He is not here, He is risen!

  I haven’t celebrated Easter in any meaningful way in a long time. I dislike pastels and cartoon bunnies and cheap chocolate, so the mainstream/commercial parts of this holiday don’t interest me at all. I don’t want to start that with my kids, either. There’s enough sugar and cartoon-y fun in our lives as it is. But I do love the resurrection story. Even though we are not a Christian household and even though Jesus is not my god, I love the power of the resurrection story. In … [Read more...]

What is a Witch?

[From October 2011.] For about a thousand years the witch has been drawn as an ugly, old woman, in league with the devil, living on the outskirts of a village, waiting to take advantage of the virtuous and/or small children. She flies on her broomstick and gathers with others under the full moon to do terrible rituals. Later, she acquired an outfit of black and a pointy hat. The Halloween stereotypes we associate with witches are not new; they are deeply embedded in the Western … [Read more...]

On Finding My Yoga

By Sardaka, via Wikimedia Creative Commons.

[This piece was written in August of 2011. My son was 3 and my daughter was 6 months old. I've edited it in places, but much of it remains true to where I'm at now.] One of the things I love about yoga and Hinduism is that there is an ‘in’ for just about everyone. Are you a monotheist? There is point of entry. Are you a non-dualist? Try Advaita Vedanta. Do you see the God as male? Perhaps being a Vaishnava is for you. Do you see God as female? Say hello to Durga. Want to be less religious … [Read more...]

Values

[This essay was written back in 2011, but it touches on some conversations I've had recently, as well as the work I am currently doing with my teachers. I have re-written portions of this and edited it. Please enjoy!] Pagans get a bad rap in the media. Nonconformists, anti-establishment, the lot of them - and dangerous to boot. (Not such bad things, I think!) Witches are next down the list of potentially scary people, what with their magic and generally pro-feminist attitudes. Within the … [Read more...]

Third Trimester Update

Me, 35 weeks pregnant. Photo courtesy of my 5 year old on my iphone.

Folks, I'm on the countdown to meeting Baby #3. I'm 35 weeks and starting to prepare for anything. My son was born at 34.5 weeks, my daughter at 38 weeks. On top of waiting for Baby, my family is getting ready to move house next weekend. It's all more than a little stressful, especially since we're planning on a home birth. There is so much to get organized so that I will feel comfortable birthing! I am preparing by working on being adaptable and letting go of frustrations as soon as I can. I … [Read more...]

Vasanta Navratri

My Durga altar for Navratri.

Today begins the spring Navratri. Nine nights of honoring Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. It's very similar to Mahanavratri, which occurs in the fall, and is the major Shakti festival of all the Navratris. I've had this on my calendar for months. But for the last week or so I thought I would pass on observing. There's just so much on my plate right that I really don't feel I can keep up. My family is buying a house and moving in two weeks. I'm fully pregnant with two kids already to care for. … [Read more...]

Why Not Wicca

scott cunningham

When I get asked what my religion is I almost always answer "Pagan" and move on from there. Usually the first response is "Oh, you're Wiccan?" I also get "Oh, my mother-in-law/niece/cousin's girlfriend/and so on is a Wiccan!" Without fail I tell them I'm not Wiccan. Part of this is a desire for clarity (I practice an American form of Traditional Witchcraft and have a Hindu devotion). Part of it is a desire not to be lumped in with Wiccans. Because, in all honesty, I'm a hater. When I began my … [Read more...]

Maxim Monday: Flee a Pledge

The snarky lady in me wants to say this Maxim is telling us not to join fraternities or sororities. Or maybe that we should not date freshman pledging into the Greek system. I'm no fan of the Greek system, but I don't think this Maxim is about our modern social networks. I think it's a reminder that if we need to pledge something we might want to think twice - or flee from the obligation. Do we need to make a promise? Pledge money? This reminds me of how when my family was more financially … [Read more...]

Kali Puja

Kalialtaricon

Several people for the last year or two have asked me to write about how I do devotions to Kali. Here is what I do. It is a combination of rituals I have gleaned online and in books, and elements of my Feri practice. Background I honor Kali just about any time I sit down at my altar and light incense. Ganesh always gets the first wave of incense and prayer: "Jai Ganesh. May my worship be acceptable." Then I wave the incense before Kali and say "Jai Ma!" From there I may go into … [Read more...]

Birth as Edge Walking

Kali, from the Calcutta Art Studio, 1885.

Last month I entered my third trimester of my third pregnancy. I felt the shift about 10 days before the 'technical' date; I felt the fullness of my belly growing, the spread of my hips, and a certain mental shift. With my first child I didn't know what to expect; with the second and with this third one, I started out the pregnancies thinking, "Joy! I get to experience giving birth again! What a blessing!" And then sometime in my 6th month I woke in the night, and I knew I was entering the … [Read more...]