Guest Post: Honoring Troublesome Ancestors by Cecily Joy Williams, M.Div.

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Honoring Troublesome Ancestors Post by Cecily Joy Williams, M.Div.Last year, when I learned of my father’s passing, I went into spirals of confusion and shock.  Due to complex family issues, I was not able to go to the funeral and have my last goodbyes. Without any closure, it was obvious what I had to do when Samhain came around a few months later. I was not in the mood for the happy Wiccan Halloween costumes and fall celebrations. I used Samhain as a time to mourn. I dedicated my whole ri … [Read more...]

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Changing Culture to Change the World: Honoring the Warrior Spirit of Nelson Mandela

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I am so very grateful tonight. I am grateful for the opportunities to live, breathe, love, fight, and grow within a society where I am free from the physical chains that have bound my ancestors throughout time.  The release from the physical ties that bound us has provided us with the momentum to fight the mental and emotional chains that still exist within the shadows of society and within our collective cultural schema.Today Nelson Mandela passed away and moved on to rest in the land of … [Read more...]

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Extensions of the Soul: Embracing Service as a Ritual of Love

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“Let my worship be within the heart that rejoiceth, for behold: all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honour and humility, mirth and reverence within you.” – Doreen ValienteSome people have mentioned to me that social workers do not make a lot of money, that it is a lot of school for what you get in terms of salary compared to other professions. For the most part, I know this to be true, yet I have always been cal … [Read more...]

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Full Moon Love on a Beautiful Night

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We join with the earth and with each other With our ancestors and all beings of the future To bring new life to the land To recreate the human community To provide justice and peace To remember our children To remember who we are. We join together as many and diverse expressions Of community and empowerment, For the healing of the earth and the renewal of all life.                                                                         —Capacitar Philosophy based on writings of the UN … [Read more...]

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Dreams, Degue and an Ancestor Visitation

This year, I created degue for my Ancestor meal.

Halloween is my favorite holiday, hands down. I plot and plan costume ideas all year (and then usually don’t do any of them), I make an annual “pilgrimage” to the Spirit Store (where I usually buy nothing), and I spend some time working on my family tree (where, if I’m lucky, I’ll find a little bit more than nothing).This year, the season of the Ancestors came early to my home. I had an extremely vivid dream visitation at the beginning of the month from my oldest step-sister, Maimouna Sall, a … [Read more...]

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50 Years Ago: Honoring the Healing of Four Little Girls in Birmingham

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“These children — unoffending, innocent, and beautiful — were the victims of one of the most vicious and tragic crimes ever perpetrated against humanity.” - Martin Luther King Jr.   "On Birmingham Sunday a noise shook the ground. And all over the hearth turned around. For no one recalled a more cowardly sound. And the choir kept singing of Freedom." - Joan BaezFifty years ago, a church in was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four young Black girls.  Once September 15th, 1963, in thei … [Read more...]

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Sacred Emotional Warfare: Anger, Rage and Frustration for Manifestation

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People do not often think about emotions like anger, rage or frustration as sacred responses to internal or external stimuli. I recently wrote about primal rage in Modern Witch Magazine, and it is an important topic.I personally do not like feeling angry, rage-filled or frustrated, and yet it has continued to be a common core theme of my life for a long time. Let me clarify – that does not mean I am just angry all the time, but that I carry a sense of both of these emotions in my gut, and it … [Read more...]

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Natural. Hair. Magick.

Image by Glenford Nunez from "The Coiffure Project"

My first exposure to the concept of hair as a magickal thing came from my West-African step-father. Whenever my mother would cut his hair, he would meticulously gather up all of the hair to be buried. He said that it had power in it and couldn't just be thrown in the garbage because it was part of a person and someone could use it to do magick against you. At the time, wannabe cynical teen that I thought I was, I thought he and his superstitious beliefs were silly.Now that I'm living full … [Read more...]

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Ringing a Bell for Freedom

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In a capitalistic society that places value on egalitarianism and protestant work ethics, we here in the United States still do not have access to jobs, quality education, or a true sense of freedom. On the 50th anniversary of the I Have a Dream speech, delivered by Martin Luther King Jr, I have to wonder what has happened to our call for justice and equality for all people in this country? Is it still as important to us as it was then? Have we become complacent in our perception of freedom and … [Read more...]

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Deadline Extended for Shades of Ritual; Minority Voices in Practice Anthology

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The deadline for submissions is being extended to give in hopes of getting some additional submissions. We have gotten some good ones, and are hoping to circulate the call for submissions to attract more pieces that are reflective of practice, rituals, prayers, songs, or other forms of integrating Pagan spirituality. If there are any questions, please feel free to send an email to inquire.  Below is the official call for submissions with a new date of October 15th.Blessings.I am very … [Read more...]

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