Cernunnos square

I was a devotee and a priest of Cernunnos long before I started this blog.  Over the years I’ve told parts of my story with Him (here, here, and here, for a good start), probably enough for a diligent reader to piece the whole thing together, if one was so inclined.  I’ve reviewed a very good book of devotions to Him written by others.  What I haven’t done is talk about who and what He is, as He’s presented himself to me. Let’s start with what we know about the history of … [Read more...]

The Earth, The Gods and The Soul

earth gods soul

The Earth, The Gods and The Soul – A History of Pagan Philosophy from the Iron Age to the 21st Century by Brendan Myers published by Moon Books, November  2013 326 pages $15.74 in paperback, $7.69 on Kindle The days when the English majors’ charge of “barbarian engineer” was accurate were over many years ago.  Yes, I spent most of my time in college studying technical and business subjects, but my education didn’t stop with graduation.  Between reading, listening, traveling, … [Read more...]

Polytheism Redux


I spent yesterday working on a post about how the success of my “themes not goals” approach means I’m now setting goals for 2014.  But before I could finish it there was a rash of posts on polytheistic theology and I feel the need to respond. Much of this discussion is contentious and some of it has become personal.  If you want to catch up, read this post by Morpheus Ravenna, this one by Rhyd Wildermuth, this one by Alison Lilly, this one by Traci Laird, this one by Anomalous … [Read more...]

Passing on the Faith – The Hidden Questions

Denton CUUPS Beltane 2013 12

I wasn’t planning to write on the latest Patheos discussion question “Passing on the Faith.”  But yesterday P. Sufenas Virius Lupus posted a very good essay on the topic and today Jason Mankey shared his thoughts.  While I have no argument with either of those responses, they’ve caused me to give the question some more thought. Full disclosure:  I write as a Pagan practitioner and leader, not as a parent.  Cathy and I were in our mid 20s when got married – we knew we didn’t … [Read more...]

UPG and Religious Uncertainty

uncertain skies 07.25.13

There have been several good essays recently on the topic of unverified personal gnosis. Sam Webster started it with this piece calling UPG “an ugly, misguided notion.” There have been numerous responses, including this one by John Halstead here at Patheos. While the term “unverified personal gnosis” can be used to denigrate religious experience and to privilege tradition and the keepers of tradition, taken at face value it’s an accurate and humble description of the moving but … [Read more...]

Seeking the Mystery


I reviewed Seeking the Mystery on my old blog in December.  I’m updating the review in part because the book is now available in print but also because the material it covers is very relevant to the recent discussions / debates / shouting matches on hard vs. humanistic Paganism.  If you’re going to argue about the nature of the gods, you need to understand monism, pantheism, animism, and other views of Divinity; and you need to understand how modern Pagans have used these terms during the … [Read more...]

And I’m Back

The Green Dragon Tavern in Boston

I’m finally home after an unplanned trip to Tennessee for my brother’s funeral and then a planned week in New England. I only had a day and a half between trips, but rescheduling the vacation would have been very expensive, so we went. We spent four days in Boston and three days in Bar Harbor, Maine, primarily visiting historical sites and places of natural beauty. It was a very nice trip and I came back with lots to write about. While I’ve been gone, the Pagan internet has been all … [Read more...]

Iamblichus on Prayer

de mysteriis

I recently finished reading De Mysteriis, written by the Greek Iamblichus somewhere between 280 and 305 CE and translated by Emma Clarke, John Dillon and Jackson Hershbell in 2003. According to the translators: Iamblichus was essentially interested in re-awakening and preserving man’s contact with the ancestral gods, and in arguing that theurgy (or “god-work”) rather than theology (or “god-talk”) was the only way of achieving this. Iamblichus’ ideas about the gods are very … [Read more...]