Tending the Altar

altar 06.07.14 after

To call yesterday “unproductive” would be an understatement.  I know, it was Saturday, and being productive isn’t a valid goal in and of itself, but there are degrees of unproductivity.  There’s “I was playing and enjoying myself” and there’s “I so needed to rest and do nothing today” and there’s “I didn’t accomplish anything but something about it felt right.”And then there’s sitting at the computer all afternoon, looking at a blank Word document, bouncing back and forth between e-mail and F … [Read more...]

Cernunnos

Cernunnos square

I was a devotee and a priest of Cernunnos long before I started this blog.  Over the years I’ve told parts of my story with Him (here, here, and here, for a good start), probably enough for a diligent reader to piece the whole thing together, if one was so inclined.  I’ve reviewed a very good book of devotions to Him written by others.  What I haven’t done is talk about who and what He is, as He’s presented himself to me.Let’s start with what we know about the history of Cernunnos, which can … [Read more...]

Not Her Priest

Priestess of Delphi by John Collier (1891)

I wear many religious hats and fill many religious roles.  One of them is priest.  I occasionally talk about being a priest of Cernunnos and a priest of Danu, and I’m ordained as a priest in the Universal Gnostic Fellowship.If you’ve read Under the Ancient Oaks for a while, you might get the idea I’m also a priest of Morrigan.  I’ve probably written more about Morrigan than any other deity.  I’ve made offerings to Her, made requests of Her and received Her blessings.  I’ve delivered messages … [Read more...]

Why I Am a Devotional Polytheist

Cernunnos pendant 4

I have mixed feelings about the current arguments around the definition of “polytheist.”As a Big Tent Pagan – and as a Unitarian Universalist – I don’t much care what the person standing next to me in the circle believes about the Gods.  I care that they honor the Gods, but whether they honor  Them as distinct individual beings or as aspects of the Divine or as representations of natural forces or as metaphors and archetypes isn’t really my concern.  Make your offerings and embody Their virtu … [Read more...]

Interdependence and the Weakness of Evolution

spider monkeys in Honduras

The current debate on polytheistic theology includes a strong concern over anthropocentrism – the idea that it’s all about us.  Traci Laird articulated some of this in her own blog post and then clarified her thoughts in this comment to my last post.  Rhyd Wildermuth continued the conversation on his blog.  There have been others, some of which I’ve read and some of which I haven’t.  I’ve seen a lot of very thoughtful and thought-provoking commentary, but what I haven’t seen is a working hypothes … [Read more...]

Hearing the Call

Crow Flies

In a comment to the last post on my experience of the Goddess Danu, Lilia asked: how does one know when a God/dess is calling them? Certainly, I have a couple who interest me, but I don't really know what to listen for from them. My first thought was “if you have to ask, she probably isn’t.”  There is some truth to that – when deities call they tend to be blatant or persistent or both.  Still, that gut-level response isn’t entirely accurate, nor is it a helpful way to answer an honest question. … [Read more...]

The Search for Excellence in Ritual

PPD 2013 23

I love ritual – I always have.  I love its beauty and pageantry.  I love its power and inspiration.  I love the way it communicates on many levels using all the senses.  Good ritual is magic.When I started practicing with Denton CUUPS ten years ago, I tried to learn as much as I could about how to plan and present good rituals.  Over the years I’ve put a considerable amount of time into learning from the best (what to do), learning from the worst (what not to do) and learning from my own expe … [Read more...]

DFW Pagan Pride Day 2013

PPD 2013 14

Fall came suddenly to North Texas yesterday.  After a typical scorching Summer that ran atypically long, a cold front moved through on Saturday morning, dropping temperatures 30 degrees and bringing clouds and rain.  While I was thankful for the cooler weather, my first concern was for the turnout at the DFW Pagan Pride Day.I needn’t have worried.  Perhaps everyone was happy the heat is gone, perhaps the beautiful location pulled Nature-loving Pagans out despite the weather, or perhaps, afte … [Read more...]


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