Vicksburg Dec2013 02

Cathy and I visited the Civil War battlefield at Vicksburg on our recent trip.  We both have an interest in history and although we had driven through Vicksburg on several occasions we had never stopped – so this time we did.In the visitors center, we stood in front of a map that lights up to show troop movements and fighting engagements (is there a name for that kind of display?).  An audio recording told the story of the Battle of Vicksburg.Vicksburg was the last obstacle to the Union c … [Read more...]

Poverty Point

Poverty Point Mound A

Stonehenge, the Pyramids, Newgrange – these are some of the many memorable constructions of the ancient world.  Why did the ancient people of North America not build anything similarly massive?  Actually, they did.  But instead of building with stone, they built with what they had: dirt.Last week Cathy and I visited the Poverty Point archeological site in northeastern Louisiana.  At first glance it’s unimpressive: a series of low ridges that could be overlooked if not for the mowing pattern … [Read more...]

Nine Things I Think

ice storm Dec2013 12

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)  A recent commenter asked if my thoughts on something were “common among OBOD.”  Short answer – probably not.Both of my primary spiritual groups – the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids and the Cove … [Read more...]

The Twelve Days of Solstice

sunrise at South Padre Island - our Winter Solstice trip in 2011

When I was a little kid, Christmas was my favorite time of year.  There were decorations and special foods and the Christmas cards sent and received and taped up on the kitchen wall.  There was the fun of putting up the tree – in the early years it was usually cut from our woods; later on we got an artificial tree and reused it every year.  There was music and A Charlie Brown Christmas and Rudolph and the Grinch.  There was pouring over the Sears & Roebuck Wishbook and shopping for gifts for … [Read more...]

Photography and the Sacred


I’m an amateur when it comes to photography. An interested amateur who occasionally takes some good pictures, but an amateur nonetheless. Digital cameras are the best thing that ever happened to me – I can take 100 pictures and be happy if 10 turn out well, whereas in the days of film every shot had to count. Over the years I’ve learned a little about what works and what doesn’t, but I mainly shoot on the automatic setting and l freely admit I don’t know much about photo composition.Most of t … [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 abuzz on t … [Read more...]

Pantheacon Envy


This weekend is the 2013 edition of Pantheacon in San Jose, California. It’s the largest Pagan convention in the world, with attendance expected to be in the 2000–2500 range.I’d like to be there. I’d like to hear some of the presentations and participate in some of the rituals. I’d like to see some of the entertainment. I’d like to meet some of the authors and teachers whose work has been influential in my own spiritual growth.Mainly I’d like to meet a lot of people I know only through th … [Read more...]