People and Place

This way to the Iron Age earth works

Today I have no answers or great stories to tell, just a rambling discursive meditation on the relationship between people and place. Do people make a place the way it is or does a place shape the people who live there?Chicken. Egg. There's really no answer to this question. But when you think of the personality of a place, it has a lot to do with the culture and personality of the people who live there.But the personality of a place shifts over time, in part because of migrations of … [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...]

She cries: Summer Solstice in Scotland

The view from my office window earlier today. Yes, that is a hawthorn covered in 'May' blossom.

Early this morning was the moment of the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere. Happy Solstice one and all!This past week has held more sunny days than I think we've had all year so far in my neck of the woods. Usually, Oengus shows us his glowing face from mid-April to the summer solstice, off and on. This year, as far as the hawthorns are concerned, it may as well still be Beltaine. Instead of spring, we've had a protracted winter, which is only now warming into something more … [Read more...]

Being in nature

Common carder bee (Bombus pascuorum). Image by JerryL2008 used under Creative Commons License.

My Paganism is very much a 'nature' religion. I find my connection with myself, other beings, and Life through what most of us think of as 'natural' environments. Regardless of my desire to become an urban as well as a rural Witch, I can't see that changing any time soon. But why?I gained some insight into that question this morning.We've been in our 'temporary' accommodation for well over a year now, but I've only just discovered a good spot for my devotions: through a gate, up a path, … [Read more...]

In Glasgow We Talk A Lot About Weather

Queen's Park in Glasgow on a rare sunny day in May 2013

Usually I have a pretty good idea what I'm going to write about long before I sit down to submit my post for the week here on Sense of Place. Not today. Instead I feel more like writing poetry or sharing a stream of consciousness description of all the thoughts in my head about this place. I'll spare you the poetry today. So, stream of consciousness it is.Last week I wrote about the lack of Spring-like weather here in Glasgow this Spring. Today is a most amazing and gorgeous day. I went … [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...]

Wrinkles in Space

The view looking Northward from near the flagpole at the top of the hill in Queen's Park in Glasgow.

Have you ever been to a place over and over again and then suddenly one day, you notice something that you never noticed before? Maybe it's a building that must have always been there, but it somehow never quite registered in your mind. Or maybe you look at a wall and think, "Was it that color yesterday?" and you are sure, absolutely positive, that it was some other color before. Sometimes you can ask your family or friends, and they will tell you that this thing that you just noticed is exactly … [Read more...]


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