The Wicker Tree

I remember seeing The Wicker Man as a teenager. It was an edited-for-television version, but it still grabbed me – I can clearly remember thinking “that is so cool” as the Wicker Man burned. On his live album As Nature Intended Damh the Bard introduces a song from The Wicker Man by humorously asking “Why do we like that film? It’s not really the best publicity for the Pagan community!” I think part of us is in love with the idea of a modern village where everyone is Pagan, where our rituals an … [Read more...]

Practice and Belief

I’ve seen quite a bit in the Pagan blogosphere the past few days on the connection between practice and belief. That relationship is most clearly expressed in B.T. Newberg’s interview with Rev. Michael J Dangler of ADF at his Humanistic Paganism blog. Dangler says simply “practice begets belief.” He’s right, but I want to dig a little deeper into how and why he’s right.Practice can beget belief, but more frequently practice begets experience and experience begets belief. We engage in spiritua … [Read more...]

Joe Paterno 1926 – 2011

With apologies to Shakespeare, I come to bury Joe Paterno, not to praise him. For the benefit of readers who actively ignore sports in general and college football in particular I’ll offer this summary. For over 40 years Joe Paterno was head football coach at Penn State University. In a sport with tremendous pressure to win at any cost and countless examples of high-level cheating, he was known for running a clean program. He contributed millions to charity and by all accounts was a good g … [Read more...]

Sacred Space: Architecture and Worship

crossposted with Denton Unitarian Universalist FellowshipTom StovallThis morning’s service at Denton UU was titled “Sacred Space: How Architecture Affects Our Worship Experience.” The guest speaker was Tom Stovall, a retired architect who specialized in church design during his career, and a member of the UU Fellowship of Tyler. I don’t normally review Sunday services, but Tom had some things to say I think are relevant to UUs (who usually have buildings) and to Pagans (who usually don’t).Tom … [Read more...]

Common Ritual Errors and How to Avoid Them

There are rituals that leave you feeling like you’ve touched the gods and walked between the worlds. And then there are rituals where you walk away shaking your head. If you’re new to leading group rituals, how do you make sure yours fall into the first category and not the second? Knowing what you’re doing and why you’re doing it is a good start, but even if you follow your tradition’s liturgy or an outline like the one I presented in the last post there are still things that can go badly wro … [Read more...]

A Pagan Ritual Outline

This past weekend I made a trip to Houston to visit with the Northwest Community UU Church. On Sunday I helped Cynthia present her service on UU and Islam and on Saturday we had a dinner meeting with some folks who are interested in starting a CUUPS chapter. During our conversation someone said “we don’t know much about doing rituals, we just find stuff we like that seems to work.” Unless you join a teaching coven or other highly structured group, I think that’s how about 95% of Pagans get sta … [Read more...]

CUUPS Imbolc Circle

If you're going to be in the North Texas area, please join Denton CUUPS for our Imbolc Circle two weeks from tonight, on January 28.Click on the image for a larger version of the flyer. … [Read more...]

The Death of Trees

crossposted with No Unsacred PlaceIt is no exaggeration to say that Pagans love trees. Our ancestors had tree alphabets and World Trees. We admire trees, photograph them and hug them. We hold sacred gatherings under them and among them. At times we commune with them. They are beautiful, strong, resilient and supportive of other life.some trees live, some diedSo it was saddening to hear news reports that last year’s drought killed as many as 500 million trees, up to 10% of all the trees in T … [Read more...]


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