Five Canticles of Wisdom

0In the beginning, there is no beginning: There is only the Goddess, and Her name Is Everything-All-the-Same, and FullnessIWhen Her name is Wandering Wide, She danced on the waters. Before She turned upon the wind, The stars are Her daughters.She turns upon the elements A dance of celebration That to watery nothing gives A name and habitation.Her dancing turned upon the wind; The wind snake winds about Her, And this is how it all begins: In dancing, and in laughter.IIWhen Her name … [Read more...]

Another Three Pagan Poems

Morgana at her Vanity (for Erif)Damp from the chastening water, She oils her skin, humming A wandrous tune that breaks, Then resumes, as her musing eye spies, Then dispells, each threat of a line In her face, in the polished brass mirror. She combs out her sea-raven hair With sharks' fins, brushes With bristles of boars, Charcoals her eyebrows to arch and point, Powders her eyelids with sea-blue chalk, Rouges her nipples, lips, and nails Of hands and feet with the locust-red … [Read more...]

Why the Craft Is an “In Your Face” Religion

Earlier today, on Charles Arnold’s e-group on Linkedin, someone expressed surprise that the fundamentalist Christians are attacking Pagans more and more viciously. I think such surprise can arise only from not understanding what Paganism is now all about.Most people, including Pagans, are not well-informed about their religion or about religion in general. However, the percentage of well-informed people in current Pagan religions, and especially in the Craft, is significantly higher than in m … [Read more...]

Homage to Kropotkin

Whenever I get to teach a philosophy course, I think of a way to talk about Kropotkin, whom I consider to be vastly underappreciated. His work has saved millions of lives and shaped our concept of our relation with all other life. But you’ve never heard of him? Shame on you.The young Prince Peter Kropotkin was stationed at a post in Siberia—it was a lot like Wyoming—bored silly, I suppose. He had read Darwin’s Origin of Species, when it came out in 1859, and had noticed that Darwin’s thinking … [Read more...]

Three Pagan Poems

After that last series of essays, I will just lighten up a little. On a Very Mixed Party at Bob and Bill’sAt first the dopers and the gays each thought The others were straight, then everyone decided Everyone else was cool, and the party warmed up.At one point ten girls were, two by two, The only ones dancing: flamboyant Maggie, Milly, Bev, the German girl who lives with Maggie, The blonde whom Rupert had been trying to pick up, The little birdlike girl who shies a … [Read more...]

Aphrodiphobia, Part VI: Religion as Ecstasy

The woman whom I named Lilith has been my friend for more than forty years now. We were emailing each other a few years ago, discussing the year 1970. She has agreed to let me share part of her story. I have woven the following out of excerpts from those missives.Lilith:I was steeped in the Catholic mystic tradition. Our good Irish nuns were forever telling us about the lives of the saints. For me the whole notion of kneeling on tubercular knees, going into ecstatic states, was "normal" … [Read more...]

Aphrodiphobia, Part V: Toward the Divine Sexuality

In one of the preceding essays, I said that a totally committed couple, in the moment of mutual orgasm, may “feel the edge of the ecstasy of a full enlightenment.” In a full enlightenment or awakening, the barrier between the ordinary self and the Deep Mind (I think that’s a more accurate name than “collective unconscious”) vanishes: one feels one's immortality, one's eternal safety, and the ecstasy, an order of magnitude greater than that of the ecstatic couple, that I think is the continual st … [Read more...]

Aphrodiphobia, Part IV: The Logical Consequences of the First Commandment

The “First Commandment” under discussion here is not that in the Decalogue, but the one in Genesis 1:28:God blessed them by saying, “Be fertile and increase in numbers. Fill the earth and subdue it. . . . “In the King James translation, “blessed them and said,” the blessing appears to be different from what is said; that is simply wrong. When God says, “Be fruitful and multiply,” that is both the blessing and the commandment. Thus, the commandment is a blessing, and what is commanded is i … [Read more...]

Aphrodiphobia, Part III: Prolegomena to Some Theology About Sexuality

In the original essay that I am reworking in these blogs, at this point I jumped into exegesis of some passages in Genesis and Mark. Here that would be way too abrupt. I need to provide some background on what I will be doing next.What I have written will surprise many people (at least among those who actually read it), delight some, outrage others, and confuse quite a few. I’m not trying to upset anyone. I hope that all who read my discussion might say, “These are indisputable facts, this is … [Read more...]

Aphrodiphobia, Part II: Origins of the Sistine Heresy

When I was teaching church history at Holy Family College in the early 1980s, I finally read through the documents promulgated by the Second Vatican Council, and discovered that in 1964 the Roman Catholic Church had abandoned all the medieval theology that denigrated sexuality. The Pastoral Constitution of the Church that the Council created is the first written constitution that the Roman Catholic Church has ever had. In it, in the passage on marriage and sexuality, the Council threw out all … [Read more...]


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