My Changing Relationship with Facebook

Here’s the thing about Facebook. Presumably because I “get around”, I have well over 100 folks in my “friend” inbox waiting to be approved. Most of them I don’t know, and they haven’t written a short note telling me who they are or why they want to be friends. And for each new friend I accept, I reduce the chances of seeing the feeds of folks I really want to see.

So I don’t accept folks I don’t know anymore. I just quickly scan my friend requests for folks I recognize. Occasionally I look to see what friends we have in common. If I have time.

But for the most part, I feel that having 1200 “friends” is already quite unmanageable. That is why I regularly encourage folks to please join my musician page instead. I know, people say “that’s so one-sided.” But the thing is, it already is one-sided, because the likelihood of me even seeing your feed on my page at this point is almost zero. Yes, I know, I didn’t have to allow 1200 friends on my page. But FB has always been first and foremost a networking tool for me. Folks wanted to be “friends” not “fans” and who was I to say how they should connect? That was my thinking at the time.

The “chatting in our virtual living room” element is a nice bonus. But ultimately it is too distracting. It is time for me to fine-tune my focus. So I am curtailing my activities. This will be the last blog post that feeds to my personal page, from now on they will only feed to my musician page.

I will still be on FB some of course. I value FB for its ability to let me stay in touch with friends I don’t get to see as often as I like. And fortunately you guys do show up in my feed since we participate in each others’ posts. You know who you are. :+)

Also I am considering changing my name so folks can’t keep finding me and friending me. I hate just ignoring the folks in my friend inbox but I really don’t have time to tell each and every one of them I am not accepting friends I don’t know. I tried this and it was very time consuming and some folks even got pissy with me. WTF??
So if you start noticing some weird new person you don’t recall friending – it’s probably me.

Lastly – if you are experiencing your own burnout with Facebook and want to keep track of my goings on, here are some other options. I tweet now so you can find me on Twitter. You can also sign my mailing list if you are into that sort of thing. Or you can read my blog.

Here are some links for those of you wanting to keep in touch.  I thank you for your patience as I shift my relationship with the ‘Book.  I know I’ve been pushing my musician pages a lot lately!  it’s just that I want to make sure I reach folks about this shift, and since I miss so many others’ feeds I am sure folks miss mine the first few times around as well.

Sharon Knight musician page FB
Pandemonaeon musician page FB
Sharon on Twitter
Sharon’s mailing list
Sharon’s blog

Tour Schedule

May 6th 7-9pm and May 7th 10-am-4pm w/ breaks
Sonic Alchemy and the Sovereignty of True Will – Workshop
Georgetown DE
Hosted by Bell, Book and Candle.
Note: this will be held at Seelie Court near Georgetown, DE – Not at the store – Directions will be given to registrants.
Tickets: $150
full details and registration here:
Harmonic Bodywork Therapy sessions will be offered throughout the week. Signups taked via the store at the link above. To learn more about these sessions visit
To learn more about this work in general and this workshop visit:

May 13 – 15th
Blue Ridge Beltane
Stoney Creek Resort
277 Lake Drive
Greenville, VA 24440

June 11th
House Concert @ Cerulia House
Seattle, WA (check back for details)

June 15th
Sacred Paths Center
777 Raymond Ave
St Paul, MN 55114

June 16th
House Concert
Ann Arbor, MI
$7 – $15 sliding scale
RSVP for directions to

June 18th
New Hampshire (check back for details)

June 24th
Wisteria Summer Solstice
39835 State Route 684
Pomeroy, Ohio 45769

June 25th
Northern Exposure Music Festival
A Sacred Place
970 NH Route 118
Canaan, NH

July 1st
Musical Mistresses of Myth and Magick
Triple Goddess Concert
with Kellianna and Wendy Rule
The Lily Pad
1353 Cambridge St (Inman Sq)
Cambridge MA
8pm sharp
tix $20

July 2nd
Musical Mistresses of Myth and Magick
Triple Goddess Concert
with Kellianna and Wendy Rule
House Concert
Western MA (check back for details)
cover $20

July 3rd
Musical Mistresses of Myth and Magick
Triple Goddess Concert
with Kellianna and Wendy Rule
Sacred World Interdependence Day
39 Glasheen Rd
Petersham, MA

July 7th 6-11pm
Pirate Feast at Bubes Brewery!
102 North Market Street
Mount Joy, PA 17552
$50 includes feast and show
Reservations requested:
Phone: (717) 653-2056

July 14 – 17th
Wolvenwold Sumer Solstice
St. Louis MO (check back for details)

July 23rd
Denver CO (check back for details)

July 29th Time TBA
Sharon Knight Trio – yep with Caith Threefires
Fitzpatrick Winery – Pizza Night
Woodfire pizza, wine, gorgeous scenery, and music!
7740 Fair Play Rd.
Fair Play CA 95684
Phone: 530-620-3248 / 800-245-9166

September 2nd Time TBA
Sharon Knight Trio – yep with Caith Threefires
Fitzpatrick Winery – Pizza Night
Woodfire pizza, wine, gorgeous scenery, and music!
7740 Fair Play Rd.
Fair Play CA 95684
Phone: 530-620-3248 / 800-245-9166

Musings on Religion and Imagination

Recently I was part of a conversation on religious pluralism, albeit passively, as I was editing a podcast on the topic. (T.Thorn Coyle’s “Elemental Castings”, the “Hindu Pagan Dialog” panel from Pantheacon.)

As part of the dialog, the importance of supporting religious pluralism in our conversations with others came up, and some stories were shared on conversing with atheists. One Pagan woman said she tells them “I don’t believe in the same God you don’t believe in.”  It amused me, and it also got me thinking how I myself might find common ground with atheists.

I don’t consider myself an atheist. I also don’t consider religion “true” however, so I feel I can understand the atheist’s perspective, and in fact I do not find it in conflict with my own views. How is this possible? To use a metaphor from Robert Anton Wilson, I see religion as the map but not the territory.

Religion gives us a set of symbols that creates a “bridge”, so to speak, for grappling with ideas and energetic forces that would otherwise be unfathomable to us. Therefore all religions are both true and untrue at the same time.

My more religious friends may question my integrity, since I declare myself a Pagan, so surely I do believe in a religion. To them I say, “Yes, I use symbols that speak to me, i.e. Pagan ones, in order to experience that which does feel like the territory, which is a sense of expansive awareness I cannot explain, but which gives me something I value as essential to my being.”  Whether I call this “God” or not is irrelevant.

To my more atheistically-inclined friends, who may suggest it is less than truthful to claim I am not religious after what I just described above, I say “You don’t believe in God, but do you believe in imagination?”

Imagination has always been a key that unlocks doors in the minds of the religious and non-religious alike. We all love stories. We all love music that takes us somewhere, that opens a corner of the mind we did not realize was there a moment ago. We all have room in our being for more than what is going on in our immediate surroundings at any moment.

Religious symbolism uses the imagination to open doors in the mind, to expand awareness, and to glimpse the infinite. The arts also do this. Likewise does science, in it’s ability to reveal the vast workings of our world. For those who don’t practice a spiritual discipline, they may yet find a similar satisfaction in the way interior design sets the harmony of a room, in the way a piece of art opens something in the mind, or in the feeling of awes that overcomes s when we realize the size of the Universe.  These things do not need to be called “God” to create an experience of mystery or magic.

Perhaps the spiritually inclined can sometimes be condescending toward those who don’t find a need for religion, thinking that part of them is missing, asleep, or unfulfilled. Perhaps atheists can sometimes be condescending toward the spiritually inclined, thinking they need religion as a crutch, when it may well be that we all seek to tap the mysteries of life, albeit in different ways.

As someone who has found wonder in art, science, and religion alike, I propose that any of these can lead to an experience of fulfilled human life.

Perhaps, as we can learn to find common ground among those who hold different religious views than our own, we can also find common ground among those who don’t have any religious views at all. At least some of the time. Thus we can emphasize our similarities and not our differences.

The Barter Project #2 – update from the world’s worst blogger

Awhile back I posted a list of things and services I am willing and able to do for barter, as well as a list of things and services I am interested in bartering for. I didn’t get much response, although I know these things take time to seep into folks’ minds. Then, a few days ago, a friend posted this link: (Thanks Bear!)

I was excited, as here was a built-in community of folks in my area with infrastructure in place who actively want to start bartering now. I signed up.

As I began exploring the site, one of the thornier issues I’ve had with bartering came up right away. This site is based on time trading; everyone’s value is considered equal, so for one hour of my time doing whatever, I earn one hour of credit that I can cash in for one hour of someone else’s time. This is all fine and good – to a point.

But here’s where it starts to get tricky. Goods are also offered, and given a time value. One of the things I am most interested in is trading for food, as I currently live in an apartment and have very limited abity to grow my own food, let alone have chickens, eggs etc. So naturally I was thrilled to find that I could trade someone for farm fresh eggs! However, I noticed that they were asking one full trade hour for these eggs. The skills I have to offer bill out between $20 – $45 an hour. $60 – $75 an hour when I offer massage. So, that would be a pretty pricey carton of eggs!  (To be fair, I don’t know how many eggs are being offered, perhaps several cartons. Which is more than I could use.)  So right out of the gate, I am experiencing this system as not addressing my needs in a realistic way.

I am feeling inflation to be sure, but as of yet I am still able to get a carton of eggs for less than $30 an hour.

This dilemma can arise with services as well. Is it fair to trade exact time for time when one person went to school for years to learn their trade, i.e a chiropractor, and one is offering to weed your garden?

Of course a staunch socialist will say that everyone’s efforts being equal is the way to go, promotes equality etc. This is a nice idea but does it really work in practice?

For my part, I have to admit, I would be loathe to trade a deep tissue massage, which takes a toll on my body,  for a carton of eggs. Or even 6 cartons of eggs.

So I am intrigued by this timeshare trade site, and I look forward to exploring it further and at the very least, meet folks in my immediate neighborhood who are open to this type of thinking. But I also am not yet convinced it is the barter experience I am looking for.

I post this for discussion among those who have expressed interest in barter movements. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how best to facilitate a barter economy. Should it be based on time and thus everybody’s efforts are equal? Does valuing one person’s training and knowledge over another’s devalue some people?  Or does it devalue a person to expect their years of medical school to be the same worth as pulling weeds from a garden? By what criteria do we place value on things? Perhaps the timebank model is good for certain types of barter but not all?  Perhaps we can take a cool idea and make it better?

StrowlerFest Review

I recently returned from StrowlerFest, as many of you know, and it was a peak experience for me in many ways. It felt like a homecoming, so I share some of my musings here.

StrowlerFest was similar to a few of our convention-style Clan gatherings out here in California – namely the Sci-Fi/fantasy themed BayCon and the Pagan themed PantheaCon, except that StrowlerFest featured music as the prominent element.  Care was taken to choose a good venue for experiencing a musical concert, and an excellent sound system and skilled technicians were in place to give participants the best experience of the featured music.  As a Pagan musician, this was a welcome turn of priorities for me. Whereas PantheaCon gives us the opportunity to come together and explore our spiritual identity, StrowlerCon gives us a way to build our culture. This has been something I have been ready for for some time.

StrowlerFest was attended by the usual suspects – dreadlocked Goths and faery winged gypsies, Renn faire refugees and Steampunk bellydancers. Pirates in eyeliner and flirty nymphs with animal tails. Makers. Crafters. Circus performers. Most were very creative, smart, tech savvy, and crafting a life on their own terms. Most were Pagan, too, although one of the things I liked best about StrowlerFest is that it was more “Pagan friendly” than strictly Pagan.  Although there is a strong Pagan undercurrent to StrowlerFest, the focus is not on spiritual identity  but rather the creative expression that comes from a richly imaginative worldview, which includes the Pagans but is not limited to them.

In keeping with this ideal were the musicians themselves. Most, if not all, were Pagan.  The sultry Wendy Rule opened Friday and Saturday nights with her musical circle casting and spellbinding vocals, performing as a trio with her guitarist sweetie Tim and tricky Pixie cellist Betsy Tinney. She was probably the most overtly witchy of the performers and is well loved internationally for her Gothy witch-songs that reflect her Scorpio nature.  A favorite performance for me was Heather Dale, a Celtic singer I first discovered via “The Secret Life of Celtic Rock” Cd, where her song Mordred’s Lullaby was featured. Her voice and her melodic sense are absolutely world class and brought tears to both Winter’s and my eyes. In fact, knowing she would be performing was a key reason Winter and I accepted this gig ourselves. Many of her songs are based in Aurthurian mythology, so for the lovers of myth among us, her show was a real treat.

Speaking of the myth-lovers, Tricky Pixie was another highlight of the weekend. Tricky Pixie is  made up of StrowlerFest co-founder SJ Tucker, who describes her music as MythPunk – an apt description as her tales are laced with mythical beasts, the land of Faerie, great horned gods and the like;  feisty fiddler Alexander James Adams (heir to the musical legacy of Heather Alexander, who some may remember from the Bay Area Celtic band Phoenyx);  and gorgeous Cellist Besty Tinney of Gaia Consort. They are all consummate performers with electric stage presence, impressive musical skill, and an admirable dose of comedic savvy.

Other performers included GB Mojo (fantastic!), Big Bad Gina, Dreamtrybe, and of course Winter and I. I’m hardly going to review my own show but suffice to say we were very well received indeed.

There were also workshops during the day at the hotel, much like Pantheacon, ranging from  circus arts to Bardic singing, runes and tarot and healing – a community of people coming together for a weekend and sharing those things most dear to their hearts.

So how do you know if you might be a Strowler?

Here’s a definition from Urban dictionary:

n. Vagabonds, Itinerants, Men of no settled Abode, of a precarious Life, Wanderers of Fortune, such as Gypsies, Beggars, Pedlars, Hawkers, Mountebanks, Fidlers, Country-Players, Rope-dancers, Jugglers, Tumblers, Shewers of Tricks, and Raree-show-men.
From A Dictionary of Thieving Slang, 1737

“Aligned with [steampunk] and other chronology-bending movements, strowlers focus on alternative forms of performance art, such as music, juggling, poi spinning, dancing, drumming, circus arts and ropework. Strowlers are also into craft, calling themselves “makers”. Strowlercon is an annual gathering of such folk.”   –  Urban Dictionary

I would add to this that we are the people who make our own way in life, for what is offered by mainstream society is not acceptable. So we live by our wits, our imagination, our creativity, and by the love and good will of one other,  for we each know the perils the other endures.

StrowlerFest was our Rock concert.

Think you might have missed something awesome?  You did, but take heart, there are two more Strowler-themed events scheduled for this year – StrowlerCon in Boston Oct. 8 – 10, a Con-style event with lots of workshops, concerts,  and wicked afterparties, as well as a VIP breakfast with the artists Sunday morning; and Strowler Nights in Seattle Oct. 29 – 31st, which sounds like it’s shaping up to be a full-on All Hallows Circus.

Winter and I will be performing at each, and I’ll be offering my Well of Song workshop.

Want to join us in Boston?  Visit for details and tickets.

Enter  “winterknight15” as the discount code to get 15% off your admission!

(Note: The VIP brunch with the artists Sunday morning is $40 and  the discount code applies for this as well. Also for the budget conscious they are helping folks find compatible roommates to share hotel rooms. It’s all at the link above.)

Seattle better for you?

Visit for details and tickets.

Enter  “winterknight” as the discount code to get 10% off your admission!

(Note: yep only 10% discount for Seattle. It’s filling up fast so discounts likely won’t go less than 10%, and you ought to get your tix soon. Day passes available as well, it’s all on the site. :+) )

Dangerous Beauty CDs in process of being mailed

Well I said I’d put any relevant updates here on my blog about Pandemonaeon’s Dangerous Beauty release ETA, so in case any of you are checking here for that, here’s the news:

We have mailed about half the pre-orders out already – and then ran out of envelopes. Sure looked like we had tons. More envelopes are on order now and should be here in a day or two, wherein we will promptly fill the remaining orders. This really has been the “people plan, God laughs” project in terms of timing. I feel a little embarrassed about how long this has taken and have certainly learned a thing or two about how I will structure the pre-order option in the future. I can only hope you find the music worth the wait, and as always Winter and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support, patience and understanding. Managing every aspect of two separate music projects is a big job and sometimes little details get missed. Like making sure we had enough envelopes!

A few words about Strowlers

In an America where England won the Revolutionary War, the king of the independent nation of Cascadia has just died and his nineteen-year-old daughter, the heir, has disappeared while en route back home to claim her throne. In these uncertain times, a software engineer, a failed arcanologist, a brewer priest, a traveling guitarist, and a gorgeous IT specialist must work together to protect the missing princess when she arrives at their door, pursued by mysterious assailants.

This is the back story upon which the series of Strowler events Winter and I will be performing at this fall are based.

In this version of history, “MAGIC is real and studied in the great universities, SCIENCE is pervasive and advanced, and MYTHICAL CREATURES are more an annoyance than a wonder.”

So what is a Strowler?

The original definition is from 18th century thieves cant: “n. Vagabonds, Itinerants, Men of no settled Abode, of a precarious Life, Wanderers of Fortune, such as Gypsies, Beggars, Pedlars, Hawkers, Mountebanks, Fidlers, Country-Players, Rope-dancers, Jugglers, Tumblers, Shewers of Tricks, and Raree-show-men.” (From the Dictionary of Thieving Slang, 1737)

K Wiley, producer of the Strowler Events , says “I saw this definition and immediately realized: that is us. That is what we are and what we do. And it means even more in the modern sense. To us, it is a word for people who make their own way, because the status quo is insufficient.”

It will come as no surprise that I resonate strongly with this ideal.  I have lived the bulk of my life this way, as have most of the people I spend time with. In a world that seems largely insane,  it is a mark of sanity to strive to create something different. We seek to live according to beauty and harmony, in reverence and respect of one another and all life.  We seek to create alternate ways of being in the world, of loving and laughing and creating something that didn’t exist a moment before. These gatherings of the tribes always serve to seal bonds with others of like mind and to remind us that we do not walk the path alone.

So I am well pleased to have been invited to join in three Strowler themed events with several artists I have admired for a very long time.

Wendy Rule, SJ Tucker, Tricky Pixie, Heather Dale, and the Gypsy Nomads, to name just a few.

You can read more about Strowlers on the website if you like, but suffice to say, this is going to be a fun backdrop upon which to play. Kind of Steampunky in it’s recreation of historical events, it will feature circus arts, a maker’s showcase, and a strong gypsy spirit among a gathering of folks committed to living imaginative lives. If you’ve been hankering for a gathering to stretch the boundaries of what you beleive is possible, these events may hit the spot.

If you do decide to attend any of the three, you can get 10% off your ticket by entering the discount code “winterknight” when you buy your tickets.

Single day passes are now available  for the St. Louis, MO show and can be bought here:

Weekend passes for the Boston and Seattle events are also available at the above address and the discount code applies.

Hope to see many of you there!

Blessings to you all, Strowlers each and every one of you, in your own way.

The Barter Project

Hi Folks –

Given the precarious state of our economy, and the rather dubious feelings I have regarding the alleged  solutions,  I have decided to try a little experiment. I want to see just how much of my life I can barter for.  I have a variety of skills that may be useful to folks, which I will list here. Then I will list things that I want or need in my life.  My only rule is, it has to be something I truly want/need, I don’t want to fill my life with trinkets just because barter is cool.  As far as figuring out value, I’ve been mulling this over, wondering if I need to establish some sort of “unit of worth”, based on how many hours something takes to create, but for now I think I will leave each transaction up to individual negotiation. It sounds more fun, and I think we’ll learn more about each other if we have to share our process of creation in order to determine value. I am open to rethinking this as the project develops, we’ll just see what makes sense.

So –  here are the things I am good at and willing to offer as part of my barter project.

Web and print design
Hand made clothing  – from scratch or repair something you love  (Alas can’t accommodate leather)
Beautiful recycled things I find
Interior design
Home cooked meals – I am an outstanding cook
Recording services
Editing services
Music – recorded CDs or downloads
Music – live performance to spice up your event

I’ll try to have photos up within a month of the “things” I can offer, such as clothing, art, etc.

What I am interested in receiving:

Bags of groceries – food from your garden. (Not able to have my own garden until next spring)
Fresh eggs/meat from your farm
Baked bread
Handmade clothing, shoes
Handmade soap
Handmade candles, incense
Frequent flyer miles
Travel opportunities, i.e. places to stay
Silver or gold coin

I am also open to other ideas I may not have thought of.  And I’ll likely add to this list over time, but this will get the project started.  Let’s see what we can do!

Pandemonaeon Musings

Wow. I just finished listening to the Pandemonaeon mixes Winter did while on tour, and was surprisingly moved. These songs are sounding gorgeous to me, and it is pleasing indeed that songs I have heard more times than I care to admit over the last couple of years could have this effect on me. Winter has done a fine job and we are closer to done than I thought.

I know you’ve been hearing that for awhile, and it does remain to be seen how various schedules line up – Winter and I have been like ships passing in the night for almost two months.  But even with crazy schedules, there are only a few more vocal parts and some mix finessing and we are off to the printers.

And the tide of emotion that washed over me as part of this mix review compels me to write.  The spaces that these songs evoke represent the moments I feel most close to the Divine.  Striving to express the colors and moods of the realms that most inspire me, that come from the deepest places I have been graced to touch, this is the most powerful thing I do in my life.  And to hear that what I feel inside is in fact being translated, well, it makes all the 16 hour days, and months of poverty, and missing parties because I’m recording, and missing festivals because I am saving to print the album, etc. all worth it.

This album reflects the deepest parts of my soul, and I know Winter feels the same way. I think my bandmates must feel this to an extent as well. (They certainly aren’t in it for the money, that much is certain!) In some way they must feel they can put a piece of their own soul into this music in an authentic way. And it shows in their contributions.

I am not saying “aren’t we great” here at all. Rather, I am feeling extremely humbled by the sheer raw power of music, and profoundly grateful to have a part in it, to serve this serpent of such great mystery. I will probably never be a master, but I will ever aspire to become a more and more worthy vessel, that I may always have the chance to glimpse eternity in this way.

Every Stranger is a Friend We Haven’t Met Yet

Every stranger is a friend we haven’t met yet.  This is a saying I learned from Loreena McKennitt, and I’ve always admired it.  It speaks to an attitude of life that I find both adventurous and healthy. How might it change us if we were to adopt this view? Might we have less fear of one another, less tendency to dismiss each other out of hand?  I suspect so.

These are the thoughts that engaged me on the second leg of my journey. To keep my hotel expenses down, I made use of a service called is a community of over a million members who open their homes to travelers. It warms my heart to no end to learn there are so many people in the world willing to open their homes to a stranger. It speaks of trust, and faith in our fellow man.  Three families put me up on three separate nights, knowing only what I chose to share on my online profile, knowing only what their gut told them about me.

The accommodations run the gamut on so learning to ask the right questions is important. You can find everything from the dilapidated hippie couch with partying college students to guest bedrooms in elegant homes, all with fellow travelers eager to hear of your adventures.  I plan to explore the couchsurfing community quite extensively over the next several years.

I arrived in New York Friday evening exhausted and amazed that I had driven all the way across the country. My little car is a trooper!  Bernadette, the local mover and shaker and producer of the Beltane Festival, put me up in a gorgeous Victorian house that used to be a safe house for some of the gangs of New York, and treated me like a rock star for the next three days. The festival itself was lovely. I performed last and right before the main ritual. My guitar playing is definitely bumpier than I would like but the audiences seem to enjoy it well enough. I suspect I am my own worst critic. Bumps aside, it felt wonderful to sing and play instruments. It engages my whole being in a way that singing alone does not.  The feeling of evoking the spirit of a song, commanding it, seducing it, and delivering it to others is one of the most satisfying things I have ever known. There is just nothing like it.

The ritual itself was lovely. Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone were over from Ireland and led it. There were about 120 people there, in a glorious meadow with blooming trees all around and frogs singing their twilight song.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a Beltane ritual and it definitely evoked the best of earth magick. Gavin and Janet both brought with them a feeling of ancient magick that I haven’t felt since I was in Ireland myself several years ago.

This little town, Cornwall-on Hudson, is right on the Hudson river and is green as can be, with old world buildings mingling with natures abundance. I could easily live here, in another life.

Today I head to another retreat center about an hour from here, to settle in for a performance tomorrow. I love this life. I know it is a lifestyle that doesn’t make sense to many, but for me it’s the only thing that has ever felt right. Blessings to you all from gorgeous upstate New York, and may you all find and live your passion.