Church is no substitute for religion, Part 2: The Spirituality Gap

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“Religion” is about symbol, myth, and ritual, while “church” is about community, morality/ethics, and ideology/politics. Here in the West, it seems we’ve gotten the church cart before the “horse” of religion. Potlucks and creeds are the outgrowth of religion, not the cause of it. [Read more...]

Pantheacon is Priceless (assuming one can afford it)

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I don’t even want to tally up how much Pantheacon cost this year, after plane tickets, hotel, food, and conference fees. Not to mention missed work. But it was a priceless experience for me. [Read more...]

The Neo-Pagan Mysteries, Part 8: Exoteric and Esoteric Ritual

Neo-Pagan ritual may function as a celebration of and an experience of connection with nature; as a celebration of and acceptance of change in our own lives; as an honoring and welcoming of parts of ourselves that have been neglected or rejected; and an experience of the loss of the sense of self and of union with the transcendent. Neo-Pagan ritual can focus on any one of these functions, or it can do more than one. All of them are important. Different people may experience the same ritual differently. [Read more...]

An atheist Pagan, an animist, and a devotional polytheist walk into a ritual …

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We have to accept that we can define words for ourselves, but not for others. And we have to be willing to hold hands and circle with someone who may have a very different interpretation of what is going on. [Read more...]

Fruits of the Deep Ecology Tree: Re-Enchantment

The re-enchantment of the world refers to the return of a sense of mystery to the world or to a sense of our participation in that mystery through our non-intellective, imaginative faculties. Re-enchantment is a countercultural response to a reductionist and positivistic science which views nature (including human beings) as mechanism and a capitalism which reduces nature (including human beings) to commodity and resource. [Read more...]

Five ritualists I’d like to invite to dinner, Part 3: Jason Mankey

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This is the third in a series in which I showcase some of the best ritualists I have met (in no particular order). Over the years I have especially enjoyed reading Jason Mankey’s posts about ritual. He has a good mix of nitty-gritty practical advice and big picture thinking. Here are some examples of Jason’s wisdom that have helped me in writing rituals. [Read more...]


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