A Rite of Herakles

Herakleia 25

Life in a CUUPS group is never boring. Or at least, it’s never boring when you have a collection of members from a variety of religious backgrounds and callings, representing all four Centers of Paganism, and with a desire to honor and express their traditions within the framework of UU Paganism.The Denton CUUPS Spring Equinox circle was led by our matriarch who trained in New Thought. I led Beltane – it should surprise no one that the Druid led a circle on the Four Hallows of the Tuatha De D … [Read more...]

Lessons From a First Ritual

hand bell

Every so often I get an e-mail that says “I’ve been asked to lead the next ritual for my CUUPS group (or coven or grove or other group).  Where do I start???”I usually refer people to this post on A Pagan Ritual Outline and this post on Common Ritual Errors and How to Avoid Them.  But as I mentioned last week, I think it may be helpful to talk about what happened the first time I led a public ritual.After almost ten years of solitary practice, I went to my first Pagan circle at Denton CUU … [Read more...]

Egyptian Summer Solstice

ESS 2014 03a altar

Over the years I’ve been blogging I’ve written about Denton CUUPS’ Egyptian Summer Solstice on numerous occasions:  our public presentation at White Rock Lake in Dallas in 2009, our prayer for Egypt after the overthrow of Mubarak in 2011, our presentation of the Prophecy of Hermes Trismegistus last year, and last week’s post on how this became our Summer Solstice tradition.While it’s probably clear – from the pictures if not from the descriptions – that this isn’t a generic Pagan liturgy, I’v … [Read more...]

Building a Summer Solstice Tradition

Isis 06.18.14

There are quite a few Summer Solstice articles on the Patheos Pagan Channel and all the ones I’ve read have been good.  I encourage you to read two or three or all of them and then ask yourself what they have in common, other than the date and perhaps a mention of the sun.  The answer is “not much.”Summer Solstice is perhaps the least well-defined of all the eight celebrations of the Wheel of the Year.  That’s partially because it has no presence in the mainstream culture.  Imbolc has Groundh … [Read more...]

Planning Special Rituals

02 20 Roman Forum

I’ve always loved ritual.  The opportunity to compose, lead, and participate in ritual is one of my favorite things about being Pagan.  So it’s no surprise I write about ritual a lot – here are some of my favorite pieces:A Pagan Ritual OutlineCommon Ritual Errors and How to Avoid ThemThe Challenges of Large Public RitualsLast week I saw a request for help on a child naming ceremony.  Then earlier this week I responded to a Facebook request for suggestions on composing a ritual for … [Read more...]

The Four Hallows of the Tuatha De Danann

Beltane 2014 05b

When I first started leading public rituals, I grabbed every circle I could get my hands on.  I enjoyed composing and presenting ritual, I learned a lot preparing for them, and I got good feedback on them.  After a while, though, I realized there were other people who wanted – and in some cases, needed – to lead circles.  And my plate got so full with life I welcomed large stretches of following someone else’s scripts, or in some cases, simply showing up and participating.  These days, it’s rare … [Read more...]

Dreams of Beltane

Beltane 2013 10

Spring was never my favorite season, not while I was growing up, anyway. Yes, Spring meant the end of coats and the beginning of baseball, but it also meant the return of grass cutting and farm work.  And it meant the return of allergy season.Three Winters living in northern Indiana (the last one had 78 inches of snow) gave me an appreciation of Spring, but my love of Spring began when I became a Pagan.I knew about May Day, and I seem to recall a Maypole dance in first or second grade, … [Read more...]

A Libation Without a Prayer is Just a Spilled Drink

sacrifice 02.22.14 01

I love panel discussions.  They’re filled with knowledgeable people who bring wisdom and insight to a subject, and they’re usually moderated by someone who knows when to let the panelists run and when to bring them back on topic.  Panel discussions inform me, challenge me, give me food for thought – and they inspire blog posts.Somehow I only managed to attend one panel discussion at Pantheacon, but it was a good one.  “Sacrifice and Modern Paganism” was organized by the Coru Cathubodua and it … [Read more...]