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...]

Happy calendrical Lughnasadh

Enjoy "Lughnasadh Dance" by Gwydion Pendderwen! … [Read more...]

Bull Stones : the approach of Domhnach Chrom Dubh (Lughnasadh, Lughna Dubh)

photo 1

We are approaching the Lughnasadh season, and bulls are on my mind.  We have several large standing stones on our ridge--the thick, curved variety. One of my neighbors recently mentioned a bit of local folklore about these stones. In this townland of east Cork, those large stones are known as ‘bull stones’. Our neighbor said that when she was a girl she thought this was because they tied the bull to them….On the Dingle Peninsula a great assembly was held on Domhnach Chrom Dubh in the village … [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...]

Genital Mutilation: a question for the modern-day animist

Alice-with-flowers

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...]


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