Ritual and Chanting Prep: My Voice Warm Up Playlist

DSC03633smWhen I teach workshops on chanting, or on chanting in context of trancework, energy building in ritual, or other logistics, I talk a lot about how important it is to sing a lot and keep your voice warmed up. In short, our voices are a muscle. Don’t expect to roll out of bed and have a good singing voice, or to have a strong singing voice to lead chants if the only time you sing is 8 times a year for sabbats (or less). While I don’t sing every day, I do sing at least a few times a week. One of the things I suggest to folks instead of singing scales (which, for my part, is pretty boring) is to find songs to sing along with.  Continue reading

Music, Magic, and Life on the Road

DSC03399My posts have been sporadic, and I apologize for that. As a writer, it’s really tough when I’m not able to do that writing thing. That being said, my past months have been chock full of new experiences that will give me writing fodder for months (and years) to come. I’ve been traveling and teaching at different festivals and events, and recently I’ve really been upping my game as a musician and connecting more with other Pagan musicians. Continue reading

Boredom and Side Conversations in Ritual

DSC02414Another common question I get from people who lead rituals is, “How do you get people to stop having side conversations in ritual?” Truth is, I don’t often have this problem, so it took me a bit to figure out some suggestions I could offer. However, then I went back to some of my early training in rituals and remembered that most of the logistical problems in any ritual (or other facilitated activity) are resolved by skillful setup at the beginning. There are a lot of common ritual problems I don’t run into because I always start with a pre-ritual talk.
However, there are a number of different techniques that can help with unwanted side conversations and other related issues in rituals. The core of this is that you’re trying to get a group of people to focus.
There are a few major tips to help get your group to focus and not be distracted with side conversations.

On Bad Cons & How You Kill An Event in Advance

Excellent article. While it focuses on scifi/fantasy/fandom, it’s very much applicable to the Pagan community. While there aren’t hundreds of hotel conventions for Pagans, we do have a few of them, and we have numerous festivals of various sizes. Harassment is often tolerated at these just as it is in fandom.
The day is going to come sooner rather than later where I will *not* participate in any event that does not have (and enforce) a safety/anti harassment policy

Mikki Kendall

So, I wasn’t going to bother with a formal response about the events at ConQuesT. I’ve never been, I probably won’t be going either. Not just because of the most recent hot mess, but because overwhelmingly con culture is a hot mess. And yeah, some people are trying to fix it. But as I watch people attempt to defend white women sexually harassing men of color…I feel like we’ve hit a point that demands an honest conversation about what’s really happening to cons. It’s not the aging of fandom (young fans are created every day, and I promise you they love to get together), it’s not political correctness run amok (hi, taking off your pants and rubbing against people without consent isn’t okay, neither is referring to Black people as sexy chocolate and licking your lips), it’s a fundamental belief that marginalized people don’t have a right to be treated…

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Singing: Discovering the Magic of Music

DSC03320Music in ritual–and in specific, singing–is probably the most potent magic I know. I’m sitting here trying to get all the final prep done for Pantheacon, as I leave in just a few hours. Part of my prep for any event is warming my voice up because I know how crucial it is to be able to have a strong voice to anchor the chanting. And when I travel and teach, I’m singing for days as I lead workshops and rituals, so I need that prep.

Continue reading

Book Release: Pagan Leadership Anthology

PaganLeadershipAnthologyCover_finalI’m very excited to announce the release of the Pagan Leadership Anthology. Taylor Ellwood invited me to co-edit this anthology with him almost two years ago, and it has finally come to fruition! Helping grow more resources for Pagan leaders is a passion of mine, and this anthology is priceless for all the collected wisdom it offers from many different leaders, many different traditions, and many different perspectives. Continue reading