Japan’s Fukushima Disaster and Its Impact on Fish in the Pacific Northwest

If you have environmentalists as Facebook friends, you may have seen an image and headline making the rounds suggesting that leaking waters from the Fukushima nuclear reactor in Japan is poisoning the waters of the Pacific Ocean. As a passionate lover of wild Alaskan salmon, that had me worried. I’ve had moments of mild panic thinking that the bounty of the seas may be gone forever. Salmon are the major fruit of harvest season for me. I was raised subsistence... Read more

The Weight Of A University

From WikipediaLast week I found myself on the Glasgow University campus and was struck by the feel of it. The area taken up by University buildings, old and new, is quite large, and the whole of it has a certain weight to it. There’s a sense of something deep there. Some of the University buildings are very old. The architecture looms large. Certainly that’s part of the weight, but not all of it. There is something... Read more

Online worlds: places to tread with care

I’ve been off my game – out of sorts, ill at ease, and just plain ill – since mid-August. I’ve spent a lot of time in bed, and not a lot of time outdoors; boredom has led me to wander the avenues of cyberspace far more than usual. It’s led me to ponder the idea of cyberspace as a ‘place’. Image by HASTAC-DML, used under Creative Commons license. It isn’t, of course, just one place. Every... Read more

Night Sounds: An Sionnach In East Cork

Monday night, shortly after midnight, I was pulled from my bed by the strangest sound. I had been reading when I heard it, and at first I thought it was a cow, or maybe the sheep dog down the lane. But when it came again I didn’t recognize it, so I crawled over to the window-seat and leaned out of the upstairs window, hoping to hear more clearly. The valley below was shrouded in a thin mist, which was illumined... Read more

Land Spirits: When Things Go Bump

I am leaving my little house, and the lane with the standing stone and ring fort.  I won’t be taking autumnal walks under the hazel thicket, or lounging in the arms of the blackthorn grove during winter’s darkest hours.  Instead, I will stroll under the tall heads of pecan and elm because I am returning to the sauntering arms of a Texas sunbeam.  This week I packed my first suitcase and the physicality of the act brought the reality home. ... Read more

Graveyard Whispers

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.... Read more

London Calling: connecting with big cities

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... 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... 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 humility, mirth and... Read more

Passing Faith To The Next Generation

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... Read more
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