Editorial: Beyond the threshold and into the unknown

Heather Greene —  November 1, 2018 — Leave a comment

ATLANTA – The editor and publisher of The Wild Hunt, Heather Greene, has announced her retirement as of October 31. Greene started with the organization in 2012 as a weekly news writer and took over as editor in 2014 from founder Jason Pitzl. After six years of service to the community as a journalist and editor, Greene has decided to step down in order to spend more time with family and pursue a new career path. 

Or, that is how I imagine the news story would start if I or someone else were to write it in that style. But let’s try something a bit more personal.

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After six years of writing and editing for The Wild Hunt, I have decided to retire and hand the baton over to a new administration. I took over leadership in 2014 after two years of weekly news writing and assisting the editor Jason Pitzl. Since that point, I have worked day in and day out to keep the original dream alive, and  to turn the blog into news agency. Together with a growing team of players, we were successful.

But, the wheel turns and life changes.

I have experienced many significant shifts in my personal life that have required much of my attention over the past two years. While I have attempted to juggle these various pieces, I finally realized and accepted that this was no longer possible. Something had to give, as they say. For my personal health and for the health of The Wild Hunt, it was time to make changes.

A leader cannot lead effectively if her attention is pulled in too many places; an organization cannot fully realize its potential if it’s leader is unable to devote undivided attention to inspiring its people.

And so, with that, I step down.

The past six years have been a journey, a wild ride of ups and downs. When I was first asked to write for The Wild Hunt, I eagerly stood at a threshold, not knowing what was in store. At that time, I had very little knowledge of the vast scope of the Pagan, Heathen, and polytheist worlds. But, that changed very quickly.

Today, I can see this world and its many colors and faces, but in saying that I also know that I don’t – I can’t – see all of you. While not big in size even as one, the communities making-up global Paganism, Heathenry, and polytheism are deep, dense, and filled with many corners of sacred individuality. And, they are ever shifting and evolving.

That is beautiful to discover and even more beautiful to know. We are not one; we are many. If I leave Wild Hunt readers with any wisdom, it is that. Appreciate and respect the bounty found in our diversity. That is our strength.

Before I say goodbye, I want to thank the people that I have worked with at The Wild Hunt including all the contributing guest writers. There are too many to name. Each person gave their time to the organization and shared a piece of their spirit with our readers.  Through their work they supported my vision of a Pagan news agency and bolstered a mission of service that I have come to cherish.

I also want to thank the readers and supporters for joining in that effort. The dream of Pagan-dedicated journalism is alive and well. It is driven by a need for quality reporting on marginalized religious communities. It is also driven by a dedicated passion for journalism and a dedication to service, whether that be to gods or community, or both.

Pagan journalism is needed now more than ever as the global socio-political landscape is filled with tension and fear, and as Pagan, Heathen, and polytheist religions become more visible to the mainstream. The Wild Hunt sits in a place where Pagans can see what other Pagans are doing. You are not alone, we demonstrate.

Today, I hand the driver’s wheel over to Dr. Manny Tejeda-Moreno, as editor-in-chief.  Moreno has been a columnist with the organization since 2014. In his personal life, Moreno is a professor and social scientist with a doctorate in business. He also has a masters degree in psychotherapy. Moreno was born in Cuba and raised in the American South. He has been in the Pagan community for almost four decades.

Joining him will be Star Bustamonte as news editor. Bustamonte has both media experience as well as management skills. Eric Scott, a longtime Wild Hunt writer, has taken on the role of columnist editor, and has been doing a fantastic job since the spring. Rounding that out is social media manager Stacy Psaros, who will be taking over as technical director.

Please join me in welcoming them as they transition into their positions. I look forward to seeing where they go with The Wild Hunt and how they realize the mission of Pagan journalism. Remember, they cannot do this without community support, financial and otherwise.

As for me, the wheel has made its turn. One journey is ending, but another will now begin. I stand once again at the threshold, but this time the moment bittersweet. I turn around and look back, virtually speaking, into our Wild Hunt offices. I see the faces of the many team members, past and present, staring back and waving at me. My bags are packed; my desk cleaned out; my coat is on. And, just as I hug the last person goodbye, a phone rings in the back offices. Someone runs to pick it up and, when they return, they announce that a reader has called with a big news tip. The new editors head for the phone to take the call, saying as they rush away that they’ll be in touch.

And that’s how it ends. I move beyond the threshold and into the endless possibilities of the unknown, once again. The door closes; the wheel turns ever on.

Goodbye to everyone. Thank you for reading my writing and for supporting my leadership, and may we all be ever blessed.

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Heather Greene

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Heather is a writer, film historian, editor, and journalist, living in the Deep South. She is an acquisitions editor at Llewellyn Publishing and the author of the book "Bell, Book, and Camera." She has collaborated with Lady Liberty League, and formerly served as Public Information Officer for Covenant of the Goddess. She has a masters degree in Film Theory, Criticism and History from Emory University with a background in the performing and visual arts.