Be aware that this Tumblr frequently includes pictures of art made with animal remains, as well as occasional liberal political ideologies. Mostly it's nature photography and art (and not just of charismatic megafauna).
Artist, author, ecopagan, and wannabe polymath living in the Pacific Northwe(s)t.
Creator of Curious Gallery, a two-day arts festival celebrating the wunderkammer revival in Portland, OR on February 1-2, 2014. Details at http://www.curiousgallerypdx.com.
I discovered neopaganism in the mid-1990s, and shortly thereafter began my work with animal totems and neoshamanism. Over the years I've wandered through various paths, ranging from Wicca-flavored neopaganism to Chaos magic, and for several few years I created (and followed) Therioshamanism, a post-industrial neo-shamanic path. These days I've relaxed into a more integrated ecopaganism, less about rituals and journeying, and more about the sacred in every moment.
I've also been creating various neopagan ritual tools and other sacred art from hides, bones, beads and other such things since about the same time. And I've written several nonfiction books on totemism, animal magic, and related topics. My next book is "Plant and Fungus Totems: Connect With Spirits of Field, Forest and Garden", due out from Llewellyn in May 2014.
A few places to find me, as I'm all over the internet:
Ask me anything
Megalithica Books, an imprint of Immanion Press (Stafford, U.K./Portland, OR, U.S.A) is seeking submissions for Pagan Leadership: An anthology on Group Dynamics, Healthy Boundaries, and Community Activism Deadline for submissions: September 1 2014.
The words “Pagan Leadership” are often met with scorn and tales of failed groups and so-called Witch Wars. And yet, as our communities grow and mature, we find ourselves in dire need of healthy, ethical leaders. Anyone who has been in a group that said, “Let’s just not have any leaders or power issues,” has seen what doesn’t work. But what does?
This anthology will explore leadership for real Pagans and real groups. We’re looking for essays and articles that detail leadership success stories, best practices, and ways you have worked through challenges and obstacles. Our specific focus is on techniques to help Pagans build healthier, stronger, and more sustainable groups and communities. We’d like to see a combination of hands-on how-to, personally-inspired, and academic pieces that will offer readers tools they can use in their own groups.
What resources do you have now that you wish you’d had when you stepped into leadership? What problems have you faced and overcome? How have you faced the unique difficulties of grassroots Pagan leadership? What are tools and techniques that have worked? Essays and articles should be 1500-4,000 words.
We’re also looking for brief (500-1000 words) personal stories of what we might call leadership disasters—community blow-ups that you’ve personally witnessed or even mistakes you’ve made as a leader. With few exceptions, these would be published anonymously (not naming names/locations) in order to illustrate, through the personal voice of storytelling, the need for leadership education through the power of storytelling. These stories do not need to be formally written; they should simply tell a story about problems you experienced that caused a group to blow up. Note: We prefer shorter pieces for this, but up to 2,000 words might work.
Editors: The anthology will be edited by Shauna Aura Knight and Taylor Ellwood.
More details here.
From one of my publishers:
“Megalithica Books, an imprint of Immanion Press (Stafford, U.K./Portland, OR, U.S.A) is seeking submissions for the Bring Race to the Table: An Exploration of Racism in the Pagan Community.
This anthology explores the topic of Racism and how Racism shows up in the Pagan community, as well as what we can do to recognize it and proactively work to change it by being consciously aware of race and privilege and actively applying that awareness to the Pagan community. We also examine cultural appropriation and its role in racism, and how we can approach issues of culture with conscious awareness that leads to genuine cultural exchanges instead of appropriation.
The vision for this anthology is to include a combination of academic and personally inspired pieces that show the experiences of racism, and the study of racism.”
More info here. Deadline for rough drafts is March 15.
For my followers, especially the amazing POC writers that I know here on Tumblr.
Reblogging because I wanted Sisoula to see it if she hasn’t yet.
I actually hadn’t seen it. I am doing an article for the shades of faith book. But, I might just have to write a submission for this one too. THANKS!!
Also, Pagan followers check this out…
In case you missed it last week.
IMPORTANT NEWS! The deadline for rough drafts has been extended to April 15, 2014! Please pass this on so that anyone who may have missed the first deadline knows they have an extension.
Riding on the momentum of my last post, I’d like to trot out one of my pet peeves: the notion that this world doesn’t have any magic.
It’s a sentiment that I’ve heard here and there over the years among pagans and others. It generally starts with a discussion about how we can’t actually fly without support or shoot fireballs or change the color of our eyes with a spell, and complaints that there aren’t any dragons or unicorns or telepathic horses running around. This sometimes devolves into speculation that, as in some urban fantasy novel or White Wolf RPG, this world once had magic but somehow lost it when technology took over. Of course, no one ever provides any compelling evidence that this was the case in the past, and the speculation is usually defended with “Well, you can’t prove it wasn’t that way, so I believe it was!” This is then postulated as being as real a reality as that explored by science over the centuries, and no one can dissuade the speaker that there isn’t some huge government conspiracy to hide magic from the commoners.
Read the rest here.
—by Shauna Aura Knight The question, “Should Pagans charge for services/rituals/events/classes” comes up with some frequency within our community. One of my activist goals is looking at underlying…
Good food for thought on the ever-sticky question of money and paganism. It’s thorough, and well worth the read.
[Lupa’s note: It was such a busy weekend, I forgot that my first content post over at my paganSquare blog, Lupa’s Den, went live on Friday! I’m starting with the bare-bones basics in this how-to blog, and my first post is on “How To Sense Nature Spirits”]
So, let’s start with the very basics, beginning with how to sense spirits. After all, if I’m going to be helping my readership work with spirits and totems and the like, I should make sure that you have a way of doing so. You might already have figured out a good option for yourself, but keep reading anyway if you like—maybe there’s something in here you haven’t considered yet.
I’m going to sidestep the issue of the exact nature of spirits, whether they’re independent beings in a nonphysical reality that parallels our own, or unseen denizens of our world, or elements of our psyche that we project outward. Not that it isn’t important, but I’ll leave it up to you to decide exactly what they are; the how-tos I’m going to put in this blog should work regardless of your answer.
How do you sense something that doesn’t have a physical presence? In popular Western traditions, particularly those based in 19th century mediumship, there may be physical signs that a spirit is present, such as the room going cold suddenly, or an item falling off a shelf. However, these supposed signs can often be explained by more mundane things: the room went cold because the heat shut off, or the object fell off the shelf because it was already precariously balanced. The problem with these signs, too, is that they can lead you to want there to be “real proof” of the existence of spirits so badly that you start attributing any little thing to “the spirits”. This is what’s known as confirmation bias. This bugaboo can lead you to selectively ignore anything that doesn’t support your desire for “real proof”. Eventually you may find yourself so focused on trying to interpret the meaning of every little change in your environment that you completely miss the spirits themselves because you can no longer filter out what is and isn’t the sign of a spirit’s presence.
I favor a tactic that is admittedly more subjective and personal; it won’t prove the reality of spirits to everyone and their mother, but it can help you to figure out the best way for you to sense their presence. (The spirits, I mean, not everybody and their mother!)
Read the rest here.
Hey, folks! If you like my writing, I have great news for you! I am now a blogger over at paganSquare, courtesy of Witches and Pagans mag. My new blog, “Lupa’s Den: Practices for the Earthy Pagan” is going to be focusing on “how to do stuff” type writing—and I’m open to suggestions of things you’d like to see me cover! Here, check it out: http://witchesandpagans.com/Lupa-s-Den/Blogger/Listings/lupa.html
Note: This is my July offering for the Animist Blog Carnival, with “Becoming an Animist” as the theme; please note that the information about it has changed locations (again). When I was young, I v…
Note: This is my July offering for the Animist Blog Carnival, with “Becoming an Animist” as the theme; please note that the information about it has changed locations (again).
When I was young, I very quickly discovered the Great Outdoors. In fact, it was sometimes pretty hard to get me to go back inside! And even when I was under a human-made roof, I was usually reading books about nature, or playing with toy animals, or watching wildlife shows on TV. In short, the natural world was my first true love, and it’s a relationship that’s never ended.
However, it was about more than just the physical trees and grass and rabbits and snakes. Even at a young age I felt there was vivacity to the world beyond the basic science of it. People had been writing myths about nature spirits for millennia all around the world. Shouldn’t there be something to that, at least? And so I began talking to the bushes and the birds, and while they never spoke back to me in so many words, I sometimes felt that I was at least acknowledged.
Read the rest (and the twist ending!) here.
Over on my personal blog, Therioshamanism, the concept of giving things has been on my mind quite a bit as of late. Early in the month I talked about the concept of “giving” plants and animals (usually in the form of food) as offerings, and wondered what we would give the spirits or totems of those species in recompense. Then, for the Pagan Values Blog Project, I wrote about service, particularly service to this physical realm we inhabit.
All this centers around giving an offering, either an item or an action. But what about offering through taking? To take something away means to reduce its influence. This can be a negative choice, such as taking food from someone and reducing their access to necessary nutrients–not a very good offering for anyone! But there are other things we can take away from someone or something that ends up being a beneficial action.
Read the rest here.
As many folks who have worked with animal and other totems know, not all totems are cuddly and friendly. Sometimes they’re what are popularly known as “shadow” totems, who challenge us through embo…
As many folks who have worked with animal and other totems know, not all totems are cuddly and friendly. Sometimes they’re what are popularly known as “shadow” totems, who challenge us through embodying some of our less pleasant aspects. Others represent animals or other living beings that we don’t care for, or maybe even have adverse relationships with.
This latter description fits my relationship with the totem of black mold pretty well. This is a common name for Stachybotrys chartarum, a fungus that commonly resides in drywall in houses and whose spores can cause illness (sometimes fatal) to a home’s inhabitants. Black mold has also been implicated in sick building syndrome, causing the same sort of havoc at work as well as at home.
How can this be anyone’s totem? Find out here.
Last week, the Wild Hunt blog featured a piece on “Pagans Doing Good. It started with a critique of paganism, the common complaint that there are no pagan hospitals or homeless shelters or major nonprofit groups. The writer, Heather Greene, then highlighted two activists who also happen to be pagan (and there are more where they came from!)
My only critique of this is that “service” isn’t limited to those who are able to devote their entire lives to activism. Most of us have households to support or families to raise or debts and bills to pay or any of a number of other obligations that we can’t just toss to the wayside to go be full-time activists. We do need these people; I admire devotion and I do admit I envy them a bit. But that is far from the end of pagan manifestations of service.
I am not, however, speaking about service to gods or spirits or other incorporeal beings.
Read the rest here.