On Place, Pagan Values, and Politicizing Paganism

Sunset through the young trees in "my" woods. Photo: ©2015 James Lindenschmidt. CC by-sa

These woods where I live have a spirit to them, a kind of consciousness, and my own spirit is bettered when I deepen my relationship with these woods. This is my Paganism. [Read more...]

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Spiritual Sovereignty

COMUNIDAD COFÁN LAGUNA DE LA PERLA by Agencia De Noticia Andes

My heart bleeds for the religious traditions that have been lost to the onslaught of evangelical religions. Christianity isn’t the only one. Islam has wiped out many Pagan cultures, and so has Buddhism. But not all religious changes have come through force or evangelism. How should we Pagans act when we meet indigenous people who have left their traditional religions for these evangelical religions. [Read more...]

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Beltane On The Beach: An Enduring Maine Tradition

2 Maypoles, during one of the cooler years at Popham Beach. Photo by Michael Berube, www.bardtographer.com. Used with permission.

Despite the beauty of Popham Beach, Beltane On The Beach is at its core about the Pagan community in Maine. Over the years there have been countless weddings, handfastings, initiations, rights of passage, and other rituals to be witnessed by the community, in addition to the Beltane traditions of the Maypole Dancing. [Read more...]

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On Snakes, Truth-Speakers, & St. Patrick

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/19/STP-ELP.jpg CC-BY-2.5; Released under the GNU Free Documentation License. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:STP-ELP.jpg (photo editing by this author)

If we extend the metaphor further, then not only did St. Patrick (and by extension, Christianity) drive the Druids and Pagans from Ireland, but also he drove Truth and the wisdom of mind-expansion from Ireland. Anybody want a green beer yet? [Read more...]

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You are a slave to your cultural norms

When told the reason for daylight savings, the old Indian said, "Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot of the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket."

Last weekend the US entered Daylight Savings Time. This is always a moment of great grumbling as people lose an hour of sleep to the clock change. Facebook posts pop up with anti-Daylight-Savings memes of various types. This one in particular had led me to think a lot about the nature of the day and [Read More...]

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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...]

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The Witchcraft of Place

pokeweed

Every so often, I teach a workshop I call “Ditch Witch: Magical Uses of Common Roadside Plants”…Nearly everything I could possibly need, magically speaking, is within a mile of where I am sitting right now. I live in a treasure trove built partly of ecology and partly of culture; both the vibrant, complex, living ecosystems of the Southeast, and the slow-built web of knowledge that ties the people to the land. [Read more...]

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