If You Have A Racist Friend

By Frerieke from The Hague, The Netherlands - Flickr: Day 20.06 _ Diversity and Unity, CC BY 2.0

So you have a racist, sexist, homophobic, white supremacist friend. Your racist friend is perfectly affable to you, buys you beers, likes to chat about the football and whatever. But you are white and male and straight, so of course he is nice to you. And he doesn’t challenge your world-view, or your assumptions about how the world works, because both you and he are white, straight, and male. [Read more...]

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The Celts at the British Museum

The Gundestrup Cauldron - By Rosemania - http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosemania/4121249312, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9404289

Last weekend, I saw the Gundestrup Cauldron. It was an amazing, powerful, beautiful experience. Seeing something that I’ve waited so long to see, something so old, and so powerful, of such exquisite craftsmanship. It was awesome. Cernunnos sitting there with his antlers and his snake, all beautiful and serene. And the embossed panels, and the tiny details like the embossed leaves, and the silver of at the bottom of the cauldron. Amazing. So sacred. And containing such a wide range of influences from different cultures. [Read more...]

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Pagan and Pantheist Tendencies in Unitarianism

"Beautiful nature Before sunset" by ABDO2008.DZ - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Beautiful_nature_Before_sunset.jpg#/media/File:Beautiful_nature_Before_sunset.jpg

Many people think that the Pagan or Earth Spirit element in Unitarianism started around 1980 with the first Unitarian Universalist Pagan ritual, or with the foundation of CUUPs (Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans) in America in 1986, or the Unitarian Earth Spirit Network in the UK, founded in 1990. In fact, it has its roots in some much earlier developments. [Read more...]

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Magic Words: The Extraordinary Life of Alan Moore (Review)

Magic Words: The Extraordinary Life of Alan Moore

Alan Moore has profoundly influenced the direction of both mainstream and literary comics… plus, he’s a magician and a worshipper of the snake god Glycon. A review of the recent Moore biography MAGIC WORDS by Lance Parkin. [Read more...]

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Madness, Shamanism, and Wicca

"FujiSunriseKawaguchiko2025WP". Licensed under Public Domain via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FujiSunriseKawaguchiko2025WP.jpg#/media/File:FujiSunriseKawaguchiko2025WP.jpg

The history of madness is long, convoluted, and fascinating. Different theories and treatments have come and gone, depending on the mood of the age. I think it is worth remembering that in many cultures, such episodes are not seen as mental illness, but a blessing from the gods. Many shamans have had similar experiences to what western medicine dismisses as mental illness. [Read more...]

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Paganism for Beginners: Social Structures

"Earthlights dmsp" by Data courtesy Marc Imhoff of NASA GSFC and Christopher Elvidge of NOAA NGDC.Image by Craig Mayhew and Robert Simmon, NASA GSFC. - http://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/ve//1438/land_lights_16384.tif. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Earthlights_dmsp.jpg#/media/File:Earthlights_dmsp.jpg

The fact that people can own land, that property is deemed more important than human life by our current laws, that those with wealth and property are given more power and status, that making war is given priority over creating community or protecting the most vulnerable people, that certain social functions are seen as female and others are seen as male – these are all cultural constructs resulting from thousands of years of  looking at the world in a particular way. They have been built up by custom and practice over a couple of millennia. But they are not inevitable. [Read more...]

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Agreeing To Disagree

Different colours, by Gari

Arguments make some people uncomfortable. It is true that conflict can be divisive, but it can also be healthy, because it can help to clarify aims, goals, beliefs, and values. Trying to sweep conflict and arguments under the carpet and pretend they are not happening is counter-productive and just creates more conflict in the end. [Read More...]

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