PMP: DiversiTree with Hollis Taylor

In this week’s edition of Pagan-Musings Podcast KaliSara and RevKess were joined by the publisher of a new blog’zine called DiversiTree. The sight is devoted to inclusive spirituality. What does that mean? Inclusive spirituality, in this case, is about being open and embracing to all sexualities, gender identities, and gender expressions. DiversiTree is also very sex-positive.

The “about” page on the site reads, in part, “Hollis [Taylor] and Arial [Taylor] were inspired to bring together a group of writers that have the potential to consciously support the evolution of the human race. […] Bringing together some of the most spiritually diverse queer sex positive people to write on the evolutionary movement towards inclusive spirituality. Hollis and Arial reached for the soul searching queers, sluts, freaks, weirdos, dirty hippies and other consciously evolving humanitarians and environmentalists willing to share their experiences with the world. They reached out for those bringing a conscious message of love, peace and inclusive spirituality. Spirituality that not only tolerated or accepted who but also celebrated our differences. Spiritual paths invented by mixing the best parts of many paths into a path specifically built for each individual.”

art by Rowye

The page continues with “All our writers have explored a wide variety of spiritual paths including Wicca, Buddhism, Judaism, Paganism, Ravers, Queer Spirituality, Christianity, Burners, Home Free, Yoga, Drumming, Community Evolution, Alchemy, Witchcraft, Unitarian and many other paths traditional and undefined. The one thing everyone has in common is a willingness and a determination to practice inclusive spirituality. We want to include everyone so that EVERYONE feels welcomed and celebrated!”

RevKess’s first contribution to the site is the first article listed, “Clearing Away, Beginning Anew.” He uses this article to introduce himself, hopefully encouraging other contributors to do the same thing in the comments section. Hollis writes “Sprouting an Online Publication” in which Hollis talks about how DiversiTree came into existence. Talking about the journey of a lifetime, a major move halfway across the country, and the transformative power of Yoga to bring about a “divinely inspired” publication. In “Connection, Community, Commitment” contributor Elissa Rich writes about how connection to others leads to community which leads to commitment. Rich also quotes Angela Davis as saying “There can be no great triumph over racism without address capitalism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, the environment that we live in and the food we consume. We have to recognize all of these connections.” All three of these articles were published to the site for the grand-launch on Thursday 20 March 2015.

http://about.me/hollistaylor

DiversiTree publisher, Hollis Taylor

With categories or sections including Divinely Inspired, Inclusive Spirituality, Sacred Sexuality, Home Free, Personal Ponderings, Inclusive Parenting and reviews of events, books, music, and other art media, DiversiTree should prove to be a one-stop resource for personal and academic looks at what it means to be LGBTQIAA+ and spiritually minded. More categories will be cropping up as the need arises. A YouTube channel is also under consideration for those who are more comfortable with the spoken word.

Contributors to the site range from genderqueer feminists to drag queens to straight allies; from parents to young people to old fogies. Regular contributors include Hollis, Dirty Mother, Inara de Luna, Jaice Dumars, Mahria Potter, Missy Wilrecker and RevKess. “Casual” contributors include musicians, artists, ritualists, and more. One contributor will be doing a series on their transition from one gender to another – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spirituality. Some will contribute about living homeless – by choice – and transforming one’s spirituality into visual art of various kinds.

MUSIC

  1. Celia – Shine Your Light – RED Alabaster & Blue
  2. Omnia – Love in the Forest – Wolf Love
  3. Murphey’s Midnight Rounders – Make a Chain Around the World – I Am the Goddess
  4. Elvendrums – Dreamtimes – Gateway to Faerie

Links of Interest

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PMP: Rev Judith Laxer, Along the Wheel of Time

Rev. Judith Laxer joined KaliSara and RevKess in this week’s edition of Pagan-Musings Podcast to talk about Gaia’s Temple and her new book Along the Wheel of Time: Sacred Stories for Nature Lovers. No stranger to being interviewed or public speaking, Judith also has her own podcast available through iTunes and PodBean. These podcasts are recordings of her monthly worship services she presents at Gaia’s Temple.

Author Bio: Rev. Judith Laxer is a modern day mystic who believes that humor, beauty and the wonders of nature make life worth living. She is the founding Priestess of Gaia’s Temple, an inclusive, Earth-based Ministry where she has written delivered monthly worship services since 2000. Her writing has been featured in Spindleweed Magazine, The Women of Wisdom Anthology, Witches and Pagans Magazine, Living in Season and The Medulla Review. A teacher of the Mysteries, Judith is a keynote speaker and has offered classes and workshops on the return of the Divine Feminine in conferences nationally. She treasures her profession and dedicates her work to restoring the balance of female and male energies in our culture.

Judith left her home in New York in 1989 and found her way to the Pacific Northwest. She’s worked as a stage performer and a psychic. She now has a practice as a professional psychic in Seattle and serves her community as the Priestess at Gaia’s Temple for the last 14 years. Along the way she put pen to paper and wrote eight short stories, one for each point on the Wheel of the Year. In October 2013 she submitted her manuscript to BookTrope and signed her contract for Along the Wheel of the year on Yule 2013. Nine months after her submission the finished project was released. In her visit on PMPChannel she talks in great details about the writing process through to the publishing and marketing of her book.

You can find Judith’s book through her website, on Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Even better, go to your local new age/metaphysical shop or bookstore and ask them to order it for you. That is one way to help promote Judith’s book – getting the word to the shop owners.

MUSIC

  1. Annette Cantor – Gaia – Songs to the Goddess
  2. Kellianna – She Is Crone – Elemental
  3. Chronilus – Brigid – Prologue
  4. Wendy Rule – Shine – Deity
  5. Bone Poets Orchestra – Seven Sisters – Ecstasy in the Ruins

Music note: Kellianna will be performing at Gaia’s Temple in November 2014. Judith is friends with one of the ladies of Chronilus.

PMP: Sex, ethics and abuse in the magickal world

KaliSara and RevKess attempted to tackle a very difficult topic tonight, especially in light of the recent news that one of the Pagan community’s most well known elders has been arrested and charged with 25 counts of possession of child pornography. Yes, that topic. The one that is on everyone’s minds and lips right now. Kenny Klein, author, musician, teacher and friend to many has apparently let the community down. He was arrested on Tuesday 25 March 2014 at his home in New Orleans.

Joining your hosts for the show were Shauna Aura Knight, who is becoming a regular contributor to PMPChannel, and Taylor Ellwood of Immanion Press / Megalithica Books. Shauna is an author, artist, and workshop facilitator. Taylor is an author and the editor-in-chief of Immanion’s non-fiction section.

RELATED LINKS

  • Oddly enough, back in late October 2013, Shauna Aura Knight wrote an article for PaganActivist.com covering the topics of sex and ethics in the Pagan world.
  • T Thorn Coyle on her blog Know Thyself speaks to the issues of abuse and ethics in a recent posting, as well as shares two stories of Kenny Klein and makes reference to a series she wrote in 2009 on Gavin and Yvonne Frost (Pt 1, Pt 2, Pt 3).
  • Cara Schulz PNC-Minnesota was one of the first Pagan media sources to release a story on the Kenny Klein case.
  • Jason Pitzl-Waters of  The Wild Hunt also reported.

MUSIC

  1. Celia – Please Bless This Space – Carry Me Home
  2. Heartbeat – Earth Air Fire Water – Bloodmoon
  3. Lia Scallon – Walk in Beauty – The Luminous Pearl
  4. Jenna Greene – Acceptance – Crossroads
  5. Celia – Metta Prayer – For the Asking

QUOTES from the PAGAN BLOGOSPHERE

  • Taylor Ellwood, writing as the Blog Admin for Immanion Press’s website made this announcement on 27 March 2014: “The Flowering Rod by Pagan Author and Musician Kenny Klein is being pulled from our line of Esoteric Non-Fiction books as a response to the recent news that Kenny Klein has been charged of downloading and sharing child pornography. Mr. Klein has admitted his guilt in this matter, and we do not feel that we can, in good conscience, continue to publish his book. We are removing the book from our line-up effective immediately. At Immanion Press we do not believe in knowingly supporting acts of behavior that violate the Pagan community or how it is represented to the world by our authors. We are committed to publishing books that help the communities we are a part of, but we also believe that any author is a role model and should behave accordingly. We offer our condolences to people who have been effected negatively by this situation or any other actions Mr. Klein has done.”
  • Writing about the core values of Immanion Press, Ellwood had this to say: “Our fourth and final responsibility is to ourselves, to make a reasonable profit in publishing books, while also staying true to our values and to the services we provide the communities we are a part of. Our profit should never come before the service we provide our readers, community, or authors, but rather should come about as a natural result of showing that we genuinely care about the welfare of our readers, community, and creative authors and artists.” Read the rest of the blog posting for the first three core values.
  • Over on Pagan in Paradise, Pagan activist, minister and member of Lady Liberty League, Peter Dybing addressed the topic in much more general terms: “Frankly, those who engage in these power over relationships, based on wealth, status or influence perpetuate their privilege and support the subjugation of women. Even worse they reinforce the idea that societal power and status is an appropriate currency to purchase sexual relationships. Such actions contribute greatly to rape culture in our communities.

    The messages sent to young men are that women are objects to be possessed by those who are successful or influential. Confronting our own privilege means standing up and proclaiming that such power based relationships are not acceptable in our communities.

    […]

    Today I call on my fellow “Old White Guys” to confront these beliefs when you witness them in our collective communities. They represent an abuse of power, a perpetuation of un earned privilege and a disregard of the fundamental human rights of women.”

     

     

     

     

     

PMP: 2014 Pagan Community Events, and more

Thank you for stopping in to view the notes from our show which aired on Sunday 2 March 2014. KaliSara and RevKess had a wonderful conversation about community events and festivals. Unfortunately, the gremlins decided that they wanted to have some fun as well. Thus the audio from RevKess’s end is chopping. For that we sincerely apologize. Between the weather, ancient wiring in his apartment, and other technical issues, there is nothing that could be done to fix the problem.

That said, the conversation was full of wonderful information.
As RevKess was prepping for the show he did a simple Google search for the term “2014 Pagan Festivals”. One of the first links to come up was an article at About.Com in their Paganism/Wicca section. More of an almanac than a listing of festivals, it has some very interesting information. A list of ancient festivals, mostly Greek; birthdays of important individuals in the Pagan movement as well as those who have had influenced on our lives – Joseph Campbell for example.
KaliSara also found some wonderful links on the web, those are listed below:
They spoke in some small detail about a rural-snall town based Pagan group in Central Nebraska. Prairie Star Circle hosted the Kearney Pagan Pride Day in 2013. KaliSara and her family attended that event. Below is the Facebook link and official website of Prairie Star Circle:
RevKess noted that there is also a Nebraska based Druid group, Prairie  Shadow ProtoGrove is based out of Omaha. Their Facebook group is currently closed to the public, but one can ask to join.

MUSIC

  1. Celia – Connected – For the Asking
  2. Tuatha Dea – White Rabbit – The Tribe
  3. Frenchy & the Punk – Mutiny in the Ranks – At the Carnival Eclectique
  4. Mama Gina – Grandmother Tree – (single, available through Reverbnation.comPlease note that RevKess misspoke after playing Mama Gina on the show. Her music is available through ReverbNation.com, NOT BandCamp.
  5. Omnia – Wake Up – Wolf Love

RevKess is pleased, no thrilled, to note that Mama Gina quotes his review of Goddess Kiss’d CD in the “press” section of her ReverbNation page. Listen to RevKess’s interview with Mama Gina on Musica Pagani.

Small “p” Pagans & Pope Frank

RevKessPhil in Studio

Since Wednesday, December 18th, I have seen many Pagans on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere express their disappointment and sometimes anger at the words of Pope Francis I in his weekly public address in Rome. You can read/hear what the Pope had to say in the video below. The whole clip is worth watching, as it gives context and perspective on what he meant.

“It’s a bad thing when one sees a Christian that does not want to come down, a Christian that uses everything to show off. Not nice, eh? That is not Christian, that is paganism,” Pope Francis said. His comments on greed, luxury and the unwillingness of some Christians to embrace their less fortunate brothers and sisters can be heard around the 1:53 point in the video. These statements came the day after Pope Francis celebrated his 77th birthday with four homeless men, a dog, and his staff.

Clearly this Pope is making a reputation for himself as the Pope of the People, not just the rich and influential. I’d dare say that he values the less fortunate, the less wealthy, the less powerful more than he values those who hold sway over the banking industry or the governments of the world. He has repeatedly pointed out the hypocrisy of those who promote themselves as God-fearing Christians yet refuse to reach out and help the poor, the sick, the elderly; call homosexuals the Devil’s own and turn a blind eye to the mistreatment of other nationalities, creeds, or races.

From the outset, Francis I has been different from previous Popes. He eschewed the fancy dress of most other pontiffs in favor of the simple white suits and ecclesiastical gowns that we have come to expect of him. He’s spoken more leniently on homosexuality than any of his predecessors and spoken out on the Church’s apparent obsession with abortion and birth control. All of this and more makes Pope Francis I a leader of today, not just within the Catholic Church, but on the world stage. Even The Advocate has declared him Person of the Year.

I’ve seen many Pagans, of many flavors, say that they are impressed and pleased with the words and actions of this Pope. But now, after his statement on Wednesday, many of those same Pagans are angrily expressing their disappointment in the Pope. Out of respect for those who have expressed such anger, I am not going to quote them or even name. They know who they are and may well choose to make their thoughts known through me in the future. For now, I am going to leave the particulars out.

Now that I have laid out that Pope Francis I speaks out against things, or in favor of things, that his predecessors did not; that he puts off the affluent robes of the pontiffical throne; that he has called upon Catholics everywhere to be kinder to their less fortunate brethern, it is time to point out concerns over his quote from the 18th, “It’s a bad thing when one sees a Christian that does not want to come down, a Christian that uses everything to show off. Not nice, eh? That is not Christian, that is paganism.”

Putting the argument aside of whether “Pagan” is the term that is generally accepted by the various religions, belief systems, philosophies and individuals that practice some kind of Earth-based honoring system, the media has plainly imparted that Pagan encompasses Wicca, Druidry, and many other flavors of Earth-centered spirituality. Whenever a person of note uses the term “pagan” to describe something or someone that is unlike them or something or someone that they find to be immoral or debased the followers of Wicca and other “Pagan” traditions react. Often with negativity.

Small “p” pagan is a much different thing than big “P” Pagan. Webster defines the word “pagan” to mean primarily two things. The first definition is of the religious use that many who walk an Earth-centered or non-Abrahamic path would use, “a follower of a polytheistic religion” while the second definition is the more generally accepted use of the word by media, politicians and most likely the Pope himself. “One who has little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures and material goods :  an irreligious or hedonistic person.”

Francis’s use of the term “pagan” to describe Christians who are unwilling to come down to the level of those who are in need, Christians who are unwilling to help the sick or the poor or the elderly, Christians who value their wealth and position above their beliefs and the teachings of their Christ. This use of the word is more in tune with the definition from Webster describing people as hedonistic, delighting in the sensual pleasures of the world and in material goods. His use of the word “pagan” has nothing to do with our religions or spiritual beliefs. In the Catholic world, anything that is not Catholic is “pagan”. (Note, I am using big “C” Catholic here, not small “c”. Again, there is a difference.)

Long before we began to use the word “Pagan” to describe our modern religions and spiritual beliefs, even before we used the term to describe the religions of our ancestors, the ancient Romans used the term to describe the unsophisticated, the people who lived outside the city. Even our word “Heathen” comes from the old term for a country dweller, one who dwells on the “heath” or is a “heathen”. In that context, it is easy to see that many within the Catholic Church are still using the word “pagan” to mean those who are not Catholic, those who do not believe as they do. Even Protestants used the term to describe the beliefs of indigenous peoples in their missionary work.

A recent petition on Change.org may help remedy the issue, at least in print. We may never be able to determine in conversation if someone is saying “pagan” or “Pagan”, but with a concerted effort by journalists, bloggers, authors and other text based commentators we can help to clarify what it is that we are talking about with proper capitalization. It is clear to me that Pope Francis was using “pagan”. It is clear to me that he was not comparing hedonistic Christians to Wiccans or Druids or Native Americans. It is clear to me that he was comparing them to those who have found more value in things and position than in their own faith.

Take this all as you will. I welcome comments and discussion on this article.

PWN #95: Heartland and Wikipedia’s Pagan Gate

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The 95th edition the Pagan Weekly News found RevKess still wore out from Heartland and Zaracon recovering froma fall over the weekend. Though Z was unable to be on the air through the whole show, RevKess persevered and filled a good hour and forty-five minutes the show with news and information from, by and about the Pagan community. Below you will find links to many of the articles that were discussed as well further informaiton on those topics. You will also find a play list of the music and links to the artist’s pages.

As always, the hosts of the Pagan Weekly News invite the listener to share their thoughts and impressions on the content of the show. Suggestions for stories to cover are also welcome. You can email the hosts at paganmusings@gmail.com or message them through the Facebook page.

Blessings to you all and thank you for listening to another edition of the Pagan Weekly News!

Links

  • Salon.com outs “Qworty” on Wikipedia as a man with a vendetta.
  • A new statue of Sekhmet to be consecrated at the Goddess Temple in Irvine, CA (Orange County) on Midsummer.
  • Heartland 2013
    • Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone: Janet Farrar is probably one of the best known names in witchcraft, especially when addressing witchcraft in the UK. She and her first husband, Stewart, wrote many books that are still be referenced today by Elders and novices alike. Gavin Bone, Janet’s second husband (hand picked by Stewart and the Goddess Freya), has over two decades of experience in witchcraft and other forms of mysticism. Together they present workshops, classes, and write. At Heartland they present workshops on energy work and a look at the evolution of wtichcraft in the 21st century.
    • Ed “the Pagan” Hubbard: Is the former CEO of Witch School International, recently retired First Elder of the Correllian Nativist Tradition and the CEO of Paganics. Most of us at PMPChannel know him as one of the hosts of Pagans Tonight, a nightly Pagan podcast on BlogTalkRadio. This was our second time seeing Ed at Heartland. Always a good time to sit and visit with him. Ed did several worshops on Pagan Leadership: How Pagan Are You?, The Path to Pagan Prosperity, Growing a Pagan Village, Pagan Leadership Training Raw and Conquering Your World.
    • Mike Nichols is the author The Witches’ Sabbats. He is an author, musician and former radio personality in the KC area. Mike’s worshop was called Wicca’s Blackcloth: The Occult in American History. In this workshop he covered the early influences on occultism in the Americas and how those influences helped shape modern Wicca, at least from an American perspective.
    • Tuatha Dea: Not only did this fabulous Pagan/Blues/Country/Folk band perform for the main concert of the weekend, but they taught a couple of worshops. Both aimed at the younger members of the Pagan community. Teen Team Building for Unity was an interactive rhythm event structured around the use of rhythm as a developmental tool and catalyst for building community through the power of the drum. Child’s Play introduced the truly young (and young at heart) to the basics of drumming for music and ritual use.
    • other honored guests and musicians:
      • Brian Henke, musician
      • Joshua Messick, hammered dulcimer
      • The Vine Brothers, featuring Joe Credit, Jr
      • Viridis, featuring Beltana Spellsinger
    • Finally, but no least: Food in the dining hall was prepared by Food on Wheels from Minnesota. Fabulous food. The chili feed Thursday night was provided free of charge to all attendees and was delicious. Their breakfast buffet was scrumptuous. We provided the rest of our own meals, so we cannot speak to their lunch and dinner menu. After tasting what they had to offer we wish we had purchased the meal plan. Unfortunately, at this time we are unable to find a web address for these wonderful cooks and their kitchen crew.
  • Pagan organizations and other activists step up and help in Oklahoma
  • More information on the SCOTUS case about sectarian prayers before government meetings.

Music

  1. Cernunnos Rising – Greenman (Last Tree Falling) – Wild Soul 
  2. Didges Christ SuperDrum – Witch Doctor 
  3. SONA – Pagan Polka – Spoonwalk
  4. Spiral Dance – Funky Faerie – Notes of Being
  5. Frenchy & the Punk – Confession of Jack Bonnie & Sally Clyde – Hey Hey Cabaret
  6. Damh the Bard – Pagan Ways – Cauldron Born 
  7. Kenny Klein – Ghosts of the Lower 9th Ward – Ghosts of the Delta 

What we didn’t have time for ….

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