Witchy Wednesday - Caring for Others

A few weeks ago we talked about Self Care - This week we're going to talk about caring for others. By this I what I am referring to is inclusiveness.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Over the last few weeks I have see an increase in the number of people deciding that they needed to voice their opinion on the inclusion of Trans Women in Female only spaces.  Myself, being a Cis-gendered woman I hesitate to speak directly on the experiences of Trans women.  I can however, comment what it looks like from my point of view living in a life as a SOFFA.  First let's define some words.

  • Cisgender - Having a gender identity that matches the gender assigned at birth. The opposite of Transgender.
  • SOFFA - Significant Others, Family, Friends and Allies of Trans People.
  • FTM - Female to Male also Trans Man.
  • MTF - Male to Female also Trans Woman
  • Gender Neutral -  Not definitive to a gender.
  • Non-Binary - Having a gender that does not fit into the two gender norm.

Now, over the last few weeks I have seen some pretty ugly statements related to Trans Women. I have even seen individuals describe them as "Trans Identified Men".  That is completely offensive. The base of the argument for not allowing Trans Women into Women only identified spaces is related to the incorrect belief that Trans Women are not women.  Or that Trans Women are somehow just men who are going through extreme measures to erase women.  Let's look at the process that a Trans Woman experiences when transitioning.

1. Mental Health Counseling - usually a requirement
2. Living as female for over a year
3. Hormone Therapy (which causes impotence)
4. Surgical procedures to turn the penis into a vagina
5. Surgical procedures to add breasts
6. Facial reconstruction
7. Electrolysis

Now, don't get me wrong, I think that people who attack you can go through some pretty long measures to do that but do you really, honestly in your heart of hearts think that a Cis gendered man, is going to go through all of that, simply to get into a women's only space and says ... Nah nah naha nah - I'm here in your space???   Seriously?

During these debates over the last few months. I've seen so much hatred towards Trans Women. They are blamed for the assaults that women experienced earlier in their lives. They are accused of "forcing" lesbians to date them pre-op and much much more.  One such exchanged can be found on this Facebook Thread - Trigger warning for Trans-phobic Language. LINK

Sometimes I think that these types of discussions are funny.  Simply because it is a bunch of Cis gendered people sitting around discussing if Trans people deserve to be in their space.  I mean when you think about it you could change the subject of this and add any power group in slot A and any oppressed group in slot B and there you have it.  Sadly this is coming from Cis Gendered women. This is sad because Cis Woman and Trans women are fighting the same fight.  Unfortunately the powers that be have managed to put fear into the hearts of Cis Women and turned them against the Trans women in an attempt to keep their hold over them.

Trans Women get raped. Trans Women get assaulted. Trans Women get discriminated against.  And Trans Women die.  Just like Cis Women.  In 2016 27 Trans People were killed in the United States. The majority of whom were Trans Women of Color. (Link)

So what am I getting at?  How does this related to my previous post regarding self care? Let's think about this for a second. When are we at our best?  When are we actually good people?  To me, the answer to that question is that we are better when we are a community.  When we come together to protect each other.  When we are a village that helps each person become stronger, happier and whole. So with our self care comes the care for others. We need to step outside ourselves and understand that we are not the be all end all of this world. We are merely a part of the puzzle.  We can choose to help create the big picture or we can get lost and leave a void.

What can you do?  How can you help?

Many times I see dialog of Cis gendered people discussing Trans people.  That's the first problem. We as Cis gendered people need to bring awareness to the cause without taking away the voices or speaking over Trans people.  This isn't about if you should allow a Trans person to use a public restroom with you.  The question is should a person be allowed to use a rest room. Change the focus of the statement from yourself to the issue at hand.  You can also get involved. Go down to your local LGBTQI center and volunteer. Get involved in a book club, volunteer to staff a booth or table at a Pride event.  Hand out flyers or help register voters at an LGBTQI Rally.

Most importantly, the one thing that you can do that will help is to listen.  Listen with the intent of understanding not with the intent of responding. Trans-phobia, Homo-phobia and Racism all come from the same place.  They are all based on fear and ignorance. Take a moment to learn about others. Embrace our differences.  Enjoy each other.  Listen.  You may find out we're not all that different.

We cannot claim to be one with the planet and one with the spirit while we continue to step on the backs of others. Take a moment, reflect. What are you doing to your people?  Would you like it if it was done to you?

Trans Women of Color Collective - http://www.twocc.us/
PFLAG - https://www.pflag.org/transgender
GLAAD - https://www.glaad.org/transgender/resources
National Center for Transgender Equality - http://www.transequality.org/
National Center for Lesbian Rights - http://www.nclrights.org/our-work/transgender-law/

More information:

A Witch's View - February

This week I want to share some photos from around the yard.  These were taken in February.

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Witchy Wednesday - What is Magic?

So what is magic? If I had a dollar for every time I had been asked that question...

I have been writing about magic for quite some time.  One of the things I like to use to break it down really simply to others is that magic crosses over religious guidelines.  It crosses into Santeria, Catholicism, Wicca and Witchcraft.  As a direct comparison think about a prayer. Prayers are a staple in most organized religion.  To me, the real difference is that while prayers are a plea to a higher power to "fix" something for you, a spell is taking matters into your own hands and putting out the energy to make the changes yourself.

Here are two photos taken one after the other during "Rite of her Sacred Fires", a worldwide rite to the Goddess Hecate.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Healing for example is something that every path seeks to provide to their followers.  For a millennia you can find healing spells/potions/prayers in all forms.  For example recently some of my work was the focus of a post related to the healing powers of copper.  You can see the full article here.  The same can be said for related magic such as fertility, love and yes even revenge. I have always believed that a witch that cannot curse cannot heal. In watching some of our modern day practitioners some could learn a think or two about cursing and remaining silent!

This photo was taken as part of a binding ritual. I am not the only one to call upon Hecate for banishing or cursing type magic.  You can find a great article about it here.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

So what is magic?  Magic is something that comes from within. It is the ability to recognize and harness the internal energy you have and use that energy to change things in the physical world. Magic can use candles and totems.  It can use herbs and flowers.  It can use crystals and stones, but all of those things would simply be objects without your ability to guide your energy with these objects and create that magical connection.

Take a moment.  Connect with that energy and focus on making a change.  Focus on sending that healing or aiding in a prosperity ritual.  Take that time to send out that energy and focus on that change that is required.

Here are a few other blog posts I have written regarding magic.

M is for Magic - Pagan Blog Project
Practical Magic - Witchy Wednesday
Spelling with Witches - Witchy Wednesday
What is a Witch - Confessions of a Modern Witch

A Witch's View - January

Some shots from January.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Witchy Wednesday - Practice Self Care

Good Morning!  Happy Wednesday.  This week I want to talk about a ritual that many of us (not just witches) forget about.  We spend our days creating, working, caring for others and we often neglect our own self care.  We don't see it as an important part of witchcraft, which actually just fascinates me. Our bodies, our minds and our energy are the main components of a spell. Anyone can buy a candle.  Anyone can toss together some herbs, but your clients come to you. They have access to the same herbal shops that you do.  They have access to the same candle suppliers.  But still your inbox is at capacity with requests for your touch.  Your hand.  Your magic.

Created by Renee Sosanna Olson

Why do they come to you? Many times I am told I am abrasive.  I am militant in my support of LGBTQI. I am hated for telling the truth.  I am ridiculed for not toeing the line, yet my readings are always requested and my protection amulets, healing and defensive pieces fly off the shelves. Why is that?  Why am I not laid up with maladies and suffering from shortages of money or supplies?

I can tell you why.

I believe that each of us has a duty to create a space that allows ourselves to flourish. We need to be the force that creates this magic. We can only do this by caring for ourselves as we care for others. Now, that doesn't mean if you don't get two shits about yourself and you treat others the same that you're going to be successful.  That isn't how it works. I believe that when you take care of yourself, which I will define later, you open your body and mind up as a conduit for positive energy. Success finds you.  And to care for yourself means not only taking time to reset, but also to recharge your spirit. Take a walk in the woods, go sit the by the river. Read a book. Any action that takes you to a place of happiness.  That is what we want to replicate in the world.

Created by Renee Sosanna Olson

I believe that I always have the money I need when I need it because I give of it so freely when I have extra. I believe that magic finds me because I give magic to others when I can.  I go the extra step to support friends who are suffering or offer a hand when someone is in need.  The universe sees that and sends those same things back to me when I need it.

When people wag their jaws and gossip about me, it only enhances my success. When they continue to attack me, I flourish. If you find yourself saying things like:

"Why does this always happen to me?"
"Why don't have I have any good luck?"
"Just my luck, failed again!"

Take a moment to do a real inventory of what you're sending out into the world. What energy are you putting out there? How is that energy coming home?  Now I know what you're thinking, The Rule of Three, well, yeah maybe, kinda... OK not really.  Yes, I do believe that what you send out comes home. I do believe that if you meddle with others there is the chance that a big whopping rude awakening could be in store for you.  But I also believe that sometimes, shit happens and how you respond to that shit is determine what else shows its ugly head.

Created by Renee Sosanna Olson

So what do you do?  What is self care and how do you do it?  Well, as I mentioned earlier, you can take a walk.  Go for a run.  Have a bath.  Do any of the things that help you feel more connected to yourself.  You have the power within you to create a recharging station where ever you are. Take that time and get yourself back up to 100% before taking on any additional projects or work.

You'll be better for others and for yourself in the long run.

A Witch's View - November

Here are a few shots from back in November.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Witchy Wednesday - Head Witch in Charge

Created by Renee Sosanna Olson

For this week's Witchy Wednesday I thought it might be cool to share a couple of witches that are pretty awesome.  They are the epitome of "Head Witch in Charge".

Photo Credit - Kallan Kennedy Instagram
First I wouldn't be who/where I am today without paying tribute to my very special big sister. Kallan is a wonderful friend and confidant.  She has a fantastic blog and is an amazing reader. If you haven't gotten one of her Totem readings yet, I highly recommend signing up for one. She is accurate to the nines and will blow your mind with the insights she can provide.  She is also an accomplished dream interpreter. She keeps me in check as well.  I'll be listing her contact info just so you can take a moment to follow her Instagram, check out her Facebook page and maybe hit her up for a reading on her website.  She means the world to me. She is a great listener and my biggest champion. She's never too busy to stop to listen to me or to provide a well needed kick in the backside to get off my duff and get busy with life. She's amazing and I am so glad to have her in my life.

Photo Credit - Primitive Witchery Facebook Page

Moving on to my next witch, I have to say that she is certainly on top of her game. Not one to shy away from a challenge (or a fight for that matter) Loren Morris is one crafty witch.  She shares my love of sculpting and putting people in their place. She is witty, strong willed and determined to do what is right for her self, body and family.  She has a wonderful business called Primitive Witchery where she peddles her amazing wares. She can also be found on Etsy, Instagram and the web.  We have been friends for quite a while now and I can tell you, you will never be able to get enough of her wit and charm.  If you have a chance head over and check out her pages. You won't be disappointed.

In a world where so many people tear each other down, I wanted to stop for a minute and build someone up.  I wanted to take this opportunity to call attention to bass ass witches getting the job done.  Now I challenge you.  Go out and find a couple of people to praise.  Give them a shout out for all the do and most off all tell them what they mean to you.  Life is short.  Play hard & tell'em you love'em.


A Witch's View - Photography

I continue to enjoy finding that perfect shot when working with my Nikon.  I purchased a macro lens a while back to work on some of my macro photography and the weather is finally getting warm enough to be outside so why not start taking some photos again.  The last few months my view has been on food box delivery reviews but now I'm switching gears and I'm going back to some photography.  I'll be posting some of my older works as well as some new things I'm working on.  I also would like to let you know that you can purchase my work on Fine Art America.

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson