Honoring The Ancestors (Or Not)

I don't have a problem with Druids, but I've never felt particularly close to them.

Every Samhain I’m confronted with several rituals that call for “honoring the ancestors,” (or sometimes “honoring our ancestors”). While I understand the reasoning behind it, it bothers me from both a theological and a personal perspective. This doesn’t mean I ignore the “death” aspect of Samhain, just the opposite, I’ve always embraced it utterly, but [Read More...]

Writing Samhain


I’m in charge of a large Samhain ritual for a local Pagan group out here on the West Coast. With four official practices before the ritual (and two walk throughs the day of) it’s an undertaking that will consume a lot of my free time. That’s not a complaint, I knew that going into this, [Read More...]

Election Fatigue


Like many of you, I’m suffering from “election fatigue.” I know that elections are important and I don’t take democracy lightly, but I’m tired of being hit over the head with it on a daily basis. Social media has become a barrage of insults, Willy Wonka pictures, and endless political articles, almost always from websites [Read More...]

Gateways to Paganism: Tori Amos


Pagans don’t proselytize, and the majority of us don’t have Pagan parents; as a result, people come to Modern Paganism through various means. If you grew up in the early to mid 90′s Tori Amos might have been one of those gateways. Even if she didn’t open the door, there were (and are) many of us who have used her music as a touchstone on the Pagan Path. [Read more...]

Cakes and Wine . . . A Little Bit About Alcohol in History and Ritual

Ancient Sumerians drinking beer out of straws.  I think we should bring this back.

A blog with the title “Raise the (Drinking) Horns” is nearly required by law to talk about alcohol now and again. A little bit on why some of us see alcohol as sacred, and why that view has a long history in Paganisms both ancient and modern. [Read more...]

In Praise of Johnny Appleseed

Probably a little saner looker than the real man, but not a bad representation of Chapman.

(This is not meant to be a complete biography of Johnny Appleseed, or even a complete sketch of the man behind the myth, John Chapman. I’m an admirer, not a biographer, so what follows is woefully incomplete. For more information on Johnny Appleseed there are many sources. Last summer I polished off Howard Means’ Johnny [Read More...]

Reflections on the Autumn Equinox


I love Autumn, it’s my favorite season, but it’s far too early to reflect on falling leaves, pumpkin patches, and mulled cider. Late September also lacks the riot of color that often occurs in mid-October, but it posses a dignity and beauty all its own in its golden wheat fields and ocean blue skies. The [Read More...]

Pagan Orthodoxy (and the Wife of Jesus)

Yahweh and his Asherah

What can a piece of papyrus written in Coptic teach us about Modern Paganism? More than you think. Find out why Modern Paganism is growing more “orthodox” even as it becomes more diverse. [Read more...]

Mercury Retrowhat? Oh Astrology . . . . .


You might have missed the announcement a couple of days ago, but Patheos recently launched an Astrology page over on the Spirituality Channel. The launch of the Astrology Page here is well timed personally because it’s a subject that’s been on my mind a lot the last few months. This summer I got into a [Read More...]

Pagan Mistakes


(I have been to a lot of Pagan gatherings and have listened to a large and diverse number of Pagan voices, but the funniest of those voices has undoubtedly been that of Angus McMahan. His annual “Pagan Humor” presentations at the PantheaCon festival are always a highlight, and not just for me, but for hundreds [Read More...]