Pantheacon Rituals are a Blessing

I don't get a lot of ecstatic ritual in my life. Most of the ritual in my life has to do with the kids' night time routine. If I get ritual it's usually solitary, staying up past my bedtime, carefully preparing before and cleaning up after. Getting to sink into a ritual is a rare treat for me. Good ritual fills my "cup" - a cup that is often dry for much of the year. This is one of the reasons that going to Pantheacon (and other gatherings) are so important and enjoyable for me.This didn't … [Read more...]

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Why Polytheist Spaces Are Important

I love the religions of the world. If you read this blog, you know that I write a lot about Christianity. I've got a big ol' soft spot in my heart for wisdom where ever I find it. The optimist in me wants a world where our differences give us accent, but don't overwhelm us to the point where we can't talk together. I like the Big Umbrella aspect of Pantheacon, where various Pagan communities come together and mingle, work, explore, and share.But spaces for each type of group are equally … [Read more...]

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Ave Maria

Imbolc is a holiday for the Brigids and Brídes. But this turn of the Wheel is also for Candlemass and the Virgin Mary. A friend reminded me that I might want to honor Mary during this time, if I don't have a relationship with Brigid, and I don't. Honoring Mary at this time makes sense, especially given my long history with her; she was always good to me.The Ave Maria is a poem, a prayer, and frequently a song. I am partial to it. Taken from lines from the Gospel of Luke, the Ave Maria has … [Read more...]

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My First Gods

I have a special place in my heart for the gods I consider my "first." They aren't the gods I work with regularly now. They aren't the ones I turn to regularly for inspiration, guidance, or companionship these days. But they are two that have had a profound impact on my life. Because of that I hold them in high regard, have a place for them on my altars and shrines, and give them greetings regularly.The first is the Theotokos, otherwise known as the Virgin Mary. I blame her for my … [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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Divine Discomfort

I'm writing this while sick. I'm close to not being able to get out of bed. I need to heal and rest because I've got choir concerts at the end of the week. Adam has wrested the most important household tasks from my stubborn little fist. Gods, I'm stubborn.Some things can be let go of, to make more space for other things, to allow for some healing rest. You know what I have let go of? I didn't do my Sunday observances. Or my Monday ones. And I'm skipping my Tuesday puja too.I took … [Read more...]

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