Nurturing Polytheism

Isis 06.15.14

The response to the Portrait of Danu was overwhelmingly positive, even if the volume wasn’t what it is when I write on controversial topics. Friends and other commenters thought the painting was beautiful – I obviously agree.But in a private comment, a very knowledgeable Pagan friend (who wishes to remain anonymous) said: Thanks for the post on Danu today. it's nice to see advocacy of devotion to a Mother Goddess from a polytheist perspective. Sometimes it seems like the nurturing Goddesses … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

A Rite of Sacrifice

Danu Sacrifice 03.02.14 01

Work with a Goddess long enough and you learn to hear Her call.  You learn to pick Her voice out above the noise of contemporary society, above the words of teachers and friends, and even above your own thoughts and feelings.Sometimes what you hear is not what you expect.Though I am pledged to Danu, She has not been the strong presence in my life that Morrigan or even Isis has been, much less as strong a presence as Cernunnos.  But since last fall Danu has been more vocal, and earlier t … [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...]


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