Rooted in the Body, Seeking the Soul: Magic Practitioners Living with Disabilities, Addiction and Illness

This anthology explores magical, occult, and esoteric topics from the view points of practitioners who are disabled, part of the Deaf and blind communities, or have an illness or addiction. Though the voices collected here come from diverse social, magical, and national backgrounds, they don’t represent every individual’s story. The only way to understand the personal history and feelings of any one is to share in open dialogue.

One purpose of this anthology is to help those struggling with a disability, injury, illness, or addiction find comfort in the fact that they are not alone. Some of the authors, like myself, turned to a magical practice as a way to find healing and the anthology included rituals and stories about healing. Covens, circles, temples or any other type of magical group can use it as a resource toward understanding members or potential members with disabilities. There are interviews with professional counselors, including Drake Spaeth, previously with Circle Sanctuary, about assisting Pagans and magic practitioners that are useful to anyone in the medical profession. Those interviewed also include Dee of PaganFM, author Janet Callahan, and Kimberly Kirner, PhD who conducted the Pagan Health Survey I and II.

Here is an excerpt from the introduction:

As incarnate individuals we all struggle with injury and illness of some sort and there are those who are born with the privilege of being healthy and staying that way for a long time. People with disabilities, chronic illnesses, or addictions don’t have that privilege. Maybe they did at one time. The fact that their health was lost shows how quickly life can change and how fragile our bodies can be. However, the way they face daily inner or physical pain shows people can have a constitution tempered like steel.

“I believe we can either wear our challenges the way we wear pants, burdened by limitations. Or we can treat our challenges as cracks in the sidewalk, things that are surmountable, and which we can grow around… Magick can help us grow up and around our challenges.” –“Tangible Magick” by Lady Cedar Nightsong
Lydia M. Crabtree writes that “Nature seems to say, ‘Adapt.’ It is, in fact, the very basis of evolution. As one form of adaptation is no longer needed, another rises to take its place and be utilized for the greater good.

“If nature is encouraging us to adapt, then there are several adaptations those of us with disability should take on. First, we should adapt an attitude of loving acceptance that we are as we should be. Whether our disability comes from unhealthy living, accidents, wars, genetic defect or disease doesn’t impact our wholeness.”

Tara “Masery” Miller has Turner Mosaic and PTSD. She graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in mass communications specifically media studies and a minor in religion. She’s a panentheist Gaian who has a deep relationship with the Goddess Gaia and a member of the Unitarian Universalist Larger Fellowship. She’s been involved with Pagan Pride Day, the Pagan Leaders Recommended Reading list with Elizabeth Barrett, and other wonderful magic circles over the years. She has written the Staff of Asclepius blog at Patheos for over three years. and also has a new website at Currently she lives in Missouri with her husband, Michael, and a myriad of pets.

Tara “Masery” Miller (573)674-1259


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Operation WildLife at Kansas City Pagan Pride Day

Operation WildLife Environmental Teaching Service (O.W.L.E.T.S.) will be hosting a special wildlife show during Kansas City Pagan Pride Day this year on 15 September 2013 from 10:45-11:30 at the Merriam Market Place, 5740 Merriam Dr, Merriam KS.

Operation WildLife (OWL) provides rehabilitation services for injured and orphaned wild animals, and wildlife education for the citizens of northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri. They are the largest publicly funded wildlife clinic in Kansas, according to Kansas Wildlife and Parks statistics. They receive thousands of wild animals each year, and the release rate averages 69% from year to year – 20% higher than the national average of 49%. They receive NO state or federal funding, relying entirely on donations to exist. It is the generosity of people like you that makes it possible for us to continue providing veterinary care, food and rehabilitation for wild animals, with the goal of releasing them back to the wild. Read more at

Charity Auction

Kansas City Pagan Pride Day hosts a fund raising activity each year as part of the day’s activities. This activity has raised thousands of dollars for various worthy local non-profit organizations to include the Hope House, Wayside Waifs, Harvesters, Rose Brooks Center, Children’s Miracle Network, Solace House, Ronald McDonald House, SAFEHOME, and the Southwest Boulevard Family Health Center.

This year we will are proud to be supporting Operation WildLife, Inc. (OWL) with a charity raffle. Local vendors, festival vendors and other wonderful supporters of Kansas City Pagan Pride Day have made generous donations to raffle. This is not something to be missed. You will also not need to be present to win this year (though you do need to come by and purchase your ticket).

About Kansas City Pagan Pride Day

The International Pagan Pride Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of prejudice and religious discrimination through education, activism, charity and community. Pagan Pride celebrations are held annually around the world within two weeks of the Autumn Equinox. The Pagan Pride Day Project is pleased to announce that in 2013 we have over 100 events anticipated during the Harvest festivals between August and November across the globe with events in the USA, Canada, Europe, and across Latin America.

Our hope is that you would take this opportunity to experience a first-person view of not only what we do but how we do it. By doing so, our desire is that you might gain a better understanding our our beliefs and practices, even if you differ in religious opinions and approach. Attending any Pagan Pride event will provide you with basic information about our spirituality, so that both experience and knowledge can combine to open lines of communication and to identify common ground. With that in mind, please feel welcomed to join us on an informative journey into the sacred circles of contemporary Paganism.

For more information contact Sam Shryock at or visit us at or


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The Heartland Spiritual Alliance begins preparation for the 27th Anniversary of the Heartland Pagan Festival

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (20 July, 2012) – The 27th Anniversary of the Heartland Pagan Festival will take place on May 24-28, 2012, at the Gaea Retreat Center near McLouth, Kansas. Confirmed honored guests include Kerr Cuhulain, Christopher Penczak, Barbara Criswell and Flannigan’s Right Hook. The theme of this year’s festival is “Dawning of a New Day” which will be celebrated with Rituals, a Vision Quest, Bonfires, Concerts, Workshops, and Mystical Merchants.

The Heartland Spiritual Alliance completed their annual membership meeting on 9 July and elected the following committee chairpersons for the upcoming year:

Brochures & Workshops – Melanie Hull
Community Fires – Jessi Hunter
Fundraising – Greg Meister
Gaea Youth – Rachael “Raeny” Kelly
Information Technology – John Kramer
Meals – Jacki Kelley
Merchandising – Melanie Hull
Merchants – Aislinn Firehawk
Newsletter – Melanie Hull
Public Relations – Rain Dove
Registration & Community Service – Kettryn Jones-Clark
Sacred Experience – Jason Truman
Safety – Louis Cutburth
Site & Sanitation – Dana Locke
Speakers, Bands & Housing – Brenda Warren
Trash & Recycling – Diana “Uriah” Arganbright
Vehicle Management – Karissa Jones
Work Exchange – Michelle Lindeman

HSA is currently taking art submissions for this year’s festival theme. Deadline is August 12th and voting will take place at the monthly HSA meeting on August 14th. The winner will receive free admission to the festival and a t-shirt. For more information contact the Merchandising Chairperson at

Founded in 1987 and incorporated in 1988 as a Missouri General Not For Profit Corporation, the Heartland Spiritual Alliance is a Kansas City based organization dedicated to promoting the appreciation and acceptance of a variety of alternative religions and philosophies.



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Kansas City Pagan Pride Day Set to Celebrate 13 years of Education, Activism, Charity, & Community

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (July 20, 2011) – On September 10, 2011 Kansas City Pagan Pride Day (KCPPD) will celebrate its 13th anniversary.  KCPPD has been held every year since 1999 in partnership with the Pagan Pride Project, Inc. (PPP).

This year’s event promises to be one of the best with the following activities taking place:

  • A silent auction for this year’s charity – The Pagan Pantry
  • Live entertainment
  • Community ritual
  • Various exciting/informative/interactive workshops
  • Information tables with literature about various pagan or pagan-friendly organizations
  • All-you-can-eat pancake breakfast from 10:00a-11:30a to be hosted by Chris Cakes (Pre-sale tickets for the breakfast will be $4.50/person (sign up on-line at  At door pricing will be $6.00/person.
  • And much more!!

The overall driving atmosphere of KCPPD is one of fellowship, community, and acceptance. As is common with many pagan events, it is requested that strife be left behind upon entering and that a general atmosphere of safety and peace be maintained during the event.

The event will be held 10:00a-6:00p,  Rain or Shine, on Saturday, September 10th at the Macken Park  Main Festival Shelter,  1194 Clark Ferguson Drive,  North Kansas City, MO. Check the website for updated schedule and directions.

KCPPD is seeking sponsors for this year’s event. Any person or organization who donates $25 or more will receive recognition for their donation on our website and a Certificate of Appreciation, suitable for framing! Last year KCPPD received more than $350 in sponsorships which helped cover the rental costs of the event venue. It is our goal to surpass the sponsorship donations collected last year, so consider being a KCPPD 2011 sponsor today!

KCPPD was officially incorporated as a Missouri Nonprofit Corporation on May 1, 2009 and is an officially recognized 501(c)3 charity with the IRS through our parent organization, the Pagan Pride Project Inc.  All donations are tax deductible(to the fullest extent allowed by law).

Keep checking for the latest details about this year’s event. We hope to see everyone there!

Event Organizer: Erianne Eads,


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‘God Auction’ Delivers Half Ton Of Food To Harvesters

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (July 17, 2011) – Gaia Community, Kansas City’s pagan Unitarian-Universalist congregation, delivered 1,033 pounds of food and goods to Harvesters Community Food Network last week.  The food was donated by Gaia Community members and other attendees at the church’s ninth annual God Auction, held Sunday, July 10th.  In addition to the food donations, the church raised over $2,000 in cash to support its activities.

Harvesters’ officials were impressed with the amount of food contributed by the small congregation of about 30 members and said the donation would provide food for 795 meals.

The God Auction is an annual fundraiser at which Gaia Community’s congregants select a patron deity or archetype for the coming year.  The event was introduced to the church in 2003 during a yearlong exploration of various pagan traditions.  The Egyptian chapter included an ancient/modern concept of a “God Auction,” whereby temples of a city would collect donations of food and goods to discern who would be the patron of the city. That temple (and its deity) was then given a place of prominence for the coming year, as well as having additional responsibilities to distribute that wealth and food to the needy.

“This year we had the widest range of patron candidates we’ve ever had,” said David Reynolds, a Gaia Community ritualist who served as MC for the event.  “We had the archetype of Rabbit, probably dating back to the Neolithic, as well as Athena, goddess of wisdom from ancient Greece; Freyr, a Norse farming and fertility god; and from two hundred years in the future, Star Trek’s Captain James T. Kirk.”

At the event, the patron candidates, portrayed by experienced community members, responded to questions about what they would bring to and ask of Gaia Community and its members should they be selected its patron.  During the three rounds of bidding, congregants showed their support by bringing their offerings of food for Harvesters and cash to the “temple” (a decorated platform) of each prospective patron.

“The reason we collect so much food,” explained Reynolds, “is that one item for Harvesters counts the same as one dollar, so you can really make your money go farther by bringing food.  Plus, one of the reasons we schedule this fund raiser in the summer is we know it’s a time when donations to Harvesters tend to be low, while demand for food is high with children out of school.”

This year’s four candidates were winnowed from a field of twenty-four by a penny auction running from Spring Equinox (around March 21) to Beltane (May 1).  “The first year of the God Auction all of the candidates were from ancient Egypt — Bast, Hathor, Osiris and Thoth,” recounted Reynolds, “but since then we’ve had patron candidates from many different pantheons.  Our 2010 patron was Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent deity of Mesoamerica.”

And the winner of this year’s God Auction?  “Athena,” replied Reynolds, “but the real winners are the people who will receive the food we donated and our community who enjoys a fun summer event and raises money at the same time.”

Gaia Community meets Sundays at 4 pm at Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church, 7725 West 87th Street, Overland Park, KS.  The church’s website is

Contact:  Kitty Degler
Phone:  913-620-2386


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Wiccan Ways Festival – A New Wiccan Festival in Missouri

Wiccan Ways Festival

July 22-24, 2011

Ozark Avalon near Booneville, Missouri

The Wiccan Ways Festival is intended to be a celebration of all forms of the Wiccan Faith.  All the “intuitives” and activities for this festival will be earth centered and Wiccan based. We do not want to exclude anyone interested in or seeking this path, we welcome all who come with an open mind and a genuine interest in sharing of ideas and practices. We realize that deity resonates differently within everyone and wish to acknowledge those differences.

The Theme chosen for this initial gathering is the Charge of the Goddess. We felt this would be an ideal theme as it is a sacred text to most Wiccans whatever their tradition or personal beliefs. Opening ritual will be a live re-enactment of Starhawk’s version of the Charge.

Additional planned events include crafts relating to the four elements, some intuitives, rituals, water sports and much more.  

We are looking for other individuals or groups who might be interested in presenting an “intuitive” or activity that would highlight their own tradition of Wicca, as well. If you have any interest in doing this or have a passion related to Wicca that you would like to share with others, please feel free to contact us and see if this could be arranged.  


Wiccan Ways Festival will be held at the beautiful Ozark Avalon nature preserve near Boonville, Missouri located only three miles off I-70 between Kansas City and St. Louis.  It is about 12 miles from Boonville and 18 miles from Columbia, Missouri. 

The nature preserve is located on the bluffs above the Missouri River Valley and is operated by the Ozark Avalon, a Wiccan church. It offers rugged woods and beautiful high meadows. It is protected and blessed by Gaia and Cernummos, fae folk and spirits of the ancestors. It is home to many species of wildlife as well as a small community of caretakers, priests and priestesses. 


Merchants that have items that they wish to sell are welcome at no additional fees upon approval of festival staff.  For more information please send email to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

About Us

This festival is being conducted by an all-volunteer staff as a community service to the Wiccan Community, and is being sponsored by the Elohim Lushede Coven located in Independence, Missouri.

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My (First Time) Experience at GGG

Editors Note:    The 14th Annual Gaea Goddess Gathering (GGG) was held on September 16-19th at the beautiful Gaea Retreat Center.  This year approximately 150 women and young ladies gathered to honor and celebrate The Nine Muses, 2010’s chosen Goddesses. This report was submitted by a participant of GGG who wanted to share her experience.


The theme this year was Inspiration. Imagine That! We honored The Nine Muses.

It all began that fateful night I volunteered to help Susan clean cabins for GGG. At first it sounded exciting and fun! Four days away from technology, out in the great outdoors, surrounded by women who would surely understand me, and an opportunity to learn more about my newly chosen life!

Anytime I do something new my stomach goes nuts. This was no exception. I was determined NOT to let my nerves keep me from going.  The fateful day arrived and I set out with a set of directions to some place I had only been to once before and I had a passenger who knew how to get there. I managed to find my way to Camp Gaia and to my cabin. At first I was OK with not bunking with my coven sisters. Then the thought of being with two strangers in a new situation started to sink in. On the other hand I did not want my coven sisters to feel they had to babysit me. So, I looked at it as an opportunity to branch out and make new friends!

Until. I discovered one of my bunkies was The Snake Lady! She was not able to bring her friends with her this year. (I was relieved.)  My other Bunkie was just as sweet and adorable as The Snake Lady. I had more in common with them that I thought I would.

There were too many workshops to choose from! I managed to narrow down my choices. Among the workshops I took: Meditation, Poetry and Spell Writing, Chocolate, and a class taught by Annie Cherry on Burlesque and The Art of Strip Tease (hubby was pleased!). I met more new friends and my head was crammed full of info. I am glad I always carry a notebook and pen.

The Big Bad Gina concert was totally awesome! The group spent the entire weekend with us and they held their own workshop. The ladies were extremely friendly and high energy!

Of course you can’t have an outdoor ritual without fire and drums. I saw fire spinning live for the first time! The Keeper of the Fire built many different fires to suit our needs. The drummers added to the overall spiritual experience by bringing us closer to nature and the Goddesses we were honoring.

There was one thing that took me totally by surprise. The scenery at Camp Gaia very closely resembles the Ozarks where my parents grew up.  Wednesday night as we were gathering for our pre-GGG ritual, I found myself feeling homesick. Not for my husband or technology. But for my maternal grandmother. Even though she has been gone for 30 plus years, I still feel her presence. Then I began to miss my paternal grandmother who is Native American. Just being outdoors and so very close to nature stirred feelings and memories deep inside of me that I was not prepared for.

I have no regrets except that this was my first time. I look forward to going back next year to deepen and strengthen the bonds I already have, and reconnecting with the new friends I made this year!

Desert Moon

During the process of getting in touch with her Native American roots, Desert Moon discovered organized religion no longer served her needs. About three years ago, she began to seriously study Wicca.  She is currently a member of the Luna Lushede Coven and is working towards Initiation.

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The Pagan Temple for Families and Solitaries is holding Full Harvest Moon Ritual

From the Meetup Group The Pagan Temple for Families and Solitaries

Full Harvest Moon Ritual
October 23rd, 5:00 pm

Tonight is the night of full moon, a time of beauty and magick. Ever since people began to notice the waxing and waning of that silver orb in the night sky, they honored its connection to women, its connection to the earth. We come together to embrace the power of the full moon and celebrate the Goddess within us all. At this time the moon is at its greatest power. Full Moon Night is a favorite night for women to reconnect with their ancient birthright of mystery, remembering a time when women were sacred embodiments of a life-giving goddess. This is also a night for men to connect to the Divine Feminine, to find comfort in the Goddess in all Her many aspects.

Tonight is the Full Harvest Moon is the full moon seen in October. Come share with us this joyous night and drink in the fullness and intensely intimate moment with the Goddess. This time of year the Goddess is in Her Crone stage. Lets celebrate this stage in Her cycle and that of the earths.

All are welcome.

Please bring a pillow to sit on, and a snack or drink to share. Also, if you have an instrument please feel free to bring it.

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First PPP a success

On October 8,9 & 10th, the Pagan Patriarchal Phest was held at the Gaea Retreat Center with the goal to explore, discuss, honor and acknowledge the God in all His many forms. 

Here is a report submitted by Blair Marshall:

We had a total of twelve attendees at the first PPP. We shared ideas and views on life paths, beliefs, ourselves, fatherhood, mentorship and fellowship. The general feeling was that a foundation for future festivals was soundly laid, that a fellowship was formed and the continuous work of building a strong masculine community was begun. The Saturday night Sweat Lodge was well received and enjoyed by all who could attend it. Sunday morning we all covered some important topics that finished ideas presented after the opening ritual on Friday evening.

Pagan Patriarchal Phest has been renamed Pagan Patriarchal Paths. The
name change felt necessary once the fine tuning of the festivals mission and goals was accomplished and those who attended the Sunday morning discussion agreed that the change of “Phest” to “Paths” just fit better. Our Festival came to a close at around 11:30 and we were packed and ready to go home by 12:30. After a sweep of First Field to check for trash, damage to the land or gear left behind we all said our goodbyes and ventured back into the world.

We hope to see more of those who showed interest next year. More to come as dates are set, the website is redesigned and we secure presenters, rituals and other details throughout the coming year.

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Luna Lushede announces Open Samhain Ritual

From an open invitation on Facebook:

The Lushede Grove would like to invite you to join us for our 13th annual Samhain ritual. This ritual is family-friendly and open to anyone who wishes to attend. Children are welcome and there will be “trick-or-treating” immediately following the ritual. Wear your street clothes, ritual robes or costumes for the evening. We request that no extremely scary costumes be worn due to small children who will be present. Thank you.

We do plan to have this outside, weather permitting. Inside the house should things turn off rainy or just too cold. Please dress appropriately. We will have a fire going in the large cauldron.

We will be feasting first for this holiday. A warm soup and bread will be served, and we will provide the tableware. Feel free to bring along another side-dish and/or desert with you. Please also bring along drinks for yourself and/or to share. Ice will be provided. Ritual to follow.

We also ask that all adults bring along a bag of candy. The children will be “trick-or-treating” all the adults AFTER the ritual (not before). Kids usually come away with a ton of candy from this alone. We appreciate the adults helping us to provide these community children with a safe Halloween experience.

There will be a plate set aside for you to serve a small portion of your food as an offering to your ancestors who have passed before. Also, if you wish to bring a picture of someone who has crossed to the other-world and place it on our ancestor table that would be welcomed, and feel free to light a candle in their honor. This may be any loved one – 2-legged or 4-legged (or feathered or finned – if that be the case).

If you need further information, see our website for maps at or feel free to contact Selene at 816-898-2892′

Time:  Sunday, October 31 · 9:00pm – 11:30pm

Location:  Lushede Covenstead, 11505 East 78th Terrace, Raytown, MO

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