The Nature on the Inside by Cecily Joy Willowe

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by Cecily Joy WilloweIf you are a Wiccan or a Ecospirituality type there is this expectation that the majority of your rituals will be outside. There is this idea that rituals indoors are somehow off and unfitting of Wiccan-like folks. However, I will admit, without apology, that I do the vast majority of my rituals at home in my spare bedroom. Don’t get me wrong, I am not the type of Wiccan who never leaves home and uses mostly plastic or artificial tools. I have a plant on my altar so … [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...]

Beltane Dreams: The Return of Hope

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Beltane has always been one of my favorite times of year. The flowers, the sunlight,  the colors, the celebrations, and the promise of summer in the height of spring. I can remember my first Beltane celebration, and  I can remember the last… this day always leaves an imprint in my mind. I think that I associate this time of year with the promise of future growth, the kind of growth that is beautiful and full of laughter. While the dark half of the year brings about growth too, it is usually the k … [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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Call for Writers– Bringing Race to the Table: An Exploration of Racism in the Pagan Community

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Very excited to announce this new writing opportunity to the community. This book will expand beyond the personal stories of the Shades of Faith series and into the voices of the community (not just Pagans of color) and into the realm of the academic. Please spread the word, pass it along, and consider writing for this incredible anthology in the making!  Call for Writers– Bringing Race to the Table: An Exploration of Racism in the Pagan Communit  Email f … [Read more...]

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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