Magic and Community in the Pacific Northwest

Alliums in Olympia

Magic comes in a variety of forms, just like community. Going to events won't give anyone instant community, especially not for a perennial loner like me. I do, however, attend events to feed my intellectual curiosity, fill my social needs, see who else in my area is doing what, and to support other magic workers.I live in Olympia, Washington, a place which feels the most 'Pagan' of all the places I've lived. It's the state capital and near to two major military bases, so there are … [Read more...]

What We’re Reading

Son's books

Every so many months I like to talk about what we're reading in my house. We're big readers and usually we have way too many books started!I've got this week's Economist and this quarter's Bitch. I've subscribed to these two magazines for over a decade. They keep me informed on things that matter to me, and they help me feel like I'm somewhat aware of what is going on in the wider world. Two books I've been reading for about 3 or 4 months now: Jason Mankey's The Horned God and in blue is … [Read more...]

An Uncomfortable Education

Sometimes a lingam is just a lingam. [Shivan Lingam from the Kushan period, Government Museum, Mathura, by Biswarup Ganguly, via Creative Commons]

I'm exhausted. School is out and I have an infant and two kids all day, every day. I haven't adjusted yet. I need more structure or the eldest child will be the death of us all. Last week was also my birthday, so there were a few fun birthday gatherings. Last week was also my blog post about Wendy Doniger's controversial alternative history of the Hindus, and with that came all the comments. And those comments were intense. Processing those on top of everything else left me feeling very … [Read more...]

The Hindus: An Alternative History

TheHIndus-Cover

Wendy Doniger's 700 page exploration of Hinduism and the history of the Hindus has been extremely controversial. The Hindus: An Alternative History was  published in 2008, received scathing reviews from Hindus, and was banned for a time in India. This is how I heard of the book to begin with. What could possibly be so scandalous that a country would ban a book of its history? As someone with more than one degree in religious history and a practitioner of Hindu devotions* I wanted to check out … [Read more...]

Are We Vampires?

vampires-are-us

Margot Adler thinks so.Adler, esteemed author of Drawing Down the Moon, NPR correspondent, and all around neat person from what I can tell, has read 260 vampire books and written a book about it. Vampires Are Us: Understanding our love affair with the immortal dark side, weighing in at only 237 pages, is more of a long essay (55 pages) with annotated bibliography. It's an easy read. Adler is a delightful companion and story teller. If you want to spend two hours with her, you will enjoy this … [Read more...]

Review: The Passion of Mary

MaryBowen

When I was debating quitting my doctoral studies - specializing in the Virgin Mary - I came across a blog, Project Conversion, written by Andrew Bowen. In a last ditch attempt to deal with his own anger and disappointment with his Christian experience and the effects of the post-9/11 world, Bowen decided to explore twelve traditions in twelve months. He dove into each tradition, with a mentor, with books, with practice. He lived as if he was a believer of each faith. It was fascinating. … [Read more...]

Top Ten Books of 2013

Rebecca Sutherland illustrates a story from 'The Bloody Chamber'

I read a lot. These days I read a lot for reviews, almost entirely non-fiction, or to my kids. Occasionally I'll post reviews of books that I have chosen to read, ones I think are particularly significant. However, I've read a lot of really good stuff this year that I haven't written reviews for. Here is a selection of books that got me fired up this year.Note: These are not ranked in any order of preference, and they may or may not have been released in 2013.FictionThe Bloody … [Read more...]


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