Wyrd Words: Cultural Appropriation and Pagan Fear


If little Suzy wants to go up onto a mountain top, burn some sage, and try to get in touch with her extremely distant native American roots, that’s one thing. When Little Suzy comes back down from the mountain and claims to be a Hopi spiritual leader, that’s quite another. [Read more...]

Guest Post: I am Guilty of Cultural Appropriation

Hopi Kachina doll with outstretched winged arms against blue sky / Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

It is always an exacting experience to examine our own contributions to perpetuating oppressive cultural norms. What is personal inevitably triggers resistance to concepts that directly confront our own behaviors. This is a process of evolution of belief and social understanding. While my core beliefs have remained constant, my insight into what those beliefs require in terms of actions and the compassionate support of others is in a constant process of maturation. [Read more...]

Queer of Swords: Cultural Inappropriation


Fighting cultural appropriation is a significant part of the struggle for civil rights in modern times. Nevertheless, all religions, including modern neopagan paths, are steeped in cultural appropriation. Clearly significant harm can be caused, but is it always wrong? Where are the boundaries? How can we strive to deal with this issue ethically? [Read more...]

Syncretic Electric: A Brief Examination of Cultural Appropriation


We, as Pagans, need to be aware of the cultural baggage that we carry with us from our presence in the larger American cultural community. Simply because we are Pagan does not mean that we have entirely removed ourselves from the effects of the larger culture. We need to be aware of the sources of our practices as well as their original contexts and meanings. [Read more...]