Graveyard Whispers

A grave marker in Dalkeith, Scotland

Some people think that graveyards are spooky. I find them fascinating places of deep spiritual significance. Of course, they have spiritual significance from the perspective of facing mortality and one's own eventual demise, but I also see them as places for connection to those who have come and gone before us.When I was in my twenties, I spent a lot of time exploring old Central American graveyards looking for clues about the lives of "New Christians" and secret Jews. I was looking for the … [Read more...]

Starting From Ignorance

By Daniel Schwen (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

Last week I wrote about sharing faith with my children. I ended the post with a paragraph on my view of the importance of agnosticism. I shared that post with my father a couple of days later. It led to an interesting conversation on the nature of agnosticism."I'm not agnostic," he said, "because I think that all the religions are wrong. But I think that there probably is a god.""No, no!" I argued back, "You are agnostic. You said yourself that there is 'probably' a god. You don't know … [Read more...]

Passing Faith To The Next Generation

New dad Noé, aunt Maura, uncle David and baby Robert in 2009.

I am an extremely proud mother. My own mother teases that I think that I invented motherhood. I think that my kids are some of the most amazing people in the whole world. Sure, they make mistakes, so do we all. My sense of success as a mother comes not from having passed on any one trait to my kids, but rather that they have managed to grow up into people that I consider friends, people that I would spend time with even if they weren't my own children.In my heart of hearts, I believe that my … [Read more...]

A Forest Walk

The remains of an old building in Dalkeith Country Park

Last week I took a short, unplanned holiday to Edinburgh. I spent Wednesday in the Old City right next to Waverley Station where my train from Glasgow arrived. I enjoyed a museum visit, an art gallery, and some leisurely book store browsing. In the evening I headed to Dalkeith where I stayed Wednesday and Thursday nights, allowing me to spend Thursday and Friday hiking through the village of Dalkeith and through the forest in Dalkeith Country Park.The three days of walking around with a … [Read more...]

A Weapons Problem

Two knives.

I love knives. Swords, too, but mostly knives. I love them for their place in religious practice, their role in magickal workings, and their daily mundane uses.For many years I would carry at least one knife all the time. A folding utility knife is good for a million little things, but a solid fixed blade is a godsend when you are out in the wild.When I lived in an Idaho forest for a summer, I used my favourite knife -- an SOG Seal Pup Elite¬†affectionately named "Silly Ol' Grandma" … [Read more...]

People and Place

This way to the Iron Age earth works

Today I have no answers or great stories to tell, just a rambling discursive meditation on the relationship between people and place. Do people make a place the way it is or does a place shape the people who live there?Chicken. Egg. There's really no answer to this question. But when you think of the personality of a place, it has a lot to do with the culture and personality of the people who live there.But the personality of a place shifts over time, in part because of migrations of … [Read more...]

Ad Hoc Angels

A place to sit and pay attention

There is a story that I've heard a few times about a little boy born and raised in Nazareth in Israel whose parents were from Russia. Like many toddler children of immigrant parents, he spoke his parents' native tongue as well as the Hebrew, so when the family went back to Russia to visit the grandparents, the little boy had no trouble communicating aside from a slight accent that was doubly cute in a three or four year old. One day, while on that trip to Russia, the little boy was playing in a … [Read more...]


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