Relational Polytheism

One of the key pieces of my evolving personal theology is relationship. This idea seems to be taking root and flowering in the work of other Polytheist thinkers, too. People who identify with other practices, traditions, and labels will also understand the concept of relationship, as no one tradition holds the copyright to such a concept. In this piece I'd like to outline my ideas on this topic.THEORYMy thoughts around sacred relationality began by studying Christian theology, … [Read more...]

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Broken Gods: A Book Review

Patheos - the overarching home of Patheos Pagan - does book clubs and anyone from any channel is able to join it. Most of the books don't interest me, but this month I decided to try one of the books. Broken Gods: Hope, Healing, and the 7 Longings of the Human Heart, is by Gregory K. Popcak, PhD., a Catholic, therapist, and fellow blogger at Patheos (Faith on the Couch).I'll admit the title intrigued me. I wondered what a Christian could be intimating by "Gods." The blurb suggested Popcak … [Read more...]

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Ordeals and Austerities

Ordeals and austerities have a place in most religious traditions. They serve a variety of purposes: strengthening, purifying, humbling, initiating. The two are not the same though, and don't necessarily serve the same purposes.Ordeals are trials that one must go through. I see them as one time occurences. One can prepare for them, or sometimes an ordeal is upon us before we realize it. Ordeals take us into a place where we face our fears. This can be part of an initiation process or can be … [Read more...]

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The Immaculate Conception: A Common Misconception

When I defended my master's thesis on feminist Mariology (the study of the Virgin Mary), my panel included a United Church of Christ minister and historian, an Eastern Orthodox Christian and expert on religious education, a Roman Catholic priest of the Franciscan order, and Rosemary Radford Ruether, feminist theologian and thorn in the side of the Roman Catholic Church. The opportunity to study with Rosemary was one of the reasons I chose to attend the Graduate Theological Union; it was a huge … [Read more...]

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Praying Like a Pilgrim

[This was written in early 2012, when I was immersed in my Christian quarter, revisiting my Christian past. I really like this post. Every tradition has something we can learn from. Re-reading this post reminds me of the benefits of mantra and prayer, mercy and gratitude.]I was hoping to have all of The Pilgrim’s Tale, a Russian spiritual classic, read for review today. Even with kids and limited reading time I can plow through a book if need be. This time? I’m savoring it. In fact, I’m inspi … [Read more...]

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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 a world … [Read more...]

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Dual Observance and Me

Dual observance, the practice of  more than one tradition at one time, is more common than most people realize, I think. It's not just for Pagans, either. For some people, it becomes syncretism, a blending of two (or more) systems into one. For some, one practice is spiritual or religious and the other practice is more cultural. Some people pick and choose parts of various traditions they like, leaving the difficult, challenging, or distasteful aspects by the wayside. For others, like myself, … [Read more...]

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