top of page

Our Pagan Circle: An Interview with Rev. Ron Padrón of White Rose Witching



It's nice to meet you! Please tell us your name and business name, a brief description of your business or practice, and how long you have been working in the pagan community.


My name is Rev. Ron Padrón. I'm a queer Hispanic hedge priest and self-identified social justice necromancer working in the Mid-Atlantic, originally from Florida. I am the creator behind White Rose Witching, the container which houses my spiritual activism and queer-affirming pagan spirituality work. I've been a member of the pagan community for two decades, with specific interests in divination, Queer Ancestor veneration and necromancy, hedge witchery, and spiritual activism. I am an ordained cleric with the Sacred Well Congregation, and have also completed the Bardic grade through the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids.


Where are you geographically based?


Baltimore, MD


Do you have a shop or website or both?


I do! You can find out more about White Rose Witching at www.whiterosewitching.com. The website has links to my social media accounts, and I'm most active on Instagram. You can also sign up for a monthly newsletter here: https://www.whiterosewitching.com/mailing-list-sign-up.



What first drew you to this line of work?


White Rose Witching is the synthesis of my personal and professional growth over the last twenty years. I've been an LGBTQ+ and disability activist/advocate for a long time, and while I personally identify with both communities by entry into justice/equity/diversity/inclusion was from a very academic standpoint. Over time, this shifted and I recognized the call to pursue social justice and something both spiritually-based and spiritually-fulfilling. Parallel to this, I was drawn into paganism because of the aggressively anti-LGBTQ+ nature of the Catholic Church. I spent a long time trying to find ways to fit my various identities into the pagan spaces I was encountering, but nothing really fit. After years of this I started to meet more openly queer folks defining queer-centered pagan ritual and spaces, and realized I wanted to lend my skills and energy into expanding these spaces to more folks.


Please tell us a bit about your background. How did you end up doing what you do today?


I'm Cuban-American and was raised Roman Catholic. If you know any Hispanic/Latinx Catholics then you know their relationship to this religion is very mystical and contains all sorts of stuff we would consider "folk magic". My great-grandmother, who was alive until I was in the 4th grade, also practiced more syncretic things such as Santeria which has continued to influence my personal practice, although I am not an initiated Santero and do not claim to follow that path. We moved out of Miami and into the swamps around the same time I realized I was gay. I felt disconnected from a sense of a spiritual home given the anti-LGBTQ+ position of the Catholic Church and found solace in the green, wild spirits of the Everglades. 


My first foray into paganism was through the books of Scott Cunningham, and while Wicca was not for me it provided me with a vocabulary and skillset to begin exploring direct connection to the divine of the natural world. As I grew older and learned more about the history of the LGBTQ+ community I drew inspiration and courage from those that came before me, and began to incorporate ancestor veneration and necromantic journeying into my personal practice. Pursuing the Bardic grade through the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids also helped me understand and tap into the creative and transformative magic of stories which inspired me to develop the Queer Ancestor Spotlight feature on my blog. Several years ago I decided to pursue a Community Ministry Certificate through Cherry Hill Seminary to better refine the skills needed to be in service to my community, and also made the decision to pursue ordination through Sacred Well Congregation. These studies, coupled with my interest in liberation theology and the work of activist-philosophers such as Gloria Anzaldúa, helped me to better understand and teach on the ways or spiritual practices can fuel, support, and be inspired by the ways we pursue social justice.



Please share with us a bit about what inspires you.


I find inspiration in our Queer Ancestors. The current social and political climate seems scary, but I take comfort in knowing we've faced this before and managed to keep loving, finding community, and advancing social justice. I also find inspiration in my local community and the ways we uplift and encourage each other. We see the success of others as something to be celebrated, something we can all share in, not as something to be envious of or as a determinant of our own self-worth. In the face of what we are told we should value and how we should mark "success" I think this is an incredibly radical act.


What new projects do you have in the works for 2024?


I'm starting work on a long-term community activism project I'm calling the PaganPunk Community Grimoire. This will be a series of pop-up, in-person crafting workshops where participants each contribute to a page for a zine capturing a moment in space/time where we share community knowledge about a particular topic.





Any upcoming events can we find you at? (Please provide links if you can.)


I'll be presenting at a few different places over 2024 - several events hosted by Frederick CUUPS, Sacred Space, and Delmarva Pagan Pride. Information and registration information can be found on my website: https://www.whiterosewitching.com/events I also host a monthly virtual LGBTQ+ Pride Circle sponsored by Stone Circle Council. More information and the registration link can be found here: https://www.stonecirclecouncil.org/LGBTQ+Circle


What is your favorite part about interacting with the pagan community?


My favorite part about interacting with the pagan community is how much I'm always learning. I love how varied we are in our paths, traditions, beliefs, and folk practices. I'm a lifelong learner and absolutely love seeing how other folks design and execute ritual, what myths or stories they know about their spirits or deities, what folk charms have been passed down through their families, and what personal experiences they've had in their own practice that have really stood out to them or made them laugh.


Do you have any favorite pagan websites, authors, artists, musicians, groups, podcasts or practices you'd like to share?


I absolutely love Laura Tempest Zakroff. They are an awesome human being, an amazing artist, and a talented teacher. I highly recommend Emma Kathryn's podcast, Wild Witch. The episodes are short, about twenty minutes, and provide her unique insights on rewilding witchcraft. I also recommend Southern Bramble, a podcast hosted by two queer witches who explore a really wide variety of topics. Not necessarily pagan, but since part of my own personal practice is Queer Ancestor Veneration I find the podcast Making Gay History to be incredibly powerful. A few authors I highly recommend are Via Hedera, Misha Magdalene, Kadmus Herschel, Aaron Oberon, and Byron Ballard. Their work has really influenced my craft and personal practice. And when it comes to music, I'm not sure if they themselves identify as pagan but the British doom metal/occult rock band Green Lung is heavily inspired by folk horror films and British folklore. I highly recommend them!


Anything else you'd like to share with us?


I'm very appreciative for this opportunity to share a bit about myself and White Rose Witching. I've been seeing a lot more of our community coming together to promote and uplift each other, and I absolutely love it. The world is a little bit scary right now, and the more we can come together to support and advocate for each other the less alone we'll feel - and that is a great source of strength!


Thank you so much for joining us today! I'm so grateful for your participation!





22 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page