In the West and in most westernized countries an almost invisible socio-religious class system is still being pursued, where Christians tend to occupy the top echelons of the religious/spiritual ladder. Under this system, Christianity and its followers are generally afforded a special status over other religions and spiritualities, and the effect this has had on society is experienced in everyday life and has left many, including, contemporary Pagans, trapped in and by a culture of privilege based on religion. Pagans, like many other followers of non-Abrahamic religions, have in many ways become second-class citizens in a Christian-dominated world.
Interview with Christina Engela, author, activist and Witch. “In fiction I have seven completed novels, one novelette, and a collection of short stories. The Galaxii Series has three titles, and the Quantum Series, four. In non-fiction, before 2010 I wrote two books on the topic of LGBT persecution at the hands of Christianist organizations around the world and in South Africa, and a short FAQ booklet about the Pink Community (LGBT). These are out of print now, but I have plans to resurrect revised versions of them later. In this year “Bugspray”, my book about VW Beetles, was released as well.” Christina Engela is the proud owner of a warped sense of humor, and it shows.
I’ve never followed a Shamanic path, but I’ve been reading books about Shamanism for most of my adult life. For me, it comes from a fascination with the folk traditions, teaching stories and magical understandings of the peoples of this world. I am constantly amazed by the sheer diversity out there. For me this interview with Jessica Rzeszewski, author of ‘Carry The Rock – An Apprentice Journey’, was a great opportunity to find out more about a form of Shamanism I knew nothing about.
Her wooden floored cottage is filled with her delicate handiwork: quilts and crocheted blankets, wedding cakes and sugar roses so fine they look real. It becomes evident that Lady Amberstorm likes to help people. She was trained in the Lunaguardia Tradition and served as its High Priestess for almost two years. She affirms that it is vitally important that we reclaim our freedom and essence, as well as the beauty, power and heritage of the word “Witch”. Out here in the forests and mountains she has learned to be true to her nature and to connect with the Great Mother, restoring her surroundings to their former wild beauty, and co-existing with all the creatures of Mother Nature as equals and equally deserving of a place in the Sun.
Nightshade Purplebroom is a story teller. “I tell stories through my art, my poetry, and my blog writing. As a child, I would always have my head in a book, and even now, I devour books upon books. As a child, my favourite stories were fairy tales and folktales. I especially loved any tales where animals played a key role, or where there were spell casting witches.”
Edward Durand is inspired by the ways in which nature can fire his imagination and often conveys this by putting pen to paper. He has spent two decades studying the wisdom traditions. By following a bardic path he was able to touch the Imbas, the spirit of inspiration. His poems are mystical journeys of transformation into the heart of nature and spirit, inspired by profound glimpses of higher truths and a reverence for nature. He has a poetry book published of poems based on the wisdom of the Ogham tree alphabet. Edward is now running a holistic healing and retreat centre in Ireland with his wife.
Mja Principe is a founding member and Convener of the South African Pagan Council. I interview her about the South African Law Reform Commission’s review of the Witchcraft Suppression Act and the newly proposed Prohibition of Harmful Practices Associated with Witchcraft Beliefs Bill.
Pagan Freedom Day April 27 2016. The South African Pagan Council celebrates Pagan Unity through Diversity. Support your local Pagan Freedom Day event.