When water is cut off: from Cochabamba to Detroit, by way of my bathroom

Spring water catch box

We all need water, but we are not all in control of our water supply. [Read more...]

The Common Riding: Langholm’s Great Day

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As Pagans, we are often used to thinking of traditions linking people to seasons and to land as ancient and lost, not contemporary, living things. Langholm Common Riding, and other traditions like it give the lie to this idea. [Read more...]

Rites of A Winemaker

My son Noe at Rasa Winery in Walla Walla

This, he said, was an example of the rite this wine demanded, but it was only part of it. The rites of the wine include everything from how the vines are trained and trimmed to what happens in the cellar. And then the wine is passed on to the purchaser, and the responsibility to continue the rites goes to them: to keep the wine cool for storage, to let the wine breathe when first opened, to serve it appropriately. All of these things are part of the relationship between the grapes, the yeasts, and humans. [Read more...]

Can a human being be the spirit of a place?

My Marie Laveau altar for St. John's Eve

I started out thinking of Marie Laveau as a kind of local spirit of New Orleans, and wound up learning a lot about Conyers. [Read more...]

The power of the song thrush: life, death and the feast of St. John

Image by Jose Sousa, used under Creative Commons license.

The Jug of Punch, the song thrush, the summer solstice, the feast of St. John, life, sex, death and singing. What does it all mean?! [Read more...]

The Queen of Fair Elfland

American Elder

Now, I think I could make a good case that New Orleans and Faerie are not that different in some respects. They are both beautiful and a bit, well, sketchy; full of glamorie, charming and occasionally unseelie inhabitants, and very good musicians. They both exist on their own terms, with an independent sense of the passage of time and a peculiar etiquette. Really the biggest difference is that if you go to New Orleans, you definitely want to eat the food. [Read more...]

That Place We Keep Meeting

The Network isn’t like a Natural Spirit! It’s not like Nature. It’s not like the birds or the trees or the dirt under my feet. It’s prickly and tingly and full of electric charges. I don’t want to talk to it like that! (I squirm in my seat, adjust my sweater around me as if that will make me feel more comfortable. It doesn’t.)

“What’s unnatural about the Network?” my mentor asks.
[Read more...]


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