Candle, Incense, Ritual, and Black Pagan Women Dealing with Racism

© photo courtsey of Flickr.com secretlondon123

Psychology of Women Quarterly recently published a report citing the ineffectiveness of the coping strategies of black women dealing with racism in June. The black media outlets are debating this recent study and I thought to interject my personal opinion on this topic, on Daughters of Eve, since many of us have used incense, candles, and rituals as part of our way of life and/or spirituality.

I actually listened to the full podcast interview by the author of the study, Tawanda Geer. Sadly, when she spoke of using rituals and symbols, what followed as an example was crucifix and church. It is, therefore, unfair for me to really debate her research for I am sure her research volunteers are African-American women who identify as Christians. I’ve noticed she has received some flak from other Christians based on a very small article that was published ( http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-07/sp-aws071111.php). I highly recommend listening to her podcast in its entirely to better grasp the methods that she uses, including terminology (http://pwq.sagepub.com/content/35/2/215/suppl/DC1). This piece is regarding black women who are pagan.

Ms. Geer used two terminology; active spirituality and passive spirituality. Ms. Geer defined active spirituality as attending church (interacting with others) and passive as rituals (I will correlate this with solitary/non-interaction with others). Her definition of rituals (this is just what I’m interpreting) is prayer, holding a crucifix (or other religious symbols), burning candles, and lighting incense. As a non-Christian, I couldn’t relate to how any of the examples of “passive” are not active.

For black pagans, (I will use the term Pagan to define outside the 3 Abraham religions, or blending of one of the three religions with non-Abraham tradition, with respect). When burning candles, there is intention that goes into the selecting the color of candles and/or selecting a candle for specific purpose (decrease anxiety, welcoming positive energy, healing candles, binding, banishing, 7-day candles, etc.), and scent (if you use scented candles). Many of us don’t simply pick out a random candle without intention. The small act of lighting the candle and extinguishing the candle is sacred and thought out thoroughly for some of us. The process is active.

For black pagans, incense is also an “active” process, pending if we believe in deities, energy, and/or spirit. Each incense and/or fragrance is symbolic of a deity, a day of the week, a festival day, a cause (to bind, to cure, to heal, to ease pain, and to invoke passion, etc.), and energy. The process is active.

The use of symbols (pentacle, ankh, chaos, the wheel, crescent moon, etc.) holds power. All around, many of us believe that all that we do and use for our rituals and/or “work” holds power and intention.

I believe most of us would agree that incense, candles, and symbols are active spirituality, and all three are our rituals. At times, these rituals are not just for special occasions, but on a day-to-day occurrence. Similar to always having that first cup of coffee, for coffee junkies, in the morning has become a coffee drinker ritual.

Finally, Ms. Geer defined “active” spirituality as actually meeting like-minded people. She references attending church (a group of like-minded people) as “active spirituality”. It is a support group in the church that addresses the black female racial and sexist issues. I’m assuming “church” is equivalent to group circles, pagan pride events, pagan conferences, pagan internet live groups, and/or open rituals (as opposed to being solitary).

How do my rituals relate to being black, a woman, and pagan dealing with prejudice? Well, first I must say that pain is pain. I know there has been uproar within the black LGBT community and black heterosexual community (as in black heterosexuals who take issues with LGBT existence) with individuals (Wanda Sykes, for an example) giving HER personal opinion that being black is easier than being gay.  I don’t live in her shoes or any other black LGBT shoes who believe Mrs. Sykes is “right.” I believe they have a right to feel the way they do and give voice to their feelings. Notwithstanding, when it comes to my personal views on “which is painful” (being black vs. being female) pain is pain. I don’t believe one is more than the other. I do believe having a combination of all three hits you at once and cuts the deepest; being discriminated because I am a black woman who is Pagan. This is where I truly appreciate the Wiccan Redes line, “Mind the three-fold path, you should. Three times BAD and three times GOOD.” Being hit by all three does sting. I’m sure the black lesbians, bisexual, and transgendered feel the same pain. Therefore, when I do meditate to relieve such pain—I ask for the pain to be, not separate, but combined and lessened. I don’t desire the pain to go away for I want to build up semi-immunity to it. I want to understand it so I can empathize with others. I want to master (which I am very close to it) the art of detaching and, when needed, and reattach to it. For I know that “isms” will never go away. I’m reasonable of my petition. I need to channel it vs. banishing it. At times, bind the pain.

Since I am a henotheist, (eclectic, as well) I call upon the spirits (deity, intermediaries, etc.) who share my skin color, my gender, who understand the pain of being judged, underestimated, and, at times, unappreciated and forgotten. I ask of the Goddesses, Loas, and/or spirits how they’ve found the strength and continued on since time immortal. All along with my candles, symbols, and incense as active tools…listening very carefully to the Great Mothers/Goddess share their tale and remedies.

I’m not disputing Ms. Geer’s research, for her research is based on a specific group of black women who do not share my religious identity. I will not discredit her, for I can’t fully relate. However, I’m sure there are fellow pagan, black women who could. These are black pagan sisters who are not around many circles with diversity. They may reside in a predominately black community, yet most of the spiritual groups are Christian-based (or Judaism, Islamic). The nearest circle may not have that much diversity. Some have experienced racial prejudice within the pagan community. Then, there are those who are Wiccan or follow one of the ancient “European” ways, and not the African Traditional Religion. The positive side of Ms. Geer’s research is awakening me to the thought of those sisters. Sisters who may very well be interested in an active group setting; yet, there are barriers, so to speak, that limit such group interaction. Sisters who are pagan, which would very much would like to discuss the superficial discrimination of being a black woman who is pagan beyond her friends, family, and community, who are Christians. Yes, black Christian women share the plight of sexism and racism, along with us. Yet, what of being non-Christian? Or a combination of three?  There are times, I really don’t want to hear biblical quotes or “What Would Jesus Do?” With all respect to Jesus.

I call upon you all to send positive energies to those sisters from time to time. Set aside a “work” to alleviate pain and suffering. I also call upon those who have groups, website, blogs, group events of diversity to leave your information in the comment box (along with state and nearest city, if you will). Hopefully we can build a bridge of a virtual community of support, in love and light, to black sisters who are pagan, dealing with prejudices.

You are never alone along the path of Gods, Spirits, and our community.

Blessed Be!

About nouvellenoirgoddess
  • Mrs. Ebonee Newson

    I grew up in a Southern Baptist/Pentacostal Christian community where the women couldnt even stand on the platform t speak to the congreagation and did nothing more than sunday school not even choir director without having a male “help” her…and I also (since 13) grew up with a predominant white pagan family where the closest pagan would be hours or states away…so I can see it from both perspectives and truly know the plight…I also know the loneliness that a black female leader has in the Christian community where noone takes her seriously even with her own church. It saddens me to know that despite our lineage and our pride for self women are seen as so demeaning…I have learned to detach alot of my feelings because I know with holding on they would have crushed me.

    Many Blessings’
    Mrs. Ebonee
    http://theafricanamericanwiccan.blogspot.com/
    union city, ga

    • http://www.facebook.com/jacquiemg Jacquie Minerva Georges

      Blessings Ebonee! Yes, there is a lot of patriarchy in the “black church” I “work” Especially the fact that the black church is predominately women congregation members than males. Yet, the few males are in clergy positions. Nevertheless I recently read numerous of articles of black women clergy on the rise and it makes me proud!
       
       Women of the cloth: Female leadership becoming trend in black churches
       
      I have several black women clergy members as friends in another group that I take part in (we stay clear of religion talk out of respect for each others “difference”) There are topics we do discuss regarding our gender and our race in relationship to; politics, laws, and the black community—again, with respect to our different religion and even different Christian denominations.
       
      I thank you for sharing your link with us!
       

  • Mrs. Ebonee Newson

    I grew up in a Southern Baptist/Pentacostal Christian community where the women couldnt even stand on the platform t speak to the congreagation and did nothing more than sunday school not even choir director without having a male “help” her…and I also (since 13) grew up with a predominant white pagan family where the closest pagan would be hours or states away…so I can see it from both perspectives and truly know the plight…I also know the loneliness that a black female leader has in the Christian community where noone takes her seriously even with her own church. It saddens me to know that despite our lineage and our pride for self women are seen as so demeaning…I have learned to detach alot of my feelings because I know with holding on they would have crushed me.

    Many Blessings’
    Mrs. Ebonee
    http://theafricanamericanwiccan.blogspot.com/
    union city, ga

    • http://www.facebook.com/jacquiemg Jacquie Minerva Georges

      Blessings Ebonee! Yes, there is a lot of patriarchy in the “black church” I “work” Especially the fact that the black church is predominately women congregation members than males. Yet, the few males are in clergy positions. Nevertheless I recently read numerous of articles of black women clergy on the rise and it makes me proud!
       
       Women of the cloth: Female leadership becoming trend in black churches
       
      I have several black women clergy members as friends in another group that I take part in (we stay clear of religion talk out of respect for each others “difference”) There are topics we do discuss regarding our gender and our race in relationship to; politics, laws, and the black community—again, with respect to our different religion and even different Christian denominations.
       
      I thank you for sharing your link with us!
       

  • http://www.facebook.com/jacquiemg Jacquie Minerva Georges

    sorry the link to the article: http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2011/jul/24/women-of-the-cloth/ and I apologize for the grammatical error–holding a conversation with my head and folks around me-lol. BB!

    • Mrs. Ebonee Newson

      Trust me I do understand. Their are a few main reason there are more women in the church than men. The first of them being more single women are rearing their sons without a man who is physically in the “church”.  Secondly because ,following rational thought, if no men are rearing their sons in the church no new men will come in. Thirdly, women are the rocks, while slavery was taken place we were the ones teaching faith praising God/dess adn keeping the “church” alive. (IMO)

      • http://www.facebook.com/jacquiemg Jacquie Minerva Georges

        Interesting! For a long time, women were the spiritual leaders and healers (we still are, just that in some religion we’re not given a title: all the work, no credit). I’ve personally, also, witness that black men are not as “religious” than black women (speaking of Christianity in America). I’ve seen this on FB with many of my friends of color status- women tend to always mention God, Jesus, and heading to church. Were men are seldom. Even Dr. Boyce Watkins wrote about giving men who don’t go to church a chance.
         
        Yes, it has always been that the WOMAN is the teachers of our children when it comes to religion/spirituality. Hence were many religions the man can marry interfaith but the women are not (Islam) or the child takes the religion identity of the mother (Judaism). Christianity seems to require both. What I mean by that is I had AA men (when I would venture into dating sites) send me messages. I knew it wasn’t going to work for the male would write “Looking for a God-Fearing Woman” Which translate to me a “Christian” woman. I told them that it will not “work” for 1. I am not a Christian 2. I don’t fear deity as I don’t fear my parents nor would I fear my mate (reference to the “men is the head of the house for Jesus is the head of church”). I KNEW these men either 1. Were not really a devoted “Christian” but they think that line will attract women (especially black women). So automatically lying about whom you are and/or devotion is a turn off. 2. They want to mold me into being a “Christian” (not going to happen). Yet with black women, in general, who are Christian there is no “leeway” You must be a Christian. Even if you don’t go to church as much as they do—they have this hope of this will change. As long as you identify yourself as Christian, many of them are “ok”  
         
        I also found that black men would date a “non-believer” (not a Christian) more than black women would. Also there are more and more black men “coming out” as Atheist or Agnositc. This is just what I’ve experienced.

        • Mrs. Ebonee Newson

          That’s because men have been molded to always “go” for the women who are a Prvorbs 31 women…basically a describtion of a women who not only can take care of the household but business child rearing be up before the household and the last down all while putting her husband first and God before them both. I also dont fear any God or my fiance’ he knows I am the one who controls how the house runs. The only men of color I have ever known to be agnostic or atheist are from Europe.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jacquiemg Jacquie Minerva Georges

            Oh YES! The Proverb 31 woman; infamous. I attended my cousin’s wedding (she’s a Christian) and the elder (she is JW) spoke of the Proverb 31 woman (I rolled my eyes of his interpretation of what it means). Yes, it is the description of the woman regardless of her religion identity.
             
             Oh, I have many male friends and 2 female friends (as in close beyond internet world) who are black Atheist, Agonistic and proud. They’re from the states. Many felt comfortable revealing this to me or I reveal to them that they are a bit of Agnostic for I can tell by their speech. I guess many felt that the only way to be accepted in “black America” society is to state they are Christians: the “spiritual not religious” label is very “complicated” in the black American community. It is like a “wish” to have a scarlet letter (I wrote about this in my post “A Black Pagan: A Minority within the Minority”). I guess similar to recent polls showing that most Americans rather vote for a presidential candidate who is Gay than an Atheist. Yet, I sense the intensity at times within the black community. I know my open black Atheist friends did say they had it tough (especially those who attended HBCU). Yet, MANY of my female openly out Atheist friends does find men who are Christian (black Christians). Yet, from my black male Atheist friends it is much harder. This will bring me to my next article that I will touch upon Interracial Dating for many of them do date interracially because of the “less Christian criteria” outside of the black American community. Yes, I am one of them (lol). I believe in egalitarian relationships and parenting yes, the Proverb 31 women—but the description of such woman in men, too.   

  • http://www.facebook.com/jacquiemg Jacquie Minerva Georges

    sorry the link to the article: http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2011/jul/24/women-of-the-cloth/ and I apologize for the grammatical error–holding a conversation with my head and folks around me-lol. BB!

    • Mrs. Ebonee Newson

      Trust me I do understand. Their are a few main reason there are more women in the church than men. The first of them being more single women are rearing their sons without a man who is physically in the “church”.  Secondly because ,following rational thought, if no men are rearing their sons in the church no new men will come in. Thirdly, women are the rocks, while slavery was taken place we were the ones teaching faith praising God/dess adn keeping the “church” alive. (IMO)

      • http://www.facebook.com/jacquiemg Jacquie Minerva Georges

        Interesting! For a long time, women were the spiritual leaders and healers (we still are, just that in some religion we’re not given a title: all the work, no credit). I’ve personally, also, witness that black men are not as “religious” than black women (speaking of Christianity in America). I’ve seen this on FB with many of my friends of color status- women tend to always mention God, Jesus, and heading to church. Were men are seldom. Even Dr. Boyce Watkins wrote about giving men who don’t go to church a chance.
         
        Yes, it has always been that the WOMAN is the teachers of our children when it comes to religion/spirituality. Hence were many religions the man can marry interfaith but the women are not (Islam) or the child takes the religion identity of the mother (Judaism). Christianity seems to require both. What I mean by that is I had AA men (when I would venture into dating sites) send me messages. I knew it wasn’t going to work for the male would write “Looking for a God-Fearing Woman” Which translate to me a “Christian” woman. I told them that it will not “work” for 1. I am not a Christian 2. I don’t fear deity as I don’t fear my parents nor would I fear my mate (reference to the “men is the head of the house for Jesus is the head of church”). I KNEW these men either 1. Were not really a devoted “Christian” but they think that line will attract women (especially black women). So automatically lying about whom you are and/or devotion is a turn off. 2. They want to mold me into being a “Christian” (not going to happen). Yet with black women, in general, who are Christian there is no “leeway” You must be a Christian. Even if you don’t go to church as much as they do—they have this hope of this will change. As long as you identify yourself as Christian, many of them are “ok”  
         
        I also found that black men would date a “non-believer” (not a Christian) more than black women would. Also there are more and more black men “coming out” as Atheist or Agnositc. This is just what I’ve experienced.

        • Mrs. Ebonee Newson

          That’s because men have been molded to always “go” for the women who are a Prvorbs 31 women…basically a describtion of a women who not only can take care of the household but business child rearing be up before the household and the last down all while putting her husband first and God before them both. I also dont fear any God or my fiance’ he knows I am the one who controls how the house runs. The only men of color I have ever known to be agnostic or atheist are from Europe.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jacquiemg Jacquie Minerva Georges

            Oh YES! The Proverb 31 woman; infamous. I attended my cousin’s wedding (she’s a Christian) and the elder (she is JW) spoke of the Proverb 31 woman (I rolled my eyes of his interpretation of what it means). Yes, it is the description of the woman regardless of her religion identity.
             
             Oh, I have many male friends and 2 female friends (as in close beyond internet world) who are black Atheist, Agonistic and proud. They’re from the states. Many felt comfortable revealing this to me or I reveal to them that they are a bit of Agnostic for I can tell by their speech. I guess many felt that the only way to be accepted in “black America” society is to state they are Christians: the “spiritual not religious” label is very “complicated” in the black American community. It is like a “wish” to have a scarlet letter (I wrote about this in my post “A Black Pagan: A Minority within the Minority”). I guess similar to recent polls showing that most Americans rather vote for a presidential candidate who is Gay than an Atheist. Yet, I sense the intensity at times within the black community. I know my open black Atheist friends did say they had it tough (especially those who attended HBCU). Yet, MANY of my female openly out Atheist friends does find men who are Christian (black Christians). Yet, from my black male Atheist friends it is much harder. This will bring me to my next article that I will touch upon Interracial Dating for many of them do date interracially because of the “less Christian criteria” outside of the black American community. Yes, I am one of them (lol). I believe in egalitarian relationships and parenting yes, the Proverb 31 women—but the description of such woman in men, too.   

  • Crystal Blanton

    My dear friend and fellow Daughters of Eve writer, I am so excited and honored that you wrote this piece.  It is well done and so needed!!  The more voices we have, the more faces and voices we bring to create a fuller Pagan community together.  We all face some type of discrimination and coping with it within our families and not just within the community at large.  It is important for us to continue to talk about how we can support one another so that we can work towards sustaining community.  This is important work my dear…. so glad to be walking with you on this.  Hugs.

  • Crystal Blanton

    My dear friend and fellow Daughters of Eve writer, I am so excited and honored that you wrote this piece.  It is well done and so needed!!  The more voices we have, the more faces and voices we bring to create a fuller Pagan community together.  We all face some type of discrimination and coping with it within our families and not just within the community at large.  It is important for us to continue to talk about how we can support one another so that we can work towards sustaining community.  This is important work my dear…. so glad to be walking with you on this.  Hugs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/BreezeFire Angela Breezefire

    This was a wonderful article. It really opened my eyes to a point of view I never had considered before. I live in a rural area where the “small town mentality” is abundant. As difficult as it has been for me to find others accepting of my beliefs, I can only imagine how much more difficult it must be for my black pagan sisters. Thank you for sharing this and I will be doing some meditations and rituals as well. Blessed Be~ 

  • http://www.facebook.com/BreezeFire Angela Breezefire

    This was a wonderful article. It really opened my eyes to a point of view I never had considered before. I live in a rural area where the “small town mentality” is abundant. As difficult as it has been for me to find others accepting of my beliefs, I can only imagine how much more difficult it must be for my black pagan sisters. Thank you for sharing this and I will be doing some meditations and rituals as well. Blessed Be~ 

  • http://www.facebook.com/jacquiemg Jacquie Minerva Georges

    @Crystal: Glad to walk the path with you, as well (both spirituality and as Patheos writers).
     
    @Angela: Thank you so much for words, compassion, and “work”. I will set aside “work” for you, too, to find “peace” in a community that doesn’t understand our faith. Blessings to the both of you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jacquiemg Jacquie Minerva Georges

    @Crystal: Glad to walk the path with you, as well (both spirituality and as Patheos writers).
     
    @Angela: Thank you so much for words, compassion, and “work”. I will set aside “work” for you, too, to find “peace” in a community that doesn’t understand our faith. Blessings to the both of you!

  • Anonymous

    I am glad you posted this. Living in the south (in Georgia), being Nubian and a woman are constant issues here. So, being PAGAN is the ultimate SIN, especially if you were brought up in a Christian home, but “chose” to be a “witch” (in my case, it was not a choice, it was a natural gift).
    I am grateful that I did find a local group in Georgia that offers Wiccan Classes — if you will — that doesn’t care about the color of my skin or my sex and we can come together without irrelevent issues.
    The beautiful part about my path is that I have a loving husband right beside me!

    BLESSED BE!!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/jacquiemg Jacquie Minerva Georges

      Hi Evenah! I totally appreciate what you mean by living in the South and/or being a black woman and Pagan. I tend to focus on positive folks vs. the negative… I still have AA friends who are in the closet regarding being a non-Christian. Despite the fact that they are drawn to the ATR’s.  Education is very important, along with knowledge of history. At least for me when I do share my path/faith. I’m glad you have a wonderful support system intact. Especially being your mate. My ex is an Agnostic so when I held rituals, he would simply “let me be” He is very open minded when it comes to religious freedom and I am SO grateful for it. Even when we were separated and were “disputing” custody–not once my religion was used against to gain leverage. Having a support system is very important when dealing with “superficial” negative issues. BB!

  • Anonymous

    I am glad you posted this. Living in the south (in Georgia), being Nubian and a woman are constant issues here. So, being PAGAN is the ultimate SIN, especially if you were brought up in a Christian home, but “chose” to be a “witch” (in my case, it was not a choice, it was a natural gift).
    I am grateful that I did find a local group in Georgia that offers Wiccan Classes — if you will — that doesn’t care about the color of my skin or my sex and we can come together without irrelevent issues.
    The beautiful part about my path is that I have a loving husband right beside me!

    BLESSED BE!!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/jacquiemg Jacquie Minerva Georges

      Hi Evenah! I totally appreciate what you mean by living in the South and/or being a black woman and Pagan. I tend to focus on positive folks vs. the negative… I still have AA friends who are in the closet regarding being a non-Christian. Despite the fact that they are drawn to the ATR’s.  Education is very important, along with knowledge of history. At least for me when I do share my path/faith. I’m glad you have a wonderful support system intact. Especially being your mate. My ex is an Agnostic so when I held rituals, he would simply “let me be” He is very open minded when it comes to religious freedom and I am SO grateful for it. Even when we were separated and were “disputing” custody–not once my religion was used against to gain leverage. Having a support system is very important when dealing with “superficial” negative issues. BB!

  • lynn

    Love this post!

    And I really like the way your break down how burning the incense, and choosing the candles and doing our pagan rituals is just as active as going to church is for others. Christians are oriented towards the fellowship experience but that doesn’t mean that what we do, which is different, is not as powerful as the traditional church thing. 

    A lot of us black pagans are solitary — but that doesn’t mean that our experience is not as authentic as others who have community. One of the tenets of my tradition — which is my own made-up tradition, ha ha — is to treat everyone I meet as a ‘buddha’ who is put there  in my life with a lesson to teach me. Every morning after meditating I make that part of my prayers. So if I encounter a person who cuts me off in traffic and gets on my nerves well then maybe that person is there to teach me some patience! As I go about my daily life there are so many opportunities to put my spirituality in practice, so I do not feel it is necessary to have the pagan equivalent of a “church home” in order to grow spiritually. 

    Growing up in a secular black American household I do not feel stigmatized for my choice of spirituality. No one in my family cares and my friends are of all different faiths, including atheist. Growing up in a non-typical way compared to a lot of black folks I am used to being different so it’s no big deal to me by now. I did attend a Baptist church as an adult for some years and while I did love some things about it, like singing in the choir, I also found a “groupthink” aspect to it that I didn’t like. It was smothering. I’m happy here now out in blackpaganland.

    On my blog http://www.blackpagan.com, I feature interviews with other black pagan types once a month, and I’m planning to up that to twice a month beginning in the fall as long as I can find enough folks to talk to. I talk to everybody, from “ATR to Wicca,” as I include the non-Abrahamic African and Afro-Diasporic people under the pagan umbrella as well. I also talk about other happenings in the pagan world, from my perspective, and lots of other things. I update weekly and on the main page have permanent links to other black pagan blogs, including Daughters of Eve, so that all of us can begin to connect more with each other here in cyberspace. 

    On that subject, you and Crystal here at Pantheon have a TREMENDOUS opportunity to link us black pagans together in the form of putting permanent links of other pagan bloggers of color on your sidebar somehow. Hope that is not too audacious a suggestion. That is what the white pagans do — check out the wildhunt, they help connect each other, and we should be doing it too. This is especially important for the solitary types who might not know any other pagans of color in their immediate area. So thanks for putting out this initial call for community in the form of soliciting websites, blogs, etc. 

    Looking forward to reading your upcoming post on relationships. Peace!

    • http://www.facebook.com/jacquiemg Jacquie Minerva Georges

      Hi Lynn! I must confess that I have no clue how to place a tool bar on the side of the blogs. Our format has been “adjusted” to Crystal and myself “liking” by our administrators. I will defin ask if we can implement one for it’s, indeed, a good idea! Thanks for the tip and sharing your link. I placed your blogspot on my favorites!BB

      • lynn

        Thanks for your consideration and for checking out my blog. Looking at some of the other pagan blogs on Patheos, it looks like Jason’s is the only one with outside links. Perhaps that is policy or something.

        Also, I’m glad to see more frequent posting on Daughters of Eve! Always a treat to find something new up here.

  • lynn

    Love this post!

    And I really like the way your break down how burning the incense, and choosing the candles and doing our pagan rituals is just as active as going to church is for others. Christians are oriented towards the fellowship experience but that doesn’t mean that what we do, which is different, is not as powerful as the traditional church thing. 

    A lot of us black pagans are solitary — but that doesn’t mean that our experience is not as authentic as others who have community. One of the tenets of my tradition — which is my own made-up tradition, ha ha — is to treat everyone I meet as a ‘buddha’ who is put there  in my life with a lesson to teach me. Every morning after meditating I make that part of my prayers. So if I encounter a person who cuts me off in traffic and gets on my nerves well then maybe that person is there to teach me some patience! As I go about my daily life there are so many opportunities to put my spirituality in practice, so I do not feel it is necessary to have the pagan equivalent of a “church home” in order to grow spiritually. 

    Growing up in a secular black American household I do not feel stigmatized for my choice of spirituality. No one in my family cares and my friends are of all different faiths, including atheist. Growing up in a non-typical way compared to a lot of black folks I am used to being different so it’s no big deal to me by now. I did attend a Baptist church as an adult for some years and while I did love some things about it, like singing in the choir, I also found a “groupthink” aspect to it that I didn’t like. It was smothering. I’m happy here now out in blackpaganland.

    On my blog http://www.blackpagan.com, I feature interviews with other black pagan types once a month, and I’m planning to up that to twice a month beginning in the fall as long as I can find enough folks to talk to. I talk to everybody, from “ATR to Wicca,” as I include the non-Abrahamic African and Afro-Diasporic people under the pagan umbrella as well. I also talk about other happenings in the pagan world, from my perspective, and lots of other things. I update weekly and on the main page have permanent links to other black pagan blogs, including Daughters of Eve, so that all of us can begin to connect more with each other here in cyberspace. 

    On that subject, you and Crystal here at Pantheon have a TREMENDOUS opportunity to link us black pagans together in the form of putting permanent links of other pagan bloggers of color on your sidebar somehow. Hope that is not too audacious a suggestion. That is what the white pagans do — check out the wildhunt, they help connect each other, and we should be doing it too. This is especially important for the solitary types who might not know any other pagans of color in their immediate area. So thanks for putting out this initial call for community in the form of soliciting websites, blogs, etc. 

    Looking forward to reading your upcoming post on relationships. Peace!

    • http://www.facebook.com/jacquiemg Jacquie Minerva Georges

      Hi Lynn! I must confess that I have no clue how to place a tool bar on the side of the blogs. Our format has been “adjusted” to Crystal and myself “liking” by our administrators. I will defin ask if we can implement one for it’s, indeed, a good idea! Thanks for the tip and sharing your link. I placed your blogspot on my favorites!BB

      • lynn

        Thanks for your consideration and for checking out my blog. Looking at some of the other pagan blogs on Patheos, it looks like Jason’s is the only one with outside links. Perhaps that is policy or something.

        Also, I’m glad to see more frequent posting on Daughters of Eve! Always a treat to find something new up here.

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