Morning Prayers

Every morning begins before the family lararium. An oil lamp or a candle is lit, incense is offered as Roman cultores stand to greet their ancestral Lares. Perhaps they had a dream in the night to discuss and seek advice on. Perhaps they discuss that day’s planned events. We end our prayers with a promise, “May everything I do and say this day bring honor and happiness on me, on my family, and on the Gods.” Read more

What Really Happens When We Die?

Following an accident in my early teens, I had been stabilized after receiving nine units of blood. Then one night, while lying in a hospital, I began to bleed out for a third time. I soon found my conscious self floating near the ceiling and looking down on my own body as three nurses and a doctor rushed in. Read more

We Are Not Forgiven

A self-described “born-again” Christian once told me that what distinguishes Christians from people of all other religious faiths is that “Christians are forgiven.” As Cultores Deorum Romanorum, we are not forgiven. We are responsible for all of the actions we take and all of the words we speak aloud. We are responsible for not taking action when we ought, and for words left unspoken when we should. We can try to make amends. We can try to correct wrongs. We… Read more

Is There Really a Devil?

If Nature is neither good nor evil, if the divine in Nature is neither good nor evil, if none of the Gods and Goddesses manifested in Nature are neither good nor evil, then from whence does evil arise? Read more

The Face of the Goddess

More than thirty years ago, I was introduced to a particular Goddess for the first time. Having completed a ritual, exhausted from dancing, I was sitting naked in a dark place looking into the coals as they began to die down. The fumes began to settle when that small chamber seemed to be filled with light and I felt a great energy rising up within me. Before me appeared a Lady, a Goddess, dressed in Light. Read more

Patheos’ New Sitewide Series: What Do I REALLY Believe?

When, therefore, you ask me “what does God really look like,” it is not an image invented by artistic expression. I recall the clear night sky so filled with stars and the sense of awe and fear welling up in me. I recall an amazing tree standing tall above all else around it. I recall the depth of a primordial forest and the height of mountains gleaming in the rising sun above shadowed valleys. Read more

An Ecstatic and Formal Side to Roman Traditions

Ritual is a tool and is never meant to be held for its own sake. It is meant to bring us into the presence of the Gods. In some rituals, the numen of a Goddess may instill a sensation of serene security. In another, a God may instill in you strength and endurance. And some rituals are intended to bring you into a more direct contact with the Gods through an ecstatic experience. Read more

Life in Ritual Context

Any activity may be transformed into a ritual, and ritual can be transformative of your normal activities. It is simply a matter of putting your activities into a ritual context. Read more

Dancing the Sacred Way

Some years ago, an old woman came up to me, handed me two pennies, and said, “Go to Rome.”  Then last summer, on my first visit to Rome, I found myself with Livia dancing along the Sacra Via. There was the aura of Rome’s past glories, the romance of its ruins, and its monuments of the history and culture of the Eternal City. As the name implies, the Sacra Via passes along some of the holiest sites of Roma antica…. Read more

Odds and Evens

“When you sacrifice to the celestial Gods,” Numa said, “let it be with an odd number; when to the terrestrial, with even.” Read more