Connecting with the sound of place

Hollow the Tawny Owl looking into the sun

Our dog, Mischa, has a love/hate relationship with the local tawny owls. Their cries send him into paroxysms of, well, I'm not entirely sure what, but he certainly gets excited. He goes on high alert, rushes up and down the stairs, and barks in a confused attempt to communicate with these weird not-dogs.Tawnies are the owls which give us the famous "toowit, toowoo". The "toowit" - or more accurately "kuweet" - is the female's call, and the "toowoo" - or more accurately "hoo-hooo" - is … [Read more...]

The ordinary, everyday occult knowledge of herbs, flowers and beasts

A bottle of honeysuckle cordial (pink) and a bottle of meadowseet cordial, both made this last weekend.

In the third in my series relating the content of Christine Hoff Kraemer's book on Pagan theologies, Seeking the Mystery, to my own sense of place and spiritual practice, I'm considering 'occult' knowledge, or gnosis.As Christine's writing emphasises, Pagans' knowledge in relation to theology, religious devotion and spiritual practice is largely based in experience, rather than in text. The experience of mystery may come through devotional practice, and from that experience may come … [Read more...]

Stories of Gods and mortals: myth and Pagan practice

The constellation of Orion, the first I learnt to associate with its Ancient Greek origin story. Picture by Mouser, used under Creative Commons license: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Mouser

This is the second of my posts prompted by Christine Hoff Kraemer's book of Pagan theologies, Seeking the Mystery. In the second chapter, Kraemer's focus is on myth and its place in Pagan theologies as a source of inspiration, but also of confusion, cultural misappropriation and dogma.I've written before about how the land here, its seasons and its weather are intimately connected with the ancient stories of the Cailleach, Oengus and Bride, handed down to us in their most popular form … [Read more...]

How a valley in Scotland changed my theology

Our favourite walk, c. 2001.

Not long ago, Christine Hoff Kraemer, editor of the Pagan channel here at Patheos.com, published a book about Pagan theologies, or, more accurately, about being a day to day Pagan theologian. It's called Seeking the Mystery, and for the next few weeks, I'll be exploring my sense of place through its insights and suggested activities, one chapter at a time.The first chapter gives a brief but thorough introduction to the language of theology - the "-isms" and belief systems that make up the … [Read more...]

Place and vulnerability

Bella - Clayfields Chynna Moon - near the end of her life

The conversation here and elsewhere at Patheos Pagan on how fiction, stories and popular entertainment relate to our sense of place and spirituality has been rich and provoking, and I'm reluctant to move to more parochial concerns, but I have to tell you, the facts of last weekend are quite sufficient for me.To start with, a week of feeling out of sorts culminated in excruciating abdominal pain, which the locum GP diagnosed as 'grumbling appendix'. A couple of days later, when that was … [Read more...]

House and Home

Something like would sure be nice..... (Joe Mabel, via Wikimedia Commons)

My partner and I are looking to buy a house. We've decided to settle in Olympia. We want a house that we can raise our kids in and live happily for the next 20 years. We've never owned a home before. This entire process is a giant learning curve. We're getting educated at every step along the way: mortgages, inspections, paperwork, what to look for, what to ask at showings, etc. We know what we're looking for, as far as size, price, location, and aesthetic.But there's a certain piece of … [Read more...]

Finding place through the eyes of a child

Photo credit Kira Nuit 2013

This month's guest post comes to us from Kira Nuit, who explores the sacredness of the ordinary outdoor spaces around us through a child's vision. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It’s easy to connect with a large, famous sacred Place. The weight of history presses its importance into our thinking mind. The accumulation of energies -- natural or created, intrinsic or fed by human ritual -- is palpable enough that folks of d … [Read more...]


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