Listening to the three kindreds

I have written previously about listening as a form of meditation … listening to the silence within us, listening to where the words come from, as a way of connecting to the Unconscious.  I recite this poem to myself before I begin to meditate in this way: When I lean over the chasm of myself, It seems my God is dark and like a web: A hundred roots silently drinking. This is the ferment I grow out of. More I… Read more

Chicago Pagan Pride

I just got back from Chicago Pagan Pride and I am having my obligatory Pagan identity crisis. I was pleased with the turnout at the event.  There were hundreds of people there, not all of them Pagan I think.  There were about two dozen booths.  Although most of them selling the obligatory crystals and nondescript jewelry, there were a few unique vendors.  And they had three sets of workshops running simultaneously throughout the event, with 10 to 20 people attending… Read more

A more interesting idea of goodness

My wife teaches a class once a month at her Latter-Day Saint (Mormon) congregation.  She teaches the women’s group called the Relief Society.  Each month she is assigned to give a lesson on the subject of a talk given by one of the (male) church leaders at the most recent biannual General Conference of the church. Yesterday, I flipped open the magazine that contains all of the talks for the biannual period and I turned to the talk she had… Read more

The healing power of (modest) nudity

Over at Pantheon @ Patheos, Star Foster has posted about the phenomenon of “modest” nudity in Neopaganism, by which she seems to mean the un-self-conscious and non-eroticized display of (usually female) flesh.  She mentions the nudity at Pagan Spirit Gathering this past summer as an example.  I was a virgin-festival-goer at PSG this year.  And since I have never worked with a group that practices ritual nudity, this was my first experience with public nudity.  At PSG, I encountered men… Read more

A dead bird, a bottle of honey, and meaningful coincidences

A bird fell out of the sky in front of me today.  I was walking down the sidewalk in downtown Indianapolis, and a little grey and yellow bird hit the sidewalk with a sickening squish sound.  I was startled and then disturbed.  And then I proceeded to walk into oncoming traffic.  I looked right, but not left, on a street I though was one way, and walked right in front of a car.  Fortunately, the driver stopped in time. I’m… Read more

All I need is a little bit of magic

At her blog, Onion Work, Ruby Sara has recently posted about the beginnings of her spiritual journey and the fascination that magic played.  She denies that this fascination with magic was escapism: And it was for magic specifically that I ached. To some, this yearning may seem the antithesis of my views regarding the need for a religion of Right Here This Body This Planet Beautiful Beautiful Right Now, rooted in the Mama, the present, the Real, with a wicked aversion to… Read more

Eating God Eating Us

I have been trying to write this post for a week or so and I am still struggling with it.  In my last post, I wrote about the ambivalent attitude I have about food, and how Neopagan myth has helped me to experience what Jane Ellen Harrison calls the “sacramental mystery of life and nutrition that is accomplished in us day by day”. With that goal in mind, I have a prayer that I say before eating — when I… Read more

Plunging myself into matter

Until relatively recently, I have always had an ambivalent attitude about food.  It is an attitude I inherited from my father, which undoubtedly has a great deal to do with our metabolisms.  Both of us are thin and neither of us enjoy food as we should.  My mother was fond of saying that some people (like her) live to eat, while others (like my father and I) eat to live. But in a very real sense, my father and I… Read more

The hidden blessing of technical difficulties

Well, my website AmericanNeopaganism.com is frozen by the hosting service for a violation of the terms of service.  Interestingly, the hosting service, in this case Webs.com, just freezes the account and doesn’t tell the owner why.  You have to them email them and wait for 3-5 days for a response.  Today is day 3, and no response yet.  But I have looked at the customer service discussion board and it looks like it has taken some people weeks to get… Read more

There is only one infinite game: Life

As you know, I have been wrestling with the concept of death as an act of creation, specifically how to make of my own death an act of creation.  A few days ago, I found a book I have had for years which had fallen down between stacks of papers, Finite and Infinite Games, by James P. Carse. It’s a short little book with an interesting idea.  Carse opens the book with this statement: There are at least two kinds… Read more


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