Genital Mutilation: a question for the modern-day animist

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Ireland is in the grip of a heatwave. Temperatures hover around 25ºC, even up to 30ºC in some places (that’s 77-86ºF), and the sun shines, cloudless, in the sky. The plants in our garden are not used to this type of heat, or lack of moisture, so I have been watering. While out tending the beds and deadheading roses, I contemplated trimming back several other flowers, in the hope of spurring new growth and a second round of blooms. It was in that moment of contemplation and meditative stillness th … [Read more...]

Communication 101 (for witches and others): toward Place speaking

What the Irish do when a glowing orb is seen in the sky.

I had planned to write about cycles, after attending the recent International Conference on the Ulster Cycle in Belfast (notes are going up on my blog) they were on my mind; however, the on-set of summer weather here in Ireland has me outside not wanting to focus on anything, so my thoughts, such as they are, have shifted toward communication and pre-modern cycles of storytelling.I will preface this sun-fueled ramble by admitting my scant contact with the “pagan” community, or other wit … [Read more...]

Celebrating Dissent

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Back home in the States today, fireworks explode, symphonies play the battle hymns of our Republic, picnics and apple pie bring family and friends together; all in celebration of the nation's birth--the birth of the American Myth.  The American mythos and story of Place center around freedom, democracy and the ideal of patriotism.  These are bold, and modern, mythologies that stir the blood and sense of national pride.  But just what is it that Americans are proud of?  Giving the two finger sal … [Read more...]

When the Sun Stands Still: Summer Solstice in Ireland

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The light, gold, like the deep raw honey of summer, washes the front garden.  The sun rests just over the eastern ridge, risen less than 30 minutes, but the first light, the uncanny gold--like a crown--wakes me.  This mysterious morning light rouses me every time, every year.  By half five I am called out of my warm bed to crawl, on all fours, to the low cottage window and peer sleepily out at the waking world.In truth, it may be the dawn chorus that stirs me from my slumber with its song.  M … [Read more...]

The Sacred Springs of South West England

the Tor : Glastonbury

My eldest daughter is visiting, and this usually means one thing...road trip!  So this past weekend we toured south west England and Wales, visiting the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff; the Isle of Avalon in Glastonbury; Durdle Door on the Dorset coast; Stonehenge; and the city of Bath.  We had unusually sunny weather for our visit, and in the midst of that summer sun profusion the spirit of the waters touched my heart.I visited Glastonbury many years ago.  I hiked the Tor, slept in the … [Read more...]

Point to Ponder: is it all just anthropomorphizing?

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The post below was written a year ago.  I am recycling it for two reasons.  Firstly, the topic engages the recent 'fictional paganism' discussion by way of exploring a story's immediacy and connection to the lived world (and offers a glimpse into my own journey of pagan theology).  Secondly, and most importantly, I injured my finger yesterday, so am forced to type one handed--which is not fun!Reading my previous thoughts on a subject is challenging.  I am often embarrassed at my in … [Read more...]

Folkłore, Culture, and Authenticity: a lecture by Prof. Sabina Magliocco {video}

I hope it is not overstepping bounds, or violating copyright, to share this excellent resource. With the recent discussions of  'fictionalized paganism' on my mind, I am revisiting my own ideas of what constitutes sacred story; and foundations, or definitions, are a good place to start. I stumbled upon this video last year, and found it useful. I hope there is something in it for you, too. … [Read more...]


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