A Meditation for Imbolc and Charming of the Plough

Poet T.S. Elliot called April the cruelest month, but I’ve always thought February fits that appellation far more thoroughly and resolutely. I detest this month, though I have to admit that it wasn’t always so.  My adopted mom died in February though and since then everything, from the snow and ice, to Valentine’s day decorations, to the joyful celebrations of Chinese New Year remind me of her passing. For me, it’s turned an otherwise innocuous month into something bleak and grim. … [Read more...]

A Meditation for Yule

Yule is one of my favorite holidays. Perhaps this is simply because it’s so commonly associated with Odin and the Wild Hunt within Heathenry and I love Odin dearly. Perhaps it is because I treasure the dark time of winter, the emotions evoked by the decorations and festivities of this time, and the sense of solitude that for me, comes with the shortening of the days. Perhaps it’s a combination of the two. I don’t know. For whatever reason, however, I gravitate toward those holy tides that … [Read more...]

Do The Gods Really Talk To Us?

Patheos' What Do I Really Believe series wants to know if we hear messages from all that is Divine? What do you think? P. Sufenas Virius Lupus and K.C. Hulsman are among the Pagan responses on the main page but several other Pagans responded to the question. "Highway to Hel" columnist Galina Krasskova writes: Ah, of course the Gods talk to us. I think a better question would be “Do we ever really listen.”?  The Gods never stopped talking to Their people. It was we who turned away from … [Read more...]

Pantheon Book Club: The Secret History of Rock ‘n’ Roll by Christopher Knowles

Music and religion go hand in hand. Maybe it's on a dance floor, moving to syncopated drums around a campfire or locked in your room transported by the sounds flowing from your headphones. At some point, you've probably had a religious experience that was fueled by music. No genre has exemplified the ecstatic power of music as rock 'n' roll. From Chuck Berry to The Beatles to The Ramones to The Cure to Green Day, rock music feeds our soul. It's no surprise then that Christopher Knowles was able … [Read more...]

A Samhain Dream

A very close friend of mine once shared a beautiful dream that she had, a dream that we both felt was more than just an ordinary one. She was an immensely devout devotee of Loki.  He was her sustenance, the witness to her life, her God, her Lord, her deepest love. Throughout her life, He guided and cared for her in a way that she felt palpably all the way to the end of her life. I was recently looking over some letters that she had sent me, for we often exchanged old-fashioned correspondence, … [Read more...]

The Definition of ‘Pagan’: Monotheism and Polytheism

This summer, I have spent more time doing pagan things – attending festivals and events, teaching and attending workshops, crafting and performing rituals – than at any other point in my life. During these experiences, I have come to believe that one of the largest issues facing paganism today is one of definition: Who are the pagans, exactly? Various answers to this question have been put forward over the years, many of which conflict and confuse, and none of which are adequate in my … [Read more...]

Lir’s Cloak: The Obscuring That Reveals

In Brian Froud and Jessica MacBeth's Faeries Oracle there is a card for a faery called Sylvanius who bears the Mask That Reveals. He tells us that sometimes things must be hidden before the truth can be revealed. It's an interesting bit of wisdom. As I look out my bedroom window the mountains in the distance are obscured by mist, fog, cloud. A stranger to this land would never know they exist today, when visibility is limited to seeing only the other side of the street and no farther. The day … [Read more...]

A Brush with Boundary

“Lâ ilâha illallâh, wa Muḥammadur rasûlullâh.” The young hijabi woman said the words again in English, and I looked down the terraced auditorium desks to stare at the blank wall behind her. She said, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” She was a convert to Islam. The Muslim Students’ Association at the University of Chicago, the university I attend, was holding their annual Muslim Awareness week and I was sitting in on a panel discussion given … [Read more...]

Litha

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell. Don't go back to sleep. - Jellaludin Rumi I got up from my bed and went wandering through the woods at dawn. I sat on a plank bridge across a lake, facing the rising east, while frogs spoke behind me. Then I walked deeper into the woods where other voices chanted up the sun.  Something I couldn't see, whose voice I didn't recognize, squeaked and jumped into the creek.  A bunny bounded from my path, flashing his white tail at me a few times.  Then … [Read more...]

Practical Theology, Part One: In which I wander blithely from hard science to far-out mysticism

“Most witches don’t believe in gods. They know that the gods exist, of course. They even deal with them occasionally. But they don’t believe in them. They know them too well. It would be like believing in the postman.” --Terry Prachett Every so often someone asks me, with varying degrees of politeness, how I can believe in that witchcraft magicky Goddess stuff. How do I know it's real? And don't I worry that having Gods talk to me means I'm crazy? The answers are, in order, 1) … [Read more...]


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