Earth Day Is Worth Celebrating

SPI 2011 36

I wasn’t going to write on Earth Day this year.  I was going to point people to this excellent essay by Jason Pitzl-Waters on The Wild Hunt (which you should read anyway) and post here on the obligations of CUUPS leadership. And then a Facebook friend said something that boils down to “we pollute too much, we consume too much, and so we’re hypocrites if we talk about how much we love the Earth.”  The post on CUUPS leadership will have to wait till Thursday, because Earth Day is … [Read more...]

Where Are You From?

Denton Texas

Where are you from? Depending on who’s asking, I may answer McKinney (where I live), Denton (where I go to church and do most of my group practice), Dallas (the nearest major city), or Texas (everyone knows where Texas is).  When a British train conductor asked if I was Canadian, I said “I’m American.” Where are you from? I came here from Atlanta and before that I lived in northern Indiana.  I moved there from Chattanooga, which is where I was born and grew up. Where are … [Read more...]

Heaven Is For Real – A Pagan View

Yukon mountains

The movie Heaven Is For Real opened yesterday.  This essay is an update of a 2012 post inspired by the book version of Heaven Is For Real and other books on the same subject. One of the good things about internet news and social media is that it’s easy to find people and things you like. The downside is that you can miss things outside your interest zone that are generating a lot of attention in other circles. Since I mainly hang out in the Pagan, UU and liberal corners of the internet, I … [Read more...]

Celebrating Life, Preparing for Death

Lligwy Burial Chamber

“How does your religion say you get to heaven?” I’ve been asked that question several times, at least once in those very words.  In answering, I begin by pointing out the unstated assumptions behind the question:  1) that heaven and hell are the only possible outcomes, and 2) that preparing for death is the most important aspect of religion. Christianity (at least in its more conservative forms) is a death-preparing religion – its primary focus is on holding the proper beliefs so … [Read more...]

Water in the Desert

Rio Grande - 2010

There are many challenges to building a deep and meaningful spiritual practice that serves the Gods, the world, and yourself.  Last year I wrote about returning to center when a minor annoyance or a major tragedy disrupts your life. But not every challenge is a sudden dramatic event.  Nor is every challenge the cumulative effect of many minor annoyances.  Sometimes your practice simply dries up for no apparent reason.  Sometimes your joy in life dries up for no apparent reason.  Some … [Read more...]

Nine Things I Think

The Old Library, Trinity College, Dublin

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.  Normally there’s no theme, but this time there is – these are the odds and ends from last month’s trip to England, Wales and Ireland. 1) England drew the short straw on this trip in both time and impressions, but I hope my English friends don’t think I don’t like their country.  It’s beautiful and fascinating and it has … [Read more...]

From the Cauldron Born

Cauldron Born

From the Cauldron Born: Exploring the Magic of Welsh Legend & Lore by Kristoffer Hughes published by Llewellyn, December 2012 312 pages paperback: $13.32, kindle: $9.99   Bardic magic is a powerful thing. We hear or read a story and we’re transported to a galaxy far far away – or to the wilds of Wales.  People, places and things come alive, animals talk and trees walk – and a boy becomes a hare, a salmon, a wren, and a grain of corn.  Great deeds are done, kings are … [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 … [Read more...]

Am I Doing It Right?

08 09 Well of Tara

I’ve got at least one more travel-related post to write, plus a review of a book I read on the trip.  But I need to pause for a moment and discuss a question that’s come up several times from several sources over the past few weeks. Am I doing Paganism right?  Am I doing polytheism right?  More precisely, how can I be sure I’m doing it right? This isn’t a common Pagan question.  Pagans tend to assume whatever they’re doing is right – “do as thou wilt is the whole of the … [Read more...]

Anglesey

Bryn Celli Ddu

From the beginning, this was supposed to be “the Ireland trip.”  Seven of our twelve days were spent there, and while there were a few things we wanted to see in England and Wales, we were there as much for logistical reasons as anything else – the only place in Britain or Ireland you can fly direct from DFW is London Heathrow.  Cynthia’s primary reason for routing us through Wales was to take the ferry from Holyhead to Dublin, although she knew that as a Druid I’d want to spend some … [Read more...]