Stop telling your white friends that they are black...

Stop telling your white friends that they are black.

Stop telling your white friends that they are black.

Stop telling your white friends that they are black.

Stop telling your white friends that they are black.

Stop telling your white friends that they are black.

Stop telling your white friends that they are black.

Stop telling your white friends that they are black.

Stop telling your white friends that they are black.

Just because they can dance, mimic our culture, and hang out with black people DOES NOT mean they are black. Being black is more than just our lit culture. They still get to go and get the jobs we will never get, see themselves represented in media, and receive all the perks of being white. So….


Witchcraft Terms for the Modern Practitioner (WTMP): Chakras vs. Energy Centers

Originally posted by spinallyspiraling

Witch Haven Community is all about inclusivity and progress, which is why we wanted to start a series of small posts covering outdated terms used in the witchcraft community and offer modern alternatives.  We are calling this project “Witchcraft Terms for the Modern Practitioner” or, more informally, WTMP.  It is our hope that these substitutes will promote more understanding and openness within our diverse community.  Of course, these are just suggestions, and we try to highlight the differing opinions covering each of these terms.  

The term of the week is:


Definition:  According the Encyclopedia Britannica, “Chakra, also spelled Cakra, Sanskrit C̣akra , (“wheel”), is any of a number of psychic-energy centers of the body, prominent in the occult physiological practices of certain forms of Hinduism and Tantric Buddhism. The chakras are conceived of as focal points where psychic forces and bodily functions merge with and interact with each other. Among the supposed 88,000 chakras in the human body, six major ones located roughly along the spinal cord and another one located just above the crown of the skull are of principal importance. Each of these seven major chakras (in Buddhism, four) is associated with a specific color, shape, sense organ, natural element, deity, and mantra (monosyllabic prayer formula).”

Is it problematic?  The term “chakra” and the related theories are originated from Dharmic religions, and can be found in Hinduism and Buddhism.  These religions are closed/partially closed, needing an initiation to properly follow them and follow them with the respect due to their principles and history. The term “chakra” is culturally and religiously specific, so using is without consideration for its implications in a spiritual and theological aspect would be considered cultural appropriation. 

Or is it not problematic?  However, the idea that energy runs through the body and gathers in specific points is found in many practices and religions and ideas all over the world. The concepts vary but so do the terms used for them.

Alternative Terms:  You can try “focal points”,  “energy points” or “energy centers” instead or if you are unsure of what term to use. Don’t forget to ask yourself why you want to use this term.  Ask yourself: Is there a term in my culture and can I use it? Sometimes the easiest solution isn’t the most respectful one, it is worth taking the time to explain around why some terms can be offensive.

Witch Haven Moderator, GOAT, and Astral Godzilla

With all this being said, we hope that these Witchcraft Terms for the Modern Practitioner (WTMP) blog posts promote educated, CALM discussions between fellow witches.  As always, Witch Haven is an inclusive community that acts as a safe haven and educational platform for witches from all branches of paganism.  Our intention is to promote research, discovery, and exploration within our vast and diverse sodality.  We aren’t just friends and fellow witches on Witch Haven; we are a #WAMILY (a term coined by Salt meaning “witch family.”)

We invite everyone to comment, reblog, and share their opinions on this term.  We look forward to the discussion and, as always, have a wonderfully witchy day!

albaharuland  asked:

Hi! I wanted to ask about fantasy world building based on a mix of cultures, even if those cultures are totally different. For example, a country that has an architecture based on egyptian and arab art, or one that is a mix between indian and russian architecture. I dont know if that would be appropiation or offensive, or how to avoid it or doing it in a respectful way. Also if there is a problem only using the art part and having a different made up traditions/lore (thanks for your time!)

On Combining Cultures Respectfully, Art, and Architecture

“Does it make sense within the world”

Avatar: the Last Airbender mixes Inuit and Japanese culture. Is this any form of sensical in the modern world? Sort of, with how there’s a language link between Siberia and the Canadian Arctic. Does it make sense within the confines of A:tLA? Absolutely yes.

I’m not against the concept of cultural blending. It just has to be sensical within the world itself. They might not be neighbours in the real world, but if you end up with a culture that’s “ocean-heavy Arctic on top of Asia”, then Inuit+ Japan makes tons of sense. But had it been even “continental Arctic”, then the Inuit influence would’ve barely made any sense at all, because they’re really not a continental people.

-Mod Lesya

Like mixed-race characters, blending real-world cultures in fantasy isn’t prima facie a problem, but you’d better make sure it makes sense within the world you’re constructing.  Lots of times authors fall prey to the “Rule of Cool” and just throw in things they think are neat without thinking about how they could have reasonably got there.

In the cases you mentioned, there are some historiocultural overlaps between Indian and Russian cultures (for instance, similar building materials, similar types of timbers in temperate parts of India and southern Russia, very deep cultural roots shared between Slavic and certain Indic cultures, etc.) that would give you a foundation to build on.  Other times shared cultural aspects have a common but non-native root—for instance the Russian onion dome and characteristic Indian Taj Mahal-style dome may have a shared origin in Islamic and Middle Eastern architecture.  Islamic culture is native to neither India nor Russia, but it touched and influenced both areas extensively.

Similar constraints hold for Egyptian and Arab art and architecture.  They used similar building materials but produced different results because the culture and artistic preferences were historically different, but we know that Arab culture strongly influenced Egyptian art and architecture in the Islamic period (think going from pyramids to Graeco-Roman amphitheaters to mosques and minarets, but all made out of limestone, mud brick, and very little wood).  Saladin Ahmed’s fantasy novel(s) feature an Islamic/Middle Eastern-influenced culture built on top of a dead Ancient Egypt-analogue [Nikhil’s note: I’m reading this right now and it’s awesome and you should too].

But regardless of the cultural influence, the material culture stays similar in place—in some Indo-Russian hybrid you might be looking at imported marble and precious stones for those buildings whose patrons could afford it, provided they have access to those materials either through production or trade, but for poorer constructions you’re looking at local building materials—so maybe thatch and half-timber framing and wattle-and-daub in Indo-Russia, or stone and mud brick in a desert environment like Arabegypt.  Art and architecture are functions of culture, and culture as a primitive exercise arises from the local environment, since it’s only once you get to the level of at least an organized economic community that outside trade starts to be a significant factor, which would facilitate creating art and architecture that would be exotic to the local environment.

-Mod Nikhil

To My Fellow White People

You’re excited about Black Panther.  I’m excited about Black Panther.  We should all go and see Black Panther when it comes out and encourage everybody else to see Black Panther too.  Reblog posts about Black Panther.  Watch the trailer a hundred times.  Make playlists and fan art and fic and other such content.  Spread the love.

But please, please remember that you can like a thing without taking over.

Black Panther isn’t for you.  I’m not saying you can’t watch it or like it or make fan content for it.  I’m saying that this is a big budget blockbuster about a Black hero, from a Black director, with an almost entirely Black cast, and it’s set in a fictional African nation completely untouched by white colonialism and imperialism.  This is huge and groundbreaking and not ours, and while you’re enjoying it, please stay in your lanes.

Don’t speak over fans of color about what the movie means or how important it is or which headcanons are valid.  

Don’t reduce T’Challa in fan content to just Bucky’s babysitter or a friendly provider of vibranium for all the Avengers’ needs.  Wakanda is not just some pretty vacation spot for white superheroes.  T’Challa doesn’t even really like the Avengers much in any MCU content we’ve seen so far; he took Bucky in as reciprocity and he was in favor of limiting the Avengers’ power through the Sokovia Accords.  I’m not saying you can’t write fics that change his feelings in that regard.  I’m saying don’t make him solely a plot device or an emotional support for white heroes, the way Sam is so often written as just Steve’s counselor, or Rhodey as just the guy who supplies Tony with backup sometimes.

T’Challa is his own character with his own culture, interests, and motivations.  He doesn’t need to wake Bucky up to have a friend or sidekick or adviser.  He already has those things.  He doesn’t need to have some white love interest in order to learn about lowering his guard or having fun or whatever whatever, and he absolutely does not need fics in which white Americans or whatever show him a culture where same sex relationships are valued/allowed.  Don’t paint T’Challa’s culture as homophobic or backwards.  Don’t use him and his people as the backdrop for your Stucky pining fic.  He is not a prop.  He is not some feral creature that needs to be tamed by a white lover.  Don’t be gross.

Wakanda is technologically advanced and self-sufficient.  The Avengers don’t need to show up with their cool technology.  Wakanda has cool technology all by itself.  It’s not a hideout for each and every Avenger on the run from the law.  Don’t photoshop white heroes onto T’Challa’s throne.  Don’t make this all about white characters with an “exotic” backdrop.

Listen to people of color.  If they tell you to back off or say you’re doing something gross, listen.  Stay in your lane.  Don’t make it all about you.  And before you decide to play Fandom Police and drag someone else for making Black Panther fan content you find problematic, be sure to check and see that you’re not lecturing a person of color on what’s offensive to POC. 

Okay witches, check this out: It is totally fine to learn from and appreciate other cultures and practices, but not okay to appropriate them. Like, maybe a Native American shaman can teach you how to perform a proper smudging, but that doesn’t mean you can call on their ancestors to help you out. Like, you got your own ancestors; use them. Maybe a Voodoo practitioner can teach how to make a gris gris bag, but that doesn’t mean you know how to contact their deities and show them the proper respect. The point I’m trying to make is that you can appreciate without appropriating. Just respect the cultures and heritage of other people.







Support the businesses of actual members of the culture in respectful ways in which you are expressly given permission to do so.

Ugh now I’m thinking about Christians “celebrating” the High Holidays and it makes me so angry. These things are not yours!!! These stories and symbols are not yours to use and change and play with!! We are not yours to twist into some perverted, appropriative celebration!!

Why I don't dress like a Chola

(some ramblings but I’m trying to process this and explain my perspective)

So I was in middle school in the 90s….
The time that people are now emulating
And I admire the chola aesthetic….
but going to those 90s hood inspired events reminded me why I don’t and will never dress like a chola…

I saw all these girls dressed in the 90s chola style and all of the sudden I was transported back to my brace face self in middle school

I was a nerd. And by that I mean, I was like reading dr. Doolittle books by myself in the library sometimes

And it was the cholitas that would tell me I wasn’t Mexican because I did not dress like them. It was the cholitas that were mean to me for being a nerd. But on the other hand, I defended them when white students would say they were “chuntis” and “beaners” and I just felt like such a confused in between person…. that 90s aesthetic that is so cool right now reminds me of the time that our identities were ridged… a time that wearing hoops and dark lipstick was seen as the ONLY way to be Mexicana/chicana….. and if you weren’t that, you weren’t Mexicana, you were a “white girl”. It didn’t matter that I watched “Preciosa” and “Soñadoras” novelas or that I wore Beaded jewelry or that I spent summers in Mexico with my family…. I was a nerd and so that made me a “white girl”.

The thing is, there’s no one way to be a chicana. And as I’ve said before I’m down for all types of chicanas for chicanxs, for xicanas, for xicanx skaters, punks, rockabillies… city chicanas, small town xicanas, artist chicanas, athlete chicanas, queer xicanxs, multiracial xicanas and of course nerd xicanas.

And so I’ll never dress like a chola most importantly because I’m not one.

Ugh white ppl who say “cultures were meant to be shared, appropriation isnt real”….

My god its not that hard to google the difference between appreaciation vs appropriation. Wow. Cultures were not actually inherently meant to be shared with outsiders, but created for their own people.

They can still be shared, but when you (a white person in a racially dominant position of historical power) whine about “sjws” and get all pissy at the mention of cultural appropriation….what ur actually wanting to do is take from a historically marginalized group without permission, under the guise of “sharing”. Thus, you perpetuate what white people have done for hundreds of years–erase someone’s culture in the public conciousness, cheapen it, distort its meaning, not even knowing the real original meaning in the first place.

If anything, these vulnerable groups are STILL facing extreme institutionalized racism (created by white people and their power structures) and they see their culture being further diluted…Its so disrespectful. Its salt on an open wound.

Real APPRECIATION is the showing of respect. Not cherry picking stuff that “looks cool” while completely misundersranding what the item/practice even means, while also demonizing the people of color who use the item or engage in said practice.

No one is saying you cant EVER use or do something that originated from oitside your group. What PoC would like is to just….have some respect. And dont take sacred, spiritual culturally significant stuff that was designed solely for them. White ppl love to take poc’s sacred items and turn them into commercialized commodities.

Dread locks started off as a spiritual thing, then evolved to unite black people as a rebellion against white oppression (black people were pressured and even forced to straighten their hair. Black hair is a politicized thing for them, maybe dont have dreads if ur white because the whole point of them is lost on u)

One of the best examples of appropriation is how Native Americans were forced to assimilate into white culture, and lost much of theirs. Then, they see some white chick at a concert giving a peace sign with duck lips, as she is wearing one of their sacred headdreases, and the whole significance is cheapened.

Halloween costumes are one of the best examples too. You cant just use a living, marginalized people as a costume….

It’s all salt in the open would when marginalized, discriminated against people suddenly see the oppressors using their shit like TOYS.

Would u wear a yamaca even though ur not Jewish? Or a turban if ur not sikh? No u wouldnt.

That is not appreciation nor the sharing of culture. That is….being tone deaf….that is appropriation.

However, if a Native American was selling hand made mocassins or jewelry to people outside his/her native group, that is an in invitation, and yes white people can wear them. That is respect, and that is appreciation, that is sharing.

You can watch anime despite not being Japanese. You can have art in ur house made from outside of white communities. You can eat food from different cultures. This is true sharing, becsuse poc have invited u guys to do that stuff. That’s all ok and none of us “sjws” are saying you cant.

What we are really saying is….just know what it is you want poc to “share” with you…..and, dont demand it…. because you’re not entitled to it and u sound like a selfish child….understand some things are ok to be used….but other things are OFF LIMITS.

Also, it absolutely does not work the other way around, PoC and historically oppressed people cannot appropriate white dominant culture–appropriation involves power dynamics. Forced assimilation for survival is NOTthe same as appropriation.

There is no easy generalized answer for what is or isnt appropriation. It is a case by case thing.

Also, google is ur best friend. If ur ever unsure, dont make whiney posts blaming the victims of colonialism….because someone called u out on ur racist halloween costume or whatever. Chances are, someone already wrote up an in depth mini-essay on whether or not the thing ur doing is appropriation vs appreciation.

That’s the difference. Treat marginalized people with respect.

Learn some self awareness. We do not live in a vaccuum. We will ALWAYS be tied to history and our own cultures/race, EVEN IF we dont want that to be the case. We will NEVER just be individuals.

That is the difference. Learn it.



Columnist Jesse Wente reacts to the appropriation prize controversy

An op-ed piece in “Write”, a quarterly published by the Writers’ Union of Canada, has ignited a firestorm of controversy over cultural appropriation. Metro Morning columnist Jesse Wente shares his thoughts with Matt Galloway.

Do 👏🏼 not  👏🏼 police  👏🏼 other  👏🏼 people’s  👏🏼 craft. 

Do 👏🏼  not  👏🏼 police  👏🏼 other  👏🏼 people’s  👏🏼 spirituality. 

It is not up to you to decide what people can practice.  

It is not up to you to decide how people practice.  

Someone’s relationship with their deities is not your business.

Check your ego at the door.  

If you want a religion that encourages policing other people’s lives/decisions/spiritual relationships/spiritual practices, then 👏🏼PAGANISM 👏🏼 IS NOT 👏🏼 FOR YOU. 👏🏼

“But What about appropriation?”
If it is YOUR cultural heritage someone is appropriating, bring it to their attention why you are not comfortable with having your culture/religion used incorrectly. 

If it is NOT your cultural heritage, and you suspect someone *might* be appropriating, explain what appropriation is and why it’s a problem, but otherwise, it is not your place to police someone’s spirituality. 

“What if they are abusing themselves/others/inflicting torture on animals” 
This is literally the only time where it is okay to tell someone they are misrepresenting paganism/witchcraft.


Being of Romi descent has no correlation as to why I am a witch. Romi =/= magic. Romi = Romi. Witch = magic. Two seperate categories of my being that do not intertwine whatsoever.

G*psy is a slur to me. G*psy boils my blood. My great grandmother did not escape Germany for you to call us fucking g*psies.

When you use the word g*psy, I think you want to use the words “wanderer” or “nomad” or anything else besides this long standing racial slur. This also goes for bohemian. Bohemia is a place. If you do not come from Bohemia then you are not a Bohemian.

I am begging you to do your research before you make the mistake of appropriating ANY culture and practice that is not yours by heritage. Do your research on slurs, even popular words that have been capitalised upon to sell you a certain brand of consumerist shit.

i get that some languages have an aesthetic look - like Hebrew, Japanese and Chinese… the characters are arguably more visually interesting than the Latin alphabet used in English, but it’s disrespectful to just treat the language like a personal aesthetic outside of its linguistic or cultural context, i.e. getting a tattoo of it (esp if you only have the shallowest grasp of what the tattoo means) 

there are ways to appreciate the aesthetic qualities of languages that aren’t part of your culture without being disrespectful. for example, there are Japanese and Chinese calligraphy classes where you can learn from someone who actually knows the language to write and paint the characters in an artistic way, while actually knowing what they mean in an environment that is designed for that purpose.

you can purchase decor, books or other merchandise made by people in the culture that include the language, especially if it is meant to be seen aesthetically. for example, i recently saw a book of paintings featuring hebrew calligraphy by jewish artists. purchasing such a book would be a respectful way to honor the aesthetic beauty of hebrew. getting a tattoo on your arm of a random hebrew phrase is not.