Portrait of Danu

Danu by Tesa

There is little we can say of the Goddess Danu with historical certainty. The stories we have say She is the mother of the Tuatha De Danann – the Children of the Goddess Danu. We know of Her primarily through analyses of Her name and comparisons of it with various place names, most notably the Danube River in Central Europe.When I wrote about Her last year, most of what I had to say was my own UPG (unverified personal gnosis), my own experience of Danu. I see Her as Mother Goddess and Lady o … [Read more...]

Pagan Leadership

04 24b Din Lligwy

If you think leadership means telling people what to do you’ve missed the point in a very bad way.There’s been a lot of talk lately around the idea of Pagan leadership.  I wrote on my definition of priesthood and on the idea of paying Pagan clergy.  Yeshe Rabbit has this very good essay on her work as a priestess, and Thorn Coyle detailed her work as a full-time Pagan leader and how much money she makes through it.  Perhaps the closest to my own thoughts is this piece by Yvonne Aburro … [Read more...]

Lessons From a First Ritual

hand bell

Every so often I get an e-mail that says “I’ve been asked to lead the next ritual for my CUUPS group (or coven or grove or other group).  Where do I start???”I usually refer people to this post on A Pagan Ritual Outline and this post on Common Ritual Errors and How to Avoid Them.  But as I mentioned last week, I think it may be helpful to talk about what happened the first time I led a public ritual.After almost ten years of solitary practice, I went to my first Pagan circle at Denton CUU … [Read more...]

Building a Summer Solstice Tradition

Isis 06.18.14

There are quite a few Summer Solstice articles on the Patheos Pagan Channel and all the ones I’ve read have been good.  I encourage you to read two or three or all of them and then ask yourself what they have in common, other than the date and perhaps a mention of the sun.  The answer is “not much.”Summer Solstice is perhaps the least well-defined of all the eight celebrations of the Wheel of the Year.  That’s partially because it has no presence in the mainstream culture.  Imbolc has Groundh … [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...]

Expanding Circles

expanding circles

Pagan groups are notoriously volatile, in the chemical sense of the word:  they evaporate quickly.  Sometimes they’re volatile in the commonly used sense of the word:  they change rapidly, unpredictably, and for the worse.  Much of this volatility comes from a lack of understanding of what is required to form and maintain a functional and healthy religious group.Good religious groups may evolve organically without any structural planning (or even structural awareness) but like biological evol … [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 Hallows of the Tuatha De Danann

Beltane 2014 05b

When I first started leading public rituals, I grabbed every circle I could get my hands on.  I enjoyed composing and presenting ritual, I learned a lot preparing for them, and I got good feedback on them.  After a while, though, I realized there were other people who wanted – and in some cases, needed – to lead circles.  And my plate got so full with life I welcomed large stretches of following someone else’s scripts, or in some cases, simply showing up and participating.  These days, it’s rare … [Read more...]


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