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

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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Being A Girl: A Brief Personal History of Violence

Sadly, this is the story of so many. A tough read, but worth it.

The Belle Jar

1.

I am six. My babysitter’s son, who is five but a whole head taller than me, likes to show me his penis. He does it when his mother isn’t looking. One time when I tell him not to, he holds me down and puts penis on my arm. I bite his shoulder, hard. He starts crying, pulls up his pants and runs upstairs to tell his mother that I bit him. I’m too embarrassed to tell anyone about the penis part, so they all just think I bit him for no reason.

I get in trouble first at the babysitter’s house, then later at home.

The next time the babysitter’s son tries to show me his penis, I don’t fight back because I don’t want to get in trouble.

One day I tell the babysitter what her son does, she tells me that he’s just a little boy, he doesn’t know…

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Is Your Paganism Intersectional or Is it Bullshit? A Meditation on the Ballard Query.

Fantastic post. A couple of fantastic posts on why it’s important for Pagans to take a stance (in essence, to be an activist–to take an action). So many Pagans tell me, “But I’m not an activist,” or, “I don’t mix politics with my Paganism.”

“The adage rings true once again for me: the personal is political. I believe that not taking a stance actually sides with the oppressor, or the systems in place that oppress us. There is no neutral ground here. Desmond Tutu was right.”

“So why is this important for pagans? Well, as a marginalized group of people we also exist along many other lines such as ability, national origin, class, sexual orientation, gender etc. Our experience as pagans intersects and is affected by our experience as other kinds of people as well. In some cases, we may reinforce dominant cultural norms within our own pagan circles.”

hecatedemeter

7ofearth

Byron Ballard recently asked:

[A]in’t you people got no gods to worship? No holy days to celebrate? No Ancestors to deal with, er I mean venerate? In short — don’t you people have some sacred work to do? Justice work? Environmental work? Community weaving?

To which I’d only add: No landbase to relate to? No wights for whom to pour blots? No foxes to know?

Gods & Radicals (which has been doing simply amazing work and where the writing, qua writing, is generally first class — which is, you known, not something I say about many Pagan blogs, authors, or articles and, yes, I’m a real snob about writing) has a post up that shows what’s possible:

This week I performed a trabajito in the form of sigil writing and spell casting to protect the protestors who, at the time of this writing, are dangling themselves across the St. John’s…

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I Looked At A Rapist In The Mirror And Saw Him Smiling Back.

Intense, and perhaps difficult to read, but this articulates so well what is meant by “rape culture.” We live in an ambient, unseen culture of sexual assault, and until we look at it in the mirror, look at these behaviors, look ourselves in the eye, we cannot move beyond this culture.

RaceBaitR

*This piece has been published with permission of the referenced ex-partner. Other relationships may have been slightly altered to protect specific identities.*

The first time I was sexually assaulted I must have been 9 or 10 years old.

I was violated by two family friends who were brothers and who would have been about 14 and 15.

Or maybe that was the second time.

The first time might have been by an older female cousin around the same time. She pressured me to go into a closet and make out with her. I think we may have done more, but I don’t like to think about that.

I didn’t object to any of these interactions. I was too young for that to matter, of course, but it was difficult for me to make sense of the fact that I consented without having the agency to do so, thus I had…

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