The Zen Pagan: The Only God to Whom Jupiter Must Bow

Terminus. Image via Wikimedia Commons

Boundaries in their role as both endings and beginnings are also on my mind because this will be my last column for Agora. The good news is that this is because The Zen Pagan will soon be its own full-fledged blog here at Patheos Pagan! But this change too is the crossing of a line, a passing of a boundary. The Romans had a god for that: Terminus, the god of boundaries. [Read more...]

The Zen Pagan: The Fire Circle – All Kinds Magic Worked Here

Friday Night Fire Circle at FSG 2014. Photo courtesy Vann Godfrey.

In those discussions and debates — and sometimes heated arguments! — I’m come to the conclusion that the Fire Circle at a large Pagan gathering should welcome and invite as many types of magic as possible. Not necessarily all at once (that could be a bit of a muddle) but allowing them to arise and dissipate in their own natural flow. I call this principle “All Kinds Magic Worked Here”. [Read more...]

The Zen Pagan: Ares and Athena in the #BaltimoreUprising

Photo credit: Kevin Labianco / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Our society is too much like Ares and too little like Athena. We are too ready to give in to the easy mindless rage that ends in defeat and humiliation for the aggressor and destruction for their victims, rather than the difficult, judicious, creative–but still valiant and strong–way of wisdom. The problem is not merely political: it reaches to the deep spiritual level of how we see our relation with ourselves and the world. [Read more...]

The Zen Pagan: I Don’t Know

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Some teachers have called this “don’t know” the very heart of Zen. There are many layers to it, but one of the most important is its warning against certainty. [Read more...]

The Zen Pagan: You — Yes, *You* — Can Dance (If You Want To)

Dancing fool. (Photo by Larry Cohen/I Shot Baltimore, used by permission.)

When I was a kid I was so uncoordinated that during gym class I was sent off to special sessions where a teaching assistant would play catch with me in an attempt to improve my hand-eye coordination. It took me forever to learn to ride a bike. I was the last to be chosen whenever teams were picked, and when I played rec league sports I spent as much time on the sidelines as the coach could get away with before he put me in at the least vital position. Dance is one of the ways I connected to my body, found my physicality. [Read more...]

The Zen Pagan: The Politically Incorrect Pagan

This is a difficult subject with no real appropriate photo. So here are some puppies. (Image via shutterstock.com)

Since no one else seems to want to say it, I will: the fake workshop listing in the joke program was legitimate satire and the authors don’t owe anyone an apology. If anyone owes an apology, it is those who were calling for the authors to be ejected from the conference. [Read more...]

The Zen Pagan: “What does a Zen Pagan Atheist ritual look like?”

a handmade ema (prayer card) on a tree in a forest

A friend inquired, “What does a Zen Pagan Atheist ritual look like?” Which is a pretty good question, and one that I’m still figuring out the answer to. I don’t have a liturgy, but I do have some principles–some preferences–and I’d like to share five of them with you today. [Read more...]


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