Tag Archives: racism

TWIH Episode 77: The Politics of the Body with Irene McCalphin

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Irene McCalphin joins us this week to talk about the intersections of fat liberation and marginalization. Why is it important to have representation in spiritual imagery, both in regards to race and body size? Why is the language of our rituals important? How can we move through learning about these issues of marginalization and come to a place where we can see outside of ourselves to a more inclusive community? Why is it important to keep the language of the diet industry out of spiritual space? How can kink (BDSM) be used as a spiritual tool and a pathway to a positive self image?

Note: This episode discusses BDSM used as a way of spiritual expression and as a spiritual tool.

Irene McCalphin is a Bay Area writer, performance artist and eater of food in public. She blends modern movement and words with neoburlesque to create socially conscious art pieces that add voice to marginalized communities and celebrates the human body.   A published author and poet Irene draws attention to the ever evolving intersections of fat, feminism, kink, spirituality and human sexuality.

She has facilitated and spoken at events such as NOLOSE, Fat Activist Conference: Tools for the Revolution and Fatty Affair. She has spoken at several universities including Berkeley, Stanford, Mills College and San Jose State. As a producer and presenter she consciously centers marginalized groups for spotlight appearances at events such as BayCon, Folsom Fringe, Red Hots Burlesque and Hubba Hubba Review.

Connect to her on social media and find out about all her shows and presentations via facebook, twitter and instagram or follow her at her sorely mismanaged blog.

Links

Website: theungratefulfatbitch.com

Twitter: @MagnoliahBlack

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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 70: Hospitality and Sacrifice in Asatru with Alf Herigstad

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Heathenry is going through a difficult stage in it’s evolution, especially lately. In this episode, we talk to Alf Herigstad founder of the Hawk’s Hearth Kindred, about his tradition of heathenry and the various issues that are important in heathenry today. What is heathenry? Why is there racism in heathenry? What are people doing about it? What does Heathen lore say about difference, and how does racism go against the edict of hospitality? Alf also talks about doing prison ministry, being on a Norwegian reality TV show, and his tradition’s use of animal sacrifice.

 

Note: This episode talks about animal sacrifice and farm life.

 

 

Alf Herigstad grew up in Washington State where he and his wife still reside on a small farm.  He is a veteran of the Army, a former owner of several construction businesses, as well as a former long haul trucker and real estate agent.  His employment list is long and varied because, as he says…he likes to learn new things.  

 

Raised as a Christian Alf at one time had an ambition to become an evangelical preacher and was very active in his local church.  After life took several turns he found himself disillusioned with that path.  Being descended from Norwegian immigrants he turned to one of his life-long interest; that of researching his heritage…that led to his discovery of Asatru

 

 Alf first became interested in Asatru around 2005, he began attending a Kindred local to him.  He took to it immediately and after intense study eventually attained a position in the kindred.  He was ordained / appointed as a Gothi in 2008.  Then, in 2011 founded a new Kindred; Hawk’s Hearth, which currently consists of about 30 members.

 

Alf is the host of a new podcast; Being A Better Man.  A secular program devoted specifically to the character of men.  The idea is to be a better man today then we were yesterday…then do that every day.  Although the program is secular in nature, his opinions are strongly influenced by his heathen philosophy and in that way he is infusing his listeners with a healthy dose of Heathen principles…which he says is basically just common sense. 

 

Links:  

 

Hawk’s Hearth: www.hawkshearth.com  (website still being added to and updated)

Alf’s Podcast: www.beingabettermanpodcast.com

Alf’s email:  alf.thorvald@gmail.com

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TWIH Episode 66: Wholeness and Humanness with Laine DeLaney #pantheacon

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Laine DeLaney joins us in this episode to talk about her journey from her childhood religion of Islam to her current Heathen and magickal traditions.  What does it mean to be a Heathen? Do you have to be of Northern European descent to be a “proper Heathen”? Is there really such a thing as an “unbroken” tradition? Why is hospitality important? We also talk about how accepting people as they identify themselves and accepting their humanness is important in accepting the “Other.”

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

Laine DeLaney was born in Western New York and has spent much of her life trying to escape its pull, but recently has made a new home in San Diego, California. She has been a member of several traditions and has acted as a clergyperson, spiritual guide, and seeress for various groups and communities. Laine writes for pleasure (science fiction on her Empyrean Dreams blog and other random fiction), for profit (as a custom content creator), for activism (in her columns in various LGBT publications), to discuss Pagan issues (on The Lady’s Quill on Patheos Pagan and Pagan Church Lady on WordPress), and because she has difficulty stopping.

Links

Email: lainedelaney919@gmail.com

Website: Pagan Church Lady

Pagan Church Lady on Facebook

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

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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

Links

 Email: shaunaaura@gmail.com

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

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

Pantheacon 2016 Schedule

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30 Days of Social Justice 26: Racism #30daysofsocialjustice #amwriting #blacklivesmatter

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I could have written about racism here, but I think it’s important to hear the lived experiences of those who are directly effected by racism. I have had the honor and privilege to interview many People of Color (and others) about racism, religion, and intersectionality. They have blessed my podcast, and me, by sharing their stories:

TWIH Episode 2: Religion, Race, and…Batman? with Jae Howlett

TWIH Episode 7: The Multi-Faith Family with Rev. Beth Parab

TWIH Episode 16: The Power of Prayer: A Life Testimony with Tanesh Watson Nutall

TWIH Episode 17: Feminism, Dress Codes, and the Church with Shavon Walker

TWIH Episode 24: Why #BlackLivesMatter with Guy S. Johnson

TWIH Episode 25: The Spirit of Justice (#blacklivesmatter) with Rev. Malcolm Byrd

TWIH Episode 30: Paganism, Race, and Responsibility with Emily Carlin (@Pantheacon #pcon #pantheacon)

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

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

TWIH Episode 49: Queering the Conversation and Planting Seeds with Monica Joy Cross #blacklivesmatter #transvisibility

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

TWIH Episode 52: The Teacher, the Student, and the Seeker with Schmian Evans #tfam #blacklivesmatter

TWIH Episode 53: Learning from History: South Africa, Ferguson, and Dialog with Rev. Wilma Jakobsen #blacklivesmatter

TWIH Episode 56: Embracing the Seeker with Davie Floyd #tfam

Taking the time to listen to the lived experiences of those who experience racism, sexism, and any other marginalization is always extremely important. It is absolutely time well spent.

30 Days of Writing about Social Justice. Who’s in? #amwriting #30daysofsocialjustice

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Tuesday I’m going to start writing about this little list of social justice topics. I was inspired by the Month of Written Devotion (which I have now fixed to the proper link) and created 30 days (because 30 days have September). True, this isn’t everything and I know there could have been way more topics on here. Feel free to substitute topics or mush topics together. I’m not that fussy about what folks do with this list!

Really, it’s your writing for 30-odd days. I’m more curious about what I, and others, will write about these things. Feel free to link back here because I’d love to read what you’ve written. I might even use some of the topics for The Heretic Speaks vlog (instead of writing).

I’ll also admit, for full disclosure, that I’m writing a book that includes pretty much all of these topics, and some of my writing during this time my end up in it. It’s all my wife’s fault, really, because she told me to do the thing.

So I did the thing.

Anywho, here’s the list of topics. Feel free to pass it around on the Twitters, the Tumblrs, and the Facebooks!

1. Social Justice
2. Diversity
3. Marginalized
4. Oppression
5. Gender
6. Classism
7. Bias
8. Dialogue
9. Identity/Labels
10. Intersectionality
11. Privilege
12. Stereotypes
13. Tolerance
14. Worldview
15. Dominant Culture
16. Multiplicity/Multi-identity
17. Cultural Appropriation
18. Ableism/Accessibility
19. Ageism/Adultism
20. Body Shame/Policing
21. Transgender/Transphobia
22. Calling Out
23. Misogyny
24. Hate Crime
25. Patriarchy
26. Racism
27. Microaggressions/Trigger Warnings
28. Sexism
29. Sexual/Affectional Orientation/Asexuality
30. Radical Inclusion

 

Good luck, and I look forward to seeing what you and I write!

30 Days of Social Justice Writing Prompts #amwriting #30daysofsocialjustice

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I’ve been watching folks do the Month of Written Devotion the last couple of months which has been really cool. I thought, earlier today: “Huh…I wonder if there’s something similar for social justice?” My Google-fu and asking on Twitter has failed me, and my wife (not so subtly) suggested that I should do it.

So I did.

The idea is that for each day for 30 days you write about the topics listed. To be honest, I’m not really fussed how you all decide to work on these. Feel free to write on more than one of these a day or spread it out for 30 weeks, or whatever. I’ll be starting mine on September 1. Maybe we can use the hashtag #30daysofsocialjustice? You’re welcome to announce that you’re doing it in the comments (and you can pingback, too).

These terms aren’t in any particular order, but they are many of the terms I see floating around the social justice blogs and other places:

  1. Social Justice
  2. Diversity
  3. Marginalized
  4. Oppression
  5. Gender
  6. Classism
  7. Bias
  8. Dialogue
  9. Identity/Labels
  10. Intersectionality
  11. Privilege
  12. Stereotypes
  13. Tolerance
  14. Worldview
  15. Dominant Culture
  16. Multiplicity/Multi-identity
  17. Cultural Appropriation

  18. Ableism/Accessibility
  19. Ageism/Adultism
  20. Body Shame/Policing
  21. Transgender/Transphobia
  22. Calling Out
  23. Misogyny
  24. Hate Crime
  25. Patriarchy
  26. Racism
  27. Microaggressions/Trigger Warnings
  28. Sexism
  29. Sexual/Affectional Orientation/Asexuality
  30. Radical Inclusion

Good luck, and I look forward to read what folks write!

TWIH Episode 53: Learning from History: South Africa, Ferguson, and Dialog with Rev. Wilma Jakobsen #blacklivesmatter

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In this episode we talk to Rev. Wilma Jakobsen, the first ordained woman in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, and an anti-apartheid activist during the worst, and last years, of apartheid South Africa. We not only talk about her story, but we also talk about her reactions to Ferguson, and working through white privilege. We also talk about the future of not only her home country, but of the civil rights movement here in America. What does it mean, as a white person, to be a witness and ally to the experiences of People of Color? What does it mean when we say people are equal in the eyes of God?

Wilma Jakobsen was born in Cape Town, South Africa of immigrant parents from Denmark and Britain. She earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Cape Town, worked as a high school physical science and math teacher, then came to the United States in 1984 to attend Fuller Seminary, Pasadena.

After obtaining her Master of Divinity from Fuller, she returned to South Africa to be ordained as a deacon. Four years later, when the Anglican Church of Southern Africa finally allowed it, she became the first female priest ordained by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. She worked for 15 years in the Diocese of Cape Town, in parishes in black townships, university towns, the cathedral, a rural parish with fishing and farming communities, and a 19-month stint as chaplain to Archbishop Tutu. During the apartheid years she was an anti-apartheid activist in church and faith based organizations, which crystallized her conviction of the connection between faith and social justice.

In 1997 she obtained a Master of Sacred Theology from Union Theological Seminary, New York. She was the Anglican chaplain at the University of Cape Town for six years, then joined the staff of All Saints Church, Pasadena in 2003, serving most recently as  Senior Associate for Children, Youth & Families, Students & Young Adults.  She is passionate about  the integration of spirituality in all areas of life, and her belief that “ ministry built on a solid basis of prayer, relationships, loving pastoral care, mutual ministry with priest and people as equals, contemplation and action, creativity, Eucharist and social action, can transform people’s lives.”

Links

St. Jude’s Episcopal Church, Cupertino, CA: http://saintjudes.org

Wilma’s Email: wilma@saintjudes.org

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The Heretic Writes: I’m your worst nightmare (apparently). #ednos #osfd #bodyissues

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These are the messages I get every day: you are a fat, lazy, person who has no self discipline, disobeys God and the Bible, and you should just stay in your house and not exist. And if you go outside, you should dress in a bland baggy outfit because your body is offensive. (If I was a person of color, you can multiply this by a million.)

I have been concern trolled, sneered at, stared at, and told that the existence of my body is bad. Even by people who don’t know me from a hole in the wall.

Most of the time I don’t really give a shit if people talk about my body, especially if it’s strangers. It’s easier with strangers because it’s easier to tell someone you don’t know to f**k off. Sometimes it’s people who should know better, like clergy or even friends. That’s the hardest part of all because when it happens my brain is like, “Oh. They posted that? Huh, they must think I’m ugly. Shit, I must be ugly. I suck. I’m a horrible person. They must not really like hanging out with me then. Maybe I shouldn’t bother eating today.”

Yup. It goes there. Not all the time, these days, but it goes there. It’s hard to admit publicly that I have (what used to be called) an Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (or Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder). I don’t fit the stereotype of someone who has an eating disorder.

But I’ve heard all this crap so often, it’s in my brain. It does the abuse for me. It suggests to me that maybe I shouldn’t bother with food because it would be more comfortable for the people around me. That if I don’t eat much (or at all) when I’m at church, then I’ll be seen as a good fatty and under control. Or that if I’m at a party, I shouldn’t stand by the food table because then people will assume that I’ll eat the whole thing. Or if I’m in a restaurant I’ve thought about what I order so that I don’t look like I’m stereotypically bad.

Don’t get me started about traveling publicly while fat. In fact, I just won’t go there.

But the bullying and messages that everyone gets every day isn’t abuse or bullying. Oh no. The institutions, including our government, consider body shaming and bullying quite ok. It’s ok to call someone a fat bitch or a skinny bitch because our bodies are a matter of discipline and willpower. Obviously it has nothing to do with genetics, medications, disabilities, or any other reason.

Today I’m just really tired of all the body shame. Today I’m tired of hearing and seeing friends and colleagues do harm to themselves in order to feel worthy of existing. I’m tired of seeing and hearing people say horrible things about themselves because society deems that they should do so. I’m tired of feeling like people think it’s ok to abuse people of any size because they feel that my and other people’s bodies are a matter of public comment.

Personally, I’m tired of me, my wife, and my friends being considered other people’s worst nightmare.

It seems that compassion for others is in short supply these days. Gods, I wish we’d all grow the f**k up.

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