The Lore vs. UPG – A False Dichotomy

tree and ruins - Ephesus 2012

Privileging lore and dismissing experience is the direct result of living in a Protestant-dominated culture. A religion with real Gods is messy, unpredictable, and scary. Even though I’m fond of order, I wouldn’t have it any other way. [Read more...]

The Limits of Personal Power and The Dangers of Ignoring Them


If we are truly beings of unlimited power, then people are only sick or poor or oppressed because they choose to be so. And if they choose to be sick or poor or oppressed then we have no moral obligation to help them. How convenient. [Read more...]

Religion and Smart People – A Reasonable Response to Unreasonable Smugness

3 candles

Don’t try to tell me I need to abandon a path that’s proved meaningful and helpful just because some people believe some dumb things and some smart people don’t believe anything at all. Religion is much more than belief. [Read more...]

Atheists’ Ten Commandments

Mt. Stromboli and the Tyrrhenian Sea, 2012

A group of atheists did a nice job of developing their own Ten Commandments, but sometimes what we need isn’t new rules, or fewer Gods, or more Gods. Sometimes what we need is a completely different approach to how we think and how we live. [Read more...]

Hold Loosely But Practice Deeply

birds in tree 03.24.12

Religious certainty is for fundamentalists and fools. Hold your beliefs lightly, but while you hold them, treat them as though they were true and explore them as deeply as you can. [Read more...]

Organic Religion

SPI 2011 26

Even if religion completely disappeared, it would quickly return because people have religious experiences all the time. This is organic religion, a religion not of doctrine but of experience, not of rules but of relationships, not of the intellect but of the soul. [Read more...]

A Pagan View of Suffering

Poulanbrone, Ireland

Insisting there must be some grand cosmic purpose for suffering is not compatible with polytheist theology. The question of suffering is one modern Pagans need to contemplate as our religions grow and mature. [Read more...]

How Do We Know What the Gods Want?

Ballyalban Fairy Fort

Unquestioning belief is not a Pagan virtue. How do we know what we know about the Gods? It requires using all our ways of knowing. [Read more...]