Nobody’s Happy

I take news sabbaticals. Sometimes I reach a point where I just don't need any more bad news. I need a break from gloom and doom. Sometimes just taking a week or two away from the news does the trick. My mind free and clear, I happily dig right back into current events.Lately though I find the major harbingers of doom and gloom aren't in the media, but just unhappy people. I've tangled with depression my whole life, it's a cyclical thing, but I fail to see why some people are … [Read more...]

Intellectualism and Pagan Pedagogy

The following started out as a comment to be made on Star’s Nov. 9th post, “Elitism: The Intellectual Path in Paganism.” Because what I was writing grew and grew into a pretty wide-ranging little article, I thought I’d go ahead and publish it as its own blog post. So, the references to “you” below are to the author of the original post! Enjoy.. . .Interesting thoughts! I must admit that I’m pretty confused, though, since it seems that you’re seeking a few things which, to me, seem at odds wit … [Read more...]

Elitism: The Intellectual Path in Paganism

"You dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a ****** education you coulda got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library." - Will, Good Will Hunting"Where is fancy bred? In the heart or in the head?" - Willy Wonka, Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryThere's been a lot of talk about elitism lately. It's entered our political rhetoric full-force recently but it's always been an issue in matters of religion. Intellectualism is seen as an attack on the heart of the faithful, a cold … [Read more...]

Sing to the Mighty Dead

My local Feri folks and I had our Samhain ritual this past Saturday, but what with the Florida Pagan Gathering next weekend (I’ll be there talking about Southern folk magic) and the local UU Pagans doing a silent supper the weekend after that, my Samhain season is just beginning. Naturally, I’ve been sitting in front of my ancestor altar a lot and making offerings to them. Just last night we were having pears and rum.“Ancestors” need not only refer to your blood relatives; in religious witchcr … [Read more...]

A Meditation on Samhain

I love this time of year more than any other. Almost on cue with the coming of Samhain, my little part of the world seems to transition abruptly into late autumn. Winter stands ready at the threshold just waiting for nature’s invitation to cross. There’s more than just a delicious chill in the air, now the wind has bite and the promise of the coming winter’s stinging coldness driving it. Now there is the breath of ice and frost dancing on the windows, on the bushes, on the brittle grass in early … [Read more...]

The Love of Community

Samhain is close, October is hectic, my extended family experienced tragedy and I just got over being sick. At this moment I feel caught in a maelstrom: swept up, ground down and a little helpless.I've spoken before about the concentric rings of community I belong to. Right now with all the stress at this moment and all the various perspectives, personalities and dreams crashing about in the pan-Pagan communities it's tempting to lose hope. It's tempting to say "I do not wish to deal with … [Read more...]

Honoring the Ancestors: Samhain and Beyond

There’s a great deal of focus around Samhain on honoring one’s ancestors, and honoring the dead in general. Whether we celebrate Samhain or Winternights, that’s what this holiday is all about, right? Well, yes….but ideally the celebrations that mark the end of October, should be the culmination of a year spent regularly and consistently interacting with the dead, honoring them, and recognizing their role in the continuing evolution of our spirituality. Honoring and interacting with the ancestors … [Read more...]

Autism, Fundraising, Willy Wonka and Folk Music

Wired's Autism TestWired has an Autism test on their website. I found it when a friend took it and posted the results on Facebook. I decided to give it a whirl and was surprised by the results and intrigued by the questions. While the quiz isn't a medical opinion or diagnosis tool, it does offer interesting insight into the reality of people with Autism and Asperger's. Take a few minutes to take the quiz. I think you'll find it interesting. I did. My score was 29. What's yours?Circle … [Read more...]

We are Born in Original Blessing

It was ex-Dominican and current American Episcopal priest Matthew Fox who coined the term "Original Blessing" for the idea that we are are not born in sin but in blessing. He is of the opinion that there are two Christianities in the world, and he has chosen the kinder, more inclusive one.There is this strange idea that the world is bad, the material is wrong and that denying that is being escapist. If we are not lost souls seeking redemption we have no purpose, no meaning. How foolish are we … [Read more...]

Supporting Each Other

I'm tired and it isn't even 10 AM yet. It's been a long week. Without any other considerations I'd probably spend the weekend in bed with a book.Instead I'll be going to an initiation ritual with folks from church. Some of the people in my coven will be getting their first degree and it's a big deal for them. I want to be there to celebrate with them, to help out with the set up and clean up. As a neophyte I won't participate in ritual but hang out with the other neophytes and make sure the … [Read more...]


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