Restoring Our Pre-Conquest Mind

Once upon a time we all lived in tribal societies. We all knew the value of acknowledging our interconnectedness with the ancestors, land spirits and our ancestral Gods. We understood that life on Earth is a delicate balance between all these forces and that, while humanity plays a significant role, we are not at the top of the spiritual food chain. We understood that we are more than our egos, more than mere personalities: our power comes from understanding that we are representatives of our … [Read more...]

When Ritual Goes Wrong

Recently I had the misfortune to attend a ritual that was a disaster. It was such a mess that I felt myself becoming physically ill...speaking to another attendee later I discovered that I was not the only person this happened to. Normally, I would chalk this up to a bad experience and just resolve never to attend another ritual led by that individual. But the individual teaches paganism and ritual to a host of impressionable folks who will 1.) think this is what ritual is supposed to be and 2.) … [Read more...]

Fun Facts For the Deity-Owned

Recently I have run into lots of people who have recently been claimed by a Patron Deity. Sometimes they have been the ones to initiate the contact, but more frequently the Deity in question has swooped in out of the blue to claim ownership. When this occurs it can be intense, disorienting and a bit scary, especially if the Deity in question is from a different tradition or pantheon than the person in question expected. This is something I'm quite familiar with, since I was scooped up by a Norse … [Read more...]

Saying Goodbye to 2010

What can I say about 2010? Almost every person I know faced great trials during the past year. While it is a normal human response to recoil from painful lessons, sometimes we learn and grow the most from having to slog our way through adversity. I'm not saying that our ancestors and Gods purposefully inflict trauma on us...but They will take advantage of a learning opportunity and use our life situations to help us to grow stronger and to grow in faith.Each challenge is a dangerous … [Read more...]

“Changing Times, Changing Worlds”

A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to attend the "Changing Times, Changing Worlds" conference in Northampton, MA. It was, without a doubt, the best conference I have ever attended. There were many fascinating classes taught by wonderful teachers and such a variety of topics taught by people from diverse backgrounds. There was something there for everyone, and the conversation and sharing of ideas carried from the classrooms to the hallways, restaurants and bars. It was … [Read more...]

Top Ten Things Our Ancestors Want Us To Know

In the spirit of top 10 lists and the spirit of the season, here is my top 10 list of things the ancestors want us to know:10. Everyone has ancestors, even if they don't know who they are, the ancestors will recognize their own. If you're adopted, then you have both biological and blood ancestors who watch out for you.9. Even if you can't hear or feel the presence of your ancestors, they can hear you just fine.8. Even if you don't have a natural gift for mediumship, you can learn to listen … [Read more...]

Parting the Veil

I recently discovered that my grandmother's best friend died after a long illness that had left her incapacitated. Mary and my grandma had been through everything under the sun together. Leaving Cuba, making a new life in the US, marital dramas, you name it...these women stuck together like glue and were closer than family. After my grandmother died in 1980, Mary continued to be an important presence in our lives. In crisis times, she was the go-to woman with her incredible skill and accuracy in … [Read more...]

Many Paths, Many Genders

When it comes to gender, Paganism has the advantage of not being saddled with an allegedly infallible, unalterable book. This means that we are not doomed to be stuck trying to define ourselves by or adhere to laws written down millenia ago, before the advent of germ theory, toothpaste and cable. Not only are we liberated from first-century middle-eastern views on gender roles, we have the advantage of more than one deity, so none of that "God only has one gender" bias to make one sex superior … [Read more...]

Coming Together

The analogy that springs to mind when pondering the future of paganism is sewing a quilt. Most of us were drawn to paganism because we relish diversity, question rigid dogmas and march to the tune of our own drummers. While this may make a sense of community cohesion a challenge at times, there is an incredible opportunity for varied and rich expression of the family of faiths that fall under the broader pagan umbrella.Let me take a second to say that I have found the pagan theology series … [Read more...]

When Faith is Tested

Witch hunts still exist and pagans and anyone outside the dominant religious paradigm are still fair game. This lesson has hit home harder than ever this week for me. I am being tested.Like most others, I was raised in a religious, monotheist household. Like most others, I tried like mad to be the person that my parents needed me to be. I also tried to do this for my husband and his family. Thus I found myself caught between religious Jews and religious Greek Orthodox Christians, at different … [Read more...]