Rewilding: Privilege and Reality

SPI 2011 60

As a polytheist I acknowledge all Goddesses and Gods, I honor and work with several, and I am formally dedicated to two. Of all those deities, Cernunnos is first. He has been with me since before I knew who – and what – He is, and I pray to Him every night. His is the first in my evening cycle of prayers.Like most of the Old Gods, He is not a jealous deity. I’ve spent much of the last three months in service to the Gods of Egypt and the Gods of Greece and I have neither heard nor felt the fir … [Read more...]

Ancestor Communion Ritual

Ancestors service 06.15.14 1

I rarely post ritual scripts, but this is a short ritual we did as part of this morning’s Sunday service at Denton UU.  It’s suitable for Pagan groups, UU services, religiously mixed groups, or individuals.  We split it up into five parts, but it could have been done by one person.Feel free to use it – just credit the source.strike gong one time loud“Let us now invite our ancestors to join our service.”light first candle“Fathers, Mothers, Grandfathers, Grandmothers, ancest … [Read more...]

Planning Special Rituals

02 20 Roman Forum

I’ve always loved ritual.  The opportunity to compose, lead, and participate in ritual is one of my favorite things about being Pagan.  So it’s no surprise I write about ritual a lot – here are some of my favorite pieces:A Pagan Ritual OutlineCommon Ritual Errors and How to Avoid ThemThe Challenges of Large Public RitualsLast week I saw a request for help on a child naming ceremony.  Then earlier this week I responded to a Facebook request for suggestions on composing a ritual for … [Read more...]

The Four Centers of Paganism

Centers of Paganism

Welcome to Under the Ancient Oaks, a thoughtful little blog on the Patheos Pagan Channel.  I’m John Beckett, and as the header says, I’m a Pagan, a Druid, and a Unitarian Universalist.  Earlier this week I felt called to respond to the misogyny in our society after the killings in Isla Vista, California.  Apparently what I had to say resonated with a lot of people, because traffic on this blog is up.  A lot.  More people read Dude, It’s You in its first 24 hours than visit in a typical month. … [Read more...]

Dude, It’s You

Choose

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...]

A Pagan at the National Day of Prayer

01 01 Plymouth Rock

The first Thursday in May is designated as the National Day of Prayer in the United States.  Calls for prayer from national leaders have been issued periodically since the days of George Washington, and in 1952 the National Day of Prayer became an annual event.Although official proclamations have been pluralistic (though with monotheistic assumptions), since the Reagan years the National Day of Prayer has primarily been associated with Evangelical Christians who organize large public events … [Read more...]

You’re Doing It Wrong!

the lower level of the Roman Coliseum

The last post Am I Doing It Right? was about how to deal with healthy doubts surrounding your beliefs and practices.   But I also listed a few examples of how you might be doing it wrong: if your religion tells you the world would be fine if other people would quit screwing it up, you’re doing it wrong.  If it tells you society is great just like it is, you’re doing it wrong.  If it tells you it’s all about you, you’re doing it wrong. In the comments, Yvonne Aburrow said this needed more unpack … [Read more...]

Live, Local, and Low Cost

Melting POT 2014 01

At a time when various groups of Pagans can’t seem to get along on-line, a collection of 89 folks representing 25 groups and multiple traditions came together in a Houston area park to share conversation, food and good will.Whether the Gods or Nature smiled on us or if we just got lucky, the weather was beautiful.  It was sunny with temperatures in the mid 50s – one day after Houston made news shutting down because of snow and ice, and three days before wintry weather is in the forecast agai … [Read more...]


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