Lessons From D.C.

Flooding at the Capitol Mall due to a broken irrigation pipe 2006

Last week I was in Washington, D.C. for work. My trip there was both difficult and good. I learned many lessons during my travels and during the time I was in the city. One of the lessons that I am still processing is about the intersection between pre-existing stereotypes about a place and the actual spirit of that place. It's not that I have a clear understanding of this issue yet, but I still think that it's worth discussing publicly in the hopes that you can process the ideas with me.It … [Read more...]

Creating a Place-Based Practice

my Little Bigs at Pedernales Falls

On the second dark moon of January, a group of 9 gathered in my front garden. We sought uncharted territory; in fact, were willing to risk vulnerability to find it.  The group of explorers met to carefully plan the expedition.  We knew the journey might stretch every resource and tool we possessed, yet we were  drawn to try--to dare.  For there, in my front garden that night, was the first meeting of an advanced working group committed to discovering the Place specific spirituality of Central Tex … [Read more...]

Wide Angle Vision Part 1: A Useful Meditation

Photo by Elisheva Sterling. Some rights reserved. cc by sa

This is the first in a multi-part series I'm calling "Wide Angle Vision." It's a series that contrasts reductionist thinking and holistic thinking, considers the place and value of each, and then brings these ideas to bear on some aspect of a spiritual relationship to place.There are many different techniques for meditation. Some involve clearing the mind entirely. Others involve focusing on a single thing to the exclusion of all else. Others involve a discursive flow of thought, a dialog … [Read more...]

Paganism’s Messiah Complex

Red Moths

Or, the Anthropocentrism of Western PaganismOccasionally, within pagan circles, I happen across a troubling component of the western centric world view, and one that I find particularly antithetical to pagan values: anthropocentrism.  The belief that human-persons are the most significant species on the planet, plays out within paganism in subtle and tricky ways.  Most of us would balk at the outright notion that our species is superior, yet I often hear how humans have a divine role as m … [Read more...]

Energy Signatures of Place

Over the last week and a bit I've been reading and studying the book The Secret Teachings of Plants: The Intelligence of the Heart in the Direct Perception of Nature by Stephen Harrod Buhner. It's a fabulous book, and I recommend it highly. The initial reason that it was recommended to me was as a way to take my healing practice and herbal knowledge to the next level. It has certainly done that. It has also given me some new metaphors to use for other areas of magickal work and thinking about … [Read more...]

Urban Witchcraft: The Power of Place in the City

This article is a reprisal of one of my first on Patheos.  It's my "Top 10 Tips" for cultivating a sense of Place in an urban environment; a feat that did not come easy for me.  I was reared on a family farm with hundreds of acres as my garden.  I roamed barefoot from sun-up till sun-down, engaging in more risk-taking behavior than my parents would ever want to know about!  Snake spoke to me, coyote sang his eerie song, and bobcat warned me about what happens when you meet Other, out past your be … [Read more...]

Urban Witchcraft: The Power of Words

P1010260

There was a time, not so long ago, when information was shared by word of mouth.  Most of us were illiterate.  That word has such a nasty taste in the mouth now, doesn’t it?  It conjures all sorts of images, from gross ignorance to the cruel acts committed by those same ignorant individuals.  I don’t like those conjurings, so I’m going to make-up my own reference phrase (which may have been thought of already by scholars who also ponder such things).   Let’s begin again…There was a time, not … [Read more...]


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