Saturday, June 18, 2016

My annual Summer Solstice/Litha celebration list

I usually do a holiday listing of events.  However, due to the lack of comments and feedback on the last few, I felt it was time to put that Tradition on the shelf. However, my inbox has apparently blown off the hinges of is virtual door with hue and cry and threats of a silly string riot if I did not write something. Therefore, I give you this, a shout out and listing of the current celebrations this weekend.

Better late than never, and better this then a can of silly string shoved up my jumper!

  • Summer Solstice Celebration,  at the Kiwanis Park,13901 Leroy St, in Southgate, Michigan.  10 am - 9 pm Today, Free, Potluck, children welcome.  Activities.
  •  Litha Celebration, First Metaphysical Church,8267 E Atherton Rd,in Davison,  Michigan. 1pm Today.
  • Litha Celebration,The Smokey Crystal LLC, 12219 Dix Toledo Rd, Southgate, in Michigan.
    2pm-5pm. Yes, donations are always appreciated. Feel free to bring a dish to pass, for pot-luck communing afterward.

  • Fire Fly Festival, hosted by One Love Oasis, 45580 18th Ave, in Bloomingdale, Michigan.  Camping event.  Started June 17 and continues thru June 19. Solstice Ritual and full programming.  $25 weekend or $10 per day w/ $15 for camping.  
  • Up in the Aether - Into the Sunset (or The Forever 50 Party), DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Detroit – Dearborn,5801 Southfield Expressway, in Detroit, Michigan. 8pm - 2am Tonight.  All ages, in honor of Commander Michael Wiggins, Minimum admission - $5.00, but pay more if you can.  See event for details. 

Malene Thyssen,

  • Summer Solstice RitualShining Lakes Grove, ADF,, 11623 Lisa Lori Ln, in South Lyon, Michigan. This ritual is in a private home.The "welcome raffle donations and potluck contributions. Think summery picnicky things". 2pm - 5pm Tomorrow.
  •  Summer Solstice, Hosted by Wisteria Event Campground,39825 State Route 684, Pomeroy, Ohio 45769. Jun 19 at 9 AM to Jun 26 at 3 PM. 
    Here are the prices for adults:

    Saturday, June 18th: $190 preregistration, $205 gate
    Sunday, June 19th: $175 preregistration, $190 gate
    Monday, June 20th: $160 preregistration, $175 gate
    Tuesday, June 21st: $145 preregistration, $160 gate
    Wednesday, June 22nd: $130 preregistration, $145 gate
    Thursday, June 23rd: $110 preregistration, $125 gate
    Friday, June 24th: $90 preregistration, $105 gate

    and for kids 3-12 (under 3 always free):

    Saturday, June 18th: $98 preregistration, $106 gate
    Sunday, June 19th: $90 preregistration, $98 gate
    Monday, June 20th: $82 preregistration, $90 gate
    Tuesday, June 21st: $74 preregistration, $82 gate
    Wednesday, June 22nd: $65 preregistration, $73 gate
    Thursday, June 23rd: $55 preregistration, $63 gate
    Friday, June 24th: $45 preregistration, $53 gate

     This is the short and sweet list.  Comment below to add your own. The more the merrier.

    And to the Black Moon Grove, I'll see you at the bonfire tonight!

    Ridgeway Downs - Summer Solstice - Jay Terrestrial

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Big News at the Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund

On June 11,  the Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund announced its 2016 Scholarship Winner Pete Ryland Shoda, III.  An intelligent and thoughtful young person, his essay was just what the board looks for when making their decision.  It was reasoned, expressive, and genuine.  He, and his Father, were there to accept the check at the Magical Education Council's annual Pagan Picnic. The check was presented by Rev. Gerrybrete Leonard-Whitcomb and Paula Ireland.
By Cory W. Watts from Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America (Lake Michigan) [CC BY-SA 2.0
By Cory W. Watts from Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America (Lake Michigan) [CC BY-SA 2.0
Hailing from Grand Rapids, Pete recently completed his studies at the West Michigan Aviation Academy.  He intends on continuing his education at Grand Rapids Community College and Northwestern College.  His studies in Michigan offer the best education for flying, since our weather has sudden climate changes.  His ultimate goal is a degree in Bachelors Degree Aviation Operations.

His winning essay:
What being Pagan means to me, it means I have the ability to walk in the woods, talk to the Divine, become part of Nature, and most of all, it gives me the choice to worship where, when and how I want.
Most people would say that being Pagan means they worship the Goddess.  While this is something that I do as well, it also has allowed me to worship much, much more.  People that go to church go one time a week, a couple hours, then that’s it, they go home. Not Pagan’s, not me.  Being Pagan means that I have a lot to live up to.  The God’s and Goddesses are watching me, Mother Nature is watching me, and the wind is listening to me, carrying my spells, chants and requests to the Universe.  Always helping, always taking care to leave a small mark, always being a good person to others, taking care of the Earth, giving back when I can.  These are some of the things that being Pagan means to me...... (you can see the complete essay by going to the MPSF Winner's Page.
The MPSF gave its heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the sponsors of the fund this year.  Every year the list seems to grow.  This year, they are Universal Society of Ancient Ministry, Magical Educational Council, Witches Of Michigan, Candle Wick Shoppe, Coventry Creations, Midwest Witches’ Ball, and a first time donation by the Ancient Faiths Alliance.  Also included are the many shops, individuals, and organizations that each contributed to the future of our young Pagan scholars here in Michigan.

Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund
Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund
A surprise announcement was also made this year.  The MPSF has been under the masterful guidance and administration of Gordon Ireland since its beginnings.  Through his leadership, he and Paula have seen it grow, thrive, and ensure that the money is there for our young Pagan students.  However, he announced last year he would be stepping down and search was on for someone to step into the position, not his place (no one can fill those shoes).
The new administrator was announced to be Kenya Coviak.  Yes, that's right. That is me. So here is your full disclosure, I am the new administrator for the Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund.
It is time to plan for a new year and a new season of financial aid will be upon us soon. I urge all who read this to contribute to our children's future by supporting the fund in any way you can.

There should always be a Pagan Scholarship Fund in Michigan. 2017 is coming.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Blood on the roses- an editorial on Orlando's shooting

Kenya Coviak/AKA Mistress Belladonna

Murders and attempted murders were gashed across this nations soul this weekend in an outrageous scene of violence in Orlando Florida at the Pulse nightclub.  Over 50 souls were extinguished in one of the most horrific ways possible, and over 50 more were injured physically in this mayhem.  The number of people who have been injured that did not have physical wounds is beyond counting.  The wounds that each of those rounds tore into the emotional soul of this nation's heart are catastrophic.

This is beyond the measure of a hate crime.  This is more than an act of terror.  This does not hide in the mantle of only being the actions of a lone disturbed person.  This is a spiritual perversion and sickness that has gripped the minds of so many in these times.
That depravity of spirit is HATRED.

Make no mistake.  Do not try to tie this up in a pretty little bow and vivisect it into pieces in order to make it fit whatever soundbite is most handy at the moment in the media. This is hatred, pure and simple.  And it is alive, well, and spreading like the wings of death across this great nation.

The United States, contrary to popular revisionist beliefs, was founded by people who were human beings with the mind that this collection of souls, flesh, and bones would be able to be a place of sanctuary and sanity for all persons to be able to hold their ideas without persecution or violence because of them. This is not what we have become.  Instead, we have become petty, mean, and intolerant. We have embraced the bigot, the scorner, the dogmatist and made them supreme.  The incense of lies and fear creates a twisted kef that intoxicates the believers of this misery into a stupor of dangerous stupidity.

In our efforts to facilitate so much instantaneous validation of every position, we have neglected the child of promise that is the ingrained ability to declare what is right and what is wrong.  The rights of myself end at the tip of my fellow man's nose, as do theirs.  This means that if I find my beliefs do not have accord with theirs, that all can go forth in peace and security without that disagreement leading to the evil of offering violence and bloodshed.

Guns are not the villain here.  Nor is it just about mental illness.  This is not about whether one religion is any more violent than another.  And it is absolutely not about the supposed agenda that many are stating is the objective of the non majority populace.  I will not give the name any space here.  No, none of these.  The true scion of this chaos is the spirit of hatred that we have formed into an egregore that feeds upon us at this time.
The right to love, and be loved.  The right to marry or not marry.  The right to be in our truths, live our lives no matter the gender, sexual orientation, religion, creed, or other identifying factor that makes us a living soul is not up to anyone to judge to be a death sentence.
Some of the names of the murdered are
    Stanley Almodovar III, 23
    Amanda Alvear, 25
    Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26
    Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33
    Antonio Davon Brown, 29
    Darryl Roman Burt II, 29
    Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28
    Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25
    Luis Daniel Conde, 39
    Cory James Connell, 21
    Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25
    Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32
    Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31
    Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25
    Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26
    Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
    Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22
    Paul Terrell Henry, 41
    Frank Hernandez, 27
    Miguel Angel Honorato, 30
    Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40
    Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19
    Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30
    Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25
    Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32
    Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21
    Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49
    Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25
    Kimberly Morris, 37
    Akyra Monet Murray, 18
    Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20
    Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36
    Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32
    Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35
    Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25
    Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27
    Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24
    Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35
    Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34
    Yilmary Rodriguez Sulivan, 24
    Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33
    Martin Benitez Torres, 33
    Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24
    Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50
    Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37
    Luis S. Vielma, 22
    Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37
    Jerald Arthur Wright, 31
      The murderous fiend who committed this atrocity pledged allegiance to ISIL.  But that is not the whole of this matter.  The forces of wickedness in this world use whatever vehicle for rationalizing their actions that resonates most handily.  And while that vile darkness in the world claims this person, who I will not name - for names give power and life - it means no more than a wind above a charnal pit glorifying itself of the reeking odor of rot.
      No, this is not just about any one thing.  If not by gun, it would have been by explosive.  If not explosive, it would have been by fire.  If not by fire, then by individual ways, a hundred, a million, a billion moments of death that would find their way to visit into the lives of the innocent.  This is the power of hate, this is the allure, this is the relentless onslaught of fear of the "other".
      And this is not us.  This is not what we believe as a nation.  This is not what we believe as people of faith.  This is not what we believe as souls, as humans, as spirits incarnate in this miracle called life.  No, this is what happens when evil is fed, cherished, and allowed to grow wild in the gardens of our souls.  Each of us is as beautiful and haunting as the most precious rose in our uniqueness.  That is what makes this country beautiful.

       By Lucy Roberts from Bartlesville, OK (Rainbow Rose  Uploaded by LongLiveRock)

      Today, there is blood on the roses.  It may be invisible to the naked eye. But there are droplets of stolen life in our garden.  And we the gardeners must take heed to remove the roots of these weeds of hatred lest they destroy us all.
      As Pagans, as Humans, we know what it is to be different.  And we know that there is danger in celebrating that when evil would snuff that light of what makes us each real and holy and unique in the way were fashioned by the God, or Gods, in which we believe.  No label, gay, straight, bi, trans, poly, mono, black, white, atheist, theist, liberal, conservative, or any other label changes that we are here, we are stars, and we deserve to be the gift that is our life in this world.
      Today, I implore you to look to your neighbor, your coworker, your friend, even your enemy, and see the light in their eyes and the love in their souls.  I beseech you to embrace this in your heart like a flickering flame of recognition, and cherish that face and form before you for what it is. See a  person made of miracles who has the ability to love and be loved, a life.
      And this week, in some small way, cherish the roses and know that for each petal, somewhere a new day is being born for those who do not live in hate.  Know that as you read these words, even in grief and mourning, some small part of each of these people lives on in all of us.
      This love and life will beat back the hate. It will strangle it out with love among these roses.  For our thorns are sharp, and rend away the teachings and corruption that seek to stamp us out. Those whirlwinds of war and violence that try to bury us, to make us cower in fear.  We will not be afraid.  From the dusts of oppression and terror, we will rise anew.
      This week, we wear the rose.

      "Love is not something we do, it is who we are. It is not the measure of us, it is the measure from which we are made." - Kenya Coviak aka Mistress Belladonna/M. Belladonna

      Mistress Belladonna hails from Detroit, Michigan. She is a Pagan Journalist and writer for PBN News Network, the Detroit Paganism Today blog, and formerly the Detroit Paganism Examiner.

      Monday, June 13, 2016

      PBN Blues Series: "Death Bell Blues" Tom Dickson

      The art of divination is delightful and challenging.  When doing it for clients, it is one of the best ways to determine a course of action and a situational analysis.  Oracular information often leads to a Butterfly Effect of revelation and reflection that is critical to the correct purchase and advisement.

      Today, we are going to talk about what happens when Death is in the reading.  It can be a Tarot based reading, or another oracle.  But we are definitely speaking of the BIG D.

      By Stevan Aleksić (1876-1923) [Public domain]
      Now death is not always the end of life.  We know this as experienced practitioners.  Sometimes it simply signifies the end of a situation, venture, or way of being.  But there are other times when it means exactly what it indicates.  It is critical that this is handled with wisdom and insight.

      First of all, remember that no future is set in stone.  At any point, the outcomes of our actions can change.  No one person can be the authority and put their fingers on a calendar and say, "This is the date for certain death" (cues the bassoon score).  Not if they are in their right minds, will they do this.
      This, of course, does not even address the unethical people who live off of people's delusions and frighten them into dependency.

      So, how does a person handle this?  This is where training and experience come into the picture.  Proceed with caution.

      How to definitely not go about this

      Xavier Y. has come to you for a reading.  He feels uneasy, like things are not really in a good place for him.  You prepare your space and you set to work consulting the oracle of your choice.  The oracle indicates that death may be in the client's future.

       Your eyes grow wide, and you whisper to the client that he is going to die, or that he may die soon, for all the omens and signs say this.  Xavier Y. is now clutching his knees and has lost all blood from his complexion.  He leaves your shop, shaken and visibly in distress.  He never darkens your doorway again.  Thus endeth the relationship with your client.
      How to not scare the soul from your client, or a better way

       Xavier Y. has come to you for a reading.  He feels uneasy, like things are not really in a good place for him.  You prepare your space and you set to work consulting the oracle of your choice.  The oracle indicates that death may be in the client's future.

      You look at your client and state you are going to need him to listen to you with patience so that he can get the full meaning of what is before you.  You begin to explain that oracles are not set outcomes but indicators of what MAY occur if things keep going the way that they are.  You stress that by our everyday choices, we control our individual courses of our lives, and that every choice can affect change to what comes next.

      You then explain what you see, focusing on the fact that this is probably an indication to be more mindful of how he goes about his day and to be more careful in his daily habits.  You also let him know that not only can it mean death, it can mean a prolonged illness OR separation from current circumstances in his life.  

      At no time do you pronounce impending sentences and countdown clocks. HOWEVER, you must disclose what you see in a truthful and responsible way.

      Xavier Y. may be shaken from this reading.  However, he is also now forewarned to be cautious and mindful in his life, so this may indeed affect a change in his path.  You have been honest, responsible, and have counseled your client calmly and effectively according to the parameters of your profession.  If you are a person who can offer advice and/or sales of tools that will help the situation, you can do so.  But under no circumstances will an ethical person foist charms and such upon a person in order to make a quick dollar.   

      For seers, this is a bit different, because clairvoyance is something that we are not referring to here.  But even in visions, the future is not always what we believe we see.  We must use our experience and wisdom to interpret our dreams, visions, and prophecies in order to get proper discernment.

      In all ways concerning this situation, we must offer hope.  There is always another path.  There is always a chance we have made a mistake in interpretation.  And there is always free will.  Be responsible.  A change of step can be a change of fate.

      Death Bell Blues ........Tom Dickson

      Thursday, June 9, 2016

      You know where you can put that wand of oppression? I vote how I want. A salon on choice

      It is a bright sunshiney day here in the Land of the Fresh Water Seas, also known as Michigan.  The birds are singing, the breezes are lovely.  The plants are swaying gently as they grow with the delightful enthusiasm of springtime.  The scent of peonies wafts through the air and ….

      Hold up.  Wayment (wait a minute). That smell under the surface. It is somehow spicy and earthy in a sickening kind of way.  Oh wait, I know.  It is that smell you get when self appointed Pagan authority figures wrap their opinions in bovine excrement burritos and attempt to serve them up as LAW when someone dares to disagree with their political positions online.

      In other words, this very special salon has been convened in order to give a slight repast to the Death of “That Oppressive Bulls**t Right Here”.  The table has been set with Low John infused candles, ginger and lemon balm tea, and a lazy Susan of petit fours.  A cloth of lilac print ivory linen graces the table.  
      Creative Commons IMage Credit Jeremy King         P1210170 (2)*Sl25636661902_abea7cea18_o.jpg

      My guests are soon to arrive.  A brass cauldron full of roses and voter registration forms from various states is the centerpiece today.  Honeysuckle flowers cover them in a beautiful display.

      *Opens doors to the salon.  The breeze seems to be moving bodies gently as folks step into the salon*
      Mistress Belladonna:

      Welcome Ladies.  It is a joy to have you here.  Please help yourselves to some cookies.  Now, shall I start this off with a simple question?  Where are these folks getting off telling people that they have the right to silence their opinions if they don’t tow the party line in paganism right now in regards to politics for this election?

      I mean, who gets to decide where I place my vote?  Was there a meeting I missed or something?

      <By Agne27 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0

      *Mistress Belladonna slips some rum into the teacup nearest herself*

      Calico Kitty
      I knew there was going to be shenanigans, I just didn’t know how much of it was going to happen.  It was REALLY ridiculous on Tuesday in California.  I *knew* games would be played, so I voted by mail early.  Also, people in general (in the community) have been behaving rather badly throughout this whole primary/caucus process.  It’s appalling.

      Mistress Belladonna

      As a former election inspector in the great City of Detroit, I saw enough foolishness to make a Shakespearean playwright blush.  Every election, people come out of the woodwork trying to shape the “Pagan” vote, like the “Black” vote, the “Women’s” Vote.  Hell, why not just have a day, ONE DAY, when it is the HUMAN vote?

      Vote your conscience, that’s what I hear.  Then on the other hand, folks are telling me that they are getting blocked from the so-called “open space” Pagan groups and forums because they have a controversial or differing political view.  Suck my Lady Ballots.

      Flat out.

      Calico Kitty

      And this is why I’m seriously thinking about how I might remove myself from the Pagan community at large.  There are still individuals with whom I’d like to carry on relations, but the overall Pagan culture can go fuck it itself.  Every year I go to Pantheacon, I see the ideas that I put forth, and the political radicalism I talk about get silenced when it comes out of my mouth, but then poached by someone else like it’s brand new.  I’m sick of it.  My only value I get out of it these past few years is what I’ve done in the PoC Suite, the panels I’m on, and the networking I do in private.  

      The conventional programming and the culture that goes along with it can be blamed for the continued degradation of common sense and accountability to community.  Do you know there is a bona-fide two tier system in place for all these events?  One for the Pagan Elites, and the one for everyone else.  Pagan Elites get *sponsored* and subsidized while blasting their filth for all to see.  And I mean this in every sense.  I just try to steer clear of it as much as possible.  The whole Cherry Hill Seminary thing going on… not MY drama.

      Mistress Belladonna

      .Aww damn, are we gonna talk about the pitchfork cultures in our communities now?  The whole, “burn em all” thing we do when anyone is an ass?  My butt should be permanently glowing like an ember if that happened to me from every time I pissed someone off!  But yet, we enable this pillorying.

      *tea pot begins to boil furiously, top rattling*

      The Seer

      I have been solitary for not do the whole hierarchy thing… saw that type of behaviour in the whole Reclaiming debacle. The whole Pagan Elite and everyone else thing goes against everything Paganism should stand for. The best thing to happen at PCon is the PoC suite. I’m just going to say it….Calico Kitty, the poaching of your idea’s is reminiscent of normal behaviour i have seen in the Pagan community and outside of it. Need I clarify? Or do you get my meaning?  O, btw, did the Alllivesmatter T-shirts go over well. I did not attend Pcon.

      **sips tea laced with rum….that’ll put hairs on my chest.

      *The house iguana (who the hell let in a house iguana?!) holds up a middle digit and laughs at a comment online in a Facebook group about political expediency and why the divisiveness of PoC is wrong*

      Calico Kitty  That’s how the shirts went… heh!

      *Danto peeks into the parlour*

      My bad I think I let the house iguana out in my rush to get in here. You know I cannot be on time for ish!

      Mistress Belladonna

      People who are “Big Name Pagans” poach all the time!  It’s like it is their job.  I see it every day.  I call it out a lot, too.  Maybe that is why I don’t get invited to their parties.  That, and I am a vainglorious arrogant ignorant savage Fool.  But hey, I’m honest.

      And since we are addressing poaching by people “of power”, how about the poaching of entire forums by heavy weight Pagan “leadership” when it comes to discourse?  How many were “Feeling the Bern” until it was announced he was not a winning team?  How many were standing with Hillary until yet another scandal came out?  And how many are standing with Trump on the sidelines of many debates, yet are in Trump supporting Pagan groups on the low?  Guess what?  

      Calico Kitty 

       ^^ No lie detected here.

      The Seer

       ^^All of the above. All truth there, again normal behaviour. Silencing is the worst trait, heard it was not that way in the PoC suite though. 


      It’s the big name Pagans that are the most culpable in this whole thing. Everyone wanna be Black (and in an ATR) until it is really time to be Black. Long, involved conversations with the supposed elders and scholars in this community will leave you some kinda way about how they really feel about us. I’ve long asked the question as to how they can be in an ATR and ignore (and many times invalidate) the struggles of its descendants. It boggles the mind.

      Oh by the way, those shirts are amazing. I am going to wear mine to every Pagan gathering I can.

      Belladonna sets out dried sugarcane candy and a plate of carrot halwa*

      Mistress Belladonna 

      Maybe they can use those shirts to wipe the tears from their eyes as they get in their feelings when someone does not support their candidate. (Calico Kitty says, “Ka-CHING!”)

      Just saying.

      The silencing of the dissenting voice is what drove many to Pagan paths in the first place, is it not?  The right to question, the pursuit of personal truths beyond spoon fed dogma?

      *whispers, the right to hex a mofo when needed*



      That is what I really cannot understand. I thought I was entering an open minded area of people who were down with the struggle of the oppressed. It is why the Occult is called THE OCCULT. It has to remain hidden because of the mainstream powers that be will try to kill it and US if they can. But noooooo hunty! I have come across the worst racists and sexists at every turn. If I wanted this nonsense, I woulda stayed in the Black Church!!! HUMP.

      *grabs some halwa and chews angrily*

      Sorry, I didn’t get lunch before I came.

      The Seer
      ^^^^ Truth right there!!! It is all about control in the Pagan ‘community’ use the latter word loosely.

      *iguana has hung pinatas of an elephant and a donkey from the ceiling of the kitchen.  It is currently setting a balefire under them in Belladonna’s good fondue pot.   The smoke detector was disabled long ago, due to constant smoke cleansings*

      Mistress Belladonna:  


      Calico Kitty:

      I have a quick query.  What are everyone’s pronouns? I’m about to girlify real quick, but I don’t want to squick anybody who doesn’t identify or feel comfortable discussing lady parts.

      Mistress Belladonna:

      *sings "I'm just a girl .....

      She, Her, Grown Ass Witch Who Does What I Want, Head Detroit Witch In Charge,  etc……

      The Seer

      Calico Kitty, please go right worries here, love.

      *Belladonna slides a container of brandied peaches around the table*


      I go by girl/she here... Ooooh peaches! Sorry, I am easily distracted, but I have not been able to eat because the thought of having to vote for Clinton vs. Trump has had my stomach jacked up for a while now...

      Mistress Belladonna

      TRUTH.  Regarding what Danto said, some of those old school Big Name Pagans are more about control in this Pagan social life than Janet Jackson was when she collaborated with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.  Sometimes I think that I will walk into the next leadership meeting and be greeted by folks in black jeans, surrounded by chairs and mirrors, doing back flips in a dance routine with their spotlight loving asses.

      The Seer

      More like Marilyn Manson with a weave...hexing everyone. Fear of losing control is so prevalent across the board in the Pagan community and outside of it. I see this on the daily and it just feels like we/me as a PoC has walked away from religious dogma and prejudice only to meet it again in the Pagan community.


      Why you witches tryin to make me choke on my peaches? But seriously, what I am finding in the Pagan community is if you don’t tow the line with their foolishness, they will try to put you on the outside. Even if the things they do have little or no regard for the traditions in which they claim to follow, say something that they deem “out of line,” and watch them try to make you pay for it dearly.

      *no lies detected^*

      *Iguana is taking sips of rum, and the door has just opened a little wider.  The swish of skirts is heard and the scent of oils fills the room.  Everyone looks up*

      Calico Kitty, is not feeling well.  So she has left us.  Time for Moon changes in her Lady Garden.  :).  We will save some tea for her.


      Awww I hope you feel better. Sorry I was late to the party. :-(.

      Mistress Belladonna

      It is beyond just that Pagan community in general though.  It is a like a creeping slime mold that has infected almost the majority of alternative spiritual groups.  Sycophancy is the new Sexy.


      I think this is the cancer of celebrity. Nobody cares about enlightening others and sharing new ideas and perspectives. Now it is all about, “how can I make them think just like I do so they will hang on to every word and buy my books, join my coven/house/organization, attend my seminar, take my online course” (insert money making venture here), etc. When you present information that goes against their grain, the cognitive dissonance is vile in its presentation.

      The Seer

      Yes. Agreed it feels like a liberty council member finding their way into Paganism but has not totally shed their opinions. I do feel that way that there are many sycophants inhabiting this spiritual arena currying favor from the ‘elites’ if you will. Thing is though, they do not know what to do with PoC, they cannot make us out because they have lost ‘control.’

      Mistress Belladonna:

      More like the Pagan Pusball version of the White Citizens Council.  Yeah, I said it.

      *The Seer - clutches her pearls!*


      And that is NO LIE. And don’t come to one of these “elite” and tell them that you’ve studied enough of the traditions you descend from (and they are misappropriating) to let them know that they are off base and out of line. Then the online lynching begins. Been there, done that.

      The Seer

      Glad you said it, now that is cleared up let's go!!!!

      Mistress Belladonna

      Let’s get down to business, and just lay the panties on the table - so to speak.  Everyone is trying to hide their dirty laundry regarding the legacy style oppression of PoC in the Pagan communities by dumping sage on it.  Doesn’t hide the stench of rot.

      *iguana has fainted dead away in shock*

      Awww poor baby!

      *runs smelling salts under iguana’s nose…*

      The Seer

      Everything came out in the open when the PoC suite came to fruition, just by the mere presence of the suite caused whispers...even though they the ‘community’ knew it was coming it still caused the whispers. I did hear that some pagans felt a little insecure and would not enter. I got that information first hand. When I asked why….this person said...I think they wanted their own space...I asked why do you feel that felt that way...this person had no answer.


      Oh to be a fly on the wall at PCon last year and see what they said about those shirts! You know what amazes me? These conferences have “Baron’s Boneyard Boogie” and Pomba Gira parties, and they wonder why this puts a bad taste in our mouths? I don’t know about their spiritual court, but ours have certain ways of doing things, and that ain’t it. When I see things like that (and some of the speakers they have), I wonder if there was a PoC in the room to say, “HEY! Stop it! Stop it right now!”

      I am so tired of the mockery. Then to look at the speaker line up of these conferences and they are ALL WHITE. Really, and they have to ask why we wanted our own suite?

      Don’t get me wrong, I have white friends there (Doesn’t that sound like them when I say it?). I see people I have love for, but feeling like I belonged there? I’d be a lie if I said I did. Did I feel like people respected who I am and my tradition/religion? Not so much. It felt like a show to me, and I don’t know what we can do to change that, but I want to.

      *A woman rushes in like a flow of high tide.  Her presence bathes the room in power.  The teapot falls over onto the salt shaker.*

      Greetings my sisters. Just catching up. This convo is giving me life this morning.
      Oh no, I will never sugarcoat the pagan shenanigans. I've had long associations with Caucasian pagans, often being the only Black person in the room. As much as they sing about how we all come from the Goddess, they don't back that shit up when you get right down to it.

      I spent nearly 15 years as a Druid priestess, five as High Priestess. I raised many white students in my coven, teaching and guiding. Several dozen over the years.  Ask me how many reached out to me when I began my activism in earnest. How many even speak to me once I started blogging and marching for Black civil rights. Go ahead. Ask me.

      I can count them all on one hand with fingers left over.

      I’m done trying to get through to Caucasian pagans. PantheaCon made sure of it. Having attended three times, it has become obvious that we need segregation in our sacred spaces.

      As  person who suffered through the tail-end of forced integration in the late 60s, I gotta question what forcing black people and white people together has accomplished. Sure, we demanded equal rights and equal access. But we STILL DON’T HAVE EQUAL RIGHTS and we never ever had equal access.

      *Belladonna raises a fist*


      Man, I have often said that one of the things that ruined our communities was integration, and I don’t say this lightly because I have no idea what would have happened to us if it wasn’t for the Civil Rights Movement.

      Everything from our spiritual practices to our children’s behavior has changed, and most of it not for the better. Segregation was horrible, but damn, we had to take care of each other. We had our own stores, banks, and other economic structures. I’d like to say integration was a good thing, but look at what’s happened to us. People fooled themselves in the 70s and became complacent. Everyone was like, “see it's all better now.”

      Now we can clearly see that it is not all better, and open season on Black folks never ended. When folks want to tell me how far we have come, and then look at me like we were given some sort of magic wand (pun intended), and I see a white boy get six months for a rape he DID commit, and a brother get six YEARS for a rape he DIDN’T commit, I want to punch them right in the throat. Them’s fighting words to me. That is when you know they are part of the problem instead of the solution

      Mistress Belladonna

      Respect and love to you.  I will have to disagree with segregation.  I am an integrationist.  I do believe in segregation of douche canoe captains, though.

      My vibe is that if there is a space that is held for persons of a culture, color, nationality, or other, then that space must be held and respected.  It is not there for tourism, appropriation, invasion, co-opting, conquering, or scavenging.  

      When you visit these spaces as Other, basically, Shut the F*&J Up, you know?  I do not need a bleeding heart spraying their tears and guilt and banner, waving all over my ritual space, gathering, or anything else.  Get your therapy in on your own time.  I cannot stand, personally, Spotlight Pagan Hollywood fake ass allies.  All Paths are to be respected, so respect mine when it is time.

      And another thing, there is a time and place for everything.  When someone is doing an Ancestral Ritual for their African Diasporic reality, that is not the time to insert your personal godform or cultural tradition because you feel

      “It is not inclusive enough.  I feel that everyone should have the right to have their gods in this ritual"

      I bet you got a medal just for playing, huh?  Guess what, Sweetling?  Your seat is waiting over there.

      *The seer is indicating several seat these people may park their asses.*


      And THAT is what is stuck in my craw!!! Lort! It’s an invasion. Nobody wants to respect the way things “are done” in ADRs anymore. Maybe this is happening in other religions/traditions, but I cannot speak on ones I am not part of.

      I enjoy innovation just as much as the next person, but what the Pagan elite is trying to do in ADRs is KILLING ME. It’s funny, because when I am an Other in their sacred spaces, I am not sweeping in there and telling them that such and such god/goddess is really Black and you should make it more like meeeeeee.

      Umm, hell no. I am there with RESPECT and wanting to learn. I seriously cannot deal. When you see their altars all jacked up and mish mashing things that are sure to piss off spirits, you can’t tell them NUTHIN cause they KNOW what they are doing. Well, that is when I pick up my broom and go home.

      Calico Kitty

      I’m back. A few vomits later and I can sit up and hold my tea cup out for another pour.  To address what Yemaya is saying, yes, I do actually agree that we need spaces that serve our needs.  Even in places where it would categorically make sense to be, we still are not prioritized, and other non-Black PoC talk over us.  I’ll tell you what pissed me off at PCon’s PoC suite this last time.  They had a closed door meeting where only White-Passing individuals were allowed entry.   To be frank, not everyone who claimed a seat in that room passed as white, but it was definitely a paper bag test if I ever saw it.  



      That White-passing POC meeting was indeed offensive. Most definitely a paper bag test. I have observed that certain POC who can pass enjoy claiming their black identity while expecting the deference that white people expect. They wanna BE black, but insist on being treated like white in that they expect a POC to treat them with kid gloves. That's been my observation and personal experience. All hell can ensue if white-passing women, in particular, get all in their feelings. What’s the old saying? “If a white woman cries, somebody dies.” Applies to white-passing tears too. It's uncanny! Best of both worlds. 
      Once again, who did they consult with to check to see if this was gonna be okay in any, way, shape or form. This is repugnant, and reminiscent of pitting the “house slaves” against the “field slaves.” AGAIN, I ask, who in the hell thought THAT was a good idea. I promise if I would have been there, I woulda come into the meeting, and my yella behind would have SHUT IT DOWN. I just heard about this. I think I am gonna be sick. 

      The Seer

      I too agree with what Yemaya is saying. Calico Kitty I am so glad you shared that experience, it just goes to prove, factually what is happening. I am highly offended. It is clear there are places for the pagans of the white hue so that they may hold counsel, the same should be for PoC too, equality right?
       Someone commented on FB the other day;  “how come they see faeries and elementals but do not see or claim PoC and the injustices they suffer.”  

      I find this comment so true. When things benefit them and only them they seek us out for solidarity, when the shoe is on the other foot though, they bleed the fifth. Selfish. We do need safe places for ourselves. I agree.

      Man, I swear I’d probably still be sitting in jail because of the way I clowned them for that. It is mind boggling that some of the people who are so very brilliant and claim to “see” what mundanes do not, but they act like they do not SEE the news every day. They can claim the death of Trayvon Martin was not racially motivated. They will believe the lie that an unarmed brother would reach into a cop car and open a can of whoop ass on an armed policeman. Selective seeing much??? Believing in things that others say are not real is mandatory if you are going to be a Pagan, but damn, even that has its limits.Doing Research to See Where They Do That.jpg

      Mistress Belladonna

      I am truly blessed that ConVocation, and Michigan in general, is not full of this much ass hattery that you are sharing here.  We have pockets of it, but like Jason Mankey said, we are more like a gathering of the tribe, not tribes.

      The separations do still exist, for example me being called “Colored” on several occasions, but it is not as openly rampant.

      We also have the whole 8 Mile Road thing.  Yes, that movie really was talking about a real thing.  It’s like trying to convince someone that there are not lampreys in the lakes.  You know damn well they are there, but the likelihood of getting bitten is low.

      I SAID “OPENLY”.

      Calico Kitty:

      I’m really tired of it.  Putting in sweat equity and money only to see other faces and names and random ass people who aren’t even Black show up to eat the fruits of my labor.  I spoke with you once at that bakery, Yemaya, while eating that dry ass gluten free concoction they called a “brownie”, that we should start a tradition of a retreat for Black Spiritualists, so we can just go and BE.  So that we don’t have to expend our precious time we have together talking about how to deal with the crap thrown at us while we’re there, spending money among folks who don’t care for our presence anyway.  Our reasons for separation aren’t even the same as what white pagan segregationists are talking about.  


      Cosigned Kitty! We are truly wasting time and precious life force dealing with white pagans. It's way past time for a black spiritualist church. How do we proceed? What do we need to do to get started?

      I am throwing my support to the Dawtas of the Moon: Black Witch Convention in October for sure. We also have the Hagar Spiritualist Church here in Columbus. I am going to help support the spaces and places that make us feel welcome and treat us like we are as valuable as their other attendees. 

      The Seer

      Cosigned Calico Kitty. Dry ass Brownie….lol.  Ok, when PoC want to do something for themselves for the betterment for is called separatist? Again, i feel it comes down to fear of losing control and just plain fear. I want to just BE...we want to just BE...tired of doing for other and not ourselves, we are always left on the shelf. Just need a time where we just worry about teaching and celebrating ourselves, our ancestors, our communities.


      I don’t care what they call it. We did not created the need for Miss Black America, Black fraternities and sororities, and we certainly did not create the need for this. Their dismissal, and sometimes downright disrespect and mockery, of us has caused the need for this. The reason why they don’t get it right even when they try, is because they ask some PoC who was hand picked. THEY DON’T SPEAK FOR ME. 

      *swings hand and spills tea…*

      My bad, lemme clean this up. *grumbles*

      Mistress Belladonna

      I had an idea several years ago regarding something like this.  An African American Magickal Diasporic Family Reunion and Picnic held in each state.  Not Pagan Pride Day, but a day that is a gathering and celebration of our experiences in a joyous and graced space.  Because there isn’t one.

      It doesn’t have to be exclusionary.  It has to be FOCUSED ON TOPIC.  


      I was saying the same thing! Oh gods, please let this be A THING. I will help! I have the bad habit of interrupting people when I am excited, please go on!
      Mistress Belladonna

      You don’t see me running to hang out in the Scottish National Pride Day, do you?  It is because I ain’t Scottish.  But I am going to be at that Sicilian Sausage Festival because that is part of my traditions and part of my heritage.

      (although, secretly, I will be hanging out watching the men in kilts from the bushes.  I love the way the fabric bounces when they throw that caber.  Don’t tell my husband, he is a grumpy Polish German Green Man and gets jealous) #Scottishkiltthirstgame

      Sometimes it’s ok, people, to just let folks celebrate their heritage.  It’s ok.  We do not have to insert ourselves like a renegade tampon into everything in the name of being down with everyone.

      That is where we always seem to see the balls dropped.  You know, the ones our leaders seem to never have when speaking to power?

      Yeah, I said that too.


      That is what I keep trying to tell my clients. Not everything is FOR YOU. You gotta know when to hold them and know where to fold them. Seriously, why does everyone have to be EVERYTHING, and be blatantly disrespectful when they insert themselves in a situation where observation and respect are key.

      We need places for Black Magickal families to go. We need the support we cannot get from our own people, whites who practice some of the same things as us, and from the world in general. We need this so badly!!!


      Preach Mistress Belladonna

      *from the area just above the Ancestral Altar, a voice just shouted out “WELLLLL!”*

      The Seer

      Food and celebration good idea. I suppose I just want no interference, when celebrating PoC, since we have been ostracised for so long pushing for us comes to the forefront for me. So, this is what i am going to say...listening, acknowledging and being open to learn is a big part of being able to attend cultural gatherings...especially if you are new or a visitor….it is out of respect and plain courtesy to do all of the latter, i just have not come across or seen that, hence why i am all out for a place of our own. 


      Exactly. Only people who are clueless (or guilty) about why this is needed will have an issue, and to be honest, I am not thinkin about them. Anyone who says “why does it have to be a Black thing” has never experienced what it is like to be Black.
      *Mistress Belladonna gets a phone call*

      Mistress Belladonna

      Pardon me, ladies.  Hello?  Yes, we are here right now.  You wanted to say something about the election?  Yes, we are also talking about that.  Okay, I will put you on speaker phone.

      Ladies, say hello to Law Vigilantess!

      Law Vigilantess

      Good grief- if people can't dissent then WTF is the point? The art of good natured debate is dead. RIP.

      Honestly I think that debate is a fundamental part of protecting the process. Once we start telling people who they "have to" vote for, we have problems.

      We can and should share our opinions, but it needs to stay about US and OUR opinions. Not maligning anyone else's.

      Mistress Belladonna


      Law Vigilantess

      Of course, the BIGGEST problem right now is that that electoral process is in question as to it's structural integrity. And THAT is the source of my ENTIRE issue re: candidates in the first place.

      If Hillary is given the nomination under a compromised system, she didn't actually "win". If the process is verified and found to be structurally uncompromised- and she legitimately won the popular vote, I could respect that. What I CAN'T respect is the idea that the fraud in the system seems SO obvious and nobody seems to give a flying rat's ass.

      I mean, I'm not going to go out there and say for certain that fraud is taking place. However, it's clear that there is enough to raise serious questions and the fact that it's going unchallenged in large part is horrifying. THAT is what we should be uniting on and fighting tooth and nail to protect- not which fucking candidate gets a nomination or not.

      Mistress Belladonna
      And how do you feel about the censure of people who bring up political issues in the Pagan “BS- sphere”?   Like race, politics, etc?

      Law Vigilantess

      I am 100% opposed to censorship.

      Mistress Belladonna

      It is beyond censorship. It has progressed to banishment based on strong positions

      The Seer

      Obama has endorsed HRC….


      I saw that and emitted a heavy sigh.

      Calico Kitty
      I think this election cycle has been educational for a lot of Americans.  They learned that their popular vote doesn’t matter when the electoral college actually casts their vote.  They learned that the Super Delegates don’t have to give a fuck about what anybody’s doing in the polls and we can’t know who they’re going to vote for in advance.  We vote for people who will vote on our behalf in a mysterious way… that’s a little shady. 

      People also learned that technology can be artfully doctored to produce desired results.  And if that doesn’t work, you take away people’s access to a proper non provisional ballot by force.  And they learned that the most “liberal media” gave Trump $3 Billion worth of free advertising.  That is, MSNBC and CNN.  They covered him more than Fox News.

      Mistress Belladonna

      Those panties are still not getting any better with the sage on them.  And the electoral skullduggery this year has its own set of draws on the washing table too.  There is not enough Tide, Shout, or All to clean this mess.

      Let’s help them out.  Let’s give them a universal candidate song….  

      *Belladonna grabs the vesta powder and throws both pair into the virtual fire pit*

      Calico Kitty

      Gentlefolks, it’s been a pleasure.  I hope you have a wonderful and productive rest of the day!

      *Belladonna wraps up some scones from the sideboard.  They are peppermint and honey flavored.  She gives them to Calico Kitty.*


      Bye Calico! Oh look the iguana has come to!

      Law Vigilantess

      I think that people have the right to self-select who they associate with.... at the same time, I am also a proponent of freedom of speech, and if one self-selects based on arbitrary and judgmental reasons that they are not free from the consequences of that selection.... In other words, you can be a bigoted asshole, but I have the right to utilize my freedom of speech to call you a bigoted asshole.

      (and I have no problem calling someone a bigoted asshole...)

      Of course, someone else may choose to utilize THEIR right to freedom of speech to call ME a judgemental bitch because I oppose their bigoted assholery.... That's their right.

      (See how this works?)

      It's a continual volley of opinions. One exchange isn't the end of the game and, as they say, opinions are like assholes- everybody has one.... I think what we are losing (or have lost) in this culture is the ability to agree to disagree and to know when debate has progressed from constructive to destructive.

      At the point nobody is changing anybody's mind and it's clear opinions differ substantially, the honorable thing IMO is to agree to disagree and move on. And to be nuanced enough and with enough emotional intelligence to be able to see people as more than the sum of their differing opinion. Just because someone disagrees with your particular political "flavor" or preference doesn't mean they are a "bad person". There is more to a person than their stance on any one singular issue.


      I just cannot stomach any of the candidates. I know my Ancestors died for this, but I am still wondering if I am going to exercise my right to vote. The idea of Trump as president is a nightmare. This is what just popped up in my Instagram feed. I don’t think choosing the lesser of two evils has ever been so true.

      *Belladonna starts bagging up items for her guests.  She is thankful that no one was trifling and brought tupperware ---- just saying*

      Mistress Belladonna

      I am truly honored to have hosted you all in this salon and am sad that we have to cut it short due to the house iguana needing to be exorcised.  


      Thank you for having us!
      Mistress Belladonna
      Bye, Law Vigilantess.  Go fight the good fight and drink some Barbancourt Rhum for me.

      Ladies, it has been a wonderful salon.  

      If you would like, you can take the pinatas with you to the next Trump rally.  They can pop them open and enjoy the lovely surprises inside.   Hope they like onion and asafoetida flavored mints.

      And thank you, dear witchy readers, for spending another afternoon in my salon.  Here the tea is always hot, the teapots are always getting destroyed, and the tongues are on fire.

      Blessed Be and save a ballot for me.

      (Why is the rum gone?)