Including trans people

One of the ways that the right and the centre tries to shut down discussion and debate is by dismissing it as “identity politics” and “the bickering of the left”. But what they fail to say is that there wouldn’t be “identity politics” if they were not constantly trying to remove the rights of marginalized people such as trans people and sex workers.

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Coven structure & roles

I recently listened to an interesting podcast from Circle Talk: Four Witches on Coven Hierarchy. I was pleased to note that most of the speakers on the podcast were advocating for a pretty flat hierarchy. I have written a fair amount about the roles and expectations of the different degrees in Wicca (in All acts of love and pleasure: inclusive Wicca) and quite a lot about coven leadership and the concept of “elders” (in The Night Journey: Witchcraft as Transformation). I regard the Wiccan degree system as being like the apprenticeship system in medieval guilds (apprenticeship, journeyman, master). There was very little in the podcast that I disagreed with, except the one guy who makes his first degree coveners clean the coven brassware. I’m with the woman who said she is happy when people volunteer to help, but she doesn’t make them do tasks.

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My books

My books

DARK MIRROR

“Inviting us to examine many different aspects of Initiatory Wicca, this book is aimed at both initiates and non-initiates. It could certainly be used as the basis of a coven training programme but is also invaluable for the solo practitioner.”

— Morgana Sythove,
Pagan Federation International
https://silvercircle.org
https://wiccanrede.org

Available from the Doreen Valiente Foundation and all other online retailers


THE NIGHT JOURNEY

The Night Journey utilizes the historical legend of the witch’s flight to the sabbat to expand Aburrow’s notion of a modern witchcraft which is “queer, transgressive, and resistant to authoritarian versions of reality.” In the spiritual world of The Night Journey, witchcraft isn’t seen as some sort of rarefied practice isolated from the messy mundane world, but as a beautiful, viable, and practical way of living in the world as a person of power and integrity … a revolutionary vision of traditional Wicca which looks to the Craft’s future while simultaneously honoring its traditions.”

Misha Magdalene, author of Outside the Charmed Circle: Exploring Gender & Sexuality in Magical Practice

Available from the Doreen Valiente Foundation and all other online retailers


ALL ACTS OF LOVE AND PLEASURE

“an outstanding Wicca 201, intended for already-active, primarily initiatory covens, that examines Wiccan praxis and theology. This is the next step once you have established a solid Wiccan practice. Many aspects of Wicca are examined with an eye towards inclusivity; Aburrow covers LGBTQ, BDSM, polyamory, and asexuality; physical and mental disabilities; cultural appropriation; and trauma recovery in the context of ritual practice, relationship to divinity, and mythology. …The author looks at some of the common Wiccan myths and makes suggestions for ways to incorporate deep ecology, from adapting the Wheel of the Year to appropriately reflect your climate and geography to reducing your carbon footprint.”
Sable Aradia

Available from Avalonia Books and all other online retailers

Gender and the English language

English can sometimes be a really good language to be nonbinary in; and sometimes it can be awful. This is mostly because of the unmarked default, and sometimes it is because of words that have been badly imported from elsewhere.

However, I want to reiterate what I’ve stated elsewhere: people’s needs and lived experience are more important than grammar or linguistics. Uncontroversial case in point: the word Wicca meant a male witch in Old English; now it means a whole tradition.

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Nature, tradition, and ancestors

I am very keen on rejecting, resisting, and repudiating the infiltration and co-opting of Paganism by the far right, and so I found Amy Hale’s article on The Pagan and Occult Fascist Connection and How to Fix It a very useful resource, particularly the questions at the end. I would encourage you to read the article, and use these questions as journaling prompts.

So here are my answers to those questions for initiatory Wicca (in some cases, I have previously written blogposts on these topics, so I will link to those).

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Everything you think you know about Wicca is wrong

This blogpost was inspired by this conversation on Twitter:

The snark quotient of this post may be dangerously high — you’re strongly advised to put your snark goggles on, because I have a snark hammer and I am not afraid to use it.

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