Politics, Pagan religion and the 2016 elections- up at Public Square

I was asked to contribute to a public square discussion on faith and politics over at Patheos’ Public Square. It is now up. [Read more…]

The Trance of Belief II: Awakening and enjoying

(updated 6/7/2016) Part II picks up where my earlier post on how strong belief can put us in a trance state of which we are unaware, turning us into servants of a belief, usually to our and other people’s detriment. Exploring how to break trances we have  unknowingly entered into requires moving from my preferred [Read More…]

The Trance of Belief: Part I.

Global warming Most of the otherwise reasonably competent people we know who are global warming deniers will say science is a great force for good, but in this case scientists are in thrall to those seeking to enlarge government’s power over us. Most deniers are sincere in saying this. They are blind to the irrationality [Read More…]

Social Justice from a Pagan perspective

Last week I gave a keynote talk at the Conference of Current Pagan Studies on viewing social justice from a Pagan perspective. It went well and while the paper it was based on is much too long for a normal blog post, I have made it available. After a discussion of social justice at a [Read More…]

The role of esotericism in Pagan religion

I had the good fortune to just come across a two-part article in Patheos by John Halstead in The Allergic Pagan. He explores whether there would be NeoPaganism in the US had Gerald Gardner never existed. He answers a resounding “yes,” and then makes a fascinating exploration of the similarities and differences that would exist [Read More…]

My Near Death Experience in Maine: a lesson in compassion

  The Maine coast and its adjacent islands result from the spectacular meeting of ancient granite, Pleistocene ice, and the wild waters of the North Atlantic. When the glaciers departed they left behind the most complex meeting of land, ocean, and sky in the US. Much of that glacier polished rock is now covered with [Read More…]

The Parliament of the World’s Religions and the Future of Religion

The Parliament of the World’s Religions, held from October 15-19, in Salt Lake City, was one of the most powerful spiritual experiences of my life. [Read more…]

Swastikas and the Stars and Bars as Symbols

     ( This column recapitulates the basic points about the swastika and Confederate flag made in my most recent Witches & Pagans piece, but with a different focus, some different information,  and a complementary but distinct conclusion. ) _______ After the Charleston murders right wing media and politicians attempted to seize control of its [Read More…]

Probing the Depths of the Charleston Murders: a Pagan perspective

The racist terrorism that killed so many in Charleston this past Wednesday was followed almost immediately by the extraordinary efforts of leading American ‘conservatives’’ to redefine what had just so clearly happened. As they did, they revealed the inner soul of their movement and, as I hope to show, demonstrate how people can ultimately degenerate into defenders of evil in the name of virtue. [Read more…]

Caitlin Jenner, the Duggars, and Us

Caitlin Jenner and the ‘Quiverfull’ of Duggars are perfect symbols for the profound cultural changes tearing this country apart. In their very different ways they represent an epochal shift from a culture predicated on firm, inviolable and hierarchical boundaries to the birth of one where national, racial, sexual, religious, economic, and ecological boundaries are increasingly open and ill defined and hierarchies relatively flat. [Read more…]