A Devotional Practice with the World at its Center

From my visit to Muir Woods

I realized that devotional practice is not limited to deity-centered religion. There can be an earth-centered or nature-centered kind of devotion too. What I needed was to develop a devotional religious practice, not toward gods, but toward the world. I needed to embrace the world as my Beloved, as my waiting lover. The world is that Divine Other I have been seeking who can draw me out of my ego. And I need a religious practice that will affirm, encourage, and sustain this embrace. [Read more...]

I’m making it up

Where you’ve nothing else construct ceremonies out of the air and breathe upon them. – Cormac McCarthy, The Road I’ve never been good at tradition.  But going it alone, I have found, has its pitfalls too.  I was raised Mormon.  Mormonism is an authoritarian religion, so truth is defined and practice dictated from the top [Read More...]

My (Neo-)Pagan Elevator Speech

Jonathan Korman (whose post I can’t seem to talk enough about) recently described an awkward interaction he witnessed at a Pagan festival: I was at a public Pagan festival a while ago and a passing non-Pagan asked one of the people working at the information booth who we all were and what we were doing. [Read More...]

The role of faith and hubris in Paganism

Last week I came across a word that, ten years ago, I would never have thought to see in a Pagan context: “faith”. In fact, I came across it several times: The first time I noticed it was after reading Christine Kraemer’s post “Opening a Pagan Theological Dialogue” at the Sermon in the Mound. Encouraging [Read More...]

Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion

My minister at the Unitarian congregation I attend recently started a sermon series on “Dangerous Words”, which include words like “prayer” and “sin”.  That there are considered “dangerous words” says a lot about Unitarianism.  Anyway, it got me thinking about what would be considered a “dangerous word” to Pagans.  The first one that popped into [Read More...]

Navel gazing versus the journey to the World Navel: Individuation and community

Jungians are sometimes accused of being ego-centric navel gazers in the Pagan community.  There is a certain truth to this.  Jung wrote that “every step towards fuller consciousness removes [a man] further from his original, purely animal participation mystique with the herd, from submersion in a common unconsciousness. Every step forward means tearing oneself loose [Read More...]


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