Dangerous Religion

Last week a group of Catholic priests and bishops met in Baltimore to discuss how to deal with the growing demand for exorcisms. It got coverage and comments from everyone from CNN to Al Mohler. I wrote about it on my blog – one person left a lengthy comment that basically said “exorcisms are dangerous.” To which I replied “yes, but sometimes they’re helpful.”Also last week, the UK newspaper the Daily Mail ran a piece on modern Pagans titled: “Pagans are on the march - but are … [Read more...]

A Pagan View on Possession

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Pagan of any description speak of being “possessed” – at least not in a negative sense. The only “possession” Pagans usually experience is ritual possession, as in Drawing Down the Moon – and that’s generally a very positive experience. It’s also a temporary experience, presumably because our deities are busy and have better things to do than hang out inside us once they’ve delivered whatever message they wanted to deliver.I have … [Read more...]

A Pagan View on Exorcism

This weekend, a group of American Catholic leaders are meeting in Baltimore to discuss how “to prepare more priests and bishops to respond to the demand” for more exorcisms. The article in the New York Times makes it clear that the Catholic church is responding to a demand from the laity, and that they carefully screen people to separate those needing psychological care from those who are truly possessed. I have many issues with the theology and practices of the Roman Catholic Church, but … [Read more...]

Insight and Sudden Change

Ah, insight. Sometimes you have to labor for it, through study and prayer. Sometimes you have to pursue it, through meditation and divination.And sometimes out of nowhere it pours over you like a waterfall, washing away your fears and overflowing your soul with more wisdom than you can contain. That’s what happened to me yesterday. I was stretching before going walking, mentally sketching out a blog post on walking as a spiritual discipline (which I will write before too long), when … [Read more...]

Good Enough?

Religious leaders of almost all flavors like to rant against our evolutionary desire for more more more. Unless you’ve been immersed in a “prosperity gospel” church for the past twenty years you know what I’m talking about. Once our basic needs are covered, “more” material stuff doesn’t make us happier, so our religions teach us to focus our time and energy on things like family, spiritual work, and work to help those whose basic needs aren’t covered. This makes sense, which … [Read more...]

Digging For Egypt

Not exactly a spiritual event, but well worth attending if you're in the DFW area.  Click on the image to see a larger version of the flyer. … [Read more...]

On The Election

I’m not mad, I’m disappointed.I hear parents say that to their kids when what they really mean is “I’m mad as hell but I’m trying to set a good example.” I hear supervisors say that when what they really mean is “I’d like to fire your worthless ass but I don’t have time for all the paperwork HR will make me do.”When it comes to Tuesday’s election, I’m not mad, and I’m certainly not surprised. I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed that in two years, a Democratic … [Read more...]

Samhain Listening

Summerland photo by Erica SvensonThe Samhain weekend was very busy, with the CUUPS Circle on Friday night and the DUUF Sunday service on Sunday morning. And then last night, seven of us gathered at the Summerland stone circle near Decatur – I hadn’t been there since the funeral for James Stevens, who built the circle. His wife Carolyn has made some improvements – she’s doing her best to continue his vision.I love liturgy and ritual. Whether I’m leading a Pagan circle or a UU Sunday … [Read more...]