Today, we are making an official and public business commitment to what we have always believed was our obligation as witchcraft practicing pagans. Protecting and conserving the world that supports us and it’s residents as best we as a business can while still achieving growth and profitability for the business so it can reach and serve more of the global pagan/spiritual/metaphysical community with connections, information, and opportunities. No conditions, no exceptions, and with as few “limits” as possible.
While we have only really been at this particular endeavor for a year now. It has been our goal our entire lives to be a positive and helpful force in the Universe by serving and helping people in whatever capacity we are able, personally and in our business lives. No strings attached, no conditions applied, yet with standards set and boundaries applied to prevent us from being taken advantage of personally or business wise.
That becomes much harder to do in a business world like we have, but it’s not impossible. It’s definitely a lot harder than it sounds. We have to set standards and boundaries that are not always favorable to the masses (like shifting to digital only and charging for what used to be a free newspaper), and stick to them.
Things like taking on debt and investors to make ends meet has to be weighed carefully as that is the #1 cause of any business becoming “profit” focused instead of staying true to the purpose the business is supposed to serve. Making payments to the lender/investor so equipment, services, and tools necessary to run the business don’t get repossessed or terminated becomes the priority and a push for growth perpetuates a cycle of increasing debt and less “actual profit” applied back to the business serving more people in new ways.
This is why we are seeing tons of lay offs happening all around the world right now. These companies took on debt and have to make the payments or fold. Employees are the biggest cost without coverage from revenues for every business that hires them and are almost always the first cost to be cut when cuts are necessary.
We won’t ever have that issue because we don’t take on debt to pay the people that work for and with us. We might fall behind, we might be short more often than not, and we might have to let people go when they move beyond us or don’t meet our standards, but we don’t have to “do whatever it takes” (which creates opportunities for shady practices like fraud) to pay our people.
Taking on ads for companies that don’t match our values and require us to change them if we want their money/aid is #2. We have had some advertisers and businesses we’ve wanted to work with make this requirement. They exist and we can’t pretend they don’t. We’d likely be in much better financial shape than we are in if we did, but it goes against our value of being open to all walks, practices, and beliefs and the people who hold them. So we don’t take them on.
We have to have a whole lot of faith and we have to believe in and not lose sight of the business’ purpose to serve the community as a whole, no matter the circumstances. We have to do jobs and things outside of the business to make money to invest in it so it stays afloat even in lean times, personally. We have to know laws and policies and abide by them, even when those we work with and contribute to us don’t. We also have to listen and observe and make changes quickly when we discover that our methods are contrary to our commitments. We have to admit publicly when we are wrong and what we have to do to change it. We’ve done our best to do that.
Starting our 2nd year, when we renewed our registration with the State of Utah today, we added that commitment to it. We are now legally required to report on our tangible and measurable methods of doing more than making a financial profit. We have to show how we have made a positive impact on our community and the environment in the past year and show it publicly. We have always tried to be transparent and open about why we do what we do, but now, to deepen that commitment, we’ve made it so that we legally have to or our registration can be revoked.
We have to wait 7-10 days for the application to process and get our confirmation that the conversion is complete, but the application has been submitted, the fee has been paid, and this post will serve as our first report publicly.
So, here goes.
In February of 2022, we purchased the Metaphysical Times LLC business with several goals in mind. Make it profitable and use the profits to create and grow new options and programs that serve and support our global pagan/spiritual/metaphysical community in any ways that we can.
1) We’ve created a whole new magazine and merchandise with the purpose of supporting organizations that support artists and artists themselves of all kinds with everything from promotion and visibility to sales of their work to individuals and institutions that see us.
It’s been a struggle. Many organizations don’t know us yet, so when we approach them, we are met with skepticism and expectations that we are only reaching out to grow our name by piggy backing off of them and their already established efforts. We understand that, and have worked very hard to establish ourselves in our own right before reaching out to them again. We are breaking through that obstacle with each new business we connect with and from the people that we work with and serve.
2) We’ve helped our neighbors locally in more ways than we can really count. We try to really do that better and in a way that gives them dignity and respectability that lasts longer than a single payment of cash will and instead of broadcasting the fact that they are struggling and need the community’s help to make their ends meet (like a GoFundMe does). We advocate for them, provide resource options we are aware of outside of us, and if need be, help them get in touch so they can get what they need.
We don’t broadcast that they are struggling. We promote them trying not to struggle. We don’t apply conditions. We don’t judge and aren’t “selective”. If someone needs help, we know about it, and we can provide it, we do whether they are pagans or not, because as far as we are concerned, people are our community. All of them.
3) We hold space for connections between people that need to be made wherever they are. There is no way for us to know who needs what information or when, but we do know that connections need to be made all over the place all the time. Without us, many of the connections that need to be made might not be, and that really doesn’t sit well with us. We get that done, no matter what, because our team is committed to and believes that whole heartedly. It is why we do what we do.
4) As is to be expected when a new company takes ownership of an already established company, many of the fans and followers of the former ownership drop off. They will also publicly outcry their discontent for the business now, the new owners, and try to retract any interaction they had with the business prior to the new ownership. New owners prepare for that. Doesn’t make it easy on the psyche when it actually starts happening, but it is anticipated and calculated into the facts and figures during the discovery and analysis process of the purchase and transition.
We will point to the new ownership of Twitter as a case in point. This is not at all uncommon, it’s just not as publicized as that case has been, and for good reason. The last thing the new business owner wants to do is bad mouth and degrade the reputation the business had before they bought it. Doing so is really bad form and they rely heavily on the business’ reputation (not the former owner’s) to carry it though the transition.
5) In March, we registered our newspaper with the Library of Congress by applying for and obtaining our own ISSN #s. This makes our issues officially searchable among the big name newspapers around the world in the Library of Congress, preserves our copyright protections by tracking and storing exactly when our first issue was created with them. The application was approved and we received our ISSN #s in April of 2022. We had to send a print copy to them, so we had to wait until after our first issue was printed to complete the process.
We recently submitted the first every print copy of Full Moon Magazine with an application for it’s own number and are waiting for that to finish processing and the numbers to be issued and sent to us.
6) We took several steps to begin transitioning to a business that is physically less damaging to the environment as a printed newspaper and magazine can be. We really struggled with the conflict between our personal commitment to protect Mother Nature in our daily practices and printing newspapers that we know pollute the air and water and add to landfills 8 times a year. We needed to do something different so we could sleep at night but keep our commitment to our readers and advertisers at the same time. So, we:
a) shifted to digital only copies until we could find printers that match our values and who’s services we could afford without taking on debt. We have a very tall order. They have to allow us to only print the number of issues we need instead of a print run of a set number of copies whether we need them or not (reducing waste), use proven sustainable and environmentally friendly products to create their paper and inks, they have to be able to grow with us over time as we grow, and the cost has to be low enough that our customers can afford them without us taking a loss. We can handle breaking even. We can’t handle or sustain a loss on every copy and stay in business.
b) took a B Lab Assessment to determine our standing against B Corp already and figure out what steps we could take to improve our score and eventually become B Corp Certified ourselves. At that time, our assessment score was a 67. A score of 80 is required for a certification as a B Corp.
c) began tracking figures we didn’t have that caused us to have a 0 on the assessment in several areas because we didn’t have figures to input at the time. We hadn’t been in business for very long at that point, so the figures required weren’t available.
d) scheduled a date in our calendar to retake the assessment 1 year after we took the first one, and every year thereafter to ensure we are meeting our goals and staying in alignment with our values, whether we get an official certification or not.
e) when we discovered that it was a possibility to change the status of our business with the state of Utah so that we can actively pursue social and environmental impact goals as well as profitability, and the state recognize that legally, we paid the double cost and took active steps to do so when we renewed our registration and licenses for 2023.
We certainly aren’t all the way to where we want to be, but we are getting there. We look forward to sharing our progress with you and celebrating the wins along the way.
<3 Christy and Henry
Metaphysical Times LLC