Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones

When I was studying the cosmology of Wicca, one of the most fascinating concepts to me was that of the egregore, or "group mind." When a group of people gathered for a common purpose, particularly if it were spiritual in nature, their collective psychic energy would begin to coalesce into an organic form of transpersonal consciousness that would remain silently present in the midst of the group's activity. The egregore would be located in a particular place, typically where the group gathered … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

Do not aspire to be called holy before you really are, but first be holy that you may more truly be called so. — The Rule of St Benedict, ed. Timothy Fry, O.S.B. … [Read more...]

Alexandra Elene Maclean Denny

Today is Sandy Denny's 61st birthday. Well, she would have been 61 today. But this coming April will mark the thirtieth anniversary of her untimely death at age 31, from injuries sustained when she fell down a flight of stairs.A British vocalist of singular elegance and beauty, Sandy sang with the Strawbs and, more famously, with Fairport Convention. But for those who are not familiar with British folk and progressive rock of the late 1960s and early 1970s, she is probably best known as the … [Read more...]


One of my favorite coyotes, Phil Foster, has challenged me thusly: Quick, Carl - a blog entry on the relationship of Christianity, agnosis and sexuality. Begin with Song of Songs. Or, to paraphrase Genesis, male and female - and God saw that it was good. My first thought is that this big topic could go in all sorts of directions. … [Read more...]

Magic and Miracles

Recently I was bemused by a review of one of my Neopagan books in which the critic, in panning the book, accused me of "not believing in magic." I thought, "Well, if she means I don't believe in magic the way a 6-year-old believes in Santa Claus, I guess she's right." Still, it was interesting for me to ponder about how I think about magic, both now (almost three years after entering the Catholic faith) and then (the book in question, Before You Cast a Spell, was written in 2003).I first was … [Read more...]

The Eve of Yule

Tonight will be longest night of the year. The exact solstice moment occurs at 1:08 AM Saturday morning, Atlanta time. So happy winter solstice, everyone!This means that at Newgrange in Ireland, probably starting yesterday and running through Monday, the annual solstice event is occurring, meaning that for just a few minutes each morning — weather permitting — the sun will shine directly into the heart of this megalithic tomb. Even though it is about 5,000 years old, this ancient structure is p … [Read more...]

New Testament Mysticism

Here's a website that looks tasty:The Society of Biblical Literature's New Testament Mysticism Project Seminar.As the website puts it, The New Testament Mysticism Project Seminar (NTMPS) was organized under the auspices of the Society of Biblical Literature to facilitate the study of early Jewish and Christian mystical traditions in the New Testament writings. The NTMPS understands early Jewish and Christian mysticism as a tradition located within formative Judaism and Christianity, a … [Read more...]