Pagan, Druid and UU

I am an active part of three religious traditions: Pagan, Druid, and Unitarian Universalist. Practicing all three works for me, but there are times when I need to focus exclusively on the tools and models of one. Read more

Fear of the Gods

People who come to Paganism often have a fear of approaching our gods and goddesses. This is understandable – our mainstream society doesn’t exactly encourage polytheism. Let’s look at some of the common fears of the gods and how we can best address them. Read more

A New Home

Welcome to the new home of “Under the Ancient Oaks.” I’m John Beckett and I’m happy to be joining the Pagan Channel here at Patheos. It’s an exciting time to be a Pagan. There’s a historic conversation going on and I want to take part in it. Read more

The End of Growth

Here’s a link to an article from The Wall Street Journal titled “A California Drought: Not Enough Children.” It points out California’s declining birth rate and immigration patterns (including state to state immigration, not just people from other countries) as a predictor of future problems. And it quotes Stephen Levy of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy, who said “unless the birthrate picks up, we are going to need more immigrants. If neither happens, we are going… Read more

Tension and the Big Tent of Paganism

Yesterday I started a blog post on the most recent internet dustup over the label “Pagan.” I got a page into it before I decided I didn’t really want to stoke this particular fire again.Then today I came across this piece by P. Sufenas Virius Lupus titled “Bringing Back the Gods.” He referenced Sam Webster’s call to rebuild the cult of the gods, then asked “why are so many Pagans leaving them out of their theology?” As a hard polytheist… Read more

Creating and Re-creating

David Dashifen Kees had an excellent question in response to my last post on Sam Webster’s call to rebuild the cult of the gods:What about deities for whom we lack evidence of an ancient cult or for those which are not ancient in and of themselves? How would you recommend going about the recreation of a cult for these powers?This is an important question, particularly for those of us who follow a Celtic-oriented path. The original Druids kept an oral… Read more

Via Deorum

The wonderful folks of the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel now have the audio files from the two panel discussions at Between the Worlds available for download. They run about an hour and 40 minutes each: I put them on my phone and I’ve been listening to them while commuting. Get them and listen to them – they’re excellent. I want to call your attention to one segment in the Friday morning panel “The Turning Of The Ages: What To… Read more

The Care and Use of an Altar

Fellow OBOD Druid Dana Driscoll has a nice piece on her blog on the hows and whys of creating altars. It’s quite good and has some interesting pictures of her own altars. Go read Dana’s piece and then come back. I don’t want to duplicate what she’s already said – I want to continue the discussion and address the question of what we actually do with the altars we build.An altar is a mystical center: a Maen Log, an Omphalos,… Read more

Reflect Before You Resolve

There is something seductive about the beginning of a new Gregorian year. The New Year’s Eve countdown, the changing of the calendar, and the end of the Winter holidays all whisper that the old has gone and the new has arrived and with it a clean slate where anything is possible. We know that setting goals is a key step in creating the changes we want to bring about, and so many of us will engage in the tradition of… Read more

The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries

sheep grazing at AveburyThe Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries is a survey of encounters with faeries, banshees, corrigans and other varieties of fae in the Celtic lands of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Cornwall and Brittany. It was first published in 1911; most of the accounts it relates are from the 19th century. It is a book that likely could not be written today, in part because most of the believers in faeries have died off, and in part… Read more

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