This workshop will critically examining the racist roots of white spiritual eclecticism. It is meant to agitate, disorient, and deprogram the influence of white supremacy within the new age movement, neopaganism, urban shamanism, western esotericism, witchcraft, and the spiritual-wellness industry.
In this workshop we will:
- Define and explore fundamental concepts of anti-racism work.
- Examine the historically violent role whiteness has played in shaping various modern spiritual paths that have gained popularity among white mystics and seekers.
- Discuss white spiritual eclecticism and tease apart what it means to spirituality bypass the effects of whiteness, including highlighting common examples of belief systems and behaviors that perpetuate white violence.
- Discuss ways to increase personal and communal accountably to BIPOC as we work to dismantle white supremacy.
- Intentionally take time to feel and witness the ancestral embodied trauma of racism through gentle somatic healing work and sacred speaking-listening practices.
- Examine how and why anti-racism work must be an integral part of spiritual activism.
- Offer support for each other in walking our spiritual paths with integrity, clear vision, and purpose.
Facilitated by: Portia Richardson. NOTE: Portia has consulted with a team of BIPOC folx on the contents of this class.
A note on centering: This class intentionally focused on the harmful effects of whiteness with the intention of helping folx see the impact of white supremacy within eclectic spiritual communities. To break the haze, so to speak. However, I also want to acknowledge that white centering is a pattern within white supremacy – and I offer this class with this understanding and transparency. We can not dismantle or decenter what we are blind to – and I see this class as a first step in the process of on-going anti-racism work – with the goal of ultimately de-centering whiteness. When I’ve had participants in the class that identify as BIPOC, I have set group boundaries that support BIPOC to share personal experiences and insights only if they chose to do so – being mindful not to add pressure on BIPOC participants to teach or carry the emotional labor for the group. Likewise, I’ve added boundaries for WP in mixed classes to be mindful of how they are tending to their white fragility – requesting folx step out of the circle and take space if they become overwhelmed, and I’ve followed up after class – so as not to center white fragility during class time. This is an on-going process and I’m open to continued refinements, adjustments, and feedback.