Lammas Ritual 2014

I've always had difficulty with Summer rituals. This time of year I often find myself distracted by vacations, heat, Pagan festivals, and a whole host of other things. For lack of a better turn of phrase Summer is my most "un-witchy" season. It just doesn't have the zing of Autumn, Spring, or even Winter. Back in June of this year I made a promise to myself to "do better" with my observances this time of year so I'm making sure to put together my Lughnassa Ritual in advance, and thought I'd … [Read More...]


Lammas: First Fruits & A Sort of Christian Feast

Last year at this time I was planting my first garden in California, this year I'm in the middle of harvesting from that very same garden. My garden doesn't have a lot of variety to it, but the little I've been able to coax out of it has been wondrous. My wife and I are now awash in tomatoes (so many tomatoes!) and very soon I expect to be cooking with an abundance of chili peppers (I'm also really excited about the ghost peppers in a few weeks!). Some of the things growing in my garden are … [Read More...]


Remembering Margot Adler

There will be a lot written about Margot Adler over the next several weeks, and deservedly so. Everything written about her will share one trait: it will be overwhelmingly positive. I have never heard one bad thing about Margot Adler in all my twenty years of Paganism. She was universally beloved and respected, just an extraordinarily good person.My first introduction to Margot was Drawing Down the Moon, one of the five most important American Pagan books ever written. When I read it at … [Read More...]


Maybe Wicca is Not a Nature Religion?

I think to most people Wicca is a "nature religion" or an "Earth based tradition." That's not an assumption I would ever argue. Certainly in 2014 Wicca is very much an environmentally conscious faith, but I'm not sure that's always been the case. When I was asked to write something on "Has Pagan environmentalism failed?" I began sketching this article out in my head instead. For many people Wicca is a harmonious walk with Mother Earth and the Horned God, but to some extent for me Wicca … [Read More...]


Paganism Did Not Fail

Editors’ Note: This article is a part of the Public Square 2014 Summer Series: Conversations on Religious Trends. Read other perspectives from the Pagan community here, possibly.A few months ago our channel editor Christine Kraemer posed this topic to the various writers at Patheos Pagan:Has Pagan Environmentalism Failed?With the recent release of several large-scale studies showing that climate change may now be inevitable, many Pagans are re-evaluating their approach to e … [Read More...]


Oh No I’m Naked!

In 2003 I made my first visit to the Brushwood Folklore Center. I'd like to tell you that my first day there was completely magical, with plenty of sunshine and a cool breeze, but that wasn't the case at all. It was raining and cold when my then-fiance and I (along with some friends) pulled into registration that July day, and it had been raining a lot in the days leading up to our trip there. We set up our tents in the rain and literally put them down on the ground in what had been formally … [Read More...]


A (Pagan) Wind in the Willows

In many ways there are two different versions of the Greek God Pan. There's the classic understanding of Pan: Arcadian, son of Hermes, and god of shepherds, panic, lust, and masturbation. I've never been a shepherd but I understand those three other impulses reasonably well. This is also the "darker" Pan, the one who rapes nymphs and causes armies to fall on their own swords just for entering his domain. Pan is often portrayed as sweetness and light today, but that's not how he was … [Read More...]


Ignorance is Afoot

(My original title for this was Stupid Falls on Catholic Writer but I thought that wasn't fair to smart Catholics.)Earlier today The Huffington Post shared an article (based on a HuffPost live segment) on an American Witch living in Utah. Like many Witches living in the United States Tova (she uses only that name in public) has faced challenges and discrimination because of her beliefs. Most of it seems like things many of us have faced over the last fifty years. Here are a few quotes … [Read More...]

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Why Care About America’s Occult Past?

I like history, but I love occult history. Anything that involves magick or the supernatural I have a high interest in. That doesn't mean I believe every spell I've ever read about works or that every ghost story is literally true. By way of comparison I don't think the fall of Troy happened in exactly the way it's laid out by Homer, but that doesn't mean I simply dismiss it. For the Fourth of July weekend I put together a little article on America's occult past. That article ended up being … [Read More...]


Who Are We Writing For?

I was chatting with Niki Whiting today about blogs and such and she made the following comment:"The blogosphere is starting to represent the educated academia. We are debating the angels on the head of a pin. It bears little resemblance to most people's experience, yet it is valuable, because theology develops from top down ideas and bottom up experiences, and in turn influence each other."There's a lot in that comment, some I agree with and some I don't, but it's all worth thinking … [Read More...]