Welcome ONRAC Listeners! (An intro to the Riot)

This month I had the esteemed privilege of being the guest on one of my favorite podcasts: Oh No, Ross & Carrie! They interviewed me about Paganism, what it means to be Pagan, Pendulums, possibly penises, and Prodigious Punning was Parlayed. (Seriously, you're welcome for that.) Since I realize that for many listeners of ONRAC this is possibly the first time you've ever heard of me, and by extension the Pagan community, I thought I would put together a little primer of Inciting A Riot. It comprises episodes that I feel encompass the scope of what The Riot does, articles I feel pretty proud of, and favorite interviews from the 5 years of inciting this here riot.

If you'd like to subscribe to the show (and rate/comment on the show), links are above in the "The Show" tab, or just click here to go directly to iTunes. Thank you for checking out the site, and welcome to Inciting A Riot!

Podcast Episodes

A few episodes that show my progression as a podcaster and might give you a good idea about what kind of show I produce. A taste test if you will of the last 5 years of audio Riot.

Episode 8: Inciting A Filtered Riot - The first time I discussed the notion of a spiritual filter when learning and researching your spirituality. It's from my first year of podcasting, so the audio was a little fuzzy, but I still believe the episode was solid for a newbie podcaster.

Episode 25: Inciting A Public Riot - My podcast isn't just about spirituality. We also delve into social issues quite frequently. This episode was one in which I went to a Tea Party rally in 2010. Hijinks and shenanigans ensued.

Episode 40: Inciting A Doughtheistic Riot - My first of many episodes in which I completely make up words and do a show around them. This time, I present my own personal theory of what deity is and how it works, so to speak. This is a favorite of many listeners. 

Episode 71: Inciting An Expectant Riot: A newer podcast dealing with the Harold Camping Apocalypse predictions and how that failure can influence your own spiritual journey.

Key Articles

I don't just podcast! I also blog and have had a number of articles published around the pagan interwebs on sites like Patheos and WitchVox. Below are a few of, what I consider to be, the better ones.

UPG & U: A Breakdown & Building Up of Unverified/Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis - This article deals with validating (or, sometimes, invalidating) spiritual experiences. It also deals with prejudice in the spiritual community regarding those experiences. It is a newer article, but it's already a favorite of many.

Coming Out as a Zimmelblob - You remember the discussion of Zimmelblobs that was briefly mentioned in my interview with Ross and Carrie? Here's where it all started! This article deals with the problem of negative definitions (defining things by what they aren't, instead of what they are), labels, and challenges the spiritual/Pagan community to define itself.

The Evil, Evil Eye: A quick and dirty history of that most wicked of stares - An article from 2011 showcasing how I typically investigate a spiritual/magical claim: RESEARCH! Lots of it, with lots of citations. This article takes on the Evil Eye, its history, claims, and what modern research has to say about the veracity of the claim.

The Burning of Margaret Murray - You heard me mention Dr. Margaret Murray on the ONRAC episode. Here, I go much more in depth as to how she influenced the modern pagan movement, where she got her information, and how she basically made up the rest and influenced the growth of an entire religious movement. (This article has come up time and again over the years. It's had its detractors - here - which caused me to debate further - and has inspired articles every year since.)

The Separation of Wand and State - Another earlier article in which I discuss how and why the separation of church and state exists and why we might actually want it to exist (especially as a minority/underrepresented faith). It's a personal favorite of mine as I had lawyers writing in to say how impressed they were with the research and understanding of the subject.

Magical Efficacy: The Economic Problem (Or: Why Can't I Sell This Sh*t?) - Pretty much exactly what you think it is. It's inspired by an XKCD comic that attempts to break down why magic can't be real, because, otherwise, we'd all be winning the lottery (and other fine points). I break it down and build it back up. This is a rare time when I'm not poking at magical thinking.

Favorite Interviews

Episode 55: Inciting A Disabled Riot - Featured a guest who would become a good friend and repeat voice on the Riot: Naomi Jacobs, a sociologist from the UK. We looked at how disability is seen and dealt with in faiths around the world. I have great respect for Naomi, and I know you'll come to love her. (As a special treat, due to this episode being about disability, the entire interview is transcribed for your reading pleasure! Direct episode link here)

Episode 50: Inciting Christian Day's Riot - Remember that time Charlie Sheen was cursed by a warlock? This is the guy that did the cursing. The Pagan community wasn't too keen on his actions. In one of the most divisive interviews I've ever given, I hold him accountable for his actions, ask some tough but fair questions, and find whether Mr. Day is truly the attention seeker everyone assumed him to be. (Direct link here)

Episodes 69 and 69-B: Inciting A Howling Riot - An interview with an honest to goodness, self-proclaimed werewolf. While my editing skills were lacking during this interview (some background noise can be heard throughout and it simply needed better editing all around), the meat of the episode is possibly one of the biggest Aha! moments I've ever had on the show. I went in expecting one thing and was very, very surprised when I got something else. Also, there was a clinical mental health counselor interviewed who helped us understand, from a therapeutic perspective, how this behavior might be interpreted by mental health professionals. (Her answers will shock you.) The B-side roll is the most fun, however. It is an unplanned, unrehearsed 2 hours of incredible conversation. There is werewolf howling!

Episode 60: Inciting A Scientific Riot - Fresh off the heels of my first interview with Ross and Carrie (didn't know we'd talked on a podcast before, did you?), I attempted to answer some of the questions and challenges they had for the spiritual/pagan/magical community. I gathered 4 Pagan scientists (a geologist, a medical doctor, a sociologist, and a biochemist) to discuss Paganism, magical thinking, what God is, and a host of other issues. Without any doubt whatsoever, this is my favorite interview ever. (Direct link here)

I'm sure that other listeners and readers will have their favorite Riot moments from the past 5 years. I've had a lot more. I have been able to talk to some of my favorite authors and bloggers. I debated someone who really, really didn't like my way of thinking. I met and created an entirely separate podcast with my friend Velma Nightshade. I've had bad episodes. I've had insightful episodes. I've cried on occasion. Every now and then I've been funny. But, every day, in some way, I've attempted to challenge comfortable thinking. 

Whether I'm pissing people off, telling a few jokes, citing peer reviewed articles, or rambling my face off, I have fervently tried to get people talking.

And you, new ONRAC folks, are some of those people now. Welcome!

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte


  1. Ancient news, of course, but I think you did an amazing job of representing the community on ONRAC. I just started listening to ONRAC and was looking through their site to find their OTO episodes when I came across yours, and so I had to listen to that first. I'm glad I did: I makes my day when Pagans speak eloquently and accurately to the larger world about our path.


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