Not of this world

On my way to the grocery store I pass two churches. The first is a Lutheran church, an open and affirming one. I visited it last year, and while I thought highly of it, I couldn't sit through an entire service. These days I barely notice the large brick building with its stained glass and preschool playground. Until it hosts the farmers' market in its parking lot. Then I am there weekly, even if I bypass its front doors and sanctuary. The other church is much larger (churches here seem to be … [Read more...]

Maxim Monday: Be (religiously) silent

I love this one. Spring is in full swing here in Olympia. New colors from fresh blooms appear each morning. The sun's heat is gaining in intensity, despite the bitter the breezes. The lilacs are blooming, although I can't smell them because my sinuses are blocked up. That makes me sad, since lilac is my favorite scent. The birds are raucous in the twilight periods twice a day. Everything is a cacophony of scent, sound, texture and color. But I've been feeling a little quiet lately. Not … [Read more...]

The Body

What a complex site of confusion is the body. As spiritual persons we have a host of understandings about it to unpack. As a female in the Western world there are even more complications and understandings to unpack. I'm not going to get too theoretical about either of these points, but instead, as this blog is designed to do, I will talk about my own experience and understanding of the body. Many religious traditions proclaim that the body is a negative thing. That it is a hindrance on our … [Read more...]

Maxim Monday: Shun evil

This Maxim requires a lot of defining. I looked up the definition of 'shun,' and I'm glad I did. In my head it means 'reject,' and it does. But it also means to avoid or ignore. Of greater importance is the definition of evil. I've avoided talking about evil on my blog. I've thought several times about writing a post on what I consider evil, but I've chosen not to every time. I guess I can't avoid it any longer! In the Christian world many people write entire books about 'the problem of … [Read more...]

Being a householder

In my last post I talked about the possibility that if reincarnation was a real thing then my previous lives most likely included several rounds of being a monk and/or a nun. Those past lives would explain my fascination with, inexplicable love for, and extreme weariness with Christianity; my intense longing for the contemplative life and for a spiritual tradition; my obsession with books and learning; my inner conflict with discipline; and my vehement chaffing at rules and orders of any … [Read more...]

What little I know about reincarnation

Reincarnation is a standard concept in Hinduism and pretty common in the wider Pagan world, but I have long been agnostic about it. As a kid it didn't make much sense to me, but then, neither did the ideas of heaven and hell. The afterlife was a giant unknown - no one ever came back to tell us what really happens, so why let the hope or fear of an afterlife encourage us in the here-and-now? Any devotion to a god should be done for the virtue and blessings in this life. The concept of being a … [Read more...]

My thoughts and predictions on the state of the Papacy

I got online yesterday morning and couldn't figure out why so many people were talking about the Pope. I don't have too many Catholic friends on Facebook. Was he dead? Many of my friends pay attention to religion in some form. What I found was even more surprising. At this point, you may be aware that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning. From what I understand it's the first time in around 600 years that's happened. The last time was during the Schism - a period of time when the Papacy was … [Read more...]

Reviewing Project Conversion

Andrew Bowen is an angry, self-righteous asshole. That's probably why we get along so well, and why his book,¬†Project Conversion:¬†One Man, 12 Faiths, One Year, is so powerful. Full disclosure: Andrew's blog, Project Conversion, began in 2011 and was one of the inspirations for me starting My Own Ashram. Through mutual blog reading and various discussions via Facebook he and I have become friends and allies in our spiritual journeys, though we've never met in person. When he asked me to … [Read more...]

Dedication

Tomorrow I am driving north to Seattle for a dedication. My dedication. For the last year I've been driving 70 miles every third Saturday of the month to study with two amazing Feri/Faery initiates, NG and W. I haven't written about it; it's been something close to my heart and I wanted to keep it to myself. My teachers are private and don't have much of an online presence. I only learned about their location and openness to teaching through word of mouth: one initiate introduced to me … [Read more...]

Maxim Monday: Do not use an oath

A working knowledge of Greek would be helpful in this endeavour to explore the Maxims. I'm guessing an oath is making a promise, or swearing by something or some one, a deity perhaps. I would agree that is unwise. If an oath means a 'swear' word, well.... I fucking love swearing. I would like to get out of the habit of taking Christ's name 'in vain,' as I think it is disrespectful, even though I do not personally honor him; it's disrespectful to Jesus himself, but also to the many, many people … [Read more...]