Crossing the Veil

Yesterday was the memorial service for James Stevens. DUUF Minister Emeritus Rev. Don Fielding led the service, and we were fortunate to have him – try finding a UU minister on the weekend of General Assembly. Everyone who wasn’t going to GA was going on vacation or was otherwise unavailable. We were also fortunate to have him because he did a wonderful job paying tribute to a man he never met.Our newly-expanded sanctuary was overflowing with Pagans, bikers, black powder enthusiasts, and postal w … [Read more...]

Gods and Physics

Last weekend’s Intermediate Pagan Practice class covered deities: common concepts of God, Pagan views of God/Goddess and gods and goddesses, and how we can relate to and interact with them. We began by asking everyone “what do you think when I say ‘God’?” The responses ranged from traditional monotheism (we had one Christian in the group, albeit a very liberal, universalist Christian) to descriptions I would describe as “New Age” to hard polytheism to some concepts that wouldn’t be out of place i … [Read more...]

To The Sun

Hail, O Sun and God of the Sun. We welcome your presenceas we celebrate the Solstice,the longest day,the pinnacle of your power;when you stand still in the Northern skybefore you begin your journey Southwardand the days grow shorter.From the dawn of time,men and women of every landhave honored, reverenced, and worshipped you,knowing that without your light and warmth,there could be no life on the Earth. Today, we who call ourselves Paganscontinue this ancient and sacred tradition.In stone … [Read more...]

Egyptian Summer Solstice

We're only celebrating once this year - there's no Solstice event at White Rock Lake. But we're continuing the practice of starting at noon. If you're in the area, come out and experience it for yourself - I can promise you it's not like any other Pagan ritual you're going to see (unless you find yourself in a group of Kemetics... and maybe not even then).Click the image for a larger version of the flyer. … [Read more...]

James Stevens 1944 – 2010

James Stevens died earlier today after a long, painful battle with cancer. We who counted him as a friend are sad to lose him, but we’re thankful he’s no longer in pain.The thing I’ll remember most about James is his generosity. He opened his land to Pagans, motorcycle enthusiasts, historical re-enactors, and just about anyone who asked. He didn’t just let us use his land, he improved it for us, mowing it, building picnic tables, and of course, dragging up brush and dead trees for firewood. H … [Read more...]

An Evolutionary Dilemma

I try to stay out of politics – I find the process frustrating and the results mostly annoying. But unless you live in a monastery (and maybe not even then) it is impossible to completely separate religion, culture, and politics.And that brings me to this essay by Mark Morford, columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. Morford is the most entertaining columnist I’ve come across in recent years. He can match Ann Coulter bomb for bomb, but this piece is subtle, thoughtful, and troubling. It’s titl … [Read more...]

When Magic Fails

If you’ve spent any time in a Christian environment, you’ve heard someone say “God answers all our prayers, but sometimes the answer is ‘no’.” The implication is that what we asked for wasn’t in our best interests, so our Divine Parent wouldn’t let us ride our tricycle on the freeway. You see the same thing in magical environments. A spell or working fails and someone says “it wasn’t your karma to have that.” As Phil Hind pointed out in Condensed Chaos, that’s a weak answer. How about “you di … [Read more...]

A World Full of Gods

In preparing for our second Intermediate Pagan Practice class, I pulled John Michael Greer’s A World Full of Gods off the shelf. It was published in 2005 and I read it in 2006, both before I began this blog. I’ve mentioned it in the past, but I’ve never given it its own blog entry. Reading through it today, I see that was a mistake.Here’s the bottom line: this is far and away the best book on contemporary polytheistic Pagan theology available today. If you consider yourself a Wiccan, Druid, Heath … [Read more...]