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 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...]

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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...]

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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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Signs of Beltane Approaching

blackthorn

Beltane is not, here, a time of courting your lover in the woods all night and bringing back boughs of May blossom. The hawthorn – the May – will not show its flowers here until June. (And besides, it’s usually too cold for naked, outdoor, nighttime romping.) No, the blossoming thorn here, at this season, is the blackthorn. [Read more...]

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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. 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 Texas. [Read more...]

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The Past is a Place We Still Inhabit

Roman Aqueduct in Segovia, Spain (CC Manuel González Olaechea y Franco)

Our belief that the present is somehow exceptional, that we are modern and more developed than other peoples and from our “primitive” state sustains both our disenchanted world and the racism of Western culture. [Read more...]

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