Crystal Blanton writes the monthly TWH column. She is an activist, writer, priestess, mother, wife and Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the California. She has published two books "Bridging the Gap" and "Pain and Faith in a Wiccan World," and was the editor of the anthology "Shades of Faith; Minority Voices in Paganism." She also writes for the magazine Sage Woman.
Grief is one of the emotions and experiences that everyone will go through at some point in life. The impact of grief can be all-encompassing and elicit a range of emotions that evoke sadness and confusion. The individual and collective impact of grief is often shaped by the context of the loss and this makes dealing with it much more complicated. The range of situations that can provoke feelings of grief are plentiful. Physical death, loss or change of any kind can ignite this process.
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The impact of silence could promote complacency and disconnect depending on context and situation. It is often weaponized in situations of power and privilege in greater society and within some interpersonal dynamics. Yet silence is also utilized as a means of survival and self preservation for many people, and within many scenarios.
Many definitions and concepts change over time, depending upon the variables present with each the situation. The understanding of accountability is one of those very words that can invoke a myriad different thoughts, feelings, responsibilities and defenses, yet it is something that is prominent in so many personal and spiritual paths. Of course various spiritual paths have differing definitions for such concepts, as definitions change and adapt to the culture of the specific religious community. Within the general Pagan community it appears that accountability has many varied definitions based on tradition; each path frames its role very differently within their own spiritual framework. There are often general discussions of agreement concerning the accountability to gods and spirits, but the same level of universal importance isn’t shown when it comes to the ancestors, physical communities, politics, or interpersonal relationships.
Many people might wonder why I write so much about the cultural experiences of blackness on The Wild Hunt. Besides this helping to provide a clear understanding of my own blackness, it is also a subject that is so underrepresented within the overculture within modern Paganism and polytheist communities. Even though our circles are becoming more and more reflective of differences than years ago, there is still a huge disconnect in how people of different cultures experience our religious circles, groups, practices, and ancestral connections. It is especially significant this month when I am attending the yearly pan-Pagan convention of PantheaCon, which happens to be on opening weekend of the groundbreaking movie Black Panther during Black History Month. In the community celebrations that are so significant to Pagan conventions like PantheaCon, I have come to recognize the importance of speaking power to truth concerning the significant role that my ancestors hold in my connection to spiritual practice and community.
Within the world of fantasy, magic, superheroes, and villains, the latest installments made for television and movies have created much hype and are generating much excitement. The last two years have brought about some amazing and much anticipated programming that fit into these genres, from new Star Wars films to new renditions of Superwoman. “The world is changing…..” – Black Panther
During the past two years, there has also been some rather exciting developments in the shifting representation of the typical superhero, and this has brought about a wide variety of discussions and theories on the importance of representation in Sci-Fi, fantasy, and superhero genres. With the upcoming February release of Marvel’s Black Panther and the debut of the CW network’s new show Black Lightning, it seems that conversations about much-needed superhero diversity are happening everywhere
A record number of pre-sale tickets for Black Panther were sold last week and threads all over social media started the process of planning group trips to the show.