Point to Ponder: is it all just anthropomorphizing?

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The post below was written a year ago.  I am recycling it for two reasons.  Firstly, the topic engages the recent 'fictional paganism' discussion by way of exploring a story's immediacy and connection to the lived world (and offers a glimpse into my own journey of pagan theology).  Secondly, and most importantly, I injured my finger yesterday, so am forced to type one handed--which is not fun! Reading my previous thoughts on a subject is challenging.  I am often embarrassed at … [Read more...]

An Animist’s Take on Fiction: to view or not to view

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Sermons from the Mound published a summary article last week titled, "Notes toward a Pagan Theology of Fiction" and referenced some of my own tangential thinking on ‘spirit’ communication, and how the mental images derived from fiction impact this.  Re-reading my cogitation offered an opportunity to consider whether my thinking had changed.  I found it had not.  In fact,  if anything, it had deepened.  My move three years ago to Ireland, a land I mythicized for years, dramatically … [Read more...]

Pagan Ireland: the Banshee {video}

A short clip from Glenafooka: a documentary about Irish folklore and mythology. Enjoy! … [Read more...]

Dandelion Syrup: a recipe for sunshine in a glass

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And over that potato-field A lazy veil of woven sun, Dandelions growing on headlands, showing Their unloved hearts to everyone. -from Spraying the Potatoes by Patrick Kavanagh; 1940 Our gardens are full of Bearnán Bríde - the sunny dandelion.  I like to leave them growing because the bees and birds love them, so.  I also enjoy making yummy things with their flowers, leaves, and roots.  Today I gathered a few bright heads to make Dandelion Syrup! Here in Ireland, as elsewhere, … [Read more...]

Mí na Bealtaine! the Merry Month of May

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Bealtaine heralds the Light half of the Irish year--and am I ever grateful for its arrival!  In ancient times, the custom was to count from the dark half: days began with sundown, and the year with winter.  This dance of dark and light was woven into the tapestry of culture.  We see it personified by Donn, watery god of the dead, and Fionn, a symbol of light as guardian of the living.  We see it in the two opposing bulls of the Táin, the Donn Cuailgne and the Finnbheannach; and in Don … [Read more...]

Of Frogs and Flowers – an excerpt from Annie Dillard

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Spring has arrived in Cork, Ireland, at last!  Mild temperatures, sun, and the stunning display of flower and bud have kept me outdoors for the past several days.  I've idled away many hours swinging on the hammock, staring out toward the Knockmealdown Mountains--their shape like a woman sleeping. Or, perhaps she gazes back, her head resting on her arm, as she listens to the birds: one foot dangling, toes wrapping themselves in cool grass. I've also meandered down the lane bagging stray … [Read more...]

I’m an Animist: and what that means

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I rarely speak publicly about my spiritual practice.  This is mainly due to the intimate nature of relationship. You see, my worldview is animistic, and for me, this means I view the universe as a community of living persons, of which humans are a part.  I perceive everything within the universe, including the Universe herself, as possessing unique worldview, culture, and language (method of communication), e.g., the Ash tree near my front door is a living person, who possesses a worldview, … [Read more...]

Boots Across Ireland: Liosnabroc ringfort {video}

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Liosnabroc (Fort of the Badger - anglicized as Lisnabrock) is a ringfort located in the townland of Templebodan, east Cork.  The ring is found labeled on the 1890 Ordnance Survey map.  Like the majority of ringforts in Ireland, Liosnabroc opens to the NE -- offering a lovely view of the Knockmealdown and Galtee mountain ranges.  I am privileged to live next door to this active and beautiful Lios. Ringforts were constructed mainly from the Iron Age into the early Medieval period (800 BCE … [Read more...]

A Little Meander on Culture: or, what one does when the Wi-Fi dies

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On the About The Authors page of this blog, I mention 'sensuous scholarship' as my approach to academic study.   I like to get my hands dirty and engage my entire body when exploring a topic, hence when I wanted to better understand Irish culture and mythology, I moved to Ireland.  Now that I'm here, I get out and visit the places associated with the festivals and events mentioned in the mythology and folklore.  I speak to Irish people living in those areas, and, more importantly, I take the … [Read more...]

The Awakening Spring: of light, embodiment, and soliphilia

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Yesterday was the vernal equinox.   Here in Ireland, we have a solar alignment that occurs in cairn T on Slieve na Caillaigh during this astronomical event.  It’s a phenomenal sight! But that’s not what I want to talk about. The spring equinox heralds the Light half of the year.  We aren’t fully there yet (as it doesn’t officially begin until Bealtaine) but oh...we are tantalizingly close.  Close enough, in fact, for spirits to rise and frivolity to ensue.  Just look at … [Read more...]