Calling the Fay and Scaring the Monsters

My son, about age 10, dressed as a Pict-sie. No teenaged dignity was harmed in the posting of this photograph.

                   Today I want to respond to Pagan Families' July topic, "Magical Parenting."  I have a story to tell you...and a useful trick for nightmares.My son, now an adult, was the kind of kid who didn't seem to need much magical education for the most part. Actually he was fey and wily and had strong opinions about … [Read more...]

Finding Home

View of Mt Rainer from Anderson Island

Today was a fantastic day. I did two unusual things. The first was meeting my fellow Sense of Place author Rhyd Wildermuth for the first time. The second was buying clothes. More on the second in a moment. (Trust me, it's relevant.) Rhyd and I talked about a lot of things, but the thing that stayed on my mind as I left him and set off in search of new clothes was what we discussed about Seattle as a place that we both feel we can call "home".It's not that Seattle is the absolute most … [Read more...]

Where They May Be Found: Ceridwen

Photo credit: Kevin Freitas

Maybe you know the story.  A goddess had two children: one beautiful, one hideous.  And because she knew that beauty didn't really matter all that much, or because she knew that it only mattered to others, that it was a way to elicit attention from others, to get others to think you worth their time she decided she'd give her son wisdom.She could have given him power, or wealth, the usual substitutes for beauty.  With money he could have maybe afforded braces so that he'd look like what ev … [Read more...]

Can a human being be the spirit of a place?

My Marie Laveau altar for St. John's Eve

 Marie Laveau has been on my mind of late.  Ever since I went to Mardi Gras, actually, and visited her (reputed) tomb and left a token there among the offerings left by tourists and other pilgrims. I do that sort of thing fairly often, actually, usually at the grave sites of writers I admire. (William Faulkner and Eudora Welty both like bourbon). When I went back to New Orleans recently, I stayed in a hotel, the Inn on St. Ann, that according to legend was once run by Marie Laveau as a … [Read more...]

The power of the song thrush: life, death and the feast of St. John

Image by Jose Sousa, used under Creative Commons license.

"'Twas on the twenty-fourth of June Oh, as I sat weaving all at my loom, 'Twas on the twenty-fourth of June Oh, as I sat weaving all at my loom, I heard a thrush, singing on yon bush, And the song she sang was the jug of punch."These words are the first verse of a traditional Irish drinking song, The Jug of Punch, in its simplest form. I'm thinking of it today, St. John's Eve. The feast of St. John, celebrated on the 23rd and 24th June, is a Christian gloss over the celebration of the … [Read more...]

When People Don’t Want You In This Place

The Dahl Family. Image from http://www.seekerstemple.com/

Yesterday I read the story of High Priest Bertram Dahl's family and church in Beebe, Arkansas over at the Wild Hunt, and I was deeply moved. I don't read the Wild Hunt as often as maybe I should, and so I hadn't heard this family's tale before. I didn't know about the struggles they were having to settle in Beebe and provide the religious services that their community had asked them to bring to that town. I hadn't heard about how the mayor and other Christians in that town were blocking the new … [Read more...]

The Queen of Fair Elfland

American Elder

             True Thomas he took off his hat, And bowed him low down to his knee: “All hail, thou mighty Queen of Heaven! For your peer on earth I never did see.”“O no, O no, True Thomas,” she says, “That name does not belong to me; I am but the queen of fair Elfland, And I’m come here for to visit thee. A couple of weeks ago, I made some elder flower tincture. I have done this off … [Read more...]


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