Your Hate has Made You Powerful

7622419_xxlThis one’s a repost as the blog it was on is now defunct. Though I wrote it a few years ago, it seemed appropriate given the political climate and the many people rising as activists to fight against a bigoted regime.

There’s a quote from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi that has nagged at me for years. In my 20′s, it was an inspiring quote that brought a lot of energy to me when the chips were down and I was fighting the good fight.

After I did a lot of feminist leadership training, I reversed my opinion on the line: “Your hate has made you powerful.”

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Compassion, Truth, and Bonesetting

Rift on the earth excellent background

I was taught that setting the bone is a crucial part of being a priest/ess, a leader. That sometimes we have to hurt in order to heal. And I was also taught that truth often hurts. We couch so many things in white lies to salve someone’s feelings, to soothe it over, to make it hurt less. But those attempts to ease pain in the short term often cause longer term pain. In essence–sometimes the deepest form of compassion is to say the hard thing. It hurts in the short term, but it heals in the long term.

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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.