Tuesday, 21 February 2017

"Queering Magic" talk at The Occult Conference, Glastonbury

The Occult Conference 2017 was hosted by The Visible College,  an organisation dedicasted to spreading occult learning. You can also find them on Facebook.

I changed the style of my inclusive Wicca talk at this event, and spent less time talking about the diversity of gender and sexuality, and more time talking about actual Wiccan ritual, and how it can be adapted or expanded or tweaked to be more inclusive. We also had more time to make some magical energy using polarity, resonance, and synergy, which was really good fun.

Attendees at the talk may be interested to know that we have an inclusive Wicca discussion group on Facebook. You can also follow my blogposts via the Facebook page for my book, All Acts of Love and Pleasure: inclusive Wicca. And you can buy the book from Avalonia Publishing. And show some love to the inclusive Wicca shop.

Monday, 9 January 2017

New MeWe group

In view of the privacy concerns with Facebook (which are much debated, but they do exist, because targeted ads harvest keywords from your posts), I have created a new inclusive Wicca group on MeWe.

Some of the other things you can do to protect yourself online are outlined in this article, Information Security 101.

If you are still not convinced that your privacy matters, read this article from Liberty Human Rights and this blogpost about the Snoopers' Charter being brought into force.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Another angle on aphantasia

I didn't know what it was called at the time, but I wrote (in passing) about aphantasia in my book, All acts of love and pleasure: inclusive Wicca. I have followed this up with more detail in my new book, Dark Mirror: the inner work of witchcraft.

I first became aware that there are people who cannot visualise (form internal pictures in their mind's eye) when leading visualisations (a common practice in Wicca), and I now routinely test people when they visit or join my circle to see if they can visualise. I do this by asking them to imagine an orange: looking at it, feeling the pitted surface, opening it with their thumbs, smelling the scent orange oil rising from the peel, and tasting the fruit. If you can't visualise that, chances are you have aphantasia.

If I find someone who cannot visualise, I adapt the way that I do visualisations to help them feel included, for example by inviting them to imagine the physical or emotional feelings associated with the experience.

A new article on Book Riot, What do you see when you read? discusses the phenomenon of aphantasia in relation to reading and visualising the scenes described in books, and the realisation that not everyone sees the same thing in their mind's eye.
This learning experience makes me realize we should constantly strive to understand how people around us perceive the world. It may be different from our perceptions. Don’t assume when your friends read the same book they saw what you saw. We may all model reality differently, in a myriad of ways with different kinds of cognitive functionality. Visualization is a spectrum, but so are most perceptions.  

Exeter University has developed a test for aphantasia, and you can take it via the BBC website.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Review of Queer Paganism by Jo Green

Queer Paganism (Black and White): A Spirituality That Embraces All IdentitiesQueer Paganism: A Spirituality That Embraces All Identities by J.J. Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found myself nodding and smiling in agreement throughout most of this book. The author's sensible and down-to-earth approach to magic and Paganism was very much in tune with my way of thinking. They also have an exceptionally clear style of writing, which makes the book a pleasure to read.

The book's subtitle is "A spirituality that embraces all identities" and the author has done their best to include everyone in the LGBTQIA+ community and heterosexuals too. This book would definitely be of interest to queer Pagans and open-minded heterosexuals. It is not only about queer Paganism, but is about inclusive practice. It is very Wicca-flavoured though, so if Wicca isn't your thing, you might not like like it.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays
Merry Yule
Happy Winter Solstice  (Northern Hemisphere)
Merry Christmas
Happy Yaldā
Happy Hanukkah
Happy Chalica
Kwanzaa greetings
Happy Saturnalia
Festivus greetings
Bona Dies Natalis Sol Invictus
Blessed Alban Arthuan
Peaceful Bridge of Light (LGBT spirituality festival)  
Happy Summer Solstice (Southern Hemisphere)

Candle on a German Christmas tree.
Photo by Gerbil - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Monday, 19 December 2016

New Zazzle shop

I realised that we needed a one stop shop where you can get badges/buttons with "ASK before hugging" or "they" or T-shirts with the inclusive Wicca symbol on them. So here it is: the inclusive Wicca shop on Zazzle! Loads more badges/buttons to come, so watch this space. And feel free to post suggestions and requests for badges/buttons/T-shirts/mugs. You can post a comment here, or contact me via the shop.

All profits (5% of product prices) will be donated to Gendered Intelligence, a UK trans charity.