Slow magic

It's almost Thanksgiving.  All night and all morning, there was a howling storm beating at the windows and walls of my house, and I was at once grateful to be inside and sad for the world we've created together where others are not.  If my social media streams are any indication, a lot of us are feeling that way these days.I'm making dulce de leche, which is a process that's completely satisfying: you pour cans of condensed milk into a double boiler, and you cook and cook it.  Over the co … [Read more...]

Pagan virtues

Courage, not pomp

Some weeks ago, Alain de Botton wrote a post proposing "ten virtues for the modern age."  His virtues are resilience, patience, empathy, sacrifice, politeness, humor, self-awareness, forgiveness, hope, and confidence.  None of those make me want to scream "no!" but they also don't, as a whole, make me say "yes!" or evoke the kind of world I'd like to live in.  To my ear, they read like a list of ways to increase your ability to cheerfully manage adversity you can't hope to overcome, and th … [Read more...]

Bodywork and spiritual practice

Ali giving massage

Here's a Friday treat: an interview with my friend Ali Bourgault!  I met Ali, who is an amazing bodyworker, when she was doing massage work at a Pagan gathering, and I love the way she focuses on results and on empowering her clients to take charge of their own healing.  She lives in Massachusetts and is the owner of A Healing Vibration, where she specializes in creating personally tailored sessions with unique combinations of therapies.How does bodywork connect to your personal practice -- o … [Read more...]

Informal practice


When we set aside time specifically to practice — at our altars, in ritual, with our covens, at our desks, or elsewhere — it’s formal practice.  For me, formal practice is where my spirituality sinks its roots into my life.  But as far as I know, there are no Pagan monastic orders, and that means that most of us spend the vast majority of our time away from our altars, living our lives.One of the things I most love about Paganism is that it firmly asserts that this, too, is holy.  Whatever fo … [Read more...]

What is practice?


A practice is anything you do regularly that nurtures you. You can probably think of a dozen forms of formal practice off the top of your head: prayer or meditation, lighting candles or incense, ritual, chanting or singing, dancing.  All of these are ways that practice can happen.  Creative work can be a practice: writing, painting, collaging, taking photographs.  So can exercise or daily tasks, done with intention.You probably already have dozens of practices of varying levels of in … [Read more...]