My Friends! It is with great pride and joy that I give you my conversation with Dr. Lana!
Dr. Lana is herself a psychic-medium AND she holds a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology. She is currently serving as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Clinical Psychology.
Suffice to say, Dr. Lana is straight up overqualified to speak on cultural appropriation, and I’m SO grateful she was happy to have this conversation with me, and help me to tackle some of the *crazy* feedback I received on my original post and video.
You may recall, last May I wrote this blog post, and later posted this video, entitled “Why I No Longer Smudge.”
I knew I’d get some push-back from it, and I was STILL surprised at how much I received, and what these folks had the nerve to say! Well, Dr. Lana is helping me to tackle the spackle in our two-part conversation, posted on the Joyful Telepathy Podcast!
Part 1 has been posted, and Part 2 will come out NEXT TUESDAY!
I shall attempt to embed the player here:
Or you can listen on joyfultelepathy.com
OR you can subscribe to the Joyful Telepathy Podcast via Apple Podcasts, or smartphone Podcast app of choice! Just search for Kate Sitka, or Joyful Telepathy!
Plug in, sit back, and chuckle along with us as Dr. Lana and I bring lightness and brevity to the HEAVY spiritual topics that FEW MEDIUMS DARE TO ADDRESS such as Spiritual Bypassing, Cultural Appropriation, and our response to the comments such as, “I was a ______ in my past life, so I am allowed to use it!”
Have you listened yet? If you have, here is some bonus material! Because Dr. Lana is a fabulous academic, she has provided us with some further reading material, which I have uploaded here:
Principles of Inner Work – Psychological and Spiritual
From Cultural Exchange to Transculturation
Tune in Tuesday Dec 11th for PART TWO of our conversation!
And PLEASE feel free to leave your honest and respectful comments and questions here! It’s okay to not know things – we are all a work in progress and we come from all different life experiences, all that I ask is that you extend your empathy and respect towards others, and observe your own reactions thoughtfully.
7 thoughts on “Dr. Lana is in the house!!!”
All great points. Thanks for continuing the conversation in a very civil and welcoming way.
For what it’s worth, though I am not Native to where I live, I am a witch (though not Wiccan), and I do burn sage for purification purposes, but just with the herbs, my hand to waft the smoke, and one of my gramdmother’s old drink coasters to set the smoldering bundle in afterwards. I reckon that, since sage grows wild a couple hours’ drive from where I live, the spirits and energies of the land here respond to it, so it’s appropriate in that way. (It’s a bioregional animism thing.) I’ve only bought the sage at local pagan craft fairs or harvested it myself from the wild or my own garden. Still, your last few podcast episodes have given me pause.
Giving up smudging with white sage doesn’t mean anybody’s out of luck if we want to burn herbs for purification, though. Here’s an article with lots of ideas for easy-to-obtain alternatives (like onion skins!): http://sarahannelawless.com/2013/08/01/pantry-folk-magic/
I think this is a great thing to think about, and I appreciate your link here. I think that burning sage has become popularized, and as you bring up, there just one way to have a cleansing or clearing ritual.
As I’ve gone through my own self-examination, I’ve decided to steer clear of burning things entirely, out of respect for where I live, and I’ve returned to using salt and water – which is also regional to me.
We never *need* to buy anything. We can gather rain water, collect items from nature, bring plants into our space, and simply say a prayer.
Given the infinite variety of options, I decided to look to my own ancestry, and to give a wide and respectful berth around rituals that are even adjacent to ones that have been appropriated. That’s how I “decolonize” myself, as one who is by default, a colonizer, it’s my job to dismantle my own practice.
I appreciate your honest self-examination. The New Age, neopagan, and other such spiritual movements are still very young, so naturally there will be awkwardness and growing pains. Still, cultural and spiritual appropriation are, as you say, forms of colonization, and it isn’t respectful to insist to those who object that they should be happy that a part of their culture is being adopted with love and celebrated. Spiritual entitlement is not actually very, you know, spiritual. Oh, white fragility. 😉 Though I suppose its presence is a sign that racism is being viewed more and more as a bad thing, so – yay! – progress.
I’m half Scottish and half indigenous tribe of India. The latter were headhunting animists before converting to Christianity in the early 20th century. This makes for a conflicted spiritual and cultural identity, and finding a spiritual path that feels authentic, resonant, and also non-appropriative has been tricky, but I think I’ve found it in bioregional animism. While I do consult local (Pacific Northwest) Native folklore and legends to familiarize myself with the spiritual etiquette, so to speak, I take no more from it than that. And if that even turns out to be too much, well, then I hope that my own ego will step aside.
Carrie, I so agree with you. Ancestry is complicated. But really, if we want to pick and choose which aspects of faith and religious practice to carry forward, it’s a lot less harmful to pick and choose from our own cultural history, if we have knowledge of our background (many people don’t) and to commit to educating ourselves continuously.
I don’t think spirituality has an end point, it’s always going to be about the internal work that we do, and our commitment to learning *from everyone* our entire lives.
And hey, I want a spiritual practice that does not (tries not to!) harm or oppress others. It’s not an easy thing to achieve, and requires a lot of critical self-examination. We don’t get that by telling people who say they’re being harmed that they’re wrong about being harmed, or clinging to a romanticized spiritual practice just because we like it. Where’s the compassion? Where’s the respect?
I say “pick and choose … from our own cultural history” because as you mentioned with the celtic headhunters, none of our histories are free from violence or oppression. I wouldn’t say I exactly practice “germanic paganism” myself because guess what they did! Yeah!
I’m looking for a peaceful practice, and one not currently tied into white supremacy (odinism) or self harm, sooo I’m pretty careful when I pick and choose from my own history.
I’ll take the sweeping and leave the reaving, thank you.
I take a LOT from my jewish ancestry too. Per wikipedia for expediency: Jewish ethics may be guided by halakhic traditions, by other moral principles, or by central Jewish virtues. Jewish ethical practice is typically understood to be marked by values such as justice, truth, peace, loving-kindness (chesed), compassion, humility, and self-respect. Specific Jewish ethical practices include practices of charity (tzedakah) and refraining from negative speech (lashon hara).
These values steer my entire life. I’d make a pretty good Jew, I think, though I don’t have a lot of patience for the ancient texts!
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