Monday, 28 November 2016

inclusive Wicca survey

I thought it would be interesting to find out how many people are actually practicing some form of inclusive Wicca. So here's a questionnaire.

Please be aware that written responses to questions will be visible to all other survey participants, because of the way that Google forms work.

If you would like to be listed as an inclusive coven, please go to the Files section of the inclusive Wicca Facebook group and add your contact details there.



Go to the Google Form

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Witchfest 2016 - inclusive Wicca talk

Yesterday was Witchfest International 2016, in the vast Brighton Centre on Brighton seafront. I presented a talk on inclusive Wicca. Several people thanked me for creating/holding a space for LGBTQ people, so it is definitely a good thing that inclusive Wicca exists and that people are able to find out about it. I also talked about including and welcoming disabled people, people with mental health issues, and people of colour.

Here are the slides from my talk (click on the expand button to get the best effect).



Thanks to everyone who came to the talk, and to the Witchfest organisers and volunteers who put on this event.


Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Resisting, Rebelling, Surviving

I have added more resources to the resisting fascism page, but I wanted to draw extra attention to this outstanding guide, Rebel Well: A Starter Survival Guide To A Trumped America from Scarleteen. It is available as a downloadable and printable PDF, and licensed under Creative Commons, so that it can be reproduced (but not modified). It will also be a helpful guide to life in Broken Brexit Britain, I am sure.

As the good people at Scarleteen say:
We've created this survival guide -- available as both an online version and a printable packet -- to provide information that can help you take some initial steps to protect yourself and others, and to cope with the bad stuff as best anyone can. Unfortunately, it's not going to magic all of the awful away. But it can help to reduce harms and, hopefully, help you and all of us get through this, and with our senses of self and humanity still intact and perhaps even improved through our own personal and political resistance.

There is little suggested in this guide that isn’t a good idea to be doing, no matter what. If more people were already doing many of these things, we may not have wound up in this spot in the first place, or would have been better equipped to more strongly reject it and resist it from the start.

In the wonderful event we’re wrong about what we're all facing, none of these things will be a waste of your time. Most of what's advised here makes it more likely, whatever the circumstance, that we and others will be okay. And some of what we suggest in this guide, particularly when it comes to supporting and helping each other, are the only ways we can keep what’s awful from getting worse and start changing things for the better, not just for now, but for the future, so we may never wind up dealing with something this epically big and bad for just about everyone again.
Here's the table of contents:

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Memories of resistance project

When all the terrible things that are happening now seem overwhelming, it is useful to reflect on past struggles and try to find what worked. It is clear that broad coalitions are needed between different groups, as happened with the UK miners’ strike and LGBT people — the miners supported same-sex marriage when it came up as a policy in the Labour Party. Solidarity is real.

I am collecting people's memories of resistance to racism and fascism in past decades, to inspire younger activists who are scared rigid by the election of Trump and the vote for Brexit. I will post the article(s) on Medium.com and Gods & Radicals.

Here are some of my memories of resistance to oppression. I have also had a great contribution to the project from Sabina Magliocco, which will be published on Gods and Radicals on 16 November.

I would be very grateful if you could share something with me for the article. Please feel free to share this link with other seasoned activists. It doesn’t have to be long, but it would be helpful if you could describe things you or your relatives and friends personally experienced, whether it’s anti-racism, feminism, or LGBT-rights related. Photos would be awesome too. And please let me know how you want to be credited — anonymously, by name, or by pseudonym (and religious affiliation, if you want). Ideas for building a network of resistance are particularly appreciated.

Please comment on this post with your contribution.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Mourn AND organise

Solidarity and love to all LGBTQIA+, disabled, Black, indigenous, Muslim, Jewish, Latino/a/x, and other minorities who are feeling terrified by the U.S. election result. 

Stay safe. Stay together.

Useful list of U.S. organisations resisting racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia:


Friday, 4 November 2016

Forthcoming book - Dark Mirror

Dark Mirror - the inner work of witchcraft

And thou who thinkest to seek for me, know that thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not, unless thou knowest this mystery: that if that which thou seekest, thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee.
― Doreen Valiente, The Charge of the Goddess

Inner work is a name commonly given to the inner processes that happen in ritual. However, the best kind of inner work also has an effect outside the individual and outside the circle. When rituals are focused only on self-development, they tend to be a bit too introspective. Ritual is about creating and maintaining relationships and connections - between body, mind, and spirit; with the Earth, Nature, the land, the spirit world, the community, and friends. It is also about creating, maintaining, and restoring balance. It is about making meaning. Telling our stories and reclaiming our history from the oppressors. Weaving a web of symbolism, story, mythology, meaning, community, and love to stand against the ennui and emptiness of relentless consumerism. Creating loosely held but welcoming community, a community that welcomes and celebrates diversity (of body shape, skin colour, physical ability, neurodivergence, sexual orientation, gender expression and identity, biology, cultural background, age, talkativeness or lack of it, and so on). Creating strong and authentic identity to resist the pressures of consumerism and commercialism and capitalism. Weaving relationship with other beings: humans, animals, birds, spirits, deities.
So the inner work of ritual may be intrapersonal, interpersonal, restorative, or community-building. The kinds of relationships that ritual helps to maintain may be of various different kinds - friendships, erotic relationships (including kinky ones), patron/client relationships,. Inner work might be meditation, visualisation, prayer, magic, balancing archetypes within the psyche, lucid dreaming, healing, connecting with the body, or attunement to Nature.


Table of contents

  • Introduction: the inner work

Coming to the circle

  1. The Pagan worldview
  2. Creating sacred space
  3. Raising energy - synergy, resonance and polarity
  4. Magical names
  5. Archetypes and the inner work
  6. The Mysteries
  7. Evocation and Invocation
  8. Use of symbols in ritual
  9. Spell work
  10. Magical tools

Embodied Spirituality

  1. Relationships and Consent in Wicca
  2. “Ye shall be naked in your rites”
  3. The erotic and spirituality
  4. Inner aspects of the festivals
  5. Grounding and centering
  6. Making an altar
  7. The Hearth
  8. Food in ritual
  9. Labyrinths; Meditative walking; Pilgrimage
  10. Gardening
  11. Spirits of the land
  12. Meditation, Visualisation, Contemplation
  13. Poetry, Storytelling, and Reading
  14. Cultivating the virtues

Between the worlds

  1. Modes and types of ritual
  2. Sound and silence
  3. The Moon
  4. The witch’s journey
  5. Queer Witchcraft
  6. Witchcraft and the land
  7. Witchcraft as resistance
  8. Working with ancestors
  9. The Pact - relational polytheism
  10. Madness, shamanism, witchcraft
  11. The night journey

Bringing it all back home

  1. Inclusive Wicca
  2. Group dynamics
  3. Being a coven leader
  4. Teaching and learning in a coven
  5. Egregore, lineage, upline, downline
  6. Power and authority
  7. Rites of passage
  8. Challenging oppression
  9. Evaluating your Craft
  10. Brimful of Asha

Appendices

  1. Model guidelines for group discussion
  2. Coming-out ritual
  3. Recommended reading

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Same-sex initiation

I completely support same-sex initiation for those who want it.

I have never yet seen an "argument" against same-sex initiation that was any different from the "arguments" against same sex marriage. And yet people persist in putting these tired old arguments forward as if they were new.

Some of these people even have the bare faced effrontery to have a go at bigoted Christians who oppose same sex marriage on the same "grounds" that they themselves oppose same sex initiation. And no one hesitates to call those Christians homophobic - so I'm sorry but why should anti-same-sex initiation people get a free pass?

So let's rehearse those "arguments" shall we?

(1) that only a man and a woman can make babies (therefore only male/female marriage or initiation is valid). Lots of male/female couples can't make babies because they're too old or infertile etc. but they are still married, and no-one denies the validity of their marriage. Fertility doesn't have to be literal, it's symbolic. There are lots of other ways to make polarity and fertility.

(2) that the definition of marriage is "one man, one woman" / that initiations have always been done male/female. Invalid argument because of polygamy, polyandry & ancient examples of same-sex marriage; invalid argument because of same-sex initiation in Freemasonry, other occult orders and in Wicca (father/son; mother/daughter; HPs with strap-on sword; all the people who have actually done same sex initiations, including Alex Sanders).

(3) that God, or the gods, made male & female.
Oh yeah, really, then why are there so many gay animals?

(4) "Because it's the tradition!" 
 Traditions can change / evolve / grow / be reformed. They are not set in stone.

Have I missed any? Does anyone have an argument against same-sex initiation that is substantively different from any of the above?