Newcomers to Paganism

Stephanie on the Ethical Witches group posted this question today:How do we support newcomers to Paganism? Or should we?I've heard some say there is no need to bother; that if it's the will of the Gods for them to be here, a teacher will find them. Others say there is a desperate need for more teachers to become active.Some say it's a natural part of the "winnowing" process that some seekers will give up and choose another path. These folks say that Paganism was always meant to be small and … [Read more...]


Success is having enough and having the wisdom to recognize it; success is doing what you’re called to do while you do what you have to do.Last Friday author and teacher Thorn Coyle had a blog post on redefining success. She led with a quote from poet Maya Angelou, who said “success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” Thorn’s post was an attempt to draw people away from the mainstream view of success as more more more and the attitude that you can – and should – d … [Read more...]

The Faith Instinct

Many Pagans like to call our religion “the Old Ways.” Even though we understand modern Paganism is a product of the modern world, it clearly has roots in the pre-Christian religions of Europe and other lands. People worshipped Zeus, Cernunnos, and Shiva long before the appearance of Moses, Jesus or Buddha. But the worship of Zeus, Cernunnos, and Shiva were not the first religions. What was religion like before it was organized into temples and groves? We don’t know. Clearly religion exist … [Read more...]

James Arthur Ray Convicted in Sweat Lodge Deaths

New Age guru and The Secret celebrity James Arthur Ray has been convicted of negligent homicide for the deaths of Kirby Brown, Liz Neuman and James Shore in a sweat lodge ceremony he ran in 2009. Here’s a link to a story in the Los Angeles Times, commentary collected by Jason of The Wild Hunt, and some good thoughts on free will and manipulation by Brendan Myers. I did not follow the trial closely, but based on what I’ve read this verdict seems right. Ray didn’t intend to kill anyone, but he w … [Read more...]

Happy Solstice!

We work to live in harmony with the Earth every day, but some days our connections seem stronger. Today is one of those days. Today is the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. Pay attention to the point on the horizon where the Sun rises and sets – this is as far North as you’ll see it. The Sun will appear to stand still for a few days, then will start rising and setting a little farther toward the South each day. Here’s a link to a brief article on the science of the Solstice.The Sol … [Read more...]

Egyptian Summer Solstice 2011

Last night was Denton CUUPS’ 8th annual Egyptian Summer Solstice circle. None of us are Kemetics, but as long as there has been a Denton CUUPS, we’ve had at least one member who is strongly drawn to Egypt and the gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt. Some years our ritual has been very elaborate, other years (like this year) it’s been simpler. Still, it was a reverent attempt to reimagine Egyptian temple worship for 21st century America, with invocations and offerings honoring Amun Ra, Thoth, a … [Read more...]

A Contrast in Values

I could not ask for a better contrast to yesterday’s post on Pagan values than this tweet from Southern Baptist leader Rev. Al Mohler:“Dear Congressman Weiner: There is no effective ‘treatment’ for sin. Only atonement, found only in Jesus Christ.”Pagan values flow from our experiences of Nature, of the gods and goddesses, and of life itself. Mohler’s values flow from a literal interpretation of the Bible. That interpretation might have been understandable even a few hundred years ago, but in th … [Read more...]

Pagan Values

For the third consecutive year, June has been declared “Pagan Values Month.” Pagan bloggers and podcasters have been asked write and talk about Pagan values – what they are and why they’re important. I think any question of values has to start with origins – where do our values come from? Some conservative monotheists claim that any true values must come from God, as anything else would simply be a matter of personal opinion and prejudices. These folks desperately want values to be handed dow … [Read more...]