The Train as Merkava

Train Tracks

It was two days before Thanksgiving. One of my coworkers had sent out an email late the night before asking if we all wanted to cowork in Seattle the next day. We're almost never all in the same city, so sitting in the same room for a few hours would be good. I sent a reply back that I couldn't. I was still in Chicago and wouldn't be in Seattle until Friday. I was hopping on the Empire Builder train at 2:15 on Wednesday afternoon. The next day as I was heading to a meeting right near the train … [Read more...]

Sharing Your Home

For some Pagans, the first thing to do before moving into a new home or shortly after is to cleanse the house and try to rid it of unwelcome ghosts, spirits, fae, or any of the spiritual residue of previous inhabitants. The beliefs of the Pagan may differ about what they are clearing out, but there is a general belief held by many that whatever is there needs to go before you can make the home your own. I'd like to offer a different view on the subject, and suggest that it is worth opening … [Read more...]

Cursed Places

There are several different curses that folklore claims upon the city of Spokane, Washington. This city is said to have at least two different "Indian curses" and at least one "Gypsy curse", plus many, many hauntings. There is also a tale that I found about a sort of blessing on this city, in which the river rapids that were once the terror of the Natives would become the source of great wealth for the White Settlers. The town is both rich and poor. It is a place of creativity and of … [Read more...]

Cycles of Cultural Destruction

As I drove my mom's car South from her home towards my son's winery, I enjoyed the beauty of Eastern Washington while my mom read articles to me from the collection I'd recently added to Pocket. I didn't expect her to be interested in the Pagan articles, but she surprised me by reading Echoes of an Older God, a post about Arthur as a Pagan deity. As she read that post and we drove through miles of wide open American land, my thoughts wandered off to the problem of colonialism, empire builders, … [Read more...]

Beauty In Other People’s Faith

Quilts rest on the backs of pews at Peace Lutheran Church in Colfax, Washington, USA, before a special service to bless them and send them out to people in need.

I sat in the back of Peace Lutheran Church this past Sunday, a guest along with my mother in a religious space that is not our own. I was there to support my mom. She was there as part of a special blessing over quilts that she had helped make.Quilts the community had made before were sent to refugees of the conflict in Syria and to evacuees from Hurricane Sandy, and each time the community sent another batch out into the world, they made sure to say a special blessing over the quilts and … [Read more...]

The Place Where I’m Not Weird

Sea Creatures.  Art in Beacon Hill Light Rail Station, Seattle, Washington

Once again I find myself on the West Coast of the United States for a short while. There is something about the cultural space from about San Francisco northward and into lower British Columbia that makes me feel "normal". This is the geographic region where, for the most part, I can be completely me without worrying that I'm saying or doing something culturally inappropriate. My tone of voice is understood within various contexts. My tendency to say nice things to people -- including total … [Read more...]

The Intersection of People and Place

Dizzy the Border Collie

Late last week a friend and I went out together to walk her dog. We went to Queens Park, the same park I've described here a few times before. This was the first time in a year or maybe more that I went to that park with someone. Usually I go alone, walk around a bit, and stop at one of my favourite spots to meditate.This was a social visit, and I didn't expect to have any sort of spiritual insight about it. Spirit is clever about laying in surprises when you least expect them. I thought I … [Read more...]


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