Do the F**king Work for Newbies

Do the Fucking Work was the most popular post I have ever had. I pay attention to these kinds of things. They are signposts for me and how I proceed in my ministry.


I also pay attention when I get really annoyed with something in the pagan community. I learned long ago when I am annoyed, my subconscious is unhappy and that is important. It means that something is rubbing against the spiritual soul of me that 1. I need to acknowledge or 2. I need to acknowledge and address in myself 3. I need to acknowledge and address in myself AND in those I deal with.

Please note that TO KNOW is part of the magickal mantra “To Know, To Do, To Will [or Be], To Be Silent.” There is an entire other blog around TO KNOW. I am realizing that many many pagan magickal practitioners do not KNOW themselves. Oh, they believe they know. They do not KNOW and this inherent lack of knowledge of SELF is a fundamental tripping element to their magick and mundane lives. That might be another post someday called Get the Fucking Knowledge. Right now I am annoyed.

I am really annoyed.

When I ranted about doing the fucking work before, it was directly in relationship to money, jobs and prosperity. However, this inability to do work bleeds into every aspect of many magickal practitioners lives. It is so annoying.

What Christianity Taught You That Isn’t Helpful

I do not have a problem with Christianity. I was a Christian for many years (nearly 27). However, there are thought processes that some (note the dramatic emphasis) Christians use as fundamental tenants that do not serve magickal practice, paganism or Wicca.


The bigger problem is that these thought processes are energetic and bleed into our secular culture, especially in the United States. Even persons who were not devout Christians end up having these unconscious thought processes and then relying upon them when they leave Christianity or interact in any other faith. These unconscious and unchallenged thought processes affect everything from how a person deals with their life to how they approach their own spiritual journey. I would like to take a moment to expose some of them and ask you – are YOU falling for these false thought patterns and are those false patterns keeping YOU from gaining spiritual wisdom?

Throw Out The IDEA of a Ten Commandments

If you leave Christianity, please leave the Ten Commandments behind as well. Do not come to a non-Judeo Christian spiritual path looking for another Ten Commandments to abide by. They do not exist. The search and adherence to these commandments are not serving your spiritual journey.

Do not get me wrong. I still think that killing is unethical. It is also in the Biblical Ten Commandments, “Thou shalt not kill.” However, as a magickal practitioner I am very clear in my spirit, soul, that mystical place in me, when I would be willing to kill and not be sorry or even feel I was living outside of a deep spiritual place. I would also be willing to take whatever punishment the government I live under gives me for that action.

This is the fundamental difference between adherence as a Christian, and adherence and understanding of the world as someone outside Judeo Christianity. As a Christian, God says, “Do not Kill (“Thou Shalt Not Kill” 2016).” As a Christian, there is only adherence. There is nothing to think about or analysis. God said, Christians obey. THE END.

When I left Christianity, the most important work I did was to define for myself my own ethics in great detail. I am clear when I face situations what the ethical issues are in my mind and I am clear about all the various strands of web that inter-relate to that issue. I have learned that action is not one thing – it is inter-related. Much like a spider’s web is.

If action happens anywhere on the spider’s web, the spider will know where that action is simply by the feelings transmitted by the web itself. The web, for magickal practitioners, is our ethical understanding of our world. Just as different spiders create different webs, different magickal practitioners will create different ethical understandings. However, when another spider hits my ethical web, I know whether or not that is a spider that is living an ethical life in tune with my own ethical web. When my web resonates I know rightness and wrongness without the benefit of Ten Commandments.

This is because the very Laws of Nature and the Universe create the construct of all ethical webs, no matter who creates them. I no longer live in a world of RIGHT or WRONG. I live in a world filled with subtle nuances where something right in one situation will be wrong in another. However, even this grey world has a construct based on greater universal laws that helps me know when I meet someone whose web is outside the grayest of gray.

I can only live in the gray, if I know myself. I must know what my personal ethics are and have an understanding of the Universal Laws of Nature and Ethics that cannot be put into words or defined and are no less real for human’s inability to describe them. I had to do the fucking work, by myself, alone with my own thoughts and demons.

There is rightness and wrongness in magickal practice and it is defined by universal laws of nature and those indescribable only experiential things that a practitioner must experience to know. It requires a great deal of work. If you want to stay a sheep, continue to be a Christian. The Great Shepherd will provide for you. If you leave the fold, stop looking for The Shepherd. You left him. He wasn’t for you. Start looking INSIDE yourself.


The greatest conflict in Judeo-Christianity comes when there are clashes around the same written works seen as being holy and to quote a catechism “inerrant” (“Inerrancy: Roman Catholic Views on the Bible’s Infallability and Inerrancy” 2016). I will never forget when, as a Christian, I discovered that the Catholic Bible and the Protestant Bible are not the same. It helped me understand the laid back theology of many Catholics. They knew that protestants didn’t have all the books of the Bible, so protestant misunderstanding could be explained. It also explained the vehemence I was raised with that taught all Catholics are going to hell. The very foundation of belief rests on the correctness of the Bible Protestants use. Catholics reject that Bible SO Catholics have to go to hell or the very foundation of belief for Protestants is in question.


Despite the fact that Christians and other Judeo-Christian religions still fight physical conflicts over the rightness of their spiritual beliefs, new spiritual magicians, pagans, Wiccans and witches still walk around looking for The Mystic Bible to tell them what to do. There isn’t one.

On this side of faith and belief, there is an understanding of UNITY. Protestant, Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Gentiles, EVERYONE OF FAITH are all in the Universe of Faith NOT separate universes, as most would assume. Joseph Campbell is my mentor in this understanding. I watched his videos and read his books and found a knowing that all spirituality is underpinned by some Universal energy and laws and basic understandings . This type of understanding is termed monomyth by Campbell (“Joseph Campbell” 2016)

Again this knowledge came through doing the fucking work. It came through reading and studying and thinking and challenging myself. As an adherent to Sacred Geometry I can rest safe in the knowledge the world is based on real and knowable principles that are mathematically precise (“Sacred Geometry” 2016). I can see the sacred shapes of Triangle, Circle and Square in any spiritually aware human or seeker. I can see Christianity at its best and understand how it can go wrong terribly wrong. Again, this isn’t something I can articulate to any great effect. It is something that I live with as a deep knowing, some would call it grokking. In the place where I grok, there is a right and wrong and it is much harder to pin down (“Grok” 2016).

Throw Out “Let Go and Let God” and “Have Faith”

In Christianity, when my questions were too complex for an answer, I would often hear, “Have faith.” Faith was this mystical bandage that held together the incongruency I experienced as a Christian and those mystical bandages eventually failed. Faith doesn’t make a good bandage, like say, duct tape might.


When things were difficult, I would be told, “Let go and let God.” I once asked what I was going to let God do and the response was, “Have faith.”

When you leave Christianity, you leave certainty that comes with one answer: GOD. In Christianity the basic tenants revolve around the idea that God is ALL and the answer to everything. This frees up humankind completely. We have no more work to do but believe in God, that it is it. Mass murderer in life? Ask God to forgive you and BELIEVE IN GOD and POW! You can go to heaven even if the thousands you murdered didn’t have a chance.

This is counter to the Laws of the Universe as I understand them and is one of the fundamental reason I left Christianity. When you don’t tend your garden, nothing grows. When you don’t water a plant, it dies. When you don’t feed your cows, they don’t produce milk. The Laws of the Universe from my time on a farm have taught me all things have a cause and effect. Christianity seeks to circumnavigate the effect from any cause by using a belief in God as a get out of jail free card.

This is where a magickal practice comes in. Suddenly we understand that cause and effect are paramount. We adopt a magickal practice to influence the effects around us and it goes awry. It goes awry because we do not want to do the amazing amount of work required to really and truly affect change. See Money, Magick & Bullshit: Do the F**king Work.


Christianity has taught us that if we lose faith in God or need to connect to God, then we can seek out God’s chosen – Priests, the Pope, a Guru, a Preacher. Then we can reach God through these people and borrow their knowledge to adopt as our own.

In the world of magick, paganism, Wicca, witchcraft, shamanism or whatever name you wish to ascribe to this world outside of Judeo-Christianity, that thinking is dangerously inaccurate. Every spiritual journey while having a similar cosmic geometry, is unique. Part of what makes it unique is how someone actually gets there. It is true that some will find getting to those spiritual places easier when lead or part of a strict magickal tradition like the OTA, OTO or strict Wiccan/Pagan traditions. However, even within these traditions that do work to bring spiritual elevation to seekers, there is a uniqueness to the journey of each Seeker. If a Wiccan tradition raises Green Witches, for example, they will not all be the same shade of green. Those raised in that tradition will carry a shade of green with them for the rest of their lives, but they will NEVER all be the exact same color of green.

It is the laws of nature again. You can take trees and mathematically predict how far apart the tree branches of specific trees within a species will be. In this knowledge there is a certain gentle calmness that can be sought. However, you can not mathematically predict the exact color of every leaf on a tree of the same species because nature causes other factors to be at play. Are the leaves on a dying branch that is diseased? How far from the sunlight is that leaf? Are these leaves the first for this tree or the last? Color of the leaves will be in a spectrum NOT a predictable sameness.

Given that, you do not need a proxy to do the real and hard work of spiritual development and magickal growth. You need you. No teacher, guru, witch, grand master, preacher, minister, seer, or person is ever going to be as good as you are at developing who YOU ARE.

This doesn’t mean that the experience of others can’t help you. It does mean that the experiences of others will never help you as much as the work and experiences you have with yourself.

Before you, as a newbie, ask a question, do yourself a favor. Google the answer. Research the answer. Hold that question in your heart and think of an answer for yourself. Seek out your guides, your intuition, your innate knowledge buried under years of deferring to other authorities. Spend time with the question and ask yourself, “If I knew the answer to this question, what would it be?” There is no proxy on Earth or in the Universe that is better suited to answer your question than YOU.

It DOES NOT take a witch to make a witch, unless the witch in question is the witch that needs to be made.




Leadership & the Laws of Magick: Bring Back Public Shunning

I was really surprised about the popularity of my latest blog Money, Magick, & Bullshit: Do the F**king Work! This had led me to think about leadership and the Laws of Magick.

I often refer to Bonewits when I discuss the Laws of Magick because he was the first person I ever read on the topic and, in truth, the only author I knew who reviewed and discussed them in such length.

One of the arguments that seems to have rankled many around pagan leadership is the term Elder. These arguments have come around a discussion of a person who teaches at Cherry Hill Seminary and this persons stance against transwomen, stating blatantly that transwomen aren’t really “women,” but men attempting to use some ruse to steal power from women. (Wild Hunt; June 12, 2016)

I do not support this particular person’s claim to eldership, leadership or, even priestess-hood. The exclusion of transwomen in women’s mysteries and rites is simply unacceptable and contrary to paganism as I practice and teach. I would call such an exclusion an “act unbecoming,” negative behavior that I find to be outside the boundaries of spiritual calling and rooted in ego and unresolved personal issues.

What is curious to me is how the Laws of Magick get twisted and used to support acts unbecoming and those who teach them. The most common law is The Law of Names.

The Law of Names

Turning once again to Bonewits, we receive this information:

This works because a name is a definition (yes, even “Harold,” “Marie,” “Xunte,” and “Jasmine” were at one time) as well as a contagion link. Perhaps more importantly, it works because knowing the complete and “true” name of something or someone means that you have achieved a complete understanding of its or his [or her] nature. This is why, in most pre-industrial cultures, people are given “secret names” as well as “public names,” and why the sharing of a secret name is such an act of trust – because the secret name is consider to be very close to, if not identical with, the person’s true name.

The generation before mine was and can still be very stuck upon names like High Priestess and High Priest and Elder. These names were more than a title, following the Laws of Magick, they were an admission of a definition. At the heart of this definition is the suggestion of knowledge, power and correctness or rightness. If we defer to someone as an “elder” or a “high priest” or a “high priestess” we are in essence feeding into the energy that suggests, according to the laws of magick, that a person is literally powerful, correct and knowledgeable.

There are two inherent errors with this type of thinking, one on the part of those who wield the terms for themselves and one on the part of those who use these terms for others.

Not My Elder

Courtney Weber, author and pagan journalist, wrote a rebuttal against transphobic elders called Not My ElderAt the time, even I cringed, at the thought. Here in the South, titles have a distinct cultural significance that goes well beyond how someone acts and speaks and is related to Southern hospitality. Elder, in the South is any person of an older age, who by virtue of their age alone, has earned the right to a little respect. It is the antithesis of being mean to someone who is old just because they are old and pass their “prime.”

However, when we move into magickal circles, the term Elder becomes something more and those of us who were indoctrinated to have manners first and think it through later, have to pull ourselves up short and look critically at our conditioning.

About Religion has an excellent article on a definition of Pagan Elder that is worth a read; however, it too is linked to age. The Elder title that someone like Weber talks about isn’t necessarily linked to age, it is linked to perceived and real contributions to paganism in some form.  When researching the person above, I expected the person to have many actual degrees. In actuality, the person only holds one in Folk History from 1976. The person is also a founding member of a significant pagan tradition that is feminist based and has a long history of artistic work and writings around feminism and spirituality. The term “elder” has been applied to her based upon this body work.


Here is the thing. Elder in the pagan community is based upon the idea that the person has given a significant contribution to the pagan community. The person reference above has. Agree with the person or not, you cannot deny that contribution.

And, yet, pagan elderalso implies power and right and correctness. It is this implication of rightness and correctness that Weber is addressing.

Weber brings us to an understanding that the power the term Elder can have when applied to the above person, can be diminished by public outcry. The verbal denial of that type of speech is an active magickal act.  The person above may be accepted by many feminist pagans as an elder, and as Weber so eloquently states, this doesn’t make that person Weber’s Elder. Weber is using the Laws of Magick to fight trans-phobic speech that has no place of acceptance in the paganism Weber practices. Weber is actively fighting the idea that the person in question has any power, right, or correctness.

But The Person is an ELDER!  Presidency v Ladyship

Let’s break this down some. Titles can be honorific or denote a sacred office. I agreed with nothing President George W. Bush ever said on foreign policy. I actively demonstrated against what I saw as illegal military action by the United States in direct defiance and disagreement with the Command In Chief. However, if I had met or ever met President Bush, I would not say, “Yo, George, you are an f**cking asshole personally responsible for the loss of American military personnel and innocent people in an unjustified military conflict that you actively lied to the American people about, you f**cking dickhead.”

I would still address him with good manners and by the title President because the American people voted for him, their bad judgement not withstanding, and the office of President has also been held by past and living persons whom I admire and respect. It isn’t because I like President Bush that I refer to him as President Bush. It is because I respect the office of the Presidency and what it magickally represents for the republic of America.

When dealing with pagan elders, high priests and high priestess, we should remember the totality of what the title means. The Law of Names tells us that by giving someone a title we are energetically imbuing them with the power of that office as we perceive it. We are saying that someone is demonstrating holy spiritual knowledge, power and correctness on behalf of our religious representation. This is how Act Unbecoming came to be.

Acts UnBecoming

There is no central body that puts out pagan elders and verifies that they are actual qualified to do jack. Given that, the titles adopted by pagan leaders are honorary and only have the power we ascribe. However, most of us have met people we would gladly give the title Lord or Lady or Elder to.

It is because these people, for each of us individually, represent what a person would behave like if they had been ordained by Divinity as we understand Divinity. This also means that there will be plenty of leaders of all types that we do not recognize as being worthy that other people will. I reject evangelical teachings and find that most of what they teach is dangerous and divisive; however, this doesn’t negate that evangelical leaders have a falling that far surpasses mine mostly because they are followed by people or spiritually and politically agree with them. Still not my reverend.

This is the beautiful, complicated and difficult part bound up in freedom of religion and speech.

Mistake of Pagan “Elders” “High Priests” “High Priestesses” or “Clergy”

There is a belief among some pagan leadership that the title makes the person.

The title doesn’t make you.

An emphasis on legitimacy in The Craft through the ordination or recognition by outside human sources has lead to a clamoring of persons demanding to be recognized as an “elder,” “high priest,” or “high priestess.” It has also lead to those who have the suggested “legitimacy” of elevation by a Wiccan or witchcraft tradition or sect, demanding everyone honor their title and elevations.

Because these human sources are often NOT regulated at all and vary wildly from group to group, what one person did to earn the title “high priestess” is NOT going to comparable to what someone else did to earn the same title. The general pagan population knows this.

Further, even if you have a masters or doctorate in some specialty, it isn’t your knowledge that people are worried about, it is your presentation.

How you behave. How you handle conflict. How you deal with people who disagree with you adamantly. How you process and empower people who are under educated about the topic you teach.

Paganism values inclusivity. What today’s pagan leaders are trying to wrangle is how we can remain inclusive while paganism as a culture defines acceptable and unacceptable behavior. This means, the general pagan population is not going to wowed and ahhed by the enforcement of titles, degrees or education unless the above are wielded with a deft hand.

“The athame should be use like a scalpel,” a former high priestess told me, “When too often it is used just to maim.”

The athame represents a leaders knowledge, power, and righteousness given to them by the gods and goddesses they serve. Too often, our pagan leaders look to conquer through the force of their words and their divisive and demeaning rhetoric. All this type of behavior does is suggest the pagan leader is unbecoming any title they claim.

I would assert, and many pagan leaders do, that no title should be necessary. If a pagan is an elder, high priest or high priestess there is no need for them to announce it. Their very life will do that for them. The Law of Knowledge, Power, and Self Knowledge will be all the magickal confirmation they will ever need of their title.

Still Not My Elder: Bringing Back Public Shunning

You read this whole blog and are thinking, “Okay, Dia, I agree with you and I still don’t like that woman you mentioned above and can think of several other pagans whose behavior I abhor. What do I do?”

There are for me personally, a couple of leaders who fall into a category of “beyond redemption.” Their acts unbecoming are so heinous that their association with The Craft is dangerous to the craft and to pagans. I have a little list going in my head. I personally, have decided that not only will I not feed their power by agreeing they are an elder, high priest, or high priestess, I will literally deny them any energy at all.

If I were to ever see these people, I will simply behave as if they do not exist. I won’t speak their names unless I am absolutely forced to for the safety of others. I will not acknowledge their existence except in relationship to discussing other more important issues. I will not name them.

I will send them private letters with my concerns and give a list of things I think the person should do in order to find my acceptance in the future. I will not engage in public open bashing of them as a human being or person.

Now, really, who cares what I do? I am just one person in Georgia.

Imagine a speech given by the person I fail to mention by name in this article. People show up, stand in mass and literally give their back to the speaker while putting on head phones. An act of civil disobedience that actively works against transphobia while silently holding signs of support for our trans-sisters and trans-brothers?

Imagine a seminar at your favorite gathering where a well known and married couple are forced to deal with persons in headphones, holding signs exposing the dangers of a pagan consent culture and demanding pagan leadership that teach responsibility when it comes to sexuality and paganism.

Imagine picketing a Red Tent that is trans-exclusive. Silent protesters with head phones filled with chants to the Goddess and signs that say exclusivity should be behavior, not gender based.

Imagine civil disobedience that doesn’t rely on trolling but is active and real and impactful. Civil disobedience where your voice and place in shaping pagan values is assured while allowing groups to continue to hold great festivals and not be penalized by the teachings of gatherings’ poor seminar choices?

At each of these places and times, a clear list of how to end the shunning is displayed. For the person above it might read: “Stop your transphobic speech and saying that that hate speech is holy and spiritual and feminist.”

The married couple might be asked to “Admit past teachings have had a real detrimental  effect on sexual consent in paganism and on individuals who have been assaulted in the name of The Craft. Freely admit that you do not have any training in sexuality as it pertains to assault victims and are not qualified to teach sexuality due to your lack of psychological understanding and training.”

Real Pagans Consent

To Asatru groups who exclude specefic races it might read: “Stop spreading racism in the name of paganism and saying that racism is holy and sacred.”

Real Pagans Racism

Imagine memes that take over your social media feeds that say:

“Real Pagans Are Not Racist.”

“Real Goddess Worshipers Worship with Transwomen.”

“Real Pagans do not condone or teach rape.”

“Real Pagans say, “If you cannot dance in the circle – we will push you or give you a chair and drum!”


One More Thing

Real pagans also create communities where trans acceptance is an actual communal out put. Communities where many races and cultures are represented. Communities where sexuality is taught in healthy and psychological sound ways. Communities where protecting the community is the top priority and making room for those who come in love and trust and honor is also a priority.

As we wrangle with this difficult time in Paganism where pagan values as a culture are identified and refined, we must also be focused on community creation.

If we aren’t tending to the inclusiveness of pagan communities there is no energy powerful enough to counteract the useless jesters our empty words become.



Orlando and Grief

We all grieve differently.

Make some room to grieve.

Laid down the arguments about guns, rightness, wrongness, religious beliefs and motivations and the horrible discrimination against the LGBT community.

Light a candle.

Light 49.

Light another.

Light 53.

Don’t take to twitter in anger demanding why someone isn’t posting like you think or supporting your belief.

Breathe a moment and don’t speak.

When you open your mouth, let it be filled with the names of the dead or wounded. Let the words reflect the horror and sadness that drives you to lash out in anger. Let it be filled with the reflection of grief within yourself.

When the dead are buried or burned to ash, then –  then –  we can argue about policy and the sanctioned discrimination turned against our fellow humans.

But when those discussions are begun – later after the dead have been buried or burned – let the names of the dead and injured remain

as prepositions



in our discussion…..



“Mass shootings are horrible things. Edward Sotomayor Jr. right Stanley Almodovar III own guns is protected by Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo Second Amendment. Luis S. Vielma Juan Ramon Guerrero right Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera love Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz marry whomever we choose. Our brothers Kimberly Morris sisters who are transgender are Mercedez Marisol Flores being targeted. When will Deonka Deidra Drayton policies Eddie Jamoldroy Justice discussions move Enrique Rios stop Anthony Luis Laureanodisla hate speech Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega end Cory James Connell deaths Mercedez Marisol Flores beloved Americans?

How can Miguel Angel Honorato as Jason Benjamin Josaphat nation continue Darryl Roman Burt II permit such record violence Alejandro Barrios Martinez occur? Jean Carlos Mendez Perez 2016, there have been 179 number Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez mass shootings Amanda Alvear 287 people Martin Benitez Torres dead because Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon them. Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado what about Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez hate speech Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez has been propagated Oscar A Aracena-Montero some Americans? Javier Jorge-Reyes idea that because Joel Rayon Paniagua don’t like someone’s life style Juan P. Rivera Velazquez their sexual orientation Luis Daniel Conde their gender orientation Shane Evan Tomlinson somehow devalues them as Juan Chevez-Martinez human being? Jerald Arthur Wright Americans Leroy Valentin Fernandez pursuit Tevin Eugene Crosby happiness is guarantee, Jean C. Nives Rodriguez yet, some Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala our society continue Brenda Lee Marquez McCool persist with Yilmary Rodriguez Sulivan idea Christopher Andrew Leinonen only Angel L. Candelario-Padro definition Frank Hernandez happiness is allowed. Why is that? We call Paul Terrell Henry less government Edward Sotomayor Jr. then worry about Stanley Almodovar III someone marries Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo how someone chooses Luis S. Vielma identify. Juan Ramon Guerrero these things make right Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera American happy Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz in Kimberly Morris pursuit Mercedez Marisol Flores their Deonka Deidra Drayton happiness Deonka Deidra Drayton is cause no harm, then why do we allow politicians Eddie Jamoldroy Justice pundits Enrique Rios even comment?

And what about us, each one of us? What can we do?

Anthony Luis Laureanodisla can watch what Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega say Mercedez Marisol Flores how Miguel Angel Honorato think.

Jason Benjamin Josaphat basis Darryl Roman Burt II all acts Alejandro Barrios Martinez violence begin Jean Carlos Mendez Perez words exchanged Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez ideas promoted Amanda Alvear better Martin Benitez Torres more right than others. Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon when Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado express some deeply held opinion Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez belief, we may need speech Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez ask ourselves Oscar A Aracena-Montero what we are saying is promoting violence Javier Jorge-Reyes some unwitting person dancing Joel Rayon Paniagua Juan P. Rivera Velazquez night club? Are our words small micro aggressions perpetrated Luis Daniel Conde some need Shane Evan Tomlinson make ourselves feel holier Shane Evan Tomlinson more righteous? When Juan Chevez-Martinez speak is our words directing Luis Daniel Conde tolerance Shane Evan Tomlinson love that is reflected Juan Chevez-Martinez all of Jerald Arthur Wright world’s major Leroy Valentin Fernandez minor religions? Do our words harbor some secret hope Tevin Eugene Crosby others will die Jean C. Nives Rodriguez a mass shooting like what just happened Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala Orlando?

Instead Brenda Lee Marquez McCool praying for Yilmary Rodriguez Sulivan dead, could we be promoting on Christopher Andrew Leinonen daily basis Angel L. Candelario-Padro idea that what may be happiness Frank Hernandez others may not be happiness Paul Terrell Henry ourselves but the pursuit Edward Sotomayor Jr. happiness is not exclusive. Our happiness Stanley Almodovar III other people’s happiness are not reliant upon each other. Others can find peace Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo happiness without violence even if what makes Luis S. Vielma happy is not what makes Juan Ramon Guerrero happy.”

*Numbers provided by Mass Shooting Tracker



Just recently I had a social media run in with a teacher who was advertising for a class for trauma victims. They responded with a list of magickal affiliations and techniques none of which I cared about. So I asked again, “That’s great. Thank you. And what specifically qualifies you to teach trauma survivors?”

The response I got back was a listing of the persons’ own trauma and life story. My response was as follows:

I am not trying to insult you and I appreciate your candor. I strongly believe that any pagan anyone who wants to help the healing process for trauma survivors should have either developed their own process from their own need OR have the appropriate psychological training. I think it is down right psychologically dangerous for someone to present weekend “training” or magickal “rituals” around trauma unless they have had one of the aforementioned. I also believe that Seekers have a right to know what qualifies someone to present a workshop or weekend intensive. For example, if someone was presenting a weekend intensive around polyamory I would not give a flying crap about their magickal titles and affiliations – I would want to know how long they have had a successful polyamorous relationship. Just because they can put a class together doesn’t mean they have the practical successful experience needed. Conversely, in trauma, those who have not experienced it or studied the different methods that are used to help survivors thrive, should not be presenting classes around it, in my opinion. I would love to hear more about your method and how you developed your program (what books you used, what types of therapies you have tried, what magickal intersections you exploit) but I was unable to send you a message off list because we are not friends. So I friend requested you. I am not in XX so there is not any hope that I could attend a weekend event. I am not insulting you. I am merely asking for clarification of qualifications. This is something I believe anyone has the right to do of any person who presents themselves as a teacher on a topic, especially specefic topics.

This prompts this week’s question: Do pagan seekers have the right to demand specefic information from teachers who present themselves as authorities on a topic? Under what circumstances do they not? Does being a HPs or HPS or a teacher of any tradition mean that they are qualified to speak on EVERY topic equally without question? What do you think or feel about this? How do you handle questions about your qualifications?

3/15/2016 Dair – Oak ~ Strength – Responsibility

This is one of the few Ogham I am more familiar with than others. I have been signing my books with this ogham for years. I adopted it long ago when I read that this symbol was often the symbol of the chieftain of a clan because the qualities of the Oak were desirable in a great leader.

As I have been studying leadership, I could not agree more that strength and responsibility are the two key words of leadership. Without strength, lesser people will quit and without strength you cannot own the responsibility, the mantel of priesthood. All this translates into integrity. My favorite leader, Jerrie Hildebrand, told me not too long ago that integrity was what she lived and died by. Her family, each one, were ruled by integrity and interacted with each other and the greater world with integrity. They asked themselves if what their actions were stayed in integrity or not.


As I started writing my next book, I found that the first word I started to work with was integrity. I realize that I judge my own seekers based upon their relationship with integrity. Do they do what they say they are going to do? Do they commit to things they do not follow through on or only give a small percentage of their attention to? Do they offer excuses after excuses for lack of completion? Is there ownership of their actions and the result of their actions? When they speak can I rely upon what they say, or do I automatically make alternate plans to take up slack I know they are going to create?


My integrity, strength and responsibility as a minister and pagan leader often centers around how people feel. You hurt people’s feelings in leadership and I firmly believe we all have the right to feel – whatever it is we feel. Many leaders treat feelings in a couple of ways.

They dismiss them. The person feeling doesn’t have the right to that feeling for whatever reason.

They analysis them. Sometimes a leader will try to figure out why someone has a feeling, often focusing on their own behavior or worse on what they believe the motivation for the feeling is within the Seeker.

They correct them. They set out to admonish the Seeker for having the feelings in the first place.

In integrity, I have found, good leaders validate all feelings. We all have a right to feel what we feel without judgement or analysis or condemnation. It takes a lot of strength to acknowledge pain someone is sure you have caused them and then own what part you have played in that pain.

I have learned as a leader that “yea but…” is a terrible apology. The strength and discipline it personally takes me to see a Seeker in anger or pain and then simply say, “I am sorry for any part I have in this.”

Defensiveness often demands we add, “yea but..” Yea but, you did xyz. Yea but, if only xyz had or had not happened. Yea but…… Integrity demands we wait it out. Acknowledging, validating and loving our Seekers through pain and anger is part of the job. You can always take up the “yea but(s)” later. And that job certainly takes integrity as well.

Because in integrity and dealing with feelings, you take ownership for what you have done. You judge whether or not the time is right for you to pull apart the issue? Is the person still in the heat of feeling their pain? If so apologize and then sit with them in that feeling, don’t attempt to change it. The heat of anger can be painful to bear and as a leader sometimes we sit and help Seekers bear it.

Part of the responsibility of pagan leadership is that you often can see the actions and feelings and behavior patterns of your Seekers better than they can. Although, I have found in this, all Seekers universally believe that they are inherently right, correct, and omniscient. So pagan leadership is often about leading a Seeker to see patterns of behavior in a way that empowers them to change. Empowers them to see destructive and defensive behaviors and take ownership.

Integrity demands we find ways to empower them, shed light upon behavior patterns and a reluctance to take personal ownership. Sometimes, however, sometimes, the oak wishes it were just a lowly Thistle. Just bloom and die and hibernate and be appreciated for being useful and treated with respect because all that useful beauty comes at the expense of barbs in your hands. Mostly because we never talk about the barbs leadership leaves and the scars on our hearts, souls, minds, and bodies. Leadership may require the qualities of the oak and often inside that same leader lies the heart of a thistle.


3/10/2016 Ura – Heather ~ Partnership – Passion


Art work by Judith Hubbard in Trees of the Goddess

YEA! Elen Sintier! I guess the book I need to get is Trees of the Goddess! Not only did I find her description helpful and scholarly, it really was more about what the ogham means spiritually which is far more closely related to what I want. AND Morgen and her agree!

So yesterday the co-high priestess of Dragonstone Family Coven and Willow Dragonstone Community dedicated. Lady Disa Freyjadottir has been my sword sister and friend for as long as I have been in the craft. I can still viscerally recall meeting her. To have had her agree to co-high priestess with me and work in this amazing community is more than I hoped for when I originally approached her.

I woke up today singing a song in my head that was written for Frozen and never made it in the final cut. From the DisneyWiki Site:

We Know Better” is a deleted song from the animated film Frozen. The first part of the song can be found in the in the deluxe edition soundtrack. The song is about Elsa and Anna as little girls complaining about all the things princesses are expected to do, claiming they “know better.”

Lyrics (first part)

ElsaHello little baby, you’re princess just like me
Bet you’re thinking maybe it’s a pretty cool thing to be
But soon you’ll see that everyone expects a lot from you
They’ll say that there are things a princess should and shouldn’t do
But you and me, we, we know better

Elsa and Anna:1, 2, 3 together, clap together, snap together
You and me together, knees together, freeze together
Up or down together, princess crown together
Always be together, you and me

1, 2, 3 together, clap together, snap together
You and me together, knees together, freeze together
Up or down together, princess crown together
Always be together, you and me

ElsaThey say a princess is full of charm and grace
They say she always knows her place
They say a princess wears pink and frilly clothes
They say she never laughs and snorts milk out her nose
They say she’s calm, they say she’s kind
They say she never speaks her mind or freezes nanny’s big behind

BothBut you and me, we, we know better

Nanny: You girls are in so much trouble! Wait until I tell your father…
Anna: How come you can do that and I can’t?
Elsa: I don’t know, I wish you could though…

ElsaThey say a princess is super duper sweet

AnnaShe doesn’t fight; she doesn’t sweat

BothAnd you never see her eat

AnnaThey say a princess doesn’t climb and scrape her knee

ElsaThey say a princess wouldn’t freeze her tutor’s tea

AnnaThey say she’s poised

ElsaThey say she’s fair

BothShe never mentions UNDERWEAR!

AnnaOr longs to see the world out there

BothBut you and me, we, have big ideas of our own
For the distant someday when we’re grown

ElsaWhen I’m queen

AnnaAnd I’m your right hand

ElsaYou’ll get to travel

BothThroughout the land

Anna: I’ll tell them of my sister and the magic things she can do

ElsaWe’ll take care of our people and they will love

BothMe and you
No one can tell us what a princess should be
As long as we’re together, you and me

As I have personally struggled with leadership and what leadership requires, I am learning that the adage “Many the hands, light the work” absolutely could not be truer. Since Lady Freya, as we affectionately call her, has joined DSFC and WDSC I have been able to get more accomplished and feel more balanced than ever. Sovereignty is always viewed as a choice to hold power singularly. What I have learned is that sovereignty is really about admitting that one person – even Queens – cannot rule alone. It is simply too great a task.

However, two Queens, well just imagine if a chest board allowed two queens on one side? The advantage would always go to that team. Can you say, “Check mate?!”

“And in this choice lies sovereignty.”

We have encouraged an idea around pagan leadership that it is singular – one High Priest or High Priestess or at best a High Priest and High Priestess – but what if we opened up that view to able bodied people who work together? As I explore the types of pagan leadership I am coming to realize that some singular or even partnered leaderships do not work because they are missing some vital aspect. When this is recognized and that aspect is added, venerated, empowered – this changes the energy and stress and exponentially raises the ability of the group.  Today WDSC and DSFC are more stable, grounded, and able to deal with anything than we were before. Because leadership is a choice as much as a calling. We can all chose how we lead and what our role as leaders are. We chose. Sovereignty demands a choice. How do you chose to lead?

Pagan Pentecostals – Why Pentecostals Make Better Magick Practicioners

If you weren’t aware, I am a magickal practitioner, Wiccan, Pagan – give me a label that you are comfortable with that describes someone who does psychic, spell and celebratory work from a pagan perspective, who lives in the Southern United States.

I was born in Georgia – the heart of Dixie Land and raised a Pentecostal Independent Southern Baptist.

So we can all move forward on the same page, I need to give you some definitions.

Southern Baptist can mean two different things. There is the Southern Baptist Convention which is comprised of churches who affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention for political and economic reasons. Then there are Independent Southern Baptist churches who hold to the basic tenets of the Southern Baptist Convention and refuse to give up God’s authority to anyone else. This means that depending upon the church what Southern Baptist looks like can vary widely church to church in the south.

However, pentecostals have no convention and share some basic beliefs that can vary widely church to church. Wikipedia gives an excellent definition of pentecostal:

Pentecostalism or Classical Pentecostalism is a renewal movement[1] within Protestant[2] Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience ofGod through the baptism with the Holy Spirit. The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, the Greek name for the Jewish Feast of Weeks. For Christians, this event commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus Christ, as described in the second chapter of the Book of Acts.

In practicality, this means that pentecostals are taught from a very young age to channel the Holy Spirit and commune directly with the essence of God. What varies is the degree to which each church takes its practice of Pentecostalism. The spectrum runs the gamut from practices of poisonous snake handling to a simple speaking in tongues to ecstatic trance dance and spontaneous healing.

I was raised by my grandmother to firmly and thoroughly believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit as set down Biblically in I Corinthians 12:7 – 11 which reads:

The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all. To some people the Spirit gives a message of wisdom. To others the same Spirit gives a message of knowledge. To others the same Spirit gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing.10 To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others he gives the ability to prophesy. To others he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages. 11 All the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit. He gives gifts to each person, just as he decides.

For my grandmother the gift of prophesy and to tell different spirits apart and translate what is said when people spoke in tongues is all part of the spiritual legacy of my biological family. She didn’t like the term psychic because she felt psychics didn’t acknowledge the divine nature of the gift they had. Her first rule was, “This is about what God gives you, and not what power you have without God.”

There was this very clear knowledge that God, The Holy Spirit was responsible for her ability to prophesy, identify spirits of the dead and translate language. Lest, you think I mean only speaking in tongues, I mean any language. As a student in college I worked for the Latin professor. One day he was out of the office and I answered his phone. I had a pleasant conversation with the German teacher who was coming to college in exchange for one year. When my professor returned and I gave him the message he looked at me strangely and then marched to the phone and made a call. When he returned he said, “How long have you been able to speak German?”

Stunned I said, “I can’t speak German.”

He shows me the note where very neatly in my own handwriting in German was the message I had taken earlier.

“Heir Kitterman said that you spoke perfect German and was confused because I hadn’t told him my student assistant was fluent in German. You took this note in fluent native German. Why are you denying you can speak German?”

“Gifts of the Spirit,” I said to him quietly and left the office.

I had never studied German, but in the moment in time when I needed to speak German, understand German, I was able to. This has happened to me several times in my life with Spanish and French which I have studied but had until that day never happened with a language I had never studied.

The problem is that paganism and paganism classic training is driven from the idea that most people who find this path have no experience in energetics and therefore, a lot of the training is in an attempt to get them to learn how to run energetics especially in circle. If someone is a Christian they are seen at being a disadvantage when it comes to energetic working because most pagans do not understand the energetic and psychic consequences that come from a life raised, trained, and encouraged by the pentecostal church or any church that acknowledges the ecstatic gifts of the Holy Spirit and the actual manifestation in humans on this earth.

In my own community I am beginning to see the marked differences in pagans with pentecostal backgrounds and those without. Pagans without need basic training in energetics and working energetics. They resonate easily along the accepted resonances of degree levels, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and beyond. I can watch them use the traditional methods of psychic and energetic training and easily level up.

My experience with pentecostal pagans is quite different and helps me better understand why my own teachers had so much problem dealing with me.

When I came to paganism the term meditation was not only foreign to me but I had been taught they were dangerous. I had never “meditated” before. However, I had spent HOURS and HOURS and HOURS in different types of meditative trances. There was prayer trance when I was praying. There was prayer trance when others were praying. There was the trance of channeling spirits or receiving prophesy. There was the trance of singing the same song over and over again during the call to the altar after a service.

Because pagans see these things as separate and different activities, instead of similar magickal practices, my own teachers couldn’t figure out why given minimal instruction I was able to quickly master grounding, centering, trancing, pushing energy in a circle, calling the energy of the elements. For them there was no foundation from which I should be pulling from.

On top of that, I picked up tarot decks after I became pagan because pentecostals prophesy through touch and trance most often. I quickly learned that in pagan circles this type of divination, as they called it, was very scary to them. I realized they attributed the power coming from the tarot deck and without the deck in evidence (or a crystal ball, or mirror, or some tangible object) the whole operation freaked them out.

Now, this never bothered me because I have always known, even after coming to paganism where my power comes from – and it isn’t inside of me, it is through me. So when Divinity speaks, through which ever form Divinity takes, it’s all good, because that means a God or Goddess is there.

I can remember, however, reading at a gathering and them trying to get me to read an elder who was there. She pointed at me and said, “She isn’t just playing with a deck, you know. She is the real thing and I will never let her touch me or read me and you are all fools if you think she is telling you even half what she actually is learning from you.”

To her point, that was true. My grandmother taught me about the knowledge you should and shouldn’t release into the universe and that what we learn is sacred as the power God drives through us. I think she was the only elder who realized when I tried to explain my abilities in relationship to my grandmother that I was just blowing hot air and there was something to what I was saying.

However, it wasn’t until recent years that I began to recognize what was going on. As I met more pentecostal pagans I began to realize that, as pentecostals, we had had extensive training in energetics and magick working without knowing it.

It hadn’t necessarily been very good magickal training either. I notice pentecostal pagans have a base energy level they run that is nearly always 1st degree level before they have actually acquired the knowledge usually associated with that energetic level. Then these pentecostal pagans spike energy levels like no one’s business. One circle sister will spike to the level beyond first I related to channel and trance work during ritual and is completely unaware she does this. Is you point out what she is energetically doing it crash around her and she will sometime go almost energetically void. It is as if when consciously being focused on the working, she forgets she inherently knows how to do it.

Her husband has always resonated 1st degree energy for me and he has a background in some ecstatic churches but not as much as his wife. His energy spikes 2nd during rituals and when he goes to try to push the energy to third, he can’t reach it. Further I have seen him watch his wife do this with great ease and then ask how she is doing it. The response is that suddenly she isn’t and he is left feeling like maybe it was something he misread.

Then you take pentecostal pagans and put them in circle. If there is one thing a pentecostal pagan knows it is how to run energy up. Attend a pentecostal church and watch the energy ebb and flow before the preacher comes on. They use music, song, and dance to bring the energy level slowly up from dead stop to holy roll. All that energy the preacher will tap into when the preaching starts. He lets it out during the sermon and then releases the rest during the call to the altar after his preaching is done.

Again, this is not great magickal training. In pagan circles you want to whip up the energy and then do a massive release. Most pagans see the ability to direct large group circles of energy as a special skill set belong to High Priests and High Priestess and not always then. However, you give a pentecostal pagan a little instruction and they set energy off in a circle like an elder would. After all every Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night they were doing it in church growing up.

My first public ritual was done with a group of about 150 pagans at a large gathering. Once ritual was finished, I was still a bit buzzed when I am confronted by a man who says,

“My Lady!” bows to me formally, “How long has someone as young as you been a high priestess?”

“I am not a high priestess,” I tell him.

“Ahh, so this was before you conference. To make sure you were ready. I am sure your teacher is pleased.”

“Umm, nope. I am not a 1st Degree,” I reply.

He watches me for a few minutes and then says, “Who is your teacher?”

I point him out on the other side of sacred space and watch with alarm as he marches to my teacher and begins to gesticulate wildly. Later I learn that my High Priest was reamed out for not granting the office my energy related to, which was no end of annoying to him. Now, however, I understand. Watching other pentecostal pagans I understand that while they can tap into the energy of higher levels and degrees they cannot sustain it for very long, largely because they were not trained to do so.

Moving forward I think Mentor/Teachers especially in the South must be aware of pentecostal pagans. People with an ecstatic Christian background who will have different abilities and traits than a Catholic pagan or some non-ecstatic tradition of Christianity.

The focus of training needs to be around recognizing meditative states and trance states specifically. It needs to be about sustain a level of magical energy with consistency instead of dropping it off like you would after church.  There needs to be a focus on not dismissing the magickal ability these ecstatic traditions of Christianity imbibe upon those who are raised as part of them from very young ages. Pentecostal pagans come with a definite ability that is far beyond what would normally be expected from neophytes and training should focus on making the best of that ability and recognizing that ability for what it really is – the remnants of having been trained in a different magickal tradition.