The World Needs Your Magic

by ~wren~ of The Enchanted Wren

personal magicI’m still in the broom closet. Are you as well? It’s fine if we’re here. It’s cozy, safe, and we don’t offend anyone. But, something has been happening to me every autumn… I am shedding more and more veils. I’m opening the door a crack, poking one or two toes outside, and so far, so good. But, there is something I want you (and me) to remember….

The world needs our magic. It needs mine. It needs yours. You have always known you held magic, or perhaps it’s newly awakened in you. The world needs it. It always has. Yet, if there were ever a time the world needed magic, it’s now.

You are awakened for a reason. The world has kissed your lips, opened your eyes, reached into your soul, and opened a door. You are magic, and the world is calling.

I’m not talking about hexing presidents or taking down regimes (all of which needs to be done). I’m talking about personal power, personal magic. Personal healing and personal growth. Have you seen the articles about how trees grow roots toward the sound of water, flowers exude sweeter nectar when they sense a pollinator nearby, and the mycorrhizae communication network between the rooted Others? That is what you have within you. Magic is energy, you are made of energy, and the world needs you.

Whether you openly wear ‘hex the patriarchy’ tee shirts, have pentacles tattooed for all to see, and spray the world around you with patchouli and sage, or you are firmly ensconced in your magical broom closet, the world needs you to find a way to be your amazing magical self. Be magic, don’t just plan rituals to do magic. Every single thought and action is magical. That’s where intention comes in.

So, shower in water and fire elements. Cook with earth and air elements. Bless every driver you pass. Speak with every winged or rooted or four+-legged Being. Listen to the music within the wind. Dance in the rain. Enter the foggy liminal spaces. Collect seeds. Read a book. Do it all with magical intention. The world needs your magic.

A Different Corner of the Closet

By Morgana RavenTree

brain conceptOften when we talk about being “in the broom closet” we have a mental image of a teenage witch misunderstood by her/his/their fundamentalist Christian family forced to practice in secret by intolerance and prejudice. My own experience was quite different and comes from the opposite perspective.

My father was born into a family of mystics. His mother was a psychic who died when he was very young. He was born with a placenta over his face which, according to local beliefs (in Indonesia) meant he would be a great psychic or magical practitioner one day. As a boy, the women of his family taught him about the medicinal properties of plants and healing methods. However, my father decided to follow a different path. As a young man he became a firm believer that “science” held the answers to everything and he rejected his upbringing. He was not an atheist, but when he talked about God it was as an abstract concept.

My mother had a very different spiritual experience. Her grandmother was known in the community as the local “witchdoctor” and midwife. My mother once walked into her grandmother’s room and found her in the dark, surrounded by burning candles, chanting. It scared the crap out of her. She called it “voodoo” though of course my great-grandmother also considered herself Christian. My mother was not a fundamentalist. When I was a child we attended a very liberal Christian church (yes there is such a thing) that did not take the bible literally. Curiously, my mother often said she thought I was the reincarnation of my great-grandmother, though since “Oma Fisher” was still alive for two years after I was born, I’m not sure how that was supposed to work.

My parents never believed the bible was literal truth and often railed against “Church-going Christians” they considered hypocrites and liars (especially my mother, who believed White church-goers discriminated against her for being brown). My father never attended church, though my mother tried several during my childhood, finally giving up when I was 10.

When I began to study witchcraft in High School, I hid it from my parents not because they would accuse me of being in cahoots with the devil, but because they would have been disappointed that I was falling into “superstition”. My father wanted to be an anthropologist but went a completely different direction in life. One of my ways to “cover” my magical interests was to say that I wanted to be an anthropologist too and disguised my studies as exploring folklore and comparative religion (I did in fact take a degree in Anthropology). Another way to “hide” it was to study Egyptology, because studying ancient Egyptian religion and culture is part of history and no one could possibly take that religion seriously (little did they know).

In the 1970’s we were on our way to becoming a strongly secular society. Magazines asked questions like “is God dead?” and “is science the new religion?” For a brief time it seemed that science was king. I’m not suggesting that science and spirituality are incompatible, but for my parents’ generation, it was, and I didn’t want to disappoint them. At the height of the space race and the era of Skylab it seemed that many people really thought that religion was just superstition and there were predictions that we would all be atheists in the future. We were unprepared for both the backlash from the religious Right and the “reawakening” of Pagan and New Age spirituality.

My parents never did discover I was a Witch.

Are You Stuck Inside The Broom Closet?

by Jeanne McLaughlin

If so, I’d like to extend a friendly hand and offer support.  You can even reach out to me on Facebook or via email if you like.  I’m pretty easy to find:  Jeanne McLaughlin is my Shamanic page, and Jeanne Lappo is the salty, unedited me.

Who am I talking to?  *You*.  Yes, really, you.  Anyone out there who isn’t able to freely express their spiritual path. Perhaps you work at a company where you’d be shunned for such things.  Sadly, many exist.  Perhaps your family or friends mock your practices.  Shame on them!

See, I’m fortunate enough to be “out” about my Pagan ways and Shamanic practices.  I speak openly about talking to trees and animal spirits… and don’t care if anyone thinks I’m nuts. *I* know.  Yet there’s so many people in our Pagan community who feel they can’t freely discuss their path, let alone develop it.

Well, I’m here for you…. and in case no one else told you “I Love You” today, then I’ll say it: “I love you!  For being brave enough to choose your path despite what anyone else says!”

And for this, you have my unabashed support, respect and encouragement.  Please don’t ever let anyone else dissuade you from your beliefs… from embracing what your heart tells you is true.

P.S.  Y’all want some “in-person Pagan bonding?  Find me on Facebook and check out the Pagan campout I’m throwing for Beltane 2020.  See you there!

CAMEOS: Celebrating the Beauty of Goddesses

By Morgana RavenTree

A couple of decades ago, more or less, my best friend gave me a cameo of the goddess Diana, her bow and quiver over her shoulders, a crescent moon on her head.  That was the beginning of my obsession with collecting cameos.  Over the years, whenever my friends find out I collect something (fans, Elizabeth Arden porcelain, cameos) they start gifting me with those items.  Many of my cameos were gifts, though I did buy some at antique or thrift stores and two were purchased on Ebay.

What is a “cameo”?  It isn’t what most people think.  “Cameo” refers to the method of carving used to produce a piece of jewelry.  Basically the surface of a cameo is carved away from the deeper layers, creating a relief, as opposed to being cut into the gem as an intaglio.  Signet rings were carved this way since ancient times, as were many amulets.  Cameos were used as military decorations, too.  For most of its history, cameos were carved from agates or other stones and were worn by both men and women.  In the Renaissance, cameos of mythological figures became very popular.  In addition to figures, they portrayed scenes from Greek and Roman mythology (Miller 2008, 1-3pp.).  Sometimes cameos were carved from alternate materials, like lava, or coral (Comer 2017, 4).

Most people are more familiar with cameos carved from shell.  These cameos became common in the Victorian era and were once considered a “cheap” version of the more prized stone cameos.  Also, since Queen Victoria’s era, people began to associate cameos with “feminine” jewelry, though even in the 19th century, some men still wore them (Miller 2008, 40).  There are also many imitation cameos today.  Any cameo that is molded or assembled rather than carved is considered an imitation, though many of them are still quite beautiful and have even become very collectible, like the imitation cameos manufactured by Avon cosmetics in the 1970’s.  There are very many cameos that feature profiles or faces of women or girls, but I collect only cameos with goddess/mythological themes.  Cameos featuring male figures are less common, though if I found any with mythological themes I would probably get them anyway.

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My first cameo, set in gold, and still the best version of the popular “Diana” image I have ever seen.  Amazing details. My second “Diana” set in silver.

 

My first Diana cameo (left) is amazingly detailed.  On top of her head, we see a crescent moon.  Over her right shoulder is a quiver to hold arrows, and over her left is the end of a bow and a bow string.  Note the detail on her gorgeous hair.  This piece was found at the old flea market (now gone) in Covent Garden, London.  Some years later I found another Diana cameo in an antique shop in Burbank, California (right).  This one is smaller and a bit less detailed, but still a lovely piece.  It is more common to find quality cameos set in gold, but this one is set in silver.  The bow behind her left shoulder can be seen more clearly than in the earlier cameo.  Over the years I have found other “Diana” cameos of modern, less expensive materials, usually paste or even plastic.  Several of my friends have Diana cameos, some shell, some imitation and I sometimes refer to us as the “Diana” club.

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Imitation cameo, or carved from coral? Authentic carved shell cameo

Above on the left is a “Demeter/Ceres” cameo of unknown date, but judging by the setting, probably early Edwardian.  The backing may be white coral.  Coloring has been added to the profile.  This one came from a small shop in Burbank.  Fruits and flowers decorate the Goddess’s hair and in front of her forehead we see the horn of plenty or “cornucopia”.  The cameo on the right is also Demeter/Ceres but obviously less detailed.  It does appear to be carved shell, but perhaps the artist was less skilled.  There is only a suggestion of a horn in front and fruits/plants in her hair.

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A woman playing a lute-like musical instrument. Diana the huntress, bow in hand, her hound by her side.

These pieces are definitely modern – they were produced by Avon!  For a brief time in the 1970’s, cameos became popular again.  Both of these pieces were found in thrift stores.  They are not “real” cameos, being made of some kind of paste or resin, but still quite beautiful. The locket on the left contained a solid perfume (which I had to remove because it smelled really bad) and is not of a goddess.  The figure of the woman is playing a lute-like instrument and is dressed in “romantic” style clothing.  I’m not sure what historical period if any it is supposed to represent.  The locket on the right depicts Diana the huntress.  Diana is seen with her bow drawn and her faithful hound by her side.  The crescent moon detail is on her head.  This locket still contains pressed face powder.

cam 7  

 

This piece is also an Edwardian shell cameo and nicely detailed.  The woman in the center holds a basket of fruit or flowers in each hand, while the other two women hold something above her head, perhaps a wreath of some kind.  This one was also found in an antique shop.

The Three Graces, dancing.   

 

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Carved from shell, I found these two cameos in an antique shop in Salem, MA.  On the right we see two figures.  Arthur Comer’s book has a similar cameo and identifies the figures as a solder and a woman.  When I first saw it I thought it was Athena and another goddess, but now that I look more closely, I can see the identification of a solder and a woman.  Does anyone have an alternate interpretation of this one?  On the left we see “Leda and the Swan”.   The story goes that Zeus was so enamored of the maiden Leda that he changed into a swan and “seduced” her.  Of course, today we would use a different word.  Both pieces are probably late Victorian.

I purchased the pieces below on Ebay from a shop in Italy that still carves cameos the old way.  Both pieces are contemporary, but were accompanied by certificates of authenticity, because they are both carved from shell.  The first piece is another Demeter/Ceres.  One can see fronds of plants or sheaves of wheat in her hair and there is a suggestion of a “horn” dangling in front of her forehead.

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I’m not sure what character or scene the other cameo is supposed to depict.  The figure (possibly a woman, but with cameos you can’t always assume) holds the hands up as if in prayer or supplication.  There are no other symbols, except that the figure is resting on something.  Clouds?  Any guesses?


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This is the piece I acquired most recently, from a thrift store in Burbank.  The proprietor most likely had no idea what she had considering the price of the cameo.  She even apologized for the crack at the top!  It is not a crack, but a natural flaw in the shell.  In this scene a woman is holding up an infant as if offering it to a small figure in a shrine-like structure, a font down below.  Everyone that sees this piece has a different interpretation.  Is she offering her child to the Virgin Mary?  Is she giving her baby to an Anchoress?  (In medieval times, an “Anchorite” or “Anchoress” was a person walled up inside a cell in the church with only a small window through which he or she received food and water.  Sometimes a child would move in to provide the Anchoress with companionship.  Some became quite famous and eventually the cells might develop into a convent.  The famous Hildegard von Bingen started as an Anchoress) What is your guess, or have you seen this image before?

cam 13I have other cameos, but these are the stars of my collection.  I am not interested in collecting cameos not portraying goddesses or mythological scenes, though once in a while I see an “ordinary” cameo that still attracts my interest, such as this example made of black glass.

 

From time to time, people rediscover cameos and their prices begin to escalate.  On the other hand, there are many thrift shop owners that don’t realize their value, so you can still acquire them for a reasonable price.

Cameos are a luxury, to be sure.  You can’t eat them or build a house with them, but they do bring beauty into our lives.

References.

Miller, Anna M.  Cameos Old & New.  GemStone Press, 4th Edition: 2008.

Comer, Jr., Arthur L.  Cameos: Timeless Masterpieces of Glyptic Art.  Alcjr Enterprises; Revised and Expanded 2nd ed.: 2017.

Morgana RavenTree is the current President of Pagan Pride LA/OC and a past contributor to Southland Pagan Press newsletter.

Dive into Divination

by Jeanne McLaughlin

Ah, Divination!  Who among us can’t use a little extra help these days?  We live in some pretty intense times, after all.  Thank the Gods for divination in all it’s glorious forms!

Whether you prefer Tarot, Pendulums, Crystal Gazing or any of the other varieties, please do your community the following favors:

  • Continue to practice and hone your own form of divination. Getting those helpful answers when you need them most.
  • Share techniques with others, so that they may be better enabled.
  • Be open to learning new practices yourself; you never know when something new might enhance your own mystical toolkit.

Are you interested in divination but unsure where to start?  BTDT!  I encourage you to have fun with the learning of your new craft!  Explore!  Try different things and see which fits you best.  Do you like tarot?  Great!  There are countless decks you can use, each adding its own flavor.  The same thing with any of the other forms of divination – there are many varieties within each practice for you to try.  If something doesn’t work for you?  Move on.  When something does?  Own it.  You were born this way, baby.  Didn’t you hear Gaga tell you???

Divination SamplesI added a picture of my own collection of divination tools to inspire you, and to demonstrate a small percentage of the choices available to you.

How to get a useful reading                  

by Linda Fox, Intuitive Tarot

 I’m so excited, I’m going to get a reading, and the reader will know my deepest thoughts, and tell me all about when I will meet the love of my life and live happily ever after.

Nah, if a reader tells you all those things, chances are they are just trying to make you happy by telling you what you want to hear.  Some people actually want to hear those things whether it’s true or not.  I have been reading tarot and using other forms of divination for many years, and I tell the querant the truth of what divination tells me.  If they ask about meeting the love of their life, and I draw cards that say they’re still putting a lot of energy into their ex, I tell them.

If you want to be told that all your dreams will come true with no effort on your part, I’m sure there are readers out there who will tell your that.  If you want a truly helpful reading, I have some pointers for you.

Be open to being read:

If you show up with your arms crossed and a look that says I dare you to read me, you are refusing the reading before it begins.  Be open to the reader.

Listen to what the reader is saying:

The reader may not be telling you what you expect to hear.  I have done rune readings, where I gave much useful information to the querent, but they just weren’t listening.  Next I used the tarot cards and got nearly the exact same information.  She understood the second time I told her.  Perhaps she just needed to see pictures.

Think about what you want to know before you meet with your reader:

Do you want to know about relationships, work, health or money?  Pick the most important one for now and then ask for information on the others as time permits. If you’re thinking of too many things, you may not get any helpful answers.  I usually do a subject overview reading and then ask direct questions on the subject to the divination tool.

Phrase your questions carefully:

Instead of asking where will I work next, be specific:  Will I continue to work in this same field? Will I like a job in the medical field?  Do I have a chance to be hired at a specific company?  Answers to questions like this will give you much more useful information.

Instead of where will I meet my next partner, ask what will my next partner be like? They may look different than you expect and the reader may pick up on their personality or other information to help you recognize them.  Ask will I meet this person online or through an app?  At work?  Through friends?  This information will help you be on the lookout.

Don’t expect accurate readings about the distant future:

Most readers are going to tell you mainly what is going on now, in the past or in the near future.  It’s difficult for many to read years and years into the future.  Why?  Because there are so many everyday choices that you make that could change the future.  A reader can tell what is likely based on the energy you’re putting out now but you could go through a drastic change in a few years and it would all change.

What if a reader tells you something bad?

If a reader tells you of possible problems or unfortunate life changes you are getting that information so you’re aware that you may face problems related to your question.  A reading will tell you where you are most likely headed right now.  You are in control of your own life.  You can choose to make an effort to change the situation before a problem occurs.  A reading is not set in stone.  A good reason to get a reading is to foresee possible problems and be forewarned and forearmed with information, knowledge and a plan for when the time comes.  Beware however if somebody tells you have a curse, or they can change your future for a high price, it’s a scam.

So enjoy your reading, be open, have a question and don’t freak out if you are told something challenging.

Linda Fox

Linda provides Tarot, Oracle and Rune Intuitive Readings, House Blessings, Energetic Space Clearings and Seances. She reads by appointment and at the Learning Light Psychic Faire. Linda’s readings specialize in questions of practical matters and life choices. Find her on Facebook. 

Include or Exclude?

by Jeanne McLaughlin

Inclusivity.  What a powerful, important concept, made from the two-edged sword of “Include or Exclude”.  How many times have we all been on either side, being either welcomed into a group or shunned from it simply because of who we *are*? Because of how we were physically born? Equally sad is being excluded from society for our sexual orientation, religious beliefs, spiritual practices, etc.

Our ancestors lived a much more primal life, and in their case, strangers could indeed be dangerous.  Deadly.  Travelers from distant lands could be merchants that wanted to trade or invading hordes, with intent to kill & destroy.  Small wonder they carried the fear of “different” and passed it on to us.

These days that belief is ridiculous.  Many of us try to judge other humans *only* for who they are as individuals.  Yet our ancestral instinct is strong and society doesn’t always show good examples.  Therefore, I ask you to please consider this idea:  *watch* for people who don’t feel included and make a difference whenever you can.

Do Special Needs People make you uncomfortable?  Want to shy away?  Imagine what life must be like for them… just getting thru every day.  How about people of a different faith or sexual orientation?  Do they make you nervous?  Would you be willing to accept them as individuals, who may have many other things in common with you?

Overall, I like the motto of the LA County General Relief Office: “When in doubt, screen IN, not OUT!”   Words to live by.

Jeanne McLaughlin is a Medicine Woman who spends her life studying and teaching Shamanic ways. Jeanne’s personal practice is Animal Medicine; working with animal spirits when they pass, and making Medicine Art from the feathers & bones she finds in the wild. Jeanne can be contacted at TheFeatherLady@earthlink.net and you can find her beautiful work for sale at Shaman Art from my Heart.

 

Langar: Let’s Feast Together

By Morgana RavenTree

​At the 2018 Parliament of the World’s Religions held in Toronto, Canada last November, I was privileged to take part in a Langar (rhymes with “hunger”) hosted by the Local Sikh community.  

Several Sikh (pronounced “sick” not “seek”) Gurdwara (temples) in the Toronto area took turns hosting a daily “free lunch” for anyone at the parliament.  In addition, I attended a workshop about the Langar and spoke with several members of the local  Sikh community (oh and I also heard some performances of Sikh music which were fabulous).

If you’re wondering why I would write an article about a Sikh practice for a Pagan newsletter, it’s because I believe there is a great deal Pagans can learn from this custom and practice.

Langar (kitchen) is the term used by Sikhs for the community kitchen or meal served in their Gurdwara Each day a free meal is served to all the visitors without distinction of religion, caste, gender, economic status or ethnicity.  To accommodate many different dietary needs the daily free meal is always vegetarian, but there are certain special occasions when an additional meal, including meat, might be served as Sikhs are not vegetarians

Langar 1The first time I attended the Langar, there was a large room set aside (later moved into a section of the Exhibition Hall).  Everyone was asked to remove our shoes and leave anything we didn’t need with us outside the meal area.  Next, we were asked to cover our heads (men and women both).  As most people didn’t have headscarves, the community provided orange scarves and helped tie them around people’s heads.  Those who had headscarves could skip that part.  

Next, we stood in line for hand-washing stations (cleanliness being an important principle of Sikhism), then we lined up for the food stations.  

The foods were simple and basic: rice, chapatti (bread), dal (lentils or yellow split peas), red beans (though I understand sometimes they serve vegetables).  Once we had our plates and cups of water, we sat down on the floor in rows (there were also a few tables along the wall for people unable to sit on the floor).   The practice of sitting on the floor is to emphasize there is no rank within the temple. Everyone sits together, all are equal.

 

As most people didn’t know each other, it was an ideal time to strike up conversations with other diners.  I met a woman who works with Pagan Pride Philadelphia, a couple from Africa, another couple from Northern California and many others.

Langar 3

After the meal, we could line up again for dessert and spiced tea (chai).  I’m not really sure what the desserts were, but they had the consistency of fudge, though they were made of pistachios and milk or chickpeas.  One day there were also some very delicious savory “crackers” made from chickpeas.  Afterwards diners would return to parliament activities.  So, at first it seemed like just a free meal, but as I learned in the workshop there is so much more to it than that.

For those unfamiliar with Sikhism, it is a monotheistic religion that originated in the Punjab region of India around the end of the 15th century.  It is the world’s ninth-largest organized religion.  It is not an Abrahamic religion, rather following the teachings of 10 gurus (teachers), the first of whom, Guru Nanak, supposedly started the Langar tradition.

As we were told in the workshop, Guru Nanak’s father gave him a sum of money to go seek his fortune in the world.  Guru Nanak came upon a village where people were poor and hungry.  He used the money to buy food for everyone, believing nourishing the body was necessary for nourishing the soul.  Thus the tradition began.  However, I later found a different origin story, that the Langar was actually started by Sufi (Muslim) mystics a couple of centuries earlier.  Nevertheless, with the establishment of Sikh temples in North America and Europe, the Sikh version of the Langar is better known.

During the meal, there are no readings, no efforts to proselytize.  Although not Abrahamic, Sikhs nonetheless believe in one creator.  They also believe in divine unity and equality of all humankind, selfless service, striving for justice for the benefit and prosperity of all.  Sikhs reject the idea that any particular religion possesses Absolute Truth.  Equality of all people is one of the most important precepts of this religion.

Langar 6

So what can Pagans learn from the Langar?  Too often the “feast” that is typically served after Pagan gatherings is sort of an afterthought.  An “oh yeah, we need to bring some food” and a quick trip to Trader Joe’s.  In contrast, Sikhs consider the food preparation to be a devotional exercise, putting great care and thought into the process.  Sharing the food brings as much blessing to them as to the people they feed.  Pagans should consider this when planning their own feasts.  The food doesn’t need to be complicated or exotic.  Simple, healthy, natural foods served in a simple way should be sufficient, fueling the body as well as the mind.  Sikhs make the food vegetarian to accommodate many different diets, something Pagans should consider before bringing a bag of Doritos or bottle of Coke to feast.  Put some thought and care into your feast dishes.  If you don’t cook, there’s nothing wrong with bringing fruits or healthy veggies, so long as you properly clean and prep them.  If you do like to cook but don’t have time on ritual days, there’s this machine in most kitchens called a “refrigerator” that usually has a “freezer” you can use to prepare foods ahead of time.

The feast is an opportunity to build community within your group, to share the bounty of the Goddess. It is also a moment when “rank” disappears and we are just a family sitting down together enjoying each other’s company.  It is as important to the group as the actual ritual and an opportunity to strengthen our bonds to each other.

If you are interested in experiencing a Langar check your local Sikh temple for their Langar schedule.  All are welcome.

Morgana RavenTree is the current President of Pagan Pride LA/OC and a former National Board member of Covenant of the Goddess.  As an anthropologist by training, she has always had a strong interest in world cultures.  She performs Persian and Central Asian dance with Tandemonium and sings with Te Mau Marite Tahitian Folk Music.  She is a former member of Avaz International Dance Theatre, Zhena Folk Chorus (Balkan Music) and Polsie Iskrie (Polish dance).  Because everything is connected.

Pagan Pride So White

by J. Emmi

#paganpridelaocsowhite

Just like the Oscars and big events in mass majority of first world countries, Pagan Pride LA/OC is so white. Last year at Pagan Pride there was two, maybe three pagans of color vendors, no pagans of color lecturers, workshop presenters or ritual facilitators that were people of color(POC). This is wrong and unacceptable and NOT a reflection of the pagans of color in LA/OC. There has been so much discussion about the disgusting and narrow minded white supremacy in the pagan community and Pagan Pride should actively work against white supremacy. It can actively do so by having full representations of pagans, and realistic representations at that. California and Los Angeles are the melting pot of the melting pot and while Orange County (OC) seems like they have less diversity and less POC than LA, they still have a lot, should not ignore them and LA/OC has many POC to realistically represent.

What about the The Hood Botanica? supplying the best spiritual tools with its founder answering your questions and supplying powerful wisdom through instagram live every week https://www.instagram.com/thehoodbotanica/

or the Bruja’s Botanica ? providing the best spell work, spiritual supplies and guidance https://www.instagram.com/brujasbotanica/

or Daizy October “LA’s Hoodoo Woman, Ancestral Astrologer, Diviner and Black Spirituality Columnist/Historian” https://www.instagram.com/thatafromystic/

or the Hype Priestess aka Lacey Conine who put on the first Witch Walk in Santa Ana last week? https://www.instagram.com/hypepriestess/

or the Hood Bruja? with her wisdom and creator of some of the most delicious vegan food in LA https://www.instagram.com/thehoodbruja/ https://www.instagram.com/HoodBrujasKitchen/

or Jazz the Doula Jewla aka Jazmine Danielle with her magical jewelry, alchemy and wisdom https://www.instagram.com/chakrabuntu

or WitchDoctor Alex with his amazing podcast, vast astrology knowledge, talent in tarot and more https://www.instagram.com/witchdoctoralex

or Black Magic Botanicals ? LA’s place for candles, oils, tarot, spiritual consultations and more https://www.instagram.com/blackmagicbotanicals/

or Leach Garza and Jaison Perez in their informative metaphysical podcast, oils, metaphysical items,”Akashic Records knowledge, Intuition Development for Women of Color”,etc https://www.instagram.com/wearepowercrystals/ https://www.instagram.com/crystalsofaltamira  https://www.instagram.com/bluerosebotanics/

and of course the successful, LA native now living in Seattle the Hood Witch with her powerful art installations and knowledge https://www.instagram.com/thehoodwitch/ and MORE.

As you can see there are MANY pagans of color in LA/OC that are talented, powerful and have so so much to offer. It would be an tragedy to ignore all these beautiful pagans of color. I have an even longer list of pagans of color that are LA locals, Califorinan’s and some of the best witches of color around to suggest to be invited to speak, vend and facilitate activities at Pagan Pride LA/OC. Like this month’s theme of inclusivity, Pagan Pride LA/OC can you please please invite, make feel welcome, create safe spaces and honor these pagans of color and more, at Pagan Pride LA/OC?

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J. Emmi is a Visual Artist, Strega and Nature Lover. Follow her on Instagram @j_emmi_fineart

Introducing a new Tarot project!

by Thea Wirsching

Some of you know me as Thea Wirsching, Evolutionary Astrologer, but I’m also an academic with a research background in American esotericism.  That research is the subject of a forthcoming Tarot deck, The American Renaissance Tarot.  This Tarot celebrates the Transcendentalists and other nineteenth-century American writers who transformed the landscape of American spiritual life.  The careers of many of these writers naturally fit Tarot archetypes. Margaret Fuller, editor of the Transcendentalist magazine The Dial and author of a book called Woman in the Nineteenth Century, could only be the Empress.  Emily Dickinson’s sibylline meditations on nature elect her as the High Priestess.  Walt Whitman’s ecstatic love for America and all its inhabitants – black and white, rich and poor, male and female – made him perfect for the World card.  Ralph Waldo Emerson’s lectures on the power of the mind and the majesty of the individual soul resonate with the Tarot’s Magician archetype.

Hermit Image@2xBut perhaps the most natural fit of all for an American literary Tarot was Henry David Thoreau as the Hermit.  Thoreau made a two-year, two-month, and two-day experiment in simple living. He left American society to live in the woods at Walden Pond, to discover truths that can only be gained in solitude.  We depicted Thoreau on the water in the card image, to emphasize the reflective power of nature; Thoreau described Walden Pond as a “perfect forest mirror.” Importantly, Thoreau returned to society after his sojourn in the wilderness.  The Hermit archetype can also represent someone with highly individual views. For Thoreau, these were his anarchistic ideas that appear in essays like “Civil Disobedience.” Thoreau was also fiercely anti-slavery, and the card illustrates the white water-lily that Thoreau discussed in the lecture, “Slavery in Massachusetts,” which gave him hope that one day “man’s deeds will smell as sweet.”

Keep an eye on www.americanrenaissancetarot.com and follow @americantarot on Instagram, for updates on when this exciting project will be available for purchase!