Cultural Appropriation in Pagan Practice

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If you missed the live show, the archive is here

Please join Tchipakkan and her guests on the New Normal 8 pm Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 8-9 p.m. edt.

I recently read an ebook, Talking About the Elephant, a collection of essays about different aspects of cultural appropriation and how it occurs in Neo-pagan culture. Ii can highly recommend the book, and it’s a discussion that really should not be avoided, especially as so may of our traditions do draw inspiration from the spiritual practices of other cultures.

None of us wants to be guilty of “plastic shamanism” or to participate in cultural appropriation- disrespecting the spiritual and intellectual rights of other cultures, yet when all humans are psychic and working with the same basic spiritual abilities, can we be told that we are not allowed to do what others do when working with spirits? Anyone (with training) can visit the Akashic Records, but should only those with a background in Sanscrit call them that? Anthopologists have popularized the term Shaman (used by Tungusic Spirit Workers); since most cultures have someone who does this work, so should we reserve the term for only the handful of those in that culture? Let’s face it, as extensive as English is, it has very few terms for spiritual concepts, so, as usual, it borrows terms from other cultures- and we often go to other cultures for a deeper understanding of how anything from chakras to other levels of consciousness work.

Magickal practitioners, (like Samuel MacGregor Mathers & Moina Mathers illustrated in Golden Dawn robes) also have a tradition of borrowing concepts and props from other cultures, as did early 19th c. Druids, and many others. At what point does imitation stop being flattery and become appropriation? Any of us who truly respect our teachers and models need to look at these issues and try to find the lines we don’t want to cross before we find ourselves defending actions about which we aren’t really comfortable. We cannot keep “ignoring the elephant in the room”.

I’d really love to have people call in and share their perspectives on this important subject. The New Normal is live, on LiveParanormal Wednesdays at 8, and the call in number is 619-639-4606

You can open a window on your computer to www.Liveparanormal.com, click the “Listen Live and Chat” listing under the “radio-listen/chat room” heading, and click “LISTEN HERE” next to “the New Normal”.

If you want to chat, you’ll need to go to the top of the home page on the extreme right and click “Join” to set up a personal account (it’s free but takes a few moments, so you might want to do this in advance) If you know you’re going to listen to the archives later, later but have a point or question, look on the facebook events page and leave a question there for me to share during the live show. I post a link to the archives on the fb event page and on my website: http://tchipakkan.wordpress.com/the-new-normal/directory-of-podcasts/ (LiveParanormal archives them only by date and New Normal).
You can get the kindle book on Amazon, and the paperback book is still available from Lupa at:









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Avoiding the Ritual Train Wreck Panel

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Heathens. Stepanovskoye, Moscow, Russia. September 24, 2005.
Smoke in the face is a minor, but common issue

We’ve all been to them, been part of them, or even created them. Sometimes a ritual just goes off the rails. The reasons are legion, and the results vary from hilarious to hazardous. How do you avoid it? How do you recover? Come hear our panelists share their own disasters, or ones they’ve witnessed, and discuss how to recover from them, or avoid them entirely.

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Holidays and Rites of Passage on the New Normal

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Miss the show? Listen to the archive here!
Please join Tchipakkan on the New Normal 8 pm Wednesday, 2-24-16, 8-9 p.m. est.
Those who’ve known me for long know that my passions include history and food, and these come together to create a fascination with holidays. Why are certain days considered holy? Why do humans need holidays? What do they have in common?

Many times holidays provide an occasion for us to stop and orient ourselves with our culture, with the world around us (passing of seasons), or with the gods and spirits with whom we interact. Rites of Passage usually mark a change in our relationships with others- birth, death, marriage, becoming an adult, joining a group that is seen as different from other groups within our culture. Often we take these occasions to remind ourselves of old stories, we eat (or avoid) special foods, we clean ourselves and our living spaces. If these actions weren’t

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

important, they would not be so prevalent. Looking at what they mean, what they do, how they change us and our relationships, we can make them more meaningful in our own lives.

We’ll also talk about when we don’t celebrate the “mainstream” holidays, and try to get time off for minority religious or personal holidays, how does that effect your relationship with those around you, both those who share, and who don’t share your faith based holiday?


Please feel free to call in with any stories and descriptions about how you and your family and friends celebrate holidays. Do you have special meaningful ones, or do you just go along with whatever happens and take advantage of a day off to sleep in?

The call in number is: 619-639-4606
morris dancers
To listen live: open a window on your computer to www.Liveparanormal.com, sign in, and click on Shows, and the New Normal to listen. To listen later at your convenience, shows are archived by date on LiveParanormal.com here, and they’re organized by date, topic and guest on Tchipakkan.com .

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Panel Highlight: Sex and Gender Panel

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Join us in the atrium for panels. Panels are where we get to talk to others who may approach spiritual and metaphysical topics from another perspective. We hope to bring together those with valuable information and ideas to compare notes, experiences, and make each other aware of what people approaching the same problem from another direction have learned. We don’t expect to get agreement or even consensus , but to challenge each other with new thoughts and approaches. Held in the atrium, we try for discussions you would expect at an informal social gathering with mixed participants. Audience participation is vital, please ask questions and share your perspectives!

Sex and Gender in Ritual Panel

Do sex and or gender have a place it determining who may participate in a ritual? Historically, it often has done, but in the modern world, we are more careful to be sure that any restrictions are based on something more than what we are used to doing. We’ll discuss real and imposed differences sex and gender may have on ritual as well as spiritual or magickal practices.

Male and Female can represent two sides of dualistic forces in the world, creating natural balances and complementing each other. In polytheistic cultures it is often considered natural to have priest for gods and priestesses for women, but when dealing with modern GLBT issues, is imposition of birth gender any more valid than suggesting that the gods may not call to someone born far distant from where they were traditionally worshiped?  And there is the observation that powerful shaman often embrace “Two Natures” (and if it can be an advantage, is it necessarily a requirement?).

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Listen to Speakers on the New Normal: Maryalyce Merrit

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Please join Tchipakkan and Maryalyce on the New Normal 8 pm Wednesday, 9-2-15, 8-9 p.m. est.Cody and MaryAlyce

Maryalyce Merrit (Akasha’s Heart on fb) joins Tchipakkan this week on the podcast The New Normal. (Link to archived podcast click here)
When you get two such voraciously curious and enthusiastic practitioners as Tchipakkan and Maryalyce together, there’s no telling what we’ll talk about. We’ll probably mention her workshops at the con: Good Vibrations: healing with sound energy, Rock My world (about Crystals), Tea Therapy for Chackra Balancing, Angelic Allies, from there we may go on to talk about some upcoming classes she’s doing down at her healing center Akasha’s Journey in Wassaic NY Apple lore and Magick, The Wisdom of Crystal Skulls, Embracing your Path with Persephone, Honey Magick, Crafting Scrying Mirrors, Communicating with our Ancestors, even past lives,… and I’ve just turned her on to a new healing technique: Dynamind. We will just be having lots of fun.

Feel free to call in if you have any questions or comments on any of these topics (or if you think we might not get to the one you were hoping to hear about). 619-639-4606

“She changes everything she touches and everything she touches changes”

Maryalyce (aka Akasha’s Heart) has been practicing witchcraft and the magickal arts since 1994.  She is an ordained minister, priestess, ritualist, writer, teacher, and healer.  She is a member of the Hands On Trade Association, is a Reiki Master Instructor and Practitioner, Advanced Level IET Practitioner, RúnValdr Master (Instructor and Practitioner), and teacher of such things like reading Tarot and Medicine Cards, Introduction to Wicca, Introduction to Witchcraft, Witch-Crafting (making magickal tools), How to Organize/Construct/Lead Rituals, and others.  With her passion for just about all things esoteric, metaphysical, astrological, and deeply spiritual, she decided to follow her soul’s journey to feed, educate, and empower the world community.

This empowerment may come in the form of oracle readings for seekers, healing sessions, healing circles, or Reiki instruction among others.  As a dog lover, she extends this healing to not only dogs, but other animals and familiars as well.  Maryalyce is an ABCDT Certified Dog Trainer, and she and her rescued dog, Cody, are a registered Delta Society Pet Partner therapy team.  Akasha’s Journey has evolved from the same passion for magickal living and crafting tools and items for people and their pets to assist them on their own journeys.  Part of Maryalyce’s dream is to make healing & learning how to heal accessible to the community and the people who truly desire it, and of course, the beautiful animals who cannot ask for it themselves.
The joy is in the journey.  www.akashasjourney.com

Please call in with any stories or questions: 619-639-4606

To listen live: open a window on your computer to www.Liveparanormal.com, sign in, and click on Shows, and the New Normal to listen. To listen later at your convenience, they’re organized by date, topic and guest on Tchipakkan.com .

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