Walking away from Omelas

Light Walk in October by Hartwig HKD

Have you read Ursula Le Guin’s classic short story, The ones who walk away from Omelas?

Omelas is a privileged city, almost a utopia, apart from the one thing that enables its citizens to lead full, happy, and carefree lives – and that one thing is what makes many people walk away from Omelas.

Would you walk away from Omelas? Or would you consider that the bargain is justified? [Read more...]

Indigenous peoples

Belonging

When they are ripped out of their environment, lifeways, and culture, they do not flourish. Look at the problems experienced by First Nations people in North America. Look at the alienation of Europeans who are divorced from our indigenous lifeways both by capitalism and barren forms of religion. The destruction of ancient pagan religions in Europe was a tragedy from which the European psyche has never recovered. As members of the contemporary Pagan revival, struggling to recover our ancestral ways from the wreck of history, we owe it to our relations, the indigenous peoples of the world, to help prevent such a tragedy for them. [Read more...]

Why do we need labels?

Labels

I have been asked twice recently why people need labels for sexual orientations and gender identities; one person commented, “aren’t we all just human beings?” People have also wondered if we need theological labels like ‘polytheist’, ‘pantheist’, ‘monist’ etc. To me this question is a bit like asking why we need names for things. [Read more...]

The boy who was afraid of his own shadow

Boy on pine stairs by Leon Brooks

Tim was a boy who was afraid of his own shadow. It followed him around all the time, and it never said anything. It grew bigger and smaller seemingly at random. Sometimes Tim shouted “GO AWAY!” but it still clung tenaciously to his feet. [Read more...]

A tangled web

A reintroduced northwestern wolf in Yellowstone National Park

Whenever I confront my personal ethical choices around sustainability and ecology, I realise that everything depends on everything else. One choice may be more sustainable than another, but it may have other deleterious effects. You fix one part of the ecosystem, another gets broken. You try to fix poverty by donating clothes to charity shops (thrift stores) and then discover you have undermined small-scale indigenous clothing manufacture. You buy fair trade goods and then discover that they have been shipped over vast distances. [Read more...]

How to do interfaith dialogue

Selena Fox (Pagan) and George Hinger (Catholic)

Interfaih dialogue works best when the two groups in dialogue are willing to learn, respect, and listen. Religions are complicated and are situated in their particular cultural context; assumptions and over-simplifications are dangerous. [Read more...]

Pagan leadership

Anari

The best Pagan leaders are those who listen – both to the promptings of spirit, and to their group members. A Pagan leader should not regard their community as serving them, but feel that they are serving the community (which includes other-than-human beings). In return, the community should value those who serve. [Read more...]


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