Devo has written some pretty profound things about how the idea of brand not only affects companies, but also how we represent our communities and ourselves.
This idea touches on what my friend, Dr. James Wanless, refers to when he talks about how we are all in the “YOU-biz”. This very idea is something that we all need to be conscious of in today’s increasingly interconnected world.
We really do have to be activists for what we want to see in our communities and the world around us.
Branding is Everything.
I am absolutely not interested in hearing any excuses about this. Theft within the Pagan community is so rife that people are all but desensitized against it. As a writer and publisher and someone married to an artist, I know quite well the costs of intellectual property theft. Stealing from fellow Pagan and Polytheist authors, artists and craftspersons needs to end, and it needs to end NOW!
I don’t give a damn if you personally believe that “all knowledge should be free” and shared freely. Creativity, whether writing a book, making a piece of artwork or anything else is hard work and deserves to be valued. Everyone has bills to pay. It is nothing less than hypocritical of folks who spew the so-called 3-fold law at every turn, and yet are such cheap @$$ b@$t@rd$ that they think nothing of stealing from others. I am betting, however, that if thieves were wearing the show themselves and were the author or artist etc. they’d be screaming like holy hell about it and wanting just compensation!
Stop stealing from your fellow pagans!
All too often, the topic of copyright infringement and out and out stealing is a raging plague of pandemic proportions among Pagan groups on various social media. Every day we are treated to links for ‘free” downloads of books that are still under copyright. I am no stranger to this. A book that is under my independent publishing company, Ma’at Publishing, was photocopied, converted to PDF, our copyright notice stripped out and uploaded to the web. I recently found two incidents of it on Scribd and showing proof of copyright, the offending documents were removed within hours.
What is so galling is that far too many Witches, Pagans, or just people in general feel it is their “right” to have this information for free. That all knowledge should be shared in an internet Kumbayah sort of thing – yet they never think for one moment that the very people they are stealing from are the writers, artists and others who have spent much time, effort and money of their own and above all the love and devotion of a subject. Sometimes a book is out of print and out of copyright – and sometimes is offered free either through a promotion such as through Amazon, or directly from the author themselves. At any other time, however, if you want to read something, either cough up the necessary dosh to purchase it – or save up for it. ..or borrow it from a library if you are truly a “broke pagan and can’t buy books.” Anything else is theft.
Josephine McCarthy is one of those few authors in the genre whom I also value as a teacher, a colleague and someone I consider a friend. As such, I would purchase any of her books upon their release. I will never dicker about the price, because I know what she puts out is worth the expenditure AND she has offered so many other supplemental resources online for free. The article linked to in this post is about this issue. I encourage every Pagan; every person to read it. Reblog it or link to it on social media. We need to support our authors, artists and others so that they can afford to focus on those things that we find so valuable in their work.
GIVING AND STEALING: FINDING A BALANCE FOR OCCULT AUTHORS
My friend, Sard, has written a wonderful piece on the use of colour in Ancient Egyptian Art. As per usual, her writing and citations are absolutely impeccable. This piece is well worth the read and addresses many questions and misconceptions on the topic that are floating around online.
The Symbolic Use of Color in Ancient Egyptian Art.
This particular issue is a very sore spot for me. The recent arrest of Kenny Klein brings up enough issues that in all honesty, I don’t trust myself enough to write about a topic that I have experienced firsthand – or lived through the hell of. I will therefore trust by beloved Kemetic sister, Zat (Soli), to speak out about the topic. Her lucid write up is far more effective than anything I could have written on the matter.
Big Enough to Fail.
Josephine has tackled this issue as few other authors or bloggers have. Definitely worth the read.
This is a very thorny and contentious issue that has been raising its head around me recently. Through various recent social media conversations and observing certain statements etc, the issues of magic, money and entitlement around teachers, magicians, writers, priests and priestesses proves to be one that still has not found an easy peace. It is a complex debate with lots of twists and turns, so I wanted to spend a little time looking at this to from a purely magical perspective and without prejudice.
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Of all the occult authors and teachers out there that I have read over the years, I consider Josephine McCarthy (Littlejohn) to be one of the best, no-nonsense, no bullshit people that are out there. I also consider her to be a Sekhmet sister, a seba (teacher) and a much-valued friend.
Josephine’s latest post, referenced below, is one of the best that I have read in a very long time. It is a must read for every woman who considers herself an occultist of any stripe – whether she consider herself to be a witch, a magician, a Priestess, a sorceress, a diviner or anything else. Men would also do very well to listen up to what she has to say. All too often in our communities, no matter how we think we have gotten past all that, there is a tendency to couch the sexism, racism, classism and various other ‘isms’ that have the vile tendency to rear their ugly heads in denial if not outright excuses of one kind or another. Josephine has a firm grip on the Zep Tepi Bat (aka Cosmic Clue By Four) and she hits this subject squarely between the eyes without flinching. Hers is the voice of experience and it has long needed to be said.
Something that has bothered me for a long time is something that has come up frequently in magical discussion and that is the issue of women and magic, or to be more precise, sexism in the magical community. Rather than launch into the usual ‘all men a bad and all women are victims’, which is not true by any means, there are some things that as an older woman in my fifties I can pass on to young women stepping out into magic.
Like any aspect of modern life, magical communities are very much defined by the cultures they spring from, regardless of how hard a magical group tries to avoid that. What we can do as magicians is be aware of those cultural traps, particularly the subtle ones that tend to get missed, and avoid them as much as possible? In truth, behind the apparent smokescreen of sexism, is the real issue which is one of power: people seeking power or lacking in power, regardless of gender, are the most likely to exhibit sexism whether it is intentional or subconscious. (READ THE REST OF JOSEPHINE’S POST HERE)
Sloppy scholarship goes far beyond using outdated sources such as those written by E.A. Wallis Budge. This post is probably one of the most lucid and well presented opinions on a problem that has long since plagued books relating to Pagan topics. I very much hope that the trend toward serious scholarship within the Pagan community continues.
Of Axe and Plough
A part of Sacral Education
For a while, in the back of my head there has been a series of blog posts that I have wanted to write. Unfortunately, given that I am swinging between being overwhelmed for school and my senseless employment, as well as being excessively depressed in my home life, I haven’t had much of a chance to post an update lately. The entire gist of the blog run would focus on education, learning, and knowledge gathering as sacral pursuits, since it is one of the largest, most fundamental cornerstones of my personal experience in this world.
Warning: This post is kind of ranty. It is going to be featured first because this was the most recent incident that I have experienced. In reality, this probably falls more on the secular side than the religious side, but it ties in with what happened.
As a background, I…
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An excellent piece by Sarduríur Freydís Sverresdatter and definitely well worth the read. The subject of tattooing in Ancient Egypt. From slaves to Gods Wives of Amun, tattooing had special significance for certain sectors of society in the Two Lands.
For Service, Slavery, and Sex : Tattooing in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.
The issue of copyright infringement in the Pagan and Neo-Pagan communities is a huge challenge. I am sure many of you who have been on Facebook or Tumblr have seen the endless Memes with cheesy pagan-y phrases plastered over photographs and artwork that is not attributed. The following is a post by Fire Lyte that encapsulates much of what Pagans should know but either are ignorant of, or pretend that they don’t know because “everybody does it.” Everybody needs to know the facts. Here they are presented in a way better than I have seen anywhere else.
Inciting A Riot: Pagans, Copyright Infringement, and Social Media