Sacramental Eating

cows Oct2013

I’m out of the country on a 12-day trip that’s part vacation and part pilgrimage.  Yes, you’ll hear all about it when I get back.  Until then, enjoy this update of an essay I wrote in 2011.We are born alive – and hungry.For a short time we are sustained by our mother’s milk.  It is given freely and lovingly (in most cases, anyway), but that gift is possible only because our mothers consume other life.Eventually the maternal intermediary is removed and we begin a life-long process of c … [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...]

A Libation Without a Prayer is Just a Spilled Drink

sacrifice 02.22.14 01

I love panel discussions.  They’re filled with knowledgeable people who bring wisdom and insight to a subject, and they’re usually moderated by someone who knows when to let the panelists run and when to bring them back on topic.  Panel discussions inform me, challenge me, give me food for thought – and they inspire blog posts.Somehow I only managed to attend one panel discussion at Pantheacon, but it was a good one.  “Sacrifice and Modern Paganism” was organized by the Coru Cathubodua and it … [Read more...]

A Modern Pagan View of Sacrifice

offering 04.22.13b

Last week Sam Webster had an excellent column on restoring Pagan sacrifice which drew largely from the ancient Greeks. I’d like to continue that conversation and offer my own thoughts on sacrifice: what it is and why we should do it.Sacrifice has two separate but related meanings. If we are to understand sacrifice, much less practice it effectively, we need to understand both.The common meaning of sacrifice is “to give up.” We pour a libation, giving up the opportunity to drink the wine i … [Read more...]