Online Community is a Good Thing: Giving Thanks for Virtual Community

Thanksgiving is fast approaching. In fact, I realized yesterday that it was only a week away and we still haven't ordered our local, organic, budget-breaking bird yet. I hope there are some left. For me, Thanksgiving is about family and gratitude.Thanksgiving is problematic at best; at worst, it is a celebration of genocide. I left any pretense of patriotic and historical celebrations behind long ago. Beyond its dodgy history, Thanksgiving is often a mess of traveling, bad weather, … [Read more...]

What We’re Reading


Occasionally I post what we're reading in my house. We cannot ever read just one book at a time.Me:*I started Naomi Klein's This Changes Everything when it came out in mid-September. Like her other books (No Logo and Shock Doctrine) I practically will her to be wrong about her subject matter. After carefully scrutinizing her sources and footnotes, I cannot but follow her to her conclusions. In the case of this book, I found myself so depressed and panicked by the introduction alone … [Read more...]

Blessings Are Not Enough


It's 35 degrees out. Nine a.m. and I'm on my way to my favorite easy walk, a place full of magic. I need to get out and move. I need to get out and be in a place where no one needs me, a place where I cannot distract myself. Winter descended yesterday, in all its cold, crisp, spectacular beauty. But the family life and spiritual life and all the lives in between are full, so full. I need the quiet.I pull into the unusually crowded parking lot and I see -and hear- a mass of people. Children … [Read more...]

When Puja Goes All Wrong

Today was like a new pair of fancy designer jeans. I got everything done and looked good doing it. But everything was a little awkward, like new jeans not yet stretched. Tasks felt tight, a little uncomfortable, and I was aware of every moment (and not in a Zen-like way). I should have known the day was going to be like this, judging by the way my Tuesday Kali puja went.Usually I am up before the household so I can get some exercise and spiritual practice in before the needs of others take … [Read more...]

Comic Books and the Gods

The Morrigan.

Comic books and the gods go together like peanut butter and jelly. Superman has always struck me as a Jesus-like figure. Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, two of the most lauded and fascinating storytellers in comics today, are practicing magicians and incorporate occult ideas into their works. I am not going to try to write a thorough essay on comics and the gods, because I am not remotely prepared to do so; besides, others have already done it!What I want to do is highlight some comics I've … [Read more...]

Homesick, or Learning to Love a “New” Place

Gastineau Pumphouse in Winter, by Gillfoto, Wikimedia Commons.

I grew up and became an adult in Juneau, Alaska. I've written a lot about my love for my homeland. The concept of Place shapes how I view the world and interact with it. Now I live in Olympia, Washington, a state where for many years I considered "Alaska-lite." I now see how derogatory and misguided that thinking was. It's not fair to compare the two states. One of the very things I assumed was better - Alaska's remoteness, its difficult wildness - is not actually better. Accessible wild places … [Read more...]

Home Ownership and Death

By Ildar Sagdejev

Here's a list of topics I want to write about: how exhausting, yet fulfilling it is to have so many holidays to celebrate in October and November; respond to Christine Kraemer's article on working with the ancestors, respond to Jason Mankey's response to Time Magazine's disrespectful article on witchcraft, and those are just the ideas from the last 24 hours. That doesn't take into account the list I keep of all the topics I have floating in my head.But what I am going to write about today? … [Read more...]