FSG: Music and The Morrigan

So the Morrigan, that Celtic goddess (or trinity of goddesses) of war and death (but also perhaps of fertility and sovereignty), had some things to say to me in this ritual. Read more

Remembering Ringo

A heart that never cares is safe from grieving. But that’s not what hearts are for. Read more

Reason, Social Justice, and Dionysian Frenzy

No disrespect to Dionysus, but social justice is not a job to which you send a god whose followers have a reputation for tearing people to shreds with their bare hands. Read more

Kyoto: The Ancestors Are Watching (Photo, 52 Make-up Week 18)

Catching up with posting the pieces from the 52 Make-Up Challenge. This entry and the next are from my recent trip to Japan; for more on the background of this photo, taken in a cemetery in eastern Kyoto near sunset, see this post. (Click for a larger version.) I guess what’s interesting about the story behind this photo is that I had no intention of ending up there in a cemetery. I took a bit of a wrong turn while… Read more

Punctuated Equilibrium and Political Evolution

My interlocutor demands that we pick the best dinosaur. But the asteroid has already hit, and the age of mammals is at hand. Read more

Blessing Computers? Why Not?

Some corners of the net are getting a lot of incredulous chuckles about a photo of a Russian Orthodox priest blessing computers in the wake of the recent ransomware attacks. Our Patheos neighbor Hemant Mehta at “The Friendly Atheist”, is one those getting a lot of shares of it. (Though he’s unfortunately promoting the “Russia hacked our elections!!1!” paranoid conspiracy theory in the process.) Regular readers of TZP know that I hold no truck with state endorsement of religion, and… Read more

Kyoto Bonus: Daruma-dera Visit

The figurines symbolize a proverb: if you fall down seven times, get up eight times. Apparently a prior abbot of the temple found this to be the heart of practice, and so started the collection. They range in size from one that comes up to my chest, to ones you can hold in one hand. Read more

Even In Japan, Things Change

Everything needs a little renovation now and again, even the human heart. Read more

Kyoto’s Ancestors Are Watching; Deities In Commerce

It was as if the ancestral spirits were watching out over the city. I don’t have the planners handy to ask them, of course, but I would guess that’s a deliberate ritual placement. Read more

Seven Lucky Gods And The Spiritual Function Of Travel

And it reminds me of one of the spiritual functions of travel: to shake up our neurological imprints. I have heard that in ancient China Taoist masters would hang out in inns, looking for travellers whose minds had been a little unsettled, and slip a little transcendental wisdom into their cracked-open minds. Read more

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