our intuition, we need to foster communication. Intuition is the seed. Communication is the soil in which it grows and bears fruit. This is how we confirm our belief that a potential member is indeed that. It is in fact how we confirm our belief in every association we make. Inviting a kindred spirit to a circle should be no different. There should not be a significantly greater risk than beginning a close friendship if you listen carefully and share honestly.

I hope this new year allows me to find a new kindred spirit to bring to the Order. I have been fortunate to bring Lord Barry and Lady Bonnie to our assemblage. The energy they bring to the Order far out weighs the risk I faced in extending their first invitation. If you know a kindred spirit... take the risk.