You Call It Easter, We Call It Ostara

Girl with rabbits (1886), Frederik Stuard Church

   Try this sometime with your children or a young niece, nephew or cousin: on the day of the Vernal or Autumnal Equinox, just a few moments before the exact moment of the equinox, go outside with a raw egg. Find a reasonably level place on the sidewalk or driveway. For a few moments just before and just after the equinox, you can balance the egg upright (wider end down) by simply setting it down on the ground. No kidding! It will stand up all by itself. Kids love this, and most … [Read more...]

Bruce Sinofsky, co-director of PARADISE LOST films, dead at 58

Bruce Sinofsky, working on Iconoclasts (image from sundance.tv)

I am deeply saddened by the shocking news of the sudden death of Bruce Sinofsky. Bruce was an Oscar-nominated filmmaker known for his documentaries, most notably the Paradise Lost trilogy which chronicled the West Memphis Three case. His films Brother's Keeper and Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (both made with his filmmaking partner and best friend Joe Berlinger, who has been posting some wonderful photos in tribute to Bruce on Twitter today) also met with critical and popular acclaim. Bruce … [Read more...]

First “Killer Clowns,” now “Psycho Witches”: new Italian video hijinks

from movie pilot.com

Remember the Italians who made the videos about the psychotic killer clowns? They feature killer clowns chasing people in public places that are mostly empty late at night (train stations and parks,mostly). As if clowns were not having a hard enough time, after American Horror Story: Freakshow decided to feature an evil, psychotic killer clown, played by John Carroll Lynch. Clowns across America protested and encouraged boycotting of the show.Now they've made a new group of videos that … [Read more...]

Valentine’s Day, or Lupercalia? A Pagan Dilemma

Illustration by Sarah Goodreau

Well, it's that time of year again. Flowers, chocolates, champagne, seafood dinners, naughty lingerie (only two of those have actual aphrodisiac effects, by the way). It even falls on a Saturday this year, meaning lots of crowded restaurants (and possibly crowded theaters showing the newest Movie Everyone is Excited About and Outraged Over). If you're single, you may be ready to grab a six-pack, fire up Netflix and call it a weekend.But hard on the heels of Valentine's Day,the following day … [Read more...]

Snow, Survival, the Zombie Apocalypse and the Pagan Lifestyle

My neighborhood, after snowfall.

As we continue to be buried in snow here in the Northeast, it becomes more and more clear that people who depart places of dramatic seasonal change for warmer climes do so to simply stay safer and more comfortable in winter. Gods know, I think about this from time to time, as I grow older and shoveling hurts my back and my night vision while driving in snow becomes less acute. But it makes me think about how I define and frame concepts like self-sufficiency, and community, and how these tie into … [Read more...]

Imbolc: Hello Brigid! Have you met my friend, Pan?

painting-pan

Imbolc is the pagan winter festival that arrives just at that moment when many of us dearly need a reason to hope that spring will arrive. (or autumn, for our friends in the Southern hemisphere, wishing for cool breezes). Of course it is no coincidence that this day is also celebrated secularly as Ground Hog's Day, when we wish to find out when, or indeed if, spring will come. (My light-hearted comparison of the two holidays, which includes moments of groundhog appreciation, was a classic from … [Read more...]

Ancestor Remembrance Project, Part 3

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Blessings of Samhain!  I have so enjoyed doing this project with Ambaa and getting to know more about her spirituality and cultural traditions. This week, we decided to answer questions related to death and dying and ancestor remembrance. We both contributed to the questions. 1) What are some of the rituals by which your religion honors ancestors?Ambaa: There are last rites and purification rituals when someone dies, but I'm more interested in the rituals that some do for long dead … [Read more...]

Ancestor Remembrance Project, Part 2

Maleficent costume

   Here is our second round of questions! I am enjoying getting to know Ambaa, my partner for the Ancestor Remembrance Project this month; her Patheos blog is The White Hindu. Part One of our exchange is here.   I wrote this week's questions! 1) Did you celebrate Hallowe'en growing up? In school, at home, or both? Ambaa: Yes. I enjoyed Halloween a lot as a kid. I remember going to a school party when I was in first grade and I won a skull flashlight. Winning something was so exc … [Read more...]

Ancestor Remembrance Project, Part 1

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My partner for the Ancestor Remembrance Project this month is Ambaa, whose Patheos blog is The White Hindu; welcome Ambaa! We decided to take turns coming up with questions around a theme, and post our answers together. The idea is to compare different spiritual and family traditions related to our ancestry. Ambaa created this week's questions. Next week, the questions will be themed around Hallowe'en, and death/dying. Check out Ambaa's post on her blog she will have more photos!Ambaa’s I … [Read more...]


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