My First Gods

Theotokos of Balaam

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...]

Ordeals and Austerities

Matthias Grünewald's The Crucifixion of Christ, 1502

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...]

The Witches’ Almanac 2015

2015cover-Witches Almanac

Fifteen years ago the internet was a baby. If a person wanted to reach out to other like minded Pagans, Occultists, or feminist spirituality nerds, there were some chat groups and some awful Angel Fire websites. Wikipedia didn't exist. Facebook didn't exist. Perhaps some very tech savvy people were finding outlets for their curiosities and needs. I was not tech savvy. What I found on the internet was generally unhelpful and confusing. Book stores were where I found information.Among the few … [Read more...]

Looking Ahead to 2015

2015 Collage

I didn't do a tarot reading for my year ahead as I have done the past two years. I can do a tarot reading off the top of my head: 6 Swords, Temperance, Hermit, Four of Swords, and the 8 of Pentacles. My year ahead is filled with travel, paring away the distractions, getting deeper into my work, sorting out a health issue, and finding the balance necessary to thrive in a very busy summer.I started the year in Florida, visiting my sister and nieces. I have three more trips lined up this year. … [Read more...]

2014: Out with the Old

Bhairava in Bombay. By Benjamín Preciado Centro de Estudios de Asia y África de, via Wikimedia Commons

We're more than a week into 2015. I'm not usually late, ever, for anything, even with three kids. But this time? Late. It was that kind of year.I returned in the middle of the night from a week in Florida visiting my sister and her girls. It was just me and the baby. My expectations for my vacation were a little like this: eat really well, go walking every day, take the baby to the pool with my nieces, see all the things, write all the writing, read an actual book or three.Here is what I … [Read more...]

Till We Have Faces – C.S. Lewis’ Masterpiece


Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis has long been one of my favorite novels. It's a relatively little known book; his apologetics, allegories, and Chronicles of Narnia series are all much more well known and adored.Lewis is problematic in many regards. He is a product of his time and place: born in Belfast in 1898, raised in the general Christiandom of the times, served in World War I, was white and male and learned, entering the "ivory tower" of Oxford as a student and then as a lecturer. His … [Read more...]

The Immaculate Conception: A Common Misconception

Henry Ossawa Tanner [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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...]