It’s a Wonderful Q

This is the story about what brought The Bad Witch permanently out of the broom closet. Mostly.

OK – it’s sort of about Star Trek and George Bailey. But it’s mostly about a wonderful life-lesson.

TBW was a huge geek in the 80s and 90s. Aw, who am I kidding? I still am. I gleefully take my kids to Anime Weekend each September and teach Death Note in World Lit; I can name all of the Doctors in order and even have plans for a Tadis-based present for my son’s 16th birthday (don’t tell); I prefer the original Tron and can tell you precisely why; I have the autographs of Patrick Stewart, Johnathan Frakes, and Bret Spiner,[1] I have lines I regularly quote from ST:NG,[2] I made really awwwweeeesome Star Fleet costumes complete with digitized, ping-sounding comcorder pins for myself and The Bad Hubby one Halloween,[3] and The Bad Husband and I would record The Next Generation on a DVD player and watch it together in my parents’ living room; and I saw Return of the Jedi (in its original showing, I’m that old), Willow, and Labyrinth at the theatre. If that’s not enough, the bed on which I lost my virginity at barely-16 was parallel to a wall that still donned decade-old Star Wars wallpaper.

So when everyone else came up with brilliant ideas for a Q post for The Pagan Blog Project, I couldn’t stop thinking of John deLancie. He is a deity, after all.

In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Q is a childish and narcissistic “godlike” character who starts off as an overbearing asshole who derides humanity for all of its flaws. As the series progressed, Q and the “Q Continuum” to which he belonged, became more and more enamored with humans and their unique, um, humanness.

In the episode, “Tapestry,” Captain Picard dies as an indirect result of a brash decision made in his youth. The Q Continuum, a conglomeration of omnipotent beings, opts to show Jean-Luc what his life would be like if he had not helped his sore-loser comrade rig a Dom-Jot table as a Starfleet ensign. (Not a Trekkie? Just go with it.) In a storyline reminiscent of It’s A Wonderful Life,[4] Jean-Luc realizes that his all-out ballsiness is both what caused him to need a heart-replacement at a young age and what caused him to become Captain of the Starfleet Flagship, Enterprise.

Hee-haw! Captain Jen-Luc Picard, the richest captain in Starfleet!

Very recently I had a Q moment of my own. I’m not saying that an asshole deity showed up to illustrate to me that the genuinely happy and profoundly blessed person I am today was the direct result of a brash decision made in my, um, youth – we’ll go with “youth,” but . . . an asshole deity showed up to illustrate to me that the genuinely happy and profoundly blessed person I am today was the direct result of a brash decision made four years ago.

I won’t get into the details – mostly because they are horrifying – but in 2008 I just earned my PhD, was married to a man I loved, had three wonderful children, and hated my life. I had been in the Pagan-broom-closet for six years and had spent so much time discussing Foucauldian PowerKnowledge, Performativity, Deleuzian schizoanalysis, and WTF any of that had to do with The Manchurian Candidate, Alfred Hitchcock, Dr. Strangelove, and Ken Keasey, that I forgot damn-near everything Bertie ever taught me about – well, anything.

But in the fall of 2008, I got reckless and let myself get proverbially impaled by a Naussicaan spear. When I found myself dead-before-my-time and staring-down an preposterous deity – The Q? Really? – I began regretting rigging that Dom-Jot table to protect my two impetuous and dishonorable friends. Or, if you prefer, having taken over the ol’Building and Loan in Bedford Falls.

But, in the end, like Picard and Bailey, the asshole-Q-deity showed me what life would have been like if I hadn’t taken that one seeming misstep. Sure, I might have a properly functioning heart capable of withstanding the energy blast of a Lenarian rebel attack (Go-oooo with it!) but I sure wouldn’t have Zuzu’s petals.[5]

You see, it was the whack-a-doo-ness that followed in the 18 months after that Naussicaan attack that I dug my heals in deep into Ceremonial Magic, academic publishing, and blogging at TBWFiles. It was in the 12 months after that in which I had to force myself to find any sort of will at all, let alone True Will. Then I chased my tail for a bit. But now, I think I am ready to laugh at the tip of that blade protruding from my wicked sternum.

Thanks Q. You are a fecking arsehole. What would I do without you?

Hug and kisses,



This post is part of a year-long project. Rowan Pendragon’s The Pagan Blog Project; “a way to spend a full year dedicating time each week very specifically to studying, reflecting, and sharing . . . .    The project consists of a single blog post each week posted on prompt that will focus on a letter of the alphabet” (

[1] From the 1992 Chicago Theatre presentation of Every Good Boy Deserves Favor to which The Bad Husband took me on our first anniversary.

[2] “Human. Play Dom-jot?” said in a Naussicaan accent. “Tapestry.” Season 6, Episode 15.

“There are four lights!” said in a British accent. “Chain of Command.” Season 6, Episode 10 & 11.

“I am superior, sir, in many ways, but I would gladly give it up to be human,” said in an android accent. “Encounter at Farpoint.” Season 1, Episode 1.)

[3] And we won a contest, as usual.

[4] The Bad Hubby’s Favorite all time movie. I, myself, love Jimmy Stewart but hate-hate-hate-hate the simpering George Bailey with a passion. The Bad Therapist and I are working on it.

[5] The year I left Chicago, my mentor published a full-length book on spirituality and self-forgiveness. She had been working on it in my last year with her. I never bothered to read it.