Neither Within Nor Without

neither day nor night, neither land nor sea

When we talk about limits and boundaries we tend to think in terms of clear, bright lines. This is acceptable and that is not. This is right and that is wrong. This is sustainable and that is not. This dualistic thinking is a product of evolution, where our distant ancestors had to quickly figure out which animals they could eat and which animals would eat them. It continues in our modern culture: “if you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem” “if you’re not with us … [Read more...]

Know Your Theological Boundaries

geese flying north 02.23.13

Theology is a speculative process. Pagan, Christian, Buddhist, or any other flavor – the study of God or Goddess or gods and goddesses is inherently subjective. Though we can and should approach this topic with all the reason and logic at our command, the kind of experimentation we find in other fields of study is rarely possible. Still, theology and similar practitioner-focused religious studies are helpful. They help us form a framework for our beliefs and practices. That framework in … [Read more...]

Boundaries

a rather controversial boundary

Boundaries are a type of limit, but as I discussed in the last post, in practice they function very differently from other limits. While hard and soft limits are part of Natural reality and self-imposed limits appear to be so until we examine them, boundaries are entirely arbitrary human constructions. They draw lines between what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. Boundaries can be constructed by governments: national borders, speed limits, prohibitions against murder and rape, and … [Read more...]

The Reality of Limits

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On Saturday I wrote about how my decision not to attend Pantheacon was a question of limits. Today I’d like to explore the nature of limits in more detail, with particular attention to the relationship between limits and magic. In his book Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth, John Michael Greer devotes a whole chapter to The Law of Limits, which he describes as follows: The Law of Limits: Everything that exists is subject to limits arising from its own nature, the nature of the whole … [Read more...]

Pantheacon Envy

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This weekend is the 2013 edition of Pantheacon in San Jose, California. It’s the largest Pagan convention in the world, with attendance expected to be in the 2000–2500 range. I’d like to be there. I’d like to hear some of the presentations and participate in some of the rituals. I’d like to see some of the entertainment. I’d like to meet some of the authors and teachers whose work has been influential in my own spiritual growth. Mainly I’d like to meet a lot of people I know … [Read more...]

Beyond Beginnings

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“What now?” I see this question asked with some regularity. What can I read beyond Wicca 101? Celebrating the Wheel of the Year is nice, but isn’t there more? How do I go deeper? The specific questions vary but the theme doesn’t: a seeker has found a Pagan or magical tradition, likes what he’s done so far, but doesn’t know quite where to go from here. There are many different approaches toward what I call Intermediate Pagan Practice. This is what worked for me and for others … [Read more...]

Morrigan Devotional Ritual

Spear made by Ted Davidson.  Photo by Erin Kane.

On Friday night, seven people gathered in a back yard in Denton for a devotional ritual to the Goddess Morrigan. It was an intensely powerful experience. Though we took no oaths of secrecy (none were asked and none were made) the experience feels too intimate to share in great detail. But I think there is value in telling at least part of this story, in showing what can be done and what Pagan ritual can be and do when we are in alignment with each other and with our gods and … [Read more...]

Worship the Gods

Sophia from Celsus Library in Ephesus

Author and philosopher Brendan Myers has a new blog post with the rather provocative title of “The worship of the gods is not what matters.”  And provoke me it did – my gut level response was “of course worship matters!” But I found Myers’ essay to be quite reasonable.  Go read it and then come back – it’s not long.  If you’re inclined to disagree don’t form a rebuttal as you read – read it in as neutral a frame of mind as you can.  If you feel the need to rebut, you … [Read more...]


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