Why Everyone Hates Donald Sterling But I Am Grateful For The Opportunity

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Why did the news of a racist guy surprise anyone in America, and why did it suck up so much attention? Well, I imagine that most of us are sick and tired of hearing about Donald Sterling, and the adventures of a racist basketball team owner and his ethnic girlfriend. The initial shock of the situation has long since worn off and many of us have been far past the moment of wanting to move on. But it seems like there are lessons in the ridiculousness of some old White dude who happens to be racist … [Read more...]

My Favorite Moments; Happy 5th Anniversary Patheos! ‪#‎Patheos5Yrs‬

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My favorite moments, as a writer for Patheos and with readers, are every single moment. I feel like I get the opportunity to explore one of the most challenging, often misunderstood, and complex issues around the intersectionality of ethnic culture and alternative spirituality. Being a Black woman has its own distinct culturally significant challenges, and moments of beauty and resiliency. The addition of Paganism to that path adds to the very interesting, multifaceted perspective and experience … [Read more...]

My Hair Doesn’t Get Longer, It Gets Tighter: A Symbol of My Path

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My path is a continuous evolution of unwinding spirals, leading to a place that is still unknown and yet very magical. My hair is often a metaphor for my life in that I am not sure how I will be by the end of the day, but it is certain that it will be different than I started. I have come to understand that my life is not getting less complicated, just like my hair doesn’t get any longer. The longer my hair grows, the tighter the curl becomes, and the shorter the strand appears in its natural s … [Read more...]

Everyday Celebration: Happy Earth Day to the Mother and Birthday to the Dad

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Today is Earth Day, and it is also my father’s birthday: the celebration of two very important things in my life, two things worth honoring and celebrating. The miracle of living is something I often think about. It is incredible to think of the mystery behind how we are, who we are, where we are, living here on the planet. There are a lot of theories of the how, the where, and the what, but in reality, I am just amazed to be here, on this green (and brown if you are in California) earth. Today … [Read more...]

Surviving as a Black professional By Cecily Joy Willowe

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Surviving as a Black professional By Cecily Joy WilloweIf you are a Black woman in America, regardless of how educated or successful you are, you are bound to deal with many episodes of racism in your professional life. For myself, I often found the subtle racial and gendered microaggressions I faced in the professional world more exhausting than overt racism. With overt racism I can more easily report, fight or disregard it as people being evil. When the N-word was chalked on my school … [Read more...]

Privilege and Racialist Paganism Talks at Pantheacon

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PantheaCon is one of the best formats for having broader community conversations that are important to the culture of what is happening around us. I have seen big festivals like this contribute to the direction and tone of Pagan culture, and so it could be very important for us to seize these moments in positive ways. I was honored to be on one of those panel talks, the Pagans and Privilege panel from 2013 and 2014. I was not able to be present at the Racialist Pagans discussion in the Solar … [Read more...]

A Community Influx: The Journey to Redefine the Umbrella

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I am back from two incredibly important and special trips this year. In back to back conventions, I got to speak about things that are very important to me personally and spiritually; Cultural empathy, multicultural community needs and addressing privilege. The Conference on Current Pagan Studies invited me to be one of the two keynote speakers this year for their 10th anniversary. I accepted and they flew me to Claremont, California to engage in one of the most important conversations I have … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday to Love

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Growing up in my home, with a southern mama, meant that Martin Luther King Jr. was a name that I knew well. I can recall watching many images on the television that would show the Jim Crow south, marches, dogs, firehoses, and lynchings. I remember feeling the sadness and rage that would come along with those images, but being a young child meant I was without the ability to understand what it all meant. It just translated to me as hate, and hate never feels good. As I have gotten older, I’ve c … [Read more...]

My Personal Top 10 Pagans That Worked as Change Agents for Social Justice in 2013

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Out of my 2013 lists, this is one of my favorite ones to do. I have had some of the best experiences, and opportunity to learn, because of those who have done the incredible work of putting magic into the manifestation of justice for all people. And every time I have had the chance to learn from one of these people, it has been such an honor, and such a learning experience.There are a lot of people that deserve to be on this list, yet a list could only be so long. So I am just writing a list … [Read more...]

Kwanzaa in a Pagan Home: My Spiritual, Pride Practice

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I am ending this year with pride and culture. I have been hesitant to start the practice of Kwanzaa in my home for some time, not because I did not believe in the value of its practice, but because of…. fear. It is the continuous fear of breaking away from overculture, even though I am Pagan, and a Black woman. I will never fit into the norm of overculture, and it is not something I am trying to do anyway. It is often an unconscious fear that pushes us away from something that is new and p … [Read more...]


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