Pagan and the Pit(bulls)

The political musings of a Pagan and her dogs.


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Pagan and the Pit 2018 Yule Shopping Guide

Let’s face it, we’re buying things this time of year. An overabundance of holidays fall in December, and a lot of them have a gift expectation. So, if you’re going to be spending money, why not spend it in your own community? I’ve gathered together some of my favorite vendors, and put them here for you to enjoy and purchase from!

My Local Favorites

I have to start this post with plugs for my local artists and friends. Starting with Ardantane whether donations as gifts is your speed or you want a book from the fabulous Amber K, Ardantane is your place. The campus has no equal and is a gem in the New Mexico Pagan community.  Coyote Silver (Christopher Kohut) is your place for jewelry, seriously there is no better jeweler. Julian Wolf is another amazing artist, and I am partial to their paintings.

Raspbarri Gems has amazing trees of life that fit perfectly onto their background stones. I have several of  Mommy’s Moon‘s threader earrings, and they have a delicate minimalism that goes with any modern look. Or maybe you have a Mother of Dragons on your list, Bell, Book, and Dragon is for them. Yum Chakra has excellent ceramics. I have dishes, a chalice and mug from them and the work is perfect. Plus the mugs are perfect for festivals, they hold almost a liter of liquid.

 Witches of Color

Next up, the witches of color. If you’re looking to support witches of color and diversity in our communities here are some great places to start. The Hoodwitch is a brilliant magician and social media presence (seriously check out her Instagram) with a great selection in her store. While you’re there check out the Slutist Tarot. Stella Magia Designs has beautifully beaded jewelry, her hematite fringe earrings have a really nice weight and the shoulder duster earrings are guaranteed to get you compliments. Gaean Allusions makes ceramics with classic Pagan as well as Chinook motifs. Arubah Soaps comes highly recommended, and she’s also in my extended Beltane community, so hit her up.

Subscription Boxes and Memberships

Sometimes we want the gifts that keep on giving like a Subscription Box. Or perhaps consider a membership to HerbMentor for the Green Witch or urban farmer on your list.

Bells and Smells

As a Hellenic Pagan washing miasma off before I do ritual or magick is important. Sometimes this is as simple as breathing and grounding, other times it’s a whole ritual itself involving a serious bath and meditation. For those big moments (and the small ones in between) I like Emerald City Soaps and Wild Women Soaps.

Kyphi is an ancient Egyptian ritual incense, and a damn finicky one to make. So why not show a high priestess some love and buy it for her?

Statuary

We all love a statuary, and the Story Goddesses have a classic style that will look great for decades. Stonecraft Arts has timeless statuary that fits into almost any home or garden seamlessly. Their Flora looks amazing hanging over an altar or peeking out of the flowers in the garden. I’m always on the look out for new Hecate statues, and Dellamorteco has a stunning design. Be sure to also check out the joyful Medusa.

Clothes

Because I’m living in South Korea now, I have to up my game when it comes to winter gear. My desert closet wasn’t built for this. I’m digging the dragonscale fingerless gloves at The Real Crystal Crow (and that jet, silver, and shell necklace is to die for!). I also love the Hecate mittens from Solinox, and I might have to get some sweaters for the pit bulls.

Jewelry

Pagans are magpies. We are. So why not get the Pagans on your holiday list some jewelry? Ogham Runes are great on necklaces and subtle pieces,

Witchy Swag

Wild Faeri Magick has delightful essential oil perfumes and whimsy for the faerie in your life. Wyrd Curiosities has prayer cards that make the perfect stocking stuffers. Blank notebooks are always a good bet as a diary or Book of Shadows. If you need something a little bit bigger an bolder, why try some of the woodwork fromEtch n Sketch Designs? I love their tripple moon mirror. If you need some Millenial Kitsch Witch or #witchesofInstagram in your life, Moon Goddess Market has you covered; I’m dying over the Ouija board nail decals. Last Craft is also great for the Millenial witch with a sense of humor, with votives like Our Lady of Lemonade, Santa la Flor, and the ward against unwanted dick picks.

Paganwear for children can be found at The Viking Fairy, after whosoever holds the child, if he be worthy, shall change the dirty diaper of Thor.

One Stops

Or maybe you’re like me and you want to get all your gifts in one place, Mythospheria is a great place to go. Or check out Odessey Craft Works for every type of jewelry or charm you’ll need.

Pets

That takes care of the Pagans in your life, but what about the Pitts? As dogs are my familiar animal, I can’t really weigh in on cat products but why not get some pet charms for their collars? Or some charm bags for their doggy beds? My dogs get new collars at Yule, and I’m loving these Celtic dog collars and Runic dog collars.

Remember, it’s not just about the gifts this Yule: it’s about coming out of the dark of the year into the sunrise. It’s about being the revolution of the sun. So from our hearts and hearths to yours, the Pagan and the Pitts wish you a very Merry Yule!


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Sacred Hair, and When Not to Cut It

Photo Credit: Daniella Zalcman

Hair is sacred in many cultures and religious expressions. If it isn’t your hair, don’t cut it.

Those two sentences sum up this entire blog post. But since some people apparently don’t know how to keep their hands to themselves, I have to break this down.

In November, a teacher at Cibola High School in Albuquerque cut a Native student’s hair and called another one a “bloody Indian”. Mary Easton threatened the student with a box cutter before asking if the student liked her braids. The student said she did, and Easton put down her box cutter, picked up a pair of scissors, and then cut the students braids and sprinkled the cut hair on the desk.

Now while my godmother is Dine (thanks for the Nambe and AMAZINGLY warm sheep skin slippers and ear muffs, Memaw!), I am not; and my knowledge of the Navajo culture is passing at best, but even I know that their hair is something you don’t mess with. Jacqueline Keeler at Indian Country Today has a very eloquent article about it, that explains it much better than I can. What makes this so much worse than a teacher being rude as fuck and unfit to be in the classroom is that when the United States government forced the Navajo children to go to their federally run schools, the teachers cut the childrens hair without their consent.

Hair is a sacred thing for many people, and many cultures have specific guidelines for how it’s worn or styled. Whether it’s covered with a veil like the Muslims, the Catholic nuns, devotees of Hestia, or Hindu women; or worn long with no restraints; or tied back in braids as many native cultures and even my own magickal practice dictates; hair isn’t something you can just mess with because you feel like it. We teach the kindergardeners to keep their hands to themselves, more people need to remember that.

Don’t touch a Black persons hair without permission.

Don’t touch my braids without permission.

Definitely don’t cut someone’s hair without permission.

If my little nuggets can remember that, why can’t most adults?

 

 


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Open Enrollment Ends December 15th

Despite Republican efforts to make it as difficult as possible to enroll in healthcare, remember you still can. Open enrollment ends on December 15th, so take a moment this Yule season and get the gift that really keep on giving: a health insurance plan.

You can enroll here.


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Representative Omar, head coverings, and Religious Freedom

Representative-Elect Ilhan Omar of Minnesota wears a hijab. Some truely beatuiful ones too, based on her photos. But the House of Representatives has an outdated rule from the 1800’s about headwear–no one is allowed to wear it for any reason.

Now, based the History of House, the rule against headwear came out of some fairly contentious debate. There is an endearing story about why the hat ban was put in place: that in England members of Parliment wore hats to set themselves apart from the king and for the people, America had no king so no need for hats in the Houses of Congress. Cue panic.  Please let it be remembered that when push came to shove MEN were concerned about their fashionable clothes in the House. So vain. In the modern day, this applies to all headwear from scarves to yarmulkes to hijabs. You can see where this can start to get messy with freedom of religion.

Sehkmet aspect Representative Pelosi, has moved to change the rule to allow religious headwear as well as hats or scarves to cover hair loss (which when you think about how many members of Congress have or have had cancer, it becomes a matter of dignity). This rule change adds visible representation, and will inspire more people with diverse faiths to run for Congress; which is only a good thing.

Will the religious freedom loving Republicans be on board?

For some reason, I doubt it.

Rank Islamaphobia is a hallmark of Republicanism. While they write think pieces about how Muslims percieve religious freedom, they refuse to acknowledge their inexorable march to Gilead.

Covering your hair isn’t just for Muslim women who wear a hijab or a chador. Dedicants to Hestia wear veils. Orthodox Jewish women wear scarves. Hindu and Jain women wear a ghoonghat. Catholic nuns wear veils, and the Ammish and the Mennonites cover their heads as well.

Seeing a woman with her hair covered isn’t the end of the world, and may encourage other women who cover their hair to do the same.

Nor is wearing a head covering going to impinge on anyone’s freedom of religion, as much as the White Evangelical men may cry.

 

Even though Republicans love touting religious freedom, I doubt they’ll be on board.

Republicans LOVE to scream about how Sharia law is coming to America, with out taking into consideration how their own religious beliefs have a heavy influence on our law making process.


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Grief and History: how to hold space for George H.W. Bush

I spent most of my childhood riding horses. This is where my tight bond with horses and dogs as magickal animals came from. After all, horses and hounds go together like peas and carrots. I remember watching the riderless horse during Reagan’s funeral. I will watch the riderless horse at Bush’s funeral, and we will have come full circle.

On a personal level, my heart goes out to the Bush family. They lost a husband, a father, and a grandfather.

On a national and political level, my heart fills with rage at the sterilizing of his legacy. The Smithsonian released an article about his life long service to the country. I disagree. No president is perfect and, perhaps with the current administration as an exception, they all occasionally get something right. But we don’t get to whitewash Bush’s legacy just because he’s dead. Death is inevitable it does not get you a free pass.

He originally campaigned against civil rights.

He supported Vietnam.

He was fiercely loyal to Richard Nixon, even when it was clear he was guilty.

As a director of the CIA, he supported Operation Condor and the military dictatorships in Latin America, decisions whose repercussions can still be felt to today.

The family members of the soldiers who were killed or injured in the first Gulf War don’t get to forget Daddy Bush’s legacy.

The loved ones of the victims of the AIDS crisis in the 80’s don’t get to forget his legacy.

The LGBTQ community doesn’t get to forget his legacy.

The victims of the “War on Drugs” don’t get to forget his legacy.

We can’t forget his legacy of Clarence Thomas.

We can’t forget how he ushered in the current era of Evangelical Republican, and the irreparable harm that has done to the country and the world.

My heart goes out to the Bush family for their loss. But more of my heart goes to the victims and survivors of his policies. I see you, even if it feels like the rest of the country does not.