Dude, It’s You


I don’t write much about gender relations.  Actually, I don’t write about them at all.  I have generally progressive views, but as a straight man who’s been in a monogamous relationship for 27 years, I figure that whatever I have to say, someone who’s closer to the situation can say it better and with more authority.But sometimes I just have to say something and this is one of those times.By now you’ve surely heard the story of Elliot Rodger, who murdered 6 people and injured 13 others.   … [Read more...]

Memorial Day Reflection

02 09 Boston Common

The beginning of Summer in the United States is neither Beltane nor Summer Solstice but today, the start of the Memorial Day weekend.  All across the country, swimming pools will open, there will be cookouts and parades, and Hollywood moves firmly into popcorn movie season.  The Indianapolis 500 is Sunday, as is NASCAR’s longest race.  If your school isn’t out already it will be shortly.  Summer is at hand. As much as the Nature-centered Pagan in me likes the idea of the whole country celebra … [Read more...]

Meaning and Proof

08 19 Newgrange 4x3

Thorn Coyle posted a quote on her Facebook page on Sunday and asked for responses: Truth to drum into the next generation:  trusting your religious experiences have meaning is stupid. You have to *prove* they have meaning. – Vinay Gupta My first response was to wonder about the context of the quote.  I did a bit of googling on Vinay Gupta and didn’t turn up anything specifically related to this quote.  He appears to be a futurist along the lines of John Michael Greer, only from a tech perspe … [Read more...]

Nine Things I Think

07 07 Faerie Fort

Nine Things I Think is an irregular feature whenever I have a list of things I want to talk about that aren’t long enough for their own individual posts.  There’s no theme, just nine things I want to bring to your attention.  Feel free to expand on any of these topics in the comments section.1) I’ve lived in Texas for twelve years and as I wrote last month, it’s time to stop thinking of Texas as “where I live” and start thinking of Texas as home.  So I borrowed one of Cathy’s history books:  … [Read more...]

Poor Magicians, Good Magicians

Butchart Gardens, Victoria BC

The recent post asking if a poor magician is a poor magician has generated what for Under the Ancient Oaks is a ton of comments.  Most make valid points, although some have wandered away from the gist of the initial essay.  That theme was succinctly summarized by Phaedra Bonewits when she said “he seems more to be talking about the difference between a life in perpetual chaos and one where the magician has his or her crap reasonably together.”For another perspective on this question, read thi … [Read more...]

Pan Druid Retreat

PDR 2014 02

As I went over my 2014 calendar back in December, I realized I would be traveling a lot in the first five months of this year.  I’ve been with my current employer for 17 years so I get more than the typical two weeks vacation, but I’ve already used up most of it, to say nothing of what I’ve done to my travel budget.  But when John and Elmdea Adams asked me to come to the Pan Druid Retreat and then asked me to be part of a panel discussion on ritual, I had to say yes.The theme was “Approa … [Read more...]

A Poor Magician Is A Poor Magician

The Magician

“A poor magician is a poor magician.”I hear this phrase from time to time.  Sometimes it’s proclaimed as a self-evident truth:  if your ordinary life is a mess, you obviously aren’t much of a magic worker or you’d do something to get it in order.  Other times I hear it slammed as victim-blaming of people who are dealing with economic or other problems not of their own making.Right or wrong, the phrase remains in use and it’s worth exploring in a little more depth.First of all, if the … [Read more...]

The Power of Prayer

04.19.14 03

When I wrote about my experience with the National Day of Prayer, I said “there is power in prayer.”  That phrase went directly to my fingers from my subconscious, a remnant from my Christian upbringing.  I recognized the source as soon as the words appeared on the screen and I considered changing them.  But I kept them, because “there is power in prayer” is as true for a polytheistic Pagan is it is for a monotheistic Christian.If we do not understand the power of prayer, it is likely because … [Read more...]