The Storyteller as Magician

I came across this long essay a couple months ago and have been meaning to write about it ever since. John Michael Greer is the Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA). I’ve found some of his work to be helpful (especially A World Full of Gods, his excellent theological treatise on polytheism), but this piece and most of his politics are far too radical (not to mention bleak) for my tastes.What I find interesting in this… Read more

The Public Role of Churches

I came across this article from The Christian Century by Charles Mathewes. It’s a review of Public Pulpits: Methodists and Mainline Churches in the Moral Argument of Public Life by Steven M. Tipton. It’s more of an essay than a book review, but it makes for good reading.Tipton’s book is a sociological look at the efforts by mainstream Protestant denominations to influence politics and public policy, an effort that has achieved “spotty results” despite “persistent efforts.” You can read the… Read more

Thanksgiving Prayer

Mother Goddess and Father God, I thank you for Life and its abundance, for family and friends, for my church, fellow UUs and fellow Pagans, for a good job and the opportunities it provides. I thank you for the opportunity to be of service – may I always serve humbly and sincerely… and effectively.I thank you for this country and its freedoms – may we always live up to our highest ideals. I thank you for the new leadership –… Read more

Creating Meaningful Rituals

A question on the Ethical Witches list asked for opinions on the key to creating a memorable ritual. Here’s my response:I don’t know about “memorable”, but I think the primary key to rituals that are meaningful and successful is alignment: not so much the alignment of stars and planets (although that never hurts) but the alignment of intent and action among all the participants.Are you all working for the same outcome? Is your goal appropriate for the deities you’re invoking… Read more

The Morality of Oil Prices

As I write this, oil prices have dropped below $50 a barrel for the first time in almost two years, down from over $140 back in the summer. Last night I filled up for $1.73 a gallon, a level says Dallas hasn’t seen since early 2005, and down from as much as $4. Cathy and I have fuel-efficient cars (I have a Prius, she has a Honda Fit), but that still saves us around $120 a month. I can… Read more

Moonlady Winter SolstiCelebration

Amy Martin is now in her 16th year of leading one of the largest Winter Solstice celebrations in the country. It’s more alternative spirituality and less explicitly Pagan like the stuff CUUPS does, but it’s still well worth your time to drive to Dallas to be a part of it, particularly if you haven’t been before.One word of caution – get there early. Last year the seats were pretty much gone by 6:45.16th annual2008 Winter SolstiCelebration theme: WorthyFriday December 19,… Read more

New CUUPS Officers

At the CUUPS Fall Business Meeting this Saturday, I was re-elected as Coordinating Officer. This will be my fourth term in this role (Denton CUUPS has no term limits) – I’m ready to stand down as soon as anyone else wants to step up, but until then, I’m happy to continue trying to keep things coordinated.After two years of service as Education Officer, Dolores has decided to step aside (she’s got her plate full as DUUF President) and Michi was… Read more


Lately I’ve come across several Christian fundamentalist preachers and blog commenters emphasizing “the sovereignty of God.” Their argument is basically that since God is all powerful, and since God created everything, it all belongs to him, and he can do whatever he pleases with it – including casting some of his creations into eternal torment. “Good” is defined as whatever God wishes; our only proper response is to praise him for his power and majesty. This is what happens when… Read more

Hanging Out With the Wrong Crowd

When I was a kid, my mother used to warn me about “hanging out with the wrong crowd” (isn’t that a universal mother-ism?). She needn’t have worried – the “wrong crowd” wouldn’t have anything to do with a geek like me. But her point – that we are influenced for good or for ill by those around us – was still valid.When he first ran for President in 2000, I thought George W. Bush was a good man with good… Read more


This is truly an historic occasion – the election of our first African-American President (our first non-white President) and the rejection of the policies and politics of the past eight years. It is a time to celebrate – but only for a while.I first heard Barack Obama speak at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Afterwards, I told a friend “remember this guy – he’s going to be President in 2012.” OK, so I was off by four years. But I… Read more

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