An Extraenvironmentalist

"This is what we want. We don't want to be Americans or Germans or English. We want to be extra environmentalists. Always feel that where ever you go, you are a stranger, the outsider, the one looking in. This is the viewpoint that makes all places the same to you." - Terrance McKennaEvery time I've heard that quote, I've wondered why McKenna would think that there is something good about always being the outsider. It may sound strange to some, knowing what you do about my nomadic life thus … [Read more...]

Point to Ponder: is it all just anthropomorphizing?

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The post below was written a year ago.  I am recycling it for two reasons.  Firstly, the topic engages the recent 'fictional paganism' discussion by way of exploring a story's immediacy and connection to the lived world (and offers a glimpse into my own journey of pagan theology).  Secondly, and most importantly, I injured my finger yesterday, so am forced to type one handed--which is not fun!Reading my previous thoughts on a subject is challenging.  I am often embarrassed at my in … [Read more...]

In Glasgow We Talk A Lot About Weather

Queen's Park in Glasgow on a rare sunny day in May 2013

Usually I have a pretty good idea what I'm going to write about long before I sit down to submit my post for the week here on Sense of Place. Not today. Instead I feel more like writing poetry or sharing a stream of consciousness description of all the thoughts in my head about this place. I'll spare you the poetry today. So, stream of consciousness it is.Last week I wrote about the lack of Spring-like weather here in Glasgow this Spring. Today is a most amazing and gorgeous day. I went … [Read more...]

Crossing the boundaries of urban and rural

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A few months ago, Joshua Graham wrote about an urban sense of place and Pagan spirituality. This weekend I went to visit him in Bath, an English city watched over by the Goddess Sulis Minerva.Before I became a rural dweller, I lived in the city of Bath for three years. It was a sight less urban than my home city of Birmingham, and also smaller than the other city I'd lived in for a similar length of time, Cambridge. It felt almost rural to me when I moved there, back in 1996.It both … [Read more...]

Folkłore, Culture, and Authenticity: a lecture by Prof. Sabina Magliocco {video}

I hope it is not overstepping bounds, or violating copyright, to share this excellent resource. With the recent discussions of  'fictionalized paganism' on my mind, I am revisiting my own ideas of what constitutes sacred story; and foundations, or definitions, are a good place to start. I stumbled upon this video last year, and found it useful. I hope there is something in it for you, too. … [Read more...]

What Are These “Seasons” You Speak Of?

grassy hills, thick cloud cover, but just a tiny bit of blue sky poking through

Glasgow, Scotland. 28 May 2013. Raining. Again. 55°F/13°C.It was sunny on Friday. And Saturday and Sunday. Sunny and beautiful and downright Spring-like. Only here in the UK, they call this "Summer". Summer starts at the beginning of May, with a nice long weekend heralding the start of trips to the seaside, walks in the countryside, and summer art festivals like the one we just had here for the past two weeks in Glasgow's Southside.Monday came with heavy rains. I'm not talking about t … [Read more...]

Place and vulnerability

Bella - Clayfields Chynna Moon - near the end of her life

The conversation here and elsewhere at Patheos Pagan on how fiction, stories and popular entertainment relate to our sense of place and spirituality has been rich and provoking, and I'm reluctant to move to more parochial concerns, but I have to tell you, the facts of last weekend are quite sufficient for me.To start with, a week of feeling out of sorts culminated in excruciating abdominal pain, which the locum GP diagnosed as 'grumbling appendix'. A couple of days later, when that was … [Read more...]


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