Monday, June 13, 2016

night in their world (and thoughts on Orlando)

The incomprehensible tragedy in Orlando is still very fresh. People don’t know how to feel, or how to express what they are able to feel. Do you express hope for the future? Lament the past? Sit in the moment? Qualifying one of the worst mass tragedies in modern memory is impossible. At least…for me. 
I actually started receiving text messages and emails of solidarity from friends and allies long before I heard the news about Orlando first hand. And of all the messages and voices and memes and social media posts I’ve seen, one message rang the most true. It went something like: If you don’t understand how a club can be a sanctuary, you’ve probably never been afraid of holding someone’s hand in public. 
And that brought to mind a poem I wrote my freshman year of college. It’s included in my book, The Playground. It came about after I was physically reminded that I am not – or was not – allowed to exist in all spaces. I was not welcome, and my mere presence was seen as come kind of threat. 
And it is in that space where I am beginning to process the fact that in 2016, in our own places of sanctuary, we are just as vulnerable and just as endangered as ever. These spaces are just as important as ever. And when you hear your LGBT friends or family complaining about an influx of bachelorette parties or a heterosexual gentrification of our neighborhoods, bars, and clubs…it’s because we still need space. Not to pick up a one night stand, or to get drunk, or to dance half naked to an electronic beat…or to do all those things…or none of those things…or whatever we want to do in a space that is ours. A space that isn’t yours. A space that isn’t just a fun night out with the girls to look at the pretty dancing boys. 
And…it’s ok that it’s our space still. It’s ok that you are going to be a visitor in that space. You don’t need to complain about it or wonder about it. If you question why we feel that way, look at Orlando. Look at Pride. Look at why we need a space where we feel protected in the arms and dance floor of sanctuary.
night in their world
never tasted brick before
I was shoved into it
and forced
to walk into the rain.
I know this happens
I know that simply being alive
provokes the tipped words to fly
but there was a moment
when all I did
was stare at this guy
the one on the dance floor
who, with the slightest misstep,
would have become the
last part of the phrase
State of West Virginia v. __________
I always thought that if such a situation
were to arise
that my anger would take over
as though I were some comic book hero
and I would not be the kid that “this” happened to.
I wondered all this
as I left
drove a few blocks
and sat on the cheap barstool
swiveled around
looking at the walls I was allowed to thrive in.
Love and Lyte,
Fire Lyte

Friday, June 3, 2016

I am not your story.

About two months ago, there was a meme going around Facebook telling users that they all had a secret message inbox of which they were probably not aware. I followed the steps. I found that I, indeed, had many years' worth of backlogged, unanswered messages both as Fire Lyte and in my mundane life. It is a message in my mundane inbox that has been festering at the back of my brain since I received it. A message that immediately made me curse at my computer screen. A message that has thrown me, at speed and with force, around the spectrum of wanting to be seen as a quintessentially good person and wanting to be selfish. A message...of apology.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Episode 101: Inciting David Salisbury's Riot

Episode 101 finds us inciting David Salisbury's riot! David is a pagan author and civil rights activist, and I was so honored to speak with him on a range of topics in and out of the pagan community.

His new book, A Mystic Guide to Cleansing and Clearing, will be available later this year.

You can also find David this July at Temple Fest.

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

@IncitingARiot on Twitter
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Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Great Debate: Representation of Witches and Pagans in Media

What follows is an opinion piece I did for episode 100 of my podcast. It should be noted, there are no sources cited nor studies quoted. I did not do any kind of polling, in depth academic research, or anything resembling something fit for peer review. These are simply my views in regards to the ongoing, unceasing, perennial conversation on the representation of witches and pagans in the media. 

Your mileage can, and should, vary, but I hope this at least inspires a conversation. 

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Episode 100: Inciting A Disambiguated Riot

Episode 100 - Inciting A Disambiguated Riot

News: Obama bans solitary confinement for juveniles, WV & Mississippi allowing guns without permits,  Religious Freedom bills in NC, Missippi, and Georgia; Justice Scalia died, Siri gets a little more compassionate

WOTD: alacrity

Sociology: FBI v Apple

Poetry: denouement 

Spirituality: Witchy Disambiguation 

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

@IncitingARiot on Twitter

Subscribe/Rate/Comment on iTunes:

Monday, January 18, 2016

A Note about Facebook

Attention All Rioters!

I get it.

You're concerned.

You've not seen me on Facebook in a week or so.

To allay any fears, let me answer your questions here:






OK I don't think that last one needed to be said, but just in case you were wondering.

Folks, the Real Name Police on Facebook finally caught up with me. I'm attempting to get the situation rectified, if for nothing else than maintaining control of the Riot's official Facebook page. 

Many of you have emailed, tweeted, sent smoke signals, and otherwise communicated with me at your VERY SERIOUS ALARM that I've not been on Facebook. (I won't pretend there isn't both a social commentary and a lesson on how much time I should be spending on social media somewhere in all this.) 

For the time being, you can keep up with me on Twitter, here on the blog, or through my artistic endeavors in my various Torch & Paintbrush presences. 

Thank you all for your concern. I'm not dead.

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Episode 99: Inciting A Parental Riot

Episode 99 of Inciting A Riot: the Podcast brings us another roundtable discussion. Today's topic? 


Special thanks to our parents - Marie, Rommy, and Ross (of Oh No! Ross & Carrie)

News: North Korea H-Bomb, Obama gun control, Alabama attempts to ban gay marriage, Armaan Singh Sarai, Knightscope K5 security bot

WOTD: singular ‘they’

Sociology: #OregonUnderAttack

Also, a special thanks to Cory of New World Witchery and Greywolf Moonsong for helping make today's sociology segment a sordid affair. 

Episode 100 is right around the corner! Send in your favorite moments from the last 99 episodes! You can submit an audio comment as well! 

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

@IncitingARiot on Twitter
Subscribe/Rate/Comment on iTunes:

Friday, January 1, 2016

Episode 98: Inciting A Circular Riot

Episode 98 of Inciting A Riot: the Podcast finds Literary Maven, Vinna Harper, joining us once again to count down the biggest themes of the year. 
We give a shout out to the Oxford Dictionary's Word of the Year, count down Vinna's favorite books of 2015, and help out Baby New Year by listing all the things it should avoid if it doesn't want to suck.

Also, this episode includes a discussion with myself, Vinna, and our friend Aine who are all members of my circle. We talk about what it's like to go from solitary to working in a group, and give some advice about forming your own. 

Happy New Year, Rioters!

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

@IncitingARiot on Twitter
Subscribe/Rate/Comment on iTunes:

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Most Interesting Pagan Books Ever (an informal survey)

The end of a year brings about a lot of lists. The most important famous-for-doing-nothing people of 2015. The best cupcakes in the neighborhood. The 15 worst fights of Black Friday madness.

Many Pagan blogs like to put out their annual lists as well, and I was very tempted to do something similar. My favorite pagan moments? Best spells cast of 2015? Wildest Social Media Rants by Fire Lyte?! But, no. I decided instead to let you, the Rioter community, put together this year's list with one little rule: Give me the most interesting book on your Pagan book shelf.

Many people were confused.

See, I have found that if you ask someone what the "best" or "favorite" Pagan book is, you get a pretty shallow group of names. The same 5-10 authors pop up in these lists, depending on whether the creator of said list leans more heavily on intro books by major publishers or more esoteric books and indie publishers. The term "interesting", however, got people thinking. all really put some effort into this list. There are familiar names like Margot Adler and Judika Illes (whose name has been giving my computer's autocorrect an absolute panic attack). There are former Riot guests like Signe Pike. Friends of the Riot like Peter Paddon and Phaedra Bonewits. And...then...there were a dozen or more authors whose names I'd never heard before.

So, this is a list that isn't counting down to anything. There is no ranking here. This is just a giant list of the books YOU, the most fabulous folks on the Pagan interwebs, put together.

If you don't see your favorite, please list it in the comments below! And also comment if you found a new favorite for your own collection.

Oh, one last thing. If any of the titles or author's names are misspelled, please feel free to correct me. Given the size of the list, I didn't have time to check each and every submission.

Blessed 2015 Rioters!

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

Friday, November 27, 2015

I'm on RedBubble!

Many of you know that I moonlight as an artist. And, for a few years now any time I've gone to a local craft fair to sell my wares, I always come up short. Firstly, I have to front the cost of all the merchandise. Secondly, I can never get all the different kinds of products people might want - see problem one.

There are a lot of websites out there for folks like me that want to make other kinds of products available, but none of them end up being very affordable to the consumer. That is until RedBubble.

Through the gift that is RedBubble I can make my artwork available on all sorts of products, get a decent cut as the artist, and ensure that my copyright is protected. (Seriously, they have all sorts of copyright protection assistance, including automatically placing a watermark on you art so people can't steal it.)

No, seriously, let me show you.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

In reflection of my abundance.

There's a lot of emotion this week. A lot of things to feel. There are political candidates inciting violence against minorities and new videos spurning protest here in Chicago for justice. There is Thanksgiving and there are those working on this holiday as though it were any other day of the year, as though we aren't all people that deserve one day reserved purely for sitting with our families and being grateful for what we have in abundance already. There is capitalism's favorite holiday and the sure fire bet that someone somewhere in America is not going to live to see the weekend, because they got trampled to death over a cheap TV.

Last year I was flying back from my grandfather's funeral in Texas. There was the mixed emotion of saying goodbye and hello to family I very rarely get to see. There was the McDonald's burger and soda I had that was my Thanksgiving dinner in the back room of my last retail job. In many ways today is the anniversary of the day I knew I had to find a way to do better for myself and my family.

This year I actually got to go see my family...on my own time...when I wanted...of my own accord. It was a happy visit. The happiest visit we've had in years. We all walked away feeling like a family for the first time in...well...I honestly can't say. Years, definitely. But, how many? Was it when I graduated college? Before that? Not sure. Nonetheless, this year, this time, we felt like family. We stuck up for one another and consoled one another and laughed with one another and fed one another, substantially.

And with a new career comes a change in finance and time and other personal, internal matters that occur when you're changing the landscape of your life. And while the money hasn't been exactly what one could hope for, it's getting better, but, more importantly, I've created more art this year than ever before. I got to say yes to art shows. I was in a fucking art gallery. Me! In a real art gallery. For real. (The show is still running for a few more weeks if you're interested.) I've had weekends. I've lost 25 pounds of stress weight I put on when I was working 85 hours a week for a boss who said I wasn't working enough. I've lived. I've gained so much more awareness of self.

I've been very proud of the Riot this year. The podcast, though not as robust as in year's past, has been a quality product. And, I'm glad. Going into my seventh year of Inciting A Riot: the Podcast, I'm proud to say it's still around and better than ever. (In my opinion, of course.) I feel as though what is being said matters and that I'm not just putting out shows in order to keep up with a schedule or simply create content. Thank you for letting the show evolve organically and necessarily.

Today is the first Thanksgiving since 2008 that I am not in retail. It's the first time in six years that I get to enjoy a quiet few days in reflection of my abundance. And, selfishly, I'm going to do that. The Riot will be recorded for the 98th time this week, and I'm excited that we're rounding in on 100 episodes. And there is a lot happening. There are politicians and protests and plenty of reason to incite a riot. But...for me...that is tomorrow. That is after I sit in a place of thankfulness for this year. This year of discovering who I wanted to be and going after it relentlessly.

May you and your family and loved ones have a day of pure gratitude (sans capitalism). May you sit in abundance of love and fellowship and have the ability to realize that both the triumph and the darkness were gifts of the past year, and may you find a way to be equally thankful for each.

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Episode 97: Inciting A Hallowed Riot (2015)

Episode 97 of Inciting A Riot: the Podcast brings back the Hallowed Riot for the fifth year in a row. 

Tonight's story selections are:

The Picture in the House written by H.P. Lovecraft - read by Vinna Harper

Gossip's Tree - written and read by Rommy Driks

Three Ghosts - written and read by Eric Riley (contributing vlogger at and on Twitter @FritterFae)

Requiem of the Living - written and read by Katrina Ray-Saulis

The Swamp Witch's Daughter - written and read by Fire Lyte

Blessed Samhain! Happy Halloween!

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

@IncitingARiot on Twitter
Subscribe/Rate/Comment on iTunes:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Call for Hallowed Riot Submissions!

Samhain is days away, and that means I'll be producing the annual Samhain special for release on Halloween! As always, I'm putting out a call to you, the Rioter community, for submissions in the following categories:

  • Short Stories - funny, scary, thrilling, sweet, terrifying, or all at once, a good short story on Halloween is what makes the Hallowed Riot such fun to produce. 
  • Folk Lore - a spell, a rite, a prayer, a bit of trivia, a cautionary tale, any of these could be a great addition to the show! 
  • Music - What would the Hallowed Riot be if we didn't have witchy music to enjoy?

Submissions must be emailed to Friday, October 30. 

These can be an email with a suggestion for someone else's work, or an original contribution of your own making! 

While I love reading these stories and tales myself, I think it's more fun when it feels like we're sitting around a fire telling these stories to one another. So, for the truly brave Rioter out there, I encourage you to whip out your smart phone or get in front of your computer and record your submission! Make sure to record in a quiet space with limited noise pollution. Speak slowly and clearly. If you mess up a bit, I can always edit your audio to remove a mistake or two. 

I can't wait to see what you guys come up with for this year's show!

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Episode 96: Inciting Chris Orapello's Riot

Episode 96 of Inciting A Riot: the Podcast finds us sitting down for a chat with the incomparable Chris Orapello. Chris is a pagan artist, podcaster, and expert on initiatory traditions in and around the community.

We discuss secrecy, covens, initiation, dedication, and whether Gardnerians have special ownership on the term Wicca.

It's a fabulous interview, and I'm so grateful to Chris for coming on the show. Find more from him at!

Don't forget to write in with your suggestions for this year's Hallowed Riot Samhain Special!

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte 

@IncitingARiot on Twitter
Subscribe/Rate/Comment on iTunes:

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Augustus Sol Invictus Drank Goat Blood, And That's All Pagans Care About! #PaganRage

In the last 24 hours, I've seen the story about Augustus Sol Invictus. He's a would-be Libertarian political candidate from Florida hoping to fill a spot in the U.S. Senate. He's also a former drinker of goat blood. That is what made headlines around the country yesterday, and that seems to be the only reason pagans are sharing the article.

And, thus, my chagrin at the nature of discourse on politics and current events in 2015.

Pagans are sharing this article all over social media. Some say that he should be judged on his politics, not on his religious beliefs. Some are now arguing about whether or not he's a real pagan. Still others completely missed the part where this was about a Senatorial candidate and jumped right to "OMG U guyzz, stop being, like, sooooo ignorant about Paganism and majjyyyck already, ok? Like, stop oppressing us."