Graveyard Whispers

A grave marker in Dalkeith, Scotland

Some people think that graveyards are spooky. I find them fascinating places of deep spiritual significance. Of course, they have spiritual significance from the perspective of facing mortality and one's own eventual demise, but I also see them as places for connection to those who have come and gone before us. When I was in my twenties, I spent a lot of time exploring old Central American graveyards looking for clues about the lives of "New Christians" and secret Jews. I was looking for the … [Read more...]

London Calling: connecting with big cities

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Last week I was in London.  It was my first real visit to the city (layovers at the airport don’t count), and I was like the proverbial kid in a candy shop.  I wanted to see ALL the things, have ALL the experiences, and, probably somewhere deep in my heart, I wanted London to rub off on me.  So many British cultural icons emerged from London that the city itself has become iconic.  It represents an idea of ‘coolness’, a playground for ‘cutting-edge’ artists and cultural creatives … [Read more...]

Starting From Ignorance

By Daniel Schwen (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

Last week I wrote about sharing faith with my children. I ended the post with a paragraph on my view of the importance of agnosticism. I shared that post with my father a couple of days later. It led to an interesting conversation on the nature of agnosticism. "I'm not agnostic," he said, "because I think that all the religions are wrong. But I think that there probably is a god." "No, no!" I argued back, "You are agnostic. You said yourself that there is 'probably' a god. You don't know … [Read more...]

A sense of responsibility to place

In the final chapter of Seeking the Mystery, Christine Hoff Kraemer covers the question of morals, ethics and justice. Her position, that Pagan ethics is based on virtues rather than rules, is one I absolutely support. As she points out, in Northern and Celtic reconstructionist traditions, there is often an emphasis on virtues of strength and honour; in Wicca and Wicca-influenced traditions, the diads of the Charge of the Goddess -- beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and … [Read more...]

Passing Faith To The Next Generation

New dad Noé, aunt Maura, uncle David and baby Robert in 2009.

I am an extremely proud mother. My own mother teases that I think that I invented motherhood. I think that my kids are some of the most amazing people in the whole world. Sure, they make mistakes, so do we all. My sense of success as a mother comes not from having passed on any one trait to my kids, but rather that they have managed to grow up into people that I consider friends, people that I would spend time with even if they weren't my own children. In my heart of hearts, I believe that my … [Read more...]

The material, the sacred and the erotic: a contemplation for Lammas

My 2007 homemade Lammas loaf: 100% rye, 100% sourdough

In this week's ponderings provoked by Seeking the Mystery, I'm looking at my sense of place through the lens of the sacredness of materiality, bodies and sexuality. Today is the final day of the feast of Lugh, also known as Lammas or Loaf mass. We bake bread as a sacred act. We eat that bread as a spiritual act and an act of community. We are literally connected to the earth: we chew and ingest and digest the grain; we absorb its nutrients. Without other beings in place with us, we would not … [Read more...]

Happy calendrical Lughnasadh

Enjoy "Lughnasadh Dance" by Gwydion Pendderwen! … [Read more...]


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