Tag Archives: goddess

TWIH Episode 76: Being Heathen with Cara Freyasdaughter

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In this episode, we talk to Cara Freyasdaughter, where we discuss her journey to Heathenism, her introduction to Freya and Freyr, and some of the issues that are challenging modern Heathenism. What are  CUUPs and ADF? What does the lore say about racism and other issues that have been being dealt with within the Heathen community?

Cara Freyasdaughter is a devotional polytheist dedicated to Freya and Freyr who works within a “reconstructed-ish” Heathen tradition. A current member of The Troth and ADF, she writes a biweekly blog on Patheos’ Agora channel called “Happily Heathen”. Currently, Cara leads Heathen rituals and Runes ‘n Lore classes for the White Oak Grove CUUPs group and is a member of the Sinnissippi Tuath ADF Grove in northern Illinois.

Links

Email:  cara@goldandredthread.com

The Troth (http://www.thetroth.org) The Troth is the largest International heathen organization. They are open and welcoming to people from all backgrounds.

Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship (https://www.adf.org)—While this is officially a “druid” fellowship, all Indo-European mythologies are honored. ADF has a large, active, and diverse Heathen contingent.

Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans: http://www.cuups.org/

“Happily Heathen” on the Patheos Agora Channel (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/agora/author/cfreyasdaughter/)

“Huginn’s Heathen Hof” (http://www.heathenhof.com)

“A Community of Gods Surround Me” (communityofgods.wordpress.com)

“Freya: The Gold Thread” (thegoldthread.wordpress.com)

 

Books

Modern Heathen Practice:

Original Sources:

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TWIH Episode 68: The Unnamed Path, Gender Identity, and Body Image with David Shorey and Chase Powers #pantheacon

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In this episode we talk to David Shorey and Chase Powers, both members of the Unnamed Path, a magickal tradition for Men Who Love Men. What is the Unnamed Path? Why is single gendered space important to some people? Why do people get stuck on the gender binary, and why do people get bent out of shape when people want more inclusivity in single-gender spaces (i.e.: inclusion of transgender, bisexual, multi-faith, etc.)? What is the importance of language in gendered space? And…what about Beltane?

 

Note: Apologies for the Skype noise. Skype was not being our friend during the interview!

 

This episode is part of a series of interviews with people who will be presenting at Pantheacon 2016.

 

David Shorey is an Initiate and Teacher of The Unnamed Path, a spiritual tradition for men-who-love-men. In addition, David is a student of Druidry and member of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids. He is also an Apprentice in Faery Seership under Orion Foxwood. David lives in San Diego with his two partners, Tommie and Virgil, and their dog Murphy. 

 

Chase Powers is an Initiate and teacher of the Unnamed Path, and a student of Anderson Feri, currently living in Houston, Texas. Between spiritual work, video games, and graphic design, he still finds time to fight

with people on the internet and make bad jokes.

 

 

Links

 

David’s Email: drshorey@gmail.com

 

Website: www.unnamedpath.com

 

The Unnamed Path Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/unnamedpath/

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TWIH Episode 51: Syncretism, Jesus, and the African Traditions with MaShiAat Oloya Adedapoidle Tyehimba-Ford (Queen Mother) #tfam

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In this episode, recorded after the multi-faith traditions panel at The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries Convocation, we talk to Queen Mother about syncretism and the way that spirit works in the world. She describes the traditions that she belongs to and how they work together for her. We discuss the responsibilities of priests, aspects of initiation, and how magick, and the gospel, is a tool of spirit that can be used for both good and ill.  We also discuss her role at City of Refuge and how she relates to Jesus. What can both traditions learn from each other and how do we navigate the misinformation and misconceptions of each?

This episode was recorded on location at City of Refuge UCC during The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries Convocation on July 17, 2015. 

Oloya Adedapoidle Tyehimba-Ford carries the title of MaShiAat (Queen Mother), and is co-founder and presiding Queen Mother and Spiritual Leader of the Temples and Kemetic Spiritual organization: The Kindred of ShiEndra and its conglomeration of affiliated Temples. MaShiAat Oloya is an ordained Kemetic Priest, an Iyanifa in the Ifa tradition and an Ordained High Priestess within the original Dianic lineage of the Wiccan Goddess/Great Mother tradition.

She is also a Holistic and Spiritual Practitioner and Midwife, holding numerous degrees and certifications in nursing, Iridology, Esthetics, indigenous and complementary healing. She is co-founder of the Kephra Holistic Institute and co-creator of the Kephric Transformational Platform both dedicated to the concepts of complete wellness through holistic, indigenous, and naturopathic modalities.

MaShiAat Oloya lectures and facilitates workshops with many local and national community activists and spiritual leaders. She is often considered a bridge between mainstream religious churches and indigenous spirituality, making it a personal crusade to dispel myths, expose the truth and similarities between the philosophies of these religious groups with the intent to build understanding, respect and unity among the people as a whole.

Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mashiaat

Website: http://www.ancestoralley.com/

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TWIH Episode 46: The Five-Fold Goddess with Lasara Firefox Allen

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In this bonus episode, Lasara Firefox Allen and I discuss her upcoming book which is tentatively titled “The Five-Fold Goddess,” which reconstructs the phases of the Goddess to move away from the more body-centered lore of Maiden, Mother, and Crone. Is the feminine divine, as most Pagan traditions practice it outdated? Why do some groups who claim a feminism that is meant to make us more than our bodies cling to rituals that are based on the uterus? Why does our society assume these roles of women when there are many examples of exceptions to the rule? What does this say about our societal attitudes about a woman’s (cis-, trans-, or otherwise) bodily sovereignty?

 

Lasara Firefox Allen is the author of the internationally published bestseller, Sexy Witch (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2005), The Pussy Poems (Treasure Finder Press, 2012), and numerous anthologies. She is currently working on her second book for Llewellyn, with the working title of “The Fivefold Goddess.” Lasara is also a clergy member, teacher, coach, and activist. She offers workshops on topics ranging from parenting, to relationships and intimacy, sexuality, body image, feminism, and devotional love, spirituality, and Mysticism. Lasara offers one-to-one and group coaching, spiritual guidance, and intuitive, transformational tarot readings. She regularly offers in-person workshops on the festival and conference circuit, and ongoing web-based courses. 

 

Married to the love of her life, Robert Allen, and mother to two amazing kids, Lasara and her family live in the wilds of Northern California and surround themselves with a community of loving, like-minded souls. 

 

Links

Email: lasara.allen.mpnlp@gmail.com

Lasara’s Websites:

http://www.LasaraFirefoxAllen.com

http://www.EmbracingtheRedQueen.com

Class fundraiser: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/010036/ab/a4gNRe

Class Facebook Event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1515521785372503/

 

Books

Sexy Witch

The Pussy Poems

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TWIH Episode 41: Emerging into Self with Diana Morningstar #transvisibility

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This episode, we welcome Diana Morningstar, who tells us about her coming out and transition as a transgender woman. She also talks about her life in the pagan and queer communities, pre- and post-transition. Diana gives an honest look at herself, her certainties and doubts about transitioning, and her gravitation towards Goddess culture and the issues she ran into in that culture. 

 

Diana Morningstar has been involved in the neopagan movement since the mid 80’s and has participated in Church of All Worlds, NROOGD, Umbanda, and Feri tradition rites among others. She is an initiated witch, a shameless eclectic, and an amazon forest warrior. She has been involved in activism with Earth First! and Queer Nation, and lately with trans issues. She is a transsexual woman living in Sonoma County, CA and is 56 years old. She has journeyed beyond the ninth wave to reach the Isle of Women, and is immensely grateful to be at last on that shore. She writes software, makes graphic art, plays piano and harp, and loves to cycle and hike. The moonlit forest is her true home.

 

Links

Email: diana@miragearts.com

Website: http://www.miragearts.com

To Survive on This Shore: http://www.tosurviveonthisshore.com/photographs-and-interviews Beautiful collection of stories and pictures from transgender elders.

 

Books

Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity by Julia Serano

Transgender History by Susan Stryker

Nevada by Imogen Binnie

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The Heretic Writes: You know what they say about opinions….

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Yeshe Rabbit asked the following on Facebook the other day, and rather than clog up her wall with a long post, I figured I’d write about it here.

How many people who write about doing spiritual work do you think are actually DOING that work on a regular basis? Like, how many ppl who write about reading tarot are actually doing readings for people every day, or even weekly?

How many people do you think write about their spiritual lives & their relationships with animal spirits, nature, & the gods (I might say, “pontificate”), but in reality they just wake up, go to work at office jobs, daydream & write about their spirituality as an escape valve, then go home and watch TV all night? Or some variation thereof?

How important is it, to you, that a person actually practice what they preach?

What percentage of time and attention to actual spiritual activities do you think separates a mere daydreamer from an authentic practitioner?

I think these are all good questions to ask, but how people answer them are important, more so than the actual answers they give. What follows are my own thoughts about these questions:

First, the typical way folks answer these types of questions, particularly the last question, is: “I think an authentic practitioner is [insert here some opinion of a standard that the person thinks is proper for a practicing pagan].” I think of this as “the easy answer”: it is easy for someone to give their opinion, based on their tradition and practice, on who or what a “real” or “proper” practitioner is. I mean, heck, I have my own opinions on it and have pontificated on this myself. For example, I’m not so fond of Silver Ravenwolf’s books. I think they’re kind of fluffy and light, but I do give her credit for making books that are accessible to folks just starting out. I personally wouldn’t recommend them for my students, but here’s the kicker: if a student came to me saying that they got a lot out of her books and that it led them to where they are in their current practice, then who am I to argue with how they got here?

My first point is: A student’s or practitioner’s claim to being a witch/pagan/etc is not invalidated because I happen to dislike the path or reading material that they used to get there. Nor does it mean that a pagan author isn’t writing something that is authentic to their own practice.

Second, not everyone has, or benefits from, a regular or daily practice. People also grow out of practices that they no longer need. I used to go to my altar every morning and night to put my pagan jewelry on before I went to my day job and take it off before bed. It was necessary for me to do this in the beginning of my journey because it helped me to connect to deity. I don’t find it as necessary now since I don’t have jewelry that I take on and off regularly and my connection to deity is pretty well established. I also don’t do tarot on a regular basis, but when I do, people compliment me on my readings. I don’t do as much out in nature anymore, even though I love it, because I am not able to walk long distances anymore or stand for long periods of time. I do have a practice, it’s just different.

My second point is, then, that a person’s spiritual practices are their own and will shift and change as needed over time.

Third, and I think most important, is: Who are we to judge what is and is not “proper” practice? Like I said, we all have our opinions on it. There are many pagans and Christians who really like to tell me that I’m not a good practitioner of either tradition because I practice both. My former, and emotionally abusive, coven leader liked to tell us that a person could only become a proper witch by another witch (pretty old school BritTrad, actually) and was dismissive of self-initiates and other traditions.

There are also authors who have written about who and who is not a “proper pagan.” I stopped reading a particular well known author because one of their books implied that a person cannot be a proper pagan environmentalist and live in the city. I was really disappointed because I live in the city and try to do the best I can in regards to the environment. If I had the privilege of money and time, then I would love to have a homestead with a garden and the ability to put in a grey water system. But my wife and I can’t do that. We have to live in the city for the time being. We don’t really have the money or the choice. But this fact doesn’t mean we aren’t witches who care about the environment. (There’s also issues with class and race in regards to this author, but that’s a post for another time.)

Who made these people the gatekeepers of all knowledge? Just because you are an Elder, 3rd Degree, priest, minister, or Initiate in a particular religious tradition does not mean you know everything. Nor does it automatically make you worthy of respect, or that you become the Fount of All Knowledge. The same is true of authors and us as consumers of their knowledge. It’s ok to think an author is full of crap, but it doesn’t mean that what they impart won’t be helpful to someone somewhere on their spiritual journey.

This is my third, and I think probably the most important, point: We have the privilege of looking at other’s spiritual paths and practices through the lens of our own traditions and practices. While we may not agree with how someone is practicing or the way they got to, or write about, their current practice, it does not mean that our tradition or practice is in any way superior to theirs.

Or to put it another way: A daydreamer IS a practitioner. They are just different from me, or you, or anyone else. I, for one, will wish them well on the journey!

TWIH Episode 32: Exploring the Humanity of Deity and Gender with P. Sufenas Virius Lupus (@Pantheacon #pcon #pantheacon)

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In this third episode that coincides with Pantheacon, we talk to P. Sufenas Virius Lupus about the evolution of gender in regards to Deity. Do the Gods really care about their, and our, gender? Can we create new deities that are inclusive and that work for us? How have we evolved in our thinking around gender? How does pagan isolationism contribute to issues of gender and inclusion? We also talk about how sharing and listening to the stories of people can put a human face onto the “other.” (And there’s some Buffy spoilers for the uninitiated.)

P. Sufenas Virius Lupus is a metagender person, and the founding member, Doctor, Sacerdos, Magistratum, and Mystagogos of the Ekklesía Antínoou (a queer, Graeco-Roman-Egyptian syncretist reconstructionist polytheist religious group dedicated to Antinous, the deified lover of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and other related gods and divine figures), a contributing member of Neos Alexandria, and a Celtic Reconstructionist in the traditions of filidecht and gentlidecht, amongst other spiritual pursuits.  Lupus’ work (poetry, essays, and fiction) has been published in many of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina devotional volumes, and in the anthologies Datura and Mandragora edited by Ruby Sara, When the Lion Roars edited by Galina Krasskova, Etched Offerings edited by Inanna Gabriel and C. Bryan Brown, Rooted in the Body, Seeking the Soul edited by Tara Miller, Bringing Race to the Table edited by Crystal Blanton, Taylor Ellwood and Brandy Williams, and the periodicals Witches & Pagans, Abraxas, Circle Magazine, Eternal Haunted Summer, Walking the Worlds, and Air n-Aithesc…and, there’s always more on the way!  E has also published a book of poems, The Phillupic Hymns (2008), and the book-length poem All-Soul, All-Body, All-Love, All-Power:  A TransMythology (2012), and also several other monographs:  The Syncretisms of Antinous (2010); Devotio Antinoo:  The Doctor’s Notes, Volume 1 (2011); A Garland for Polydeukion (2012); A Serpent Path Primer (2012); and Ephesia Grammata:  Ancient History and Modern Practice (2014). Lupus used to write the “Queer I Stand” column at Patheos.com’s Pagan Channel, and currently writes the “Speaking of Syncretism” column at Polytheist.com.  

 

 

Links

Lupus’ blog: Aedicula Antinoi:  A Small Shrine of Antinous (Which includes a link to eirs books): http://aediculaantinoi.wordpress.com/  

Lupus’ Email: aediculaantinoi@hotmail.com

Gender and Transgender in Modern Paganism

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Update: Call for Interviews: @Pantheacon Edition

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It’s that time of year again! Pantheacon, one of the biggest indoor Pagan conventions around, is happening on President’s Day weekend, February 13 -16, at the DoubleTree Hotel in San Jose. The Circle of Cerridwen is once again hosting a hospitality suite on the 9th floor. This is a great opportunity for folks to be interviewed for the show (as time permits, of course). I’m particularly interested in folks with mixed traditions, reconstructionist traditions, or atheist pagans, but if you believe your story fits within the scope of This Week In Heresy, don’t hesitate to ask!

If you’d like to be on the show and will be at the con, please read the page about being on TWIH, and then send me an email with “Pantheacon” in the subject line so that we can figure out scheduling. You can also write to me if you know someone who will be at the con that you think I should interview. (Please get their permission first before making the contact!)

All shows recorded at Pantheacon will air starting the week after the con. If we don’t manage to find time during the convention, we can also schedule for a later time via Skype/Google Hangout.

 

UPDATE: If you would like to do an interview BEFORE Pantheacon, please let me know! I have about 2-3 spots open at the moment. This would be a good opportunity for presenters to talk about their workshops!

If you can, please share this widely!

Call for Interviews: @Pantheacon edition

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It’s that time of year again! Pantheacon, one of the biggest indoor Pagan conventions around, is happening on President’s Day weekend, February 13 -16, at the DoubleTree Hotel in San Jose. The Circle of Cerridwen is once again hosting a hospitality suite on the 9th floor. This is a great opportunity for folks to be interviewed for the show (as time permits, of course). I’m particularly interested in folks with mixed traditions, reconstructionist traditions, or atheist pagans, but if you believe your story fits within the scope of This Week In Heresy, don’t hesitate to ask!

If you’d like to be on the show and will be at the con, please read the page about being on TWIH, and then send me an email with “Pantheacon” in the subject line so that we can figure out scheduling. You can also write to me if you know someone who will be at the con that you think I should interview. (Please get their permission first before making the contact!)

All shows recorded at Pantheacon will air starting the week after the con. If we don’t manage to find time during the convention, we can also schedule for a later time via Skype/Google Hangout.

Thanks and I look forward to seeing everyone in February!

Rev. Gina

TWIH Episode 23: Mourning Pregnancy Loss Through Ritual with Denise Cicuto

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This week we have my friend and fellow priest, Denise Cicuto, who has been running a memorial ritual called Spirit Babies for the last several years. This ritual is for anyone of any gender who has experienced the loss of a child through abortion, still birth, miscarriage, or for any other reason. Denise shares her personal story and why she believes this ceremony is important.

This podcast is in conjunction with the next Spirit Babies ceremony which will be held on December 20, 2014 at City of Refuge UCC in Oakland, CA. For more information, please see the Spirit Babies website.

Denise Cicuto is a Witch and Healer. She is a second degree Priest in the Circle of Cerridwen, a coven in the Open Source Alexandrian tradition. She was raised in the Catholic Church and then went to find her own way for a while. Between the Worlds Church made her realize that she could still have Jesus in her life while being a practicing pagan. Denise is also a Licensed Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist.

NOTE: ANY anti-abortion proselytizing, harassment, or hate speech will NOT be tolerated in the comments. Anyone engaging in this behavior will be banned from the comments section. We at This Week in Heresy are committed to creating a safe, inclusive space, and we will not hesitate to call law enforcement if necessary

Links

Spirit Babies or contact Denise at ourspiritbabies@gmail.com

Spirit Babies Facebook Page

Exhale

Acupuncture Today article by Denise: Helping Patients Through Pregnancy Loss

Between the Worlds Church


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