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 h … [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...]

A Forest Walk

The remains of an old building in Dalkeith Country Park

Last week I took a short, unplanned holiday to Edinburgh. I spent Wednesday in the Old City right next to Waverley Station where my train from Glasgow arrived. I enjoyed a museum visit, an art gallery, and some leisurely book store browsing. In the evening I headed to Dalkeith where I stayed Wednesday and Thursday nights, allowing me to spend Thursday and Friday hiking through the village of Dalkeith and through the forest in Dalkeith Country Park.The three days of walking around with a … [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...]

Bull Stones : the approach of Domhnach Chrom Dubh (Lughnasadh, Lughna Dubh)

photo 1

We are approaching the Lughnasadh season, and bulls are on my mind.  We have several large standing stones on our ridge--the thick, curved variety. One of my neighbors recently mentioned a bit of local folklore about these stones. In this townland of east Cork, those large stones are known as ‘bull stones’. Our neighbor said that when she was a girl she thought this was because they tied the bull to them….On the Dingle Peninsula a great assembly was held on Domhnach Chrom Dubh in the village … [Read more...]


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