The Texas Cool Season: when life rejoices!

museum in my neighborhood : replanted with native grasses

While the northern latitudes just opened the Door to the dark time, the dead of winter, we Texans greeted the cool Ancestral breath that offers welcome respite.  Here in central Texas, and I can only speak to this one tiny geographical part because our state’s as big as most countries (including most of the U.S.)—now here’s a Texas Tall Tale—heck, you could fit most countries inside our borders and I would still have room for a hundred head of cattle in the back pasture!  Where was I?  Oh, yes... … [Read more...]

Getting clear about my place: the uses of withdrawal

The view to the east from our house.

Recently I read a blog post by Michael Taft at HuffPost, called Take Your Body With You. In it, he talks about the importance of his physicality and sexuality to his spiritual path, and how he believes his commitment to celibacy and giving up all the bodily pleasures he enjoyed so much as a younger man in an effort to reach his spiritual goals was deeply wrong-headed.As a Pagan, I agree wholeheartedly about the sacredness of the body, of sex and of pleasure, and of the vital importance of … [Read more...]

Returning To America : Place As Cultural Experience

4594208528_61fe92b4aa_z

Each time I return from abroad, I am struck by just how different things are here in ‘Murica.  Spaces are large, cars move fast, and people are pointy.  Life in the U.S. is like an oil painting, with layered color, defined texture, and not-so-subtle edges.  Contrast this with the watercolor world that is Ireland, where I have lived for the past three years, and suddenly the two cultures, though shaped and influenced by shared or similar values and forces, appear at polar ends of a cultural spec … [Read more...]

London Calling: connecting with big cities

1003877_10151737457654166_713790364_n

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 playground for ‘cutting-edge’ artists and cultural creatives at the fore of s … [Read more...]

The puzzle of the Mother of Modern Witchcraft — a village witch who lived in a tower block

942205_651883351492194_1249969394_n

It's almost a fortnight now since Doreen Valiente - author, poet, and hailed as the Mother of Modern Witchcraft - was honoured by the public unveiling of a 'blue plaque' at her place of residence, campaigned for and paid for by the efforts of The Centre for Pagan Studies.Blue plaques are permanent - and rather lovely - signs mounted on buildings to commemorate famous, important or influential people who lived or worked there.You might think, being one of founders of Wicca, and … [Read more...]

Crossing the boundaries of urban and rural

IMG_0780

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...]

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...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X