A Community Influx: The Journey to Redefine the Umbrella

Picture from Kat R.

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...]

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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...]

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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...]

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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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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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A Voiceless Practice; Forced Introspection

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I am at the end of a long sickness and recovery from some kind of sweeping virus that turned into strep and then tonsillitis. I am not a person that gets sick a lot, and so when I do, I fight against it tooth and nail. But this time it came from out of nowhere and took me right off my feet, leaving me home, in pain, and barely able to talk.Above all the other inconveniences that sickness causes, this started the night before Halloween, taking me out of the realm of celebration for my mom’s b … [Read more...]

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Where is the Line?…..There is No Spoon

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Sometimes, especially lately, I have felt like I am talking about being Black all the damn time. On a normal day, I don’t wake up in the morning, reference my Black experience, talk about systemic or historical oppression. Instead I get up, and am in the rush of being a mother, wife, social worker, staff on school site, Master’s level college student, and human being; If I am lucky, I even get to eat and sleep. Yet I realize, more than some, that when I wake up every morning, I am a Black woman … [Read more...]

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