Setting The World Straight

03 09 Thoreau statue

In discussing Henry David Thoreau, mid-20th century American writer E.B. White said “Walden is the report of a man torn by two powerful and opposing drives – the desire to enjoy the world and the urge to set the world straight.” I am no Thoreau, but that statement describes my current conundrum quite accurately.I’m a Pagan in part because I see the world as something to enjoy. Our world is not fallen, it is becoming. Yes, life can be hard, and suffering is never far away, but there is so much … [Read more...]

Pilgrimage and Convocation

Walden Pond

Pilgrimage and Convocation by John Beckett Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship August 17, 2014 My Introduction to TravelWhen I was growing up, my family was blue collar middle class. We had everything we needed and not a lot more. Travel meant piling in an un-air-conditioned car with my parents and my pesky little brother and driving for hours on end to visit relatives. When we got there, my parents sat around and talked while I was left to fend for myself in a basement … [Read more...]

Nine Things I Think

adopt a spot sign

Nine Things I Think is an irregular feature whenever I have a list of things I want to talk about that aren’t long enough for their own individual posts. There’s no theme, just nine things I want to bring to your attention. Feel free to expand on any of these topics in the comments section.1) Pagan Pride Days will be starting soon – the day-long mini-festivals designed to promote cooperation between the various forms of modern Paganism and to tell the general public we’re here. For the ce … [Read more...]

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...]

Rewilding Our World

Yukon sled dogs

George Monbiot has a TED talk titled “For more wonder, rewild the world.” He tells how the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park has had a dramatic and positive effect on the entire ecosystem. Wolves reduced the number of deer, which allowed overgrazed lands to recover, which allowed trees to grow thicker and taller, which supported increased populations of birds, which has supported a general recovery of biological diversity in the park. The talk is good and worth the 15 minutes … [Read more...]

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...]

Pagan Priests, Pagan Ministers

Pompeii Basilica

Sam Webster had an interesting essay on Saturday’s Wild Hunt titled Ministry and Duty to Report. In it, he used the legal mandate for clergy to report suspected abuse to call for Pagan educational and accreditation institutions. Sam said: A minster … has a legally-mandated duty to report sexual abuse of minors, abuse of elders, as well as reporting responsibilities with respect to harm to self (suicide) and harm to others (assault, murder). This is founded on the presumption that the minister is … [Read more...]

A Rite of Herakles

Herakleia 25

Life in a CUUPS group is never boring. Or at least, it’s never boring when you have a collection of members from a variety of religious backgrounds and callings, representing all four Centers of Paganism, and with a desire to honor and express their traditions within the framework of UU Paganism.The Denton CUUPS Spring Equinox circle was led by our matriarch who trained in New Thought. I led Beltane – it should surprise no one that the Druid led a circle on the Four Hallows of the Tuatha De D … [Read more...]