Portrait of Danu

Danu by Tesa

There is little we can say of the Goddess Danu with historical certainty. The stories we have say She is the mother of the Tuatha De Danann – the Children of the Goddess Danu. We know of Her primarily through analyses of Her name and comparisons of it with various place names, most notably the Danube River in Central Europe.When I wrote about Her last year, most of what I had to say was my own UPG (unverified personal gnosis), my own experience of Danu. I see Her as Mother Goddess and Lady o … [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...]

Ancestor Communion Ritual

Ancestors service 06.15.14 1

I rarely post ritual scripts, but this is a short ritual we did as part of this morning’s Sunday service at Denton UU.  It’s suitable for Pagan groups, UU services, religiously mixed groups, or individuals.  We split it up into five parts, but it could have been done by one person.Feel free to use it – just credit the source.strike gong one time loud“Let us now invite our ancestors to join our service.”light first candle“Fathers, Mothers, Grandfathers, Grandmothers, ancest … [Read more...]

Obligations of a CUUPS Leader

Winter Finding 2013 16b

I’ve been an officer in Denton CUUPS for ten years, I’m a member of the Board of Trustees of CUUPS National, and I have a visible presence on the internet.  So I get occasional e-mails asking how to start a CUUPS chapter or how to deal with difficult people in a host congregation.  But in a conversation this weekend, it occurred to me there’s an important question that is rarely asked:  what are you signing up for when you agree to serve as an elected officer or even as an informal leader? … [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 needed more unpack … [Read more...]

Why I Am (Still) a Unitarian Universalist

Denton UU Fellowship

The header of this blog lists my primary religious identities:  Pagan, Druid, and Unitarian Universalist.  I told my story of why I am a Pagan, a Druid, and a UU when I moved to Patheos early last year.Despite having three identities, the vast majority of my writing here is Pagan.  Some of it is Druidic, but for me Druidry is a mostly subset of Paganism.  Although I frequently write about CUUPS (the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans) I write very little specifically as a Unitarian Uni … [Read more...]

The Art of Wild Wisdom

The Art of Wild Wisdom 11.17.13 01

The Art of Wild Wisdom by John Beckett Pathways UU Church November 17, 2013 The Ancient Druids“The Druids may well have been the most prominent magico-religious specialists of some of the peoples of north-western Europe just over a couple of thousand years ago; and that is all we can say of them with reasonable certainty.”This is the opening line of Blood and Mistletoe: the History of the Druids in Britain by Ronald Hutton, Professor of History at the University of Bristol in E … [Read more...]

Box Pews

box pews in King's Chapel

Cathy and I visited three churches on our recent trip to Boston. Though none of them were thousand year old cathedrals, they were all fascinating places and quite old, at least by American standards.The Old North Church (properly known as Christ Church) is best known as the signaling point that began the famous midnight ride of Paul Revere (and also of William Dawes and Samuel Prescott). It was built in 1723 as an Anglican church and became an Episcopal church after the Revolution. Though it … [Read more...]


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