A Meditation on Air

sunrise 03.30.14 03

The four classical elements of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth were very important to my early Pagan practice.  Like so many, I came into Paganism through Wicca, and the four elements and their corresponding directions, tools, and themes are foundational to Wiccan practice.  They’re also a part of OBOD Druidry and many other groups with roots in the Western Mystery Tradition.As my practice has become more polytheistic I’ve found myself working less and less with the four elements.  Though they ha … [Read more...]

Showing Up

The Council of Nicaea – photo via Wikimedia Commons

Decisions are made by those who show up.Every time I compare the running debates on the Pagan internet to the Council of Nicaea I get pushback.  Some of this is understandable.  The Council of Nicaea was one of the most important events in the establishment of Christianity as the dominant religion of Europe and its output has helped define Christian orthodoxy for over 1600 years.  It is no surprise that Pagans – many of whom left Christianity under unpleasant circumstances – have no desire to … [Read more...]

Serving Many Gods

Danu and Cernunnos 06.28.14

When things go well or turn out to be pleasant, we tend to want to do them again.  Sometimes this works well, as when a first date turns into many dates and many dates turn into a lifetime partnership.  Sometimes it doesn’t work so well.  The second piece of cheesecake never tastes quite as good as the first, and a strong desire for cheesecake tends to have a negative affect on your waistline… and on your wallet.And some experiences are the proverbial “lightning in a bottle” – a fortuitous an … [Read more...]

A Druid in the Marketplace of Religions

07 30 Cliffs of Mohor

I used to have a boss who’d get upset when I’d qualify my answers.  “Yes, we can have that job finished a week early, if a key supplier gets their parts here early, if the engineer’s design doesn’t require any modifications, and if the assemblers work more overtime than we have a right to require.”  He wanted an enthusiastic “yes!”  I felt I owed him an honest assessment of the situation.I’ve tried to carry that honesty into my religious writing and speaking, partially because it’s the right … [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...]

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 you from? … [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 days you … [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 law” doesn’t just ap … [Read more...]