The Cave of Forgotten Dreams

The Cave of Forgotten Dreams is legendary German director Werner Herzog’s documentary on the Paleolithic rock art of Chauvet Cave in France, which was discovered in 1994 and quickly sealed off to prevent damage and contamination. Few researchers and no tourists are allowed in the cave, and those who do get in have strict limits on what they can do and how long they can stay. None of us will ever see Chauvet Cave, and for that reason I wanted to see the film.According to the film, the paintings … [Read more...]

Letter to Myself at Age 12

I recently had occasion to speak with a young person who is trying to deal with a difficult family situation. Although in many ways this situation is different from the problems I faced at that age, I found myself remembering… remembering things I had gladly forgotten. As I was trying to find the right words to say, I thought about what would have been helpful for me to hear all those years ago. If I could send a letter back in time, what would I say to myself?I’ll skip the clichés, like “buy … [Read more...]

Pagan Prayer Beads

I’ve always been fascinated by prayer beads. I suppose that’s because I grew up Baptist, and Baptists wanted nothing to do with religious objects, much less anything so “Catholic” as prayer beads. The grass is always greener and all that. I’ve thought about making my own prayer beads for a long time, but the idea never went anywhere. But here recently, two things happened. First, I decided that when it comes to spiritual practice, I need to build on my strengths – and one of my strongest pra … [Read more...]

Defining the Undefinable

While I did a lot of book reading on vacation (and I have one more book review yet to come), I’m just now getting caught up on on-line reading. I missed the explosion of yet another wave of “who’s a Pagan and who’s not.” Jason at The Wild Hunt has four good excerpts here along with links to more posts, and the comment count is up to 291 as I write this. It seems that nothing motivates Pagans and Not-Pagans to speak up like the question of identity.I see it the argument like this:On one side we … [Read more...]

To Fly By Night

Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame!William Butler Yeats, quoted by Beth Hansen-ButhI don’t read many “how-to” books anymore. I have maybe a dozen on my shelf – most of them were bought long ago. They were helpful when I first read them and I still refer to them occasionally. But it’s rare when one of the many new how-to books covers material that wasn’t covered quite well by one of those dozen I’ve alr … [Read more...]