Individualism vs. Collectivism – A False Choice

We are born selfish. Among the first words a child learns are “no!” and “mine!” Our evolutionary instincts for self-preservation and self-advancement are very old and very strong. That’s not a bad thing. If we didn’t have those instincts (or more precisely, if our ancestors hadn’t had them) our species wouldn’t have survived and we [Read More...]

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Tired of Being Grateful for Leftovers

I haven’t said much about the Occupy Wall Street movement so far. I’m in general sympathy with them but I have doubts as to their ultimate effectiveness, so I’ve been reluctant say anything that would either 1) discourage people who are taking risks to confront real problems, or 2) create false hopes that change will [Read More...]

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Druid Reading Recommendations

I’m frequently asked for reading recommendations. Usually this comes from people who are new to Paganism, so I put together a Pagan Reading List to get people started. Recently I had a couple requests for recommended reading on the subject of Druidry. These people had read and practiced enough basic material to know – or [Read More...]

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The Purpose of Religion

What is the primary purpose of your religion? Religion in general has many purposes, most of them dealing with forming and maintaining relationships: with God or Goddess, with gods and goddesses, with our ancestors, with the spirits of Nature, with our families and communities. But right or wrong, religion in the contemporary Western world is [Read More...]

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Samhain Soundtrack

I had a couple questions about the music we played at last night’s Denton CUUPS Samhain Circle. Here’s what I could find on YouTube. Prelude: Dead Can Dance – The Host of Seraphim This was intended to be a focusing piece – music to get everyone to stop their conversations, forget about everything outside the [Read More...]

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What Dies and What Does Not

At Samhain we honor and commune with our ancestors who are not dead but who have moved on to another form of living. This isn’t only a Pagan concept – the Quaker William Penn spoke of this in Fruits of Solitude. You may recognize the second half – J.K. Rowling borrowed it for the introduction [Read More...]

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Giving From Weakness

Rev. Meg Barnhouse of First UU Austin has a piece up on UU World.org on the value of accepting help from others. She tells the story of being six cents short at the cash register and having it made up by a stranger who from appearances was much less well off than she. The (presumably) [Read More...]

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Onion Work

Ruby Sara has shut down Pagan Godspell and started a new blog she calls Onion Work, subtitled “layers and tears.” The first few entries on the new blog sound a lot like the old blog: deep, conversational, and mystical. But the emphasis in Ruby’s life has changed and she felt like making a clean start [Read More...]

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