Tag Archives: paganism

TWIH Episode 73: Paganism and Shinto with Megan Manson


This week we talk to Megan Manson, a pagan who also practices Shinto, the indigenous religion of Japan. Megan talks about her path to Shinto, some of the history of Shinto and how it relates to the other religions practiced in Japan. We also talk about how religion co-exists together in Japan and how it differs from how religions get along in the West. What is the difference between Japan and the West in regards to religious identity? What does it mean to be multi-faith, and how do we explain it to others?

Megan Manson is an eclectic Pagan from the UK who also practices Shinto, the Japanese “Way Of The Gods.” She is actively involved in the field of Japan-UK relations, interfaith activities, and  her local Pagan community.


Email: trellia@gmail.com

Patheos Blog: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/pagantama

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TWIH Episode 65: Being Intentionally Inclusive with Shauna Aura Knight #pantheacon


Shauna Aura Knight joins us in this episode to talk about ritual practices that can make our public rituals more inclusive. What do we mean by inclusivity? How do we make the welcome clear so that others know that they are welcome into the ritual? Why are people so averse to using more inclusive language or making accommodations for allergy, disability, and gender issues? What is the responsibilities of public priests to ensure that their rituals are inclusive as possible? How do you take ownership, as an ally, of your process, especially in admitting when you’ve done something wrong  even if it was unintended? What happens when you realize that the pagan community isn’t a monolith of belief?

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

Shauna Aura Knight is an artist, author, ritualist, presenter, and spiritual seeker, Shauna travels nationally offering intensive education in the transformative arts of ritual, community leadership, and personal growth. Shauna is passionate about creating rituals, experiences, spaces, stories, and artwork to awaken mythic imagination. She is the author of The Leader Within, Ritual Facilitation, and Dreamwork for the Initiate’s Path. She’s a columnist on ritual techniques for CIRCLE Magazine, and her writing also appears in the anthologies Stepping in to Ourselves, A Mantle of Stars, Calling to our Ancestors, and Bringing Race to the Table.

She’s also the author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels including The Truth Upon Her Lips, A Fading Amaranth, A Winter Knight’s Vigil, Werewolves in the Kitchen, Werewolves with Chocolate, and more. Shauna’s mythic artwork and designs are used for magazine covers, book covers, and illustrations, as well as decorating many walls, shrines, and other spaces.  http://www.shaunaauraknight.com


 Email: shaunaaura@gmail.com

Website: https://shaunaaura.wordpress.com/

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

Pantheacon 2016 Schedule

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


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. 



Email: lasara.allen.mpnlp@gmail.com

Lasara’s Websites:



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

Class Facebook Event:




Sexy Witch

The Pussy Poems

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TWIH Episode 44: The Power of the Mustard Seed with Fred-Allen Self


In this episode, we talk to Rev.Fred-Allen Self, who tells his story about realizing his true self, leaving his fundamentalist Christian background, and how he got to where he is in his ministry today. We also talk about how representation is not only important but can literally save lives, how “Fundamentalism” transcends religious or political tradition, and the promise of youth and the internet. 

Note: The prisoner on death row who writes about the prison system is Mumia Abu-Jamal. (Apologies for not remembering his name in the interview.) 

Fred-Allen Self is a minister of the Progressive Christian Alliance. A one time fundamentalist Christian, he is now passionate about a more inclusive view of the Gospel. He is currently a MDiv Student at Chicago Theological Seminary. In his downtime he loves nothing more than to spend time with his husband and three beautiful daughters.



Progressive Christian Alliance

Email: fred-allen.self@outlook.com or dadself@gmail.com

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TWIH Episode 38: The Music of Growth with Lauren Renee Hotchkiss #transdayofvisibility


In this episode we’re joined by Lauren Renee Hotchkiss, seminarian and musician, to talk about the role of music in spiritual practice, both Christian and Pagan. How does music touch our hearts? What music touches our spirit, and how can music help us through the difficult times? We also talk about activism, including the recent Bay Area protests for #blacklivesmatter, and about how both in the Pagan and Christian community we have our extremists. 

Lauren Renée Hotchkiss is a Christo-Pagan musician, writer, and seminary student who attends the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. She has played all around the Bay Area, and is currently playing in the band at Grace North Church in Berkeley for Sunday services and monthly labyrinth services, and in Chapel and Taize services at The Pacific School of Religion. She also plays regularly in the Taize services at Newman Hall, Berkeley, and the Metropolitan Community Church in San Francisco. As a Pagan, she is an experienced priestess, cantor and musician who has worked with the various covens and circles of the Fellowship of the Spiral Path, as well as with OBOD and North Bay Reclaiming. 



Email: Laurhot@gmail.com

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TWIH Episode 36: Breaking Our Lenses with Xochiqetzal Duti Odinsdottir (#blacklivesmatter #pantheacon)


This week we are joined by Xochiquetzal Duti Odinsdottir. We not only talk more about the events of Pantheacon 2015, but we also talk about how the progressive movement deals with issues of race. How do we open our eyes to how racism works in our society? What is the future of racism and social justice in America? How do we crack the lenses that we’ve been given by history and by our faiths so that we can see outside our smaller communities and groups?


Xochiquetzal Duti Odinsdottir is genderqueer, AFAB, Mexican (born Stateside), mujerista, social activist, and Witch. Xochiquetzal does a lot of work in joining the Sacred and the Profane. They were recently elevated to High Priest/ess in Treebridge Tradition and are currently trying to figure out what that means (besides MORE work).



Xochi’s email: contact@sacredprofanity.com

Xochi’s Website: SacredProfanity.com

Sacred Profanity Facebook Page



Bringing Race to the Table edited by Crystal Blanton, Taylor Ellwood, and Brandy Williams

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TWIH Episode 35: Why #BlackLivesMatter in the Pagan Community with Crystal Blanton (#pantheacon)


In this episode, we are joined by Crystal Blanton, priestess, social worker, and author, to talk about not only the events that happened at Pantheacon 2015, but also about why the discussion about racism in the Pagan community is important. We also talk about the wider issues of racism in America, and the realities of living as a Person (and Pagan) of Color.

Crystal Blanton is a High Priestess, clinical counselor/social worker, graduate student in a Social Work program at a California State University and a published author. She writes and coordinates the Patheos blog “Daughters of Eve”, is a writer for Sage Woman Magazine, is a monthly columnist for The Wild Hunt, and on the board of Solar Cross Temple. She has been a practicing Pagan for the last 12 years, worked in Social Services for 17 years, and currently provides clinical intervention services to disenfranchised youth in Oakland schools. She has had the privilege of traveling as a guest at Pagan Spirit Gathering in 2012, and Sacred Harvest Festival in 2011, 2012 and 2014. She was the keynote speaker for the 10th Annual Conference on Current Pagan Studies in 2014. She has also enjoyed the chance to teach and learn at Pantheacon for the past years.

Within her personal life, she has been with her husband since 1996, has four children, and raises a multicultural family in the Bay Area. Among her passion for social justice work, she is an advocate for expanding common understanding of privilege, race relations, the use of restorative justice practices and cultural empathy; furthering constructive discussions that are often taboo and misunderstood in society.


Crystal’s Website


Bringing Race to the Table

Bridging the Gap

Shades of Faith

Shades of Ritual: Minority Voices in Practice

Pain and Faith in a Wiccan World: Spirituality, Ethics and Transformation

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The Heretic Writes: Forgive me… #lent


Forgive me for today I can’t repost another thing about racism, queer rights, fat activism, or politics.

Today, I can’t stand to read another thing about the cruelty that humans do to each other.

This week I can’t really stay angry about injustice. I just don’t have the energy.

Forgive me because right now the line about “If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention!” seems condescending and elitist.

Forgive me because I haven’t commented on the recent injustice that’s been happening. Right now, it seems more like a chore than righteous work.

Please forgive me for not doing things they way you think I should do them, but just know that I AM listening. That I DO hear you. I DO see you. I DO love you.

I am doing my best to be someone who brings voices to the table. My ministry is all about having people listen to the stories of the “other.” I hear the cries of those who have been tread on, beat down, and used. I hear the voices of those who have been abused, trafficked, and scarred. I see all of these things. I see the pain and the joy. I try and have hope, and am often disappointed in people. When I lose hope, I am often surprised at what people can do to help each other. I pay attention and am horrified by people I’ve just met and can be surprised by something new a close, long time friend says.

I am doing my best to be a priest and pastor, so forgive me when I fail. Because I will fail sometimes. I am a human being, and while I strive to be good, there are times where I just need to walk away and take care of myself.

I am angry about a lot of things in this world, but it is impossible to maintain that anger long term. Instead I try to do my ministry well and bring the voices out; to support in the ways that I know I can do the most good.

So, forgive me. I cannot be or do what you think I should. I CAN do what I know how to do best and pray that it will do something, even if it’s not enough.

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


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.  




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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TWIH Episode 14: Magick, Grimoires, and the Christian Roots of the Occult with Athena Wallander


On this week’s episode, Athena Wallander returns to talk about the history of magick and grimoires in the Christian tradition. While most people try and deny that there is any connection between Christianity, the occult, and modern witchcraft (and other pagan groups), the reality is that they are quite strongly connected. We also discuss how to go about learning from and using grimoires and other magickal texts.

For more about Athena, visit her website: http://www.enochian.org/faq.shtml




Twilit Grotto: Archives of Western Esoterica: http://www.esotericarchives.com/


Internet Sacred Texts Archive: http://www.sacred-texts.com/


Athena’s Site: http://www.enochian.org


Click here to find Athena on Facebook.

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