Why I have hope for Unitarian Universalism

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What if, instead of trying to create religious space for everyone to “believe what they want”, we UUs were to build a church around the idea that every person’s beliefs and experiences contribute to the diversity of our spiritual community and thereby strengthen it? What if instead of tolerating our differences — Humanists, Buddhists, Pagans, Christians, and so on — we looked across the aisle to find the object of our reverence in the faces of the people whose spirituality is different than our own? What if the object of our worship is neither God nor our own egos, but that elusive wholeness called “spiritual community”, that which transcends our individuality and becomes greater than the sum of its parts? Is that not a manifestation of “Spirit of Life” — life evolving, life in all its diversity? Could that be our “transcendental ideal”? Might that not fill the “God-shaped hole”? [Read more...]

How James Frazer (inadvertently) saved Easter for Neo-Pagans

“Reborn” by Tomasz Alen Kopera

Rebirth is something very much on my mind at this time of year, as I notice the the buds appearing on the trees, the birds singing again in the morning, and the wild geese returning north. For this Pagan, Easter is celebration of the parousia, the manifestation of Indestructible Life which shows forth in the warming sun and the rising green grass, as well as in the lifting of my spirit from the shroud of internal winter. So I feel no cognitive dissonance in celebrating the Easter holiday with my Christian wife this year. The point for me isn’t that Jesus was a Dying God, but that the Dying God lives in me. Whether life is in humans, in animals, or in plants, it is always Life, and when the incomprehensible point that is called rebirth comes, it is always Jesus who returns, alike to a tree and to a human being. [Read more...]

How Vampires Led Me to Paganism

vampires do not sparkle

I just finished reading Margot Adler’s Vampires Are Us: Understanding Our Love Affair with the Immortal Dark Side. Adler’s fascination with vampires may seem strange to Pagans, but not me. In fact, vampires led me to Paganism. [Read more...]

Where the sidewalk ends: Suburban enchantment

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The chill wind was blowing gently and the cattails waved back and forth like they were animate. And I felt, for all the world, like they were talking to me. Not talking with words, but saying something nonetheless. What were they saying? I think this is what they said to me: “This is real. You are here. You are alive.” [Read more...]

My Goddess is gross

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“This is your Goddess,” my wife said to me smiling.

“It’s the slimy side of her,” I responded.

“This is life,” she said. [Read more...]

Being the Allergic Pagan: My lover’s quarrel with the world

Egyptian Stele of Qadesh

The irony of being a Pagan with seasonal allergies symbolizes an essential conflict at the core of my psyche, a conflict between the desire for communion with nature on the one hand and the desire to transcend nature on the other. [Read more...]


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