Peter Dybing Resigns

Peter Dybing, from Pagan in ParadisePeter Dybing, former First Officer of the Covenant of the Goddess and one of the most prominent and public Pagans over the past few years, posted an entry on his blog yesterday saying: As of today April 28, 2012, I am resigning from all organizations, positions, posts and responsibilities in the Pagan community. This decision, as hard as it is, IS FINAL. Or, as he says in the title of the blog post, “I Quit.”I encourage you to read Peter’s statement for yours … [Read more...]

Welcome New Readers!

I’d like to take a moment to say “hail and welcome!” to all the new readers of Under the Ancient Oaks. Daily page views had been growing steadily but slowly over the first three years of this blog – so far this year they’ve more than tripled. Getting a link on the front page of The Wild Hunt has helped (thanks, Jason!), as have some shares by influential readers on Facebook and Google+. So has the strange alchemy that moved a few of my posts pretty high in Google search results. Regardless of … [Read more...]

Earth Day and the Limitations of History

I know, I’m a day late with an Earth Day post. I spent yesterday attending an Earth Day service and tree planting ceremony at Denton UU, followed by a meeting with Denton CUUPS. Among other business, we got volunteers to lead all the circles for the rest of this year – I’m leading Winter Solstice, with help from Erin. Instead of holding it on the closest Saturday as we usually do, we’re going to hold it on Friday, December 21, which is the actual date of the Solstice. We don’t think the world … [Read more...]

Pagan Evangelism

Far from being an oxymoron, Pagan evangelism is a helpful and necessary step in our growth and maturity as a religion.I know, some of you are picking yourself up off the floor – or off the ceiling – after reading that.  Hear me out and see if you don’t agree in part if not in whole... and if you don’t, the comments are open.Let’s start by making one thing very clear:  evangelism is NOT proselytization.  Proselytization is the aggressive attempt to convert people to a new religion, … [Read more...]

Defense Against the Proselytizing Arts

all the Truth and Authority you need is hereAs I mentioned in the previous post, on Saturday I attended a workshop led by Bryan Lankford titled “Counter Evangelism – Defending Yourself from the Army of God.” This was originally a six-hour workshop and Bryan had to cut it down to one hour for this event. I’d like to hear the rest of his presentation, but that hasn’t stopped me from thinking about my own approach to this topic. In general I prefer to focus on what we do believe and not on what w … [Read more...]

Things I Wish I’d Said to a Young Evangelical

It’s happened to all of us. Someone offends you and you walk away in anger – after you get home you think of the perfect witty comeback. A friend is hurting and you feel useless – a week later you think of what you could have done to help. Sometimes we can’t think of what to do or say, while other times we don’t feel like we should do or say anything. I found myself in that situation yesterday at the CMA Beltane festival. I attended a workshop led by Bryan Lankford titled “Counter Evangelism … [Read more...]


When I was asked for something for the Denton UU Silent Auction it didn’t take long to figure out what it would be. I don’t have many crafty skills, but I do make wands. So at the Silent Auction during the Murder Mystery Dinner Event on April 21, you’ll have the opportunity to bid on two wands made in two very different styles.Fancy yourself a wizard? Disappointed your letter from Hogwarts never arrived? Or maybe you just like a simple, clean design. Then you may be interested in first wand (a … [Read more...]

Fighting Fires and Building Systems

In the past week or so I’ve seen several Pagan bloggers and other writers saying our first religious priority should be personal growth and empowerment. Other say our first priority should be honoring and serving our gods and goddesses, while still others say it should be creating ecstatic religious experiences, caring for the Earth, caring for our fellow humans, or building lasting religious institutions.All these writers were passionately advocating for their views, some calmly and some with a … [Read more...]