Celebrating Dissent

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Back home in the States today, fireworks explode, symphonies play the battle hymns of our Republic, picnics and apple pie bring family and friends together; all in celebration of the nation's birth--the birth of the American Myth.  The American mythos and story of Place center around freedom, democracy and the ideal of patriotism.  These are bold, and modern, mythologies that stir the blood and sense of national pride.  But just what is it that Americans are proud of?  Giving the two finger sal … [Read more...]

Syncretism: An Immigrant’s Path

Diversity Quilt, Image by Oregon Department of Transportation, click to see on Flickr.

Finding the spirit and flow of the place where I am is an important part of my spiritual practice, but not every practice I hold is specific to place. Just as I eat foreign foods and local dishes, and just as I say uniquely Scottish words with an obvious California accent, my practice is blend of here and there. My practice has always been a bit of a blend of things, certainly in my adult life, but even in my childhood I had an internal religion that did not map exactly to the conservative … [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...]

When the Sun Stands Still: Summer Solstice in Ireland

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The light, gold, like the deep raw honey of summer, washes the front garden.  The sun rests just over the eastern ridge, risen less than 30 minutes, but the first light, the uncanny gold--like a crown--wakes me.  This mysterious morning light rouses me every time, every year.  By half five I am called out of my warm bed to crawl, on all fours, to the low cottage window and peer sleepily out at the waking world.In truth, it may be the dawn chorus that stirs me from my slumber with its song.  M … [Read more...]

Dreaming My Way Through The Labyrinth

Footpath in Queens Park, Glasgow

There was a period of about seven years in my 20s when I thought I knew what I was doing with my life. I had plans and goals. I was doing things that moved me along a clear path. I put one foot in front of the other, I did my work well, and there was no reason to think that something was going to throw me completely off that path and send me into some strange journey into the unknown. It's not that I knew the future exactly. It's just that I knew the basic shape of what I was doing, and things … [Read more...]

Review: Thinking Wild

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Theo Grutter is man who likes to think creatively. He is a man who seeks to find the truth of every moment, every place, every interaction. He approaches each interaction with any thing - the sea, a bird, wild grass, his wife, etc - as a direct and intimate encounter. To my ears, he sounds as though he would be an amazing dinner guest, weaving stories, listening deeply, offering off-beat insights from his long life at sea, both in Sitka, Alaska and San Blas, Mexico.I had hoped for 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...]


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