Small Miracles

We tend to think of miracles as being Big. Huge. Gigantic. Something on the scale of King Kong climbing the Empire State building. Often we tend to discount the small miracles that change our lives in quiet, solid ways.In Jan of 2004 I was unhappily married, I'd quit my fast-food job and was having trouble with my anti-depressant medication. I'd had a rough few years. My dad had passed on after years of fighting colon cancer. I was at odds with my family. I'd spent some time in a women's … [Read more...]

Patheos Pagan “TV”

I hope you're enjoying the Oak and Holly blog, but as you sit sipping your tea, coffee, wine or Mtn Dew take a gander at our video playlist on the bottom right of the Pagan Portal page. We've updated it with some goodies.Not only do we have a vlog on Religious Literacy that complements Julie Maldonado's excellent post on Pagan Apologetics, we also have a Lifetime Television special on Witches narrated by Anjelica Houston and featuring Janet Farrar and Z. Budapest.Our focus on the diversity … [Read more...]

Addicted to “Big Love”

Let's face it: there's a scavenger element to modern Paganism. I mean, there have been syncretists before but Modern Pagans outstripped them 30 years ago.  Sure, we're respectful, sincere, caring, and a whole boatload of lovely, honorable things, but we're addicted to religion like Courtney Love's addicted to being a hot mess.I'm no exception. Growing up Southern Baptist I devoured Catholic and Anglican texts. As a youngster I'll admit to experimenting with Mennonites, Pentecostals and … [Read more...]

It Is Risen: The Joy Of Life!

All of Christendom is celebrating Easter and as a Pagan I'm delighting in all the confectionery fertility symbols: eggs, bunnies, lambs and chicks. In the two weeks since Ostara the energy, vitality and promise of Spring continues to wax fat and sassy.Lawns that have lain dormant are thick and peppered with dandelions and little purple flowers. The giant Japanese cherry in my backyard transformed overnight into a benevolent pink cloud. In the woods the dogwood blossoms peek out, skittish as a … [Read more...]

Mystery in Music

Pagans recognize both the mysteries of the spirit and of the mundane, natural world. Childbirth, sunrises, vine-ripe tomatoes, slimy snails and voices lifted in song are all mysteries worth our attention. Music is our ship and we often sail into mystery with a song in our sails.Here's a few songs by Pagan or spiritual musicians that explore some facet of mystery. Each link will open a video in a new window, so you won't lose your place as you take a musical tour through Pagan musical … [Read more...]

Law of Attraction: A Witch’s View of New Thought

In the past few years two films promoting New Thought, or the Law of Attraction, have gained quite a following. “The Secret” and “What the Bleep Do We Know?” put basic New Thought principles into a snazzy new package for the 21st century. The ideas they promote are the power of positive thinking, the detriment of negative thinking and a primitive concept of sympathetic magic known as the Law of Attraction, or like begets like.The Secret actually boils this down into “Ask. Believe. Receive.” Ask … [Read more...]

In the Patheos Public Square: Miracles & Mysteries

The new topic in our Public Square is Miracles and Mysteries.Every religious tradition has at its heart central mysteries and miracles that generate and sustain faith. How is the supernatural evident in your belief system? What role does the extra-ordinary play in your faith?The following articles on the Pagan portal address this topic:Have You Ever Seen Real Magic? I Have! by MoonChildMiracles (Long Before Jesus) by Eve the TalogwitchShamanism: Seeing in the Dark by Colleen … [Read more...]

A Much-Needed Testimony of Peace

With the Sunday showdown between two war movies behind us, it's a good time to talk about peace.Cat Chapin-Bishop's beautiful “Peace Testimony: Roots and Fruits” is a great place to start: a moving meditation on peace, testimony, and personal transformation. "I go to Quaker meeting, not so much to experience peace as to practice it, for peace is much more than the absence of war. I strive to so open myself to the motions of the Spirit I find there that my heart becomes large enough to remember … [Read more...]

A Somerset Pagan on the “wonder and richness of true humanity”

Check out this moving recent post about the trials of being a single, integral, united human being, at peace with oneself.Somerset Pagan writes: I don't want to have a professional me and private me. I want to be me wherever I am at any given time. For years I fought what often feels like a terrible battle to be accepted as an openly gay man. The consequences of this were immense and have involved losing family (thankfully temporarily), security, jobs and promotion, but I refused, on any … [Read more...]

Pagan + Politics

A major new Pagan group blog launched recently: Pagan+Politics. Well-known blogger Jason Pitzl-Waters introduces the new site as follows: “It is fair to say that modern Paganism, as a movement of interconnected yet individual faith communities, is long overdue in having a more active and ongoing say in the issues and policies that affect our lives. Pagan+Politics hopes to become an important part of our faith communities having that say.In addition to discussing politics, this blog is also a … [Read more...]