I am half Cherokee. I have a citizenship to the Cherokee Nation as well as a blood relative who is Blackfoot. I have lived on, worked on, and advocated for American Indian reservations (particularly those in the plains area). As a pagan, I am grateful for the education I received from experienced spiritual individuals in my community growing up, including my blood elders.
American Indian spirituality is just one of hundreds of cultural practices that many neo-pagan movements and eclectic individuals have taken interest in learning about and using for their own benefit, which I don’t have a problem with, as long as it is taken on in a culturally appropriate way and credit is given where credit is due.
Too often I see white pagans calling themselves “ThunderBear Two-Moon” or some ridiculous ripped of Native American name and taking on the role of shaman, spiritual elder, or other Native specific spiritual role without the proper training or credentials. I see white pagans profiting off of medicine wheels, Native American spiritual arts and crafts such as dream catchers and antler tools. I am constantly bombarded with eager young white Wiccans who claim that some white author told them that because they read this book or that e-zine they are now practicing “Native American Spiritualism” and their totem animal is the “Shadow Fox” or some bullshit.
Now, there is nothing wrong with being drawn to Native spiritualism. It is a beautiful and honest way of life. It blends science, medicine, spirituality and nature all in one in many wonderful (and separate) Native belief systems. But there is a difference between approaching the topic with reverence and respect and ripping off and mimicking our culture and spirituality to look cool or make a profit.
If you are interested in Native spirituality, get in contact with a local reservation and see if they have powwows or events you might attend. Find community centers that hold cultural fairs, buy books by native authors, buy tools and art from native artists who are able to make a fair profit from what they create. Don’t EVER call yourself a Native American shaman, wiseman/woman, witch doctor, bruja, etc.
Being a Pagan, Wiccan, or witch means that you respect the earth and those with spiritual knowledge who have come before you. Don’t dilute or sully the beautiful Native cultures and spiritualities of our country by claiming you are something you are not or supporting appropriating activities by greedy “pagans”.
Is it okay to be a pagan and not really have any abilities yet?
:c because…sometimes..I feel like I’m a minority for not knowing much about the astral and past lives and all that stuff yet. ; v ;’
I can’t see spirits or do anything special like that..
The only thing I’m even kind of good at it is sensing people’s emotions. :<
Pagans aren’t X-Men
I am dying omg
I am a witch. I do not worship Satan; I am not interested in Satan. Satan was invented by the Christians. Satanism is a form of Christianity. I am not a Christian. I don’t go to church on Sunday. Jesus is NOT my savior. He was simply a holy man who lived 2,000 years ago. I am not afraid of going to Hell because I don’t believe in Hell any more than I believe in Satan. I believe in reincarnation; that I will come back to this world or another and live out another life. I am not evil. Telling people I am a “good witch” or asking me if I am a good witch implies that there are evil witches. There are evil people in the world and there are people who chose to work with the forces of nature in a way that harms others; those people are NOT witches.
The central law of being a witch is: “if it harms none, do as you will.” Please don’t ask me about sacrificing cats or desecrating churches. I love cats! And I don’t go into churches or synagogues unless a friend from that religion invites me to some special occasion. And if I DO enter a church, I am not struck by lightning. If a Christian or a Jew or a Buddhist came to a pagan ritual, our gods would not strike them dead either. Isn’t that something to think about?
Wearing a pentacle is no different than wearing a cross, crucifix, or Star of David. If you want me to take off the symbol of MY religion (and Wicca is a religion, protected by the same First Amendment rights as other religions) because it’s offensive, you need to make everyone of every religion do that. The five points of the star signify the four elements of Earth, Air, Fire & Water, and the fifth point is Spirit; encircled by the World. How that can offend anyone boggles my little pagan mind. An image of a tortured, dying man is more offensive to myself personally, yet thousands of people openly wear crucifixes every day.
Please don’t ask me if I’m in a “coven” in that half-horrified, half-fascinated tone of voice. If I want to talk about my coven, I will bring it up. If I am a solitary practitioner, I have no coven to discuss. In any case, our rituals have candles, food, drink, poetry, dancing…yes, there is a knife but it only cuts the air, not anyone’s flesh.
I don’t drink blood. I am not some kind of vampyre. I wear black because it keeps negativity away and to tell the truth…it looks better on me than pink, orange and purple polka dots!
If you want to ask me something related to MY religion, ask me when the next full moon is. Or the next blue moon Or what a blue moon IS! Ask me about herbs. Crystals, Healing, Even ask me to make you a love potion.
I don’t cast spells on other people and I won’t cast a spell on you to make you prettier, thinner, more desirable. I won’t cast a spell on your quarry to make him/her love you. Trust me, you don’t want that, you don’t want the Karma that involves and neither do I! That’s a form of manipulation, taking away someone’s power, infringing on their free will. Not nice at all.
I also won’t cast a binding spell to make someone STOP doing something to you. Spell work is about co-creation. A witch works with universal energy, with the gods, to tilt the engine of probability somewhat.
Need money? Don’t try to ensorcel your boss to give you a raise. Simply ask the universe to increase the flow of abundance in your direction. That infringes on NO ONE’s free will.
Giving me a book about the Burning Times is like giving a book on The Holocaust to a Jewish person. It’s not funny and is rude!
Don’t try to make me ashamed of who I worship and what I am. Please don’t try to convert me or “save” me. Don’t throw holy water on me. Don’t leave little pamphlets on my desk or windshield. I don’t need to be saved.
Witches are proud of the fact that we don’t recruit people to become witches. We simply ARE and those around us see how we think, how we act and our inner peace and only when someone says “how do I become a witch?” do we take them into the fold with us.
I will NEVER leave a religious tract with anyone. I don’t have one, unless you count this letter. I am not asking you to convert. I am only asking you to please understand. If you don’t want to understand, well then just leave me alone.
Much love and light.
1. Satan was not invented by Christians, if you looked at the etymology of his name you would know that his name is Hebrew. Also he makes an appearence in the OT which contains the first 5 books of the Tanakh which is the written form of the Torah. Process of elimination would tell you that the Torah is the holy book of Judaism. Therefore if Satan appears in the Torah then that would make him a Jewish creation not a Christian one.
2. Satanism is not a form of Christianity. It is actually the opposite of Christianity. LaVey set up LaVeyean Satanism to be anti-Christianity. For Satanists to even be Christian they would have to accept Christ as their lord and savior. For them to be considered Abrahamic they would have to worship YHVH who is the God of Abraham. Since they don’t follow neither Abraham nor Jesus, it’s safe to say that Satanism is not Abrahamic in all of it’s forms.
3. Witches who choose to harm people are witches. Last I checked you’re not God of all Witches nor King. You have no authority to deem someone not a witch. And are using the old over used No True Scotsman fallacy. Harming is a neccessary part of life. You can’t know how to heal someone if you don’t know how to harm them.
4. The Wiccan Rede is not the central law of witchcraft. It is merely advice. And you know what, not everyone has to follow that advice nor should they be forced to.
5. Wicca is not the religion of witches nor is it the only religion that witches ascribe to. Guess what? There are Christian witches, Jewish witches, Muslim witches, Buddhist witches, Atheist witches, Satanic witches, so forth and so on. The pentacle was originally used by early Christians to show the five wounds of Christ. Not all witches are Wiccans. And the middle represents Chaos, fyi.
6. Some witches use the knife to cut flesh if they’re dealing with blood or have a deity that requires it. Many Paleo-Pagans did do blood sacrifices. (Then again you can just make fake blood using chocolate or corn syrup with red food coloring :s)
7. Nothing wrong with drinking blood…and it’s spelled vampire. Also there’s nothing wrong with wearing pink, orange or purple polka dots.
8. Witchcraft isn’t a religion but a practice :s Nice try though.
9. You have no clue what Karma is do you…hrm. Karma is not what comes around goes around. It is the cultivation of good and bad that occurs in the past, present and future lives. You’re better off calling what comes around goes around the Law of Cause and Effect. Or from Full Metal Alchemist and Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood the Law of Equivalent Exchange: To obtain, something of lesser or greater value must be exchanged.
10. Spell work can also be about binding and destruction. And not all witches worship deities. Or do you not know the meaning of secularism?
11. Or do a circle on your boss. I mean why not? As humans we’re allowed to be selfish. And free-will is a Christian concept fyi..
12. Giving a book to someone about history isn’t being funny or being rude. People are interested in what happened long ago as they were not there. I would appreciate a book on the Holocaust to learn if my great-grandmother suffered as she nor my grandfather can’t tell me. (she died in ‘98, and I’m currently looked at as the youngest of two granddaughters). Also the victims of the so called Burning Times were mostly Christian. Only one non-Christian died, and she was a voodooist.
13. And yet you call witches who harm aren’t witches…looks to me like you’re trying to sell something with this letter..
14. Except you’re not willing to understand the things that I’ve pointed out.
15. Not all witches work with love and light. Many prefer the darkness which is fine.
Beautiful commentary. Nothing better than ignorance within our own community, amirite?
For every hater there are at least 10 people out there would would agree and support you. Don’t let the ignorant, closed-minded, weak-hearted, mean, arrogant, petty, or otherwise troubled few get you down. Practice what you want to practice, take elements from whatever speaks to you, don’t put so much stalk in labels, and don’t surrender to the bullying and name-calling. It takes a really insecure person to come out and verbally assault an otherwise happy individual. Nobody can hurt you without your permission, don’t give anyone that power over you. I don’t hate any of my own haters, but I refuse to be infected by their negativity, I’m better than that and so are all of you. BB
No, but seriously - if you’re getting all sorts of people telling you that you’re being appropriative, ill-informed, racist, and so on? Maaaaybe the problem is you.
In fact, in this case, definitely. Definitely the problem is you.
In Native American culture, a dreamcatcher, or dream snare, is a handmade object based on a willow hoop, on which loose net or web is woven. The dreamcatcher is decorated with personal and sacred items such as feathers and beads. It is believed that a dreamcatcher changes a person’s dreams or traps bad dreams in the net.
In modern Witchcraft, the dreamcatcher is used as a filter. Since dreams are meant to be a door through which your angels and spirit guides help you to resolve obstacles, sometimes they send you messages through your dreams. Many times our everyday lives get caught up in our dreams and we have dreams with no significance to our situation. Dreamcatchers are used to clear out any dream that is not meant as a special message and allows one to fully see the symbolism and wisdom from each dream.
- Native Americans do not have a monolithic culture. Do your fucking research, because half of what you post is ill-informed at best and willingly offensive at worst.
- Native American cultures are still alive today. You’re framing this as if these are ancient practices that aren’t relevant in today’s society, and again - could be anything from just ill-informed to willfully being racist.
- Stop perpetuating cultural appropriation.
1. Ask them if they are Satan worshippers.
2. Rearrange their altar so it will look neat.
3. Blow out their altar candle if it is still daylight.
4. Pick up their crystals for a closer look.
5. Sharpen their dull black-handled knife.
6. Witness to them about the “true religion.”
7. Untie the knots in their cord.
8. Find and read their Book of Shadows.
9. Play card games with their Tarot cards.
10. Ask them if they are Satan worshippers.
you know, unless they’re satan worshippers
that would probably not piss them off