Looking Back on a Year

Tomorrow is the first day of the secular New Year and with it comes the inevitable New Year’s Resolutions. While new resolutions have value despite their clichéd weakness, before you make any new resolutions, set any goals or make any plans, let me encourage you to take an in-depth look at the year that is passing.Since my first year out of college, I have taken a few hours around every new year to sit down and review the previous year. It started because I missed the feedback from school: fr … [Read more...]

The End Is Nigh

The Pyramid of the Magician - Uxmal, Yucatan, MexicoA lot of people used December 21, 2011 to look forward 366 days (leap year next year) to the Winter Solstice of 2012, which some believe the Mayans predicted would be the end of the world. Or the end of an era. Or the beginning of a new cycle. Or something else big and important.Almost all the articles I came across were debunking the prophecy in one fashion or another. Jason Boyett of the Washington Post’s On Faith blog says:Maybe you’ve he … [Read more...]

Solstice Meditation

Tonight is the longest night. As we wait in anticipation for the rebirth of the Sun at dawn, it’s helpful to contemplate where we have been and where we are going in the coming year. It’s important to recognize and celebrate your successes. You have accomplished much, perhaps more than you realize. Name your triumphs and mark your progress. They aren’t isolated to this year – they’re an investment in your future. Build on them as you continue on your chosen path.But make sure you haven’t fo … [Read more...]

With You Always?

Those of us who grew up in Christianity were taught that God is always watching you. Part of that was to deter you from doing what you weren’t supposed to do, but part was the comfort of knowing you’re never completely alone: “God is with you always.” Of course that only applied to Christians: Southern Baptist Convention President Bailey Smith caused a commotion in 1980 when he dogmatically proclaimed “God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew.”The thought that “God is only a prayer away … [Read more...]

A Foot in Both Worlds

I live with one foot in the world of science and the other in the world of magic. I am an engineer and a Druid, a corporate manager and a priest. It is not the easiest path to walk... though I think most of us who are Pagans in the 21st century West walk this path to one degree or another. Sometimes the tension between these two worlds produces conflicts that are difficult to resolve. If we are to live both fully and with integrity we must learn to deal with this tension. I’ve been in one o … [Read more...]


I’m working on something fairly deep and it’s not going to get finished tonight. Until then, let me point you toward author and teacher Thorn Coyle’s new blog post on altars. It’s quite good – go read it for yourself. The important point is that altars aren’t decorations. They’re representations of what you hold sacred, and as such they should be tended. This is my home altar. A framed copy of the picture below hangs on my office wall. It is invaluable for keeping me connected to my core v … [Read more...]

A Religious Community in Motion

Though I frequently write about “community” and its importance in our spiritual lives I don’t write much about my religious communities. But today I want to write about a huge milestone for my spiritual home, the Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.In our Winter Congregational Meeting today we approved the largest budget in the 62 year history of the Fellowship, which for the first time will include a full time minister. This budget is 86% larger than last year’s budget and it is balance … [Read more...]

How Doctors Die

Nothing I have written in the 3½ years I’ve been keeping this blog is as important to you personally as this article by Ken Murray, a medical doctor and an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at USC. It’s titled “How Doctors Die.” Here’s one paragraph, then go read the whole thing.It’s not a frequent topic of discussion, but doctors die, too. And they don’t die like the rest of us. What’s unusual about them is not how much treatment they get compared to most Americans, but how little. For al … [Read more...]