If this sort of experience is the goal of Zen practice, and if the psychedelic experience is something of the same order or type, then it’s not unreasonable to think that psychedelics could be a shortcut to enlightenment. The problem is that the satori experience isn’t the goal. It is at best a step along the way. Read more

once again I / fell madly in love with the impossible / trying to flirt with the Milky Way / dance up next to her in the night sky / and catch her eye Read more

That’s just how it goes with Starwood. Besides the friendships and the personal connections and the brilliant speakers, a tremendous amount of magical energy gets raised. It can change your life. Read more

Zen teacher and punk rocker Brad Warner recently posted a piece titled “Don’t Try to Help” at his blog Hardcore Zen. You ought to read it if for no other reason than that he quotes both an old Zen koan and a great Suicidal Tendencies song, and that’s probably the most interesting combination you’ll see this week. But I got asked about something similar last week at Starwood by an earnest young man, as we took shelter from the rain… Read more

Both the Order and the Kindred met in the New Forest area, the same area as Gardner’s supposed coven. Both groups practiced nudism (or “naturism”), used rituals based on bits of old British folklore, and took “Kin names” or “Woodcraft names,” a practice similar to the Wiccan use of “Craft” names. Gardner was known to be friendly with members of the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry, and was sighted at their meetings in the 1950s. This has led to speculation that Gardner’s “coven” was in fact the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry. Read more

The basic plan of agricultural hierarchical society and its associated religious practices had endured for thousands of years, through the Neolithic, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age, from the Sumerians through the Roman Empire to the kingdoms of medieval Europe. But in less than three centuries we went from the medieval manor to movable type, the fragmentation of the dominant religious system, mass production, and the beginnings of modern science and technology. Read more

Southern Baptist Samuel James has posed “7 Questions for the Victors” on the marriage equality issue — but forgot to turn comments on for his post. Fortunately, I have this forum to reply. So: seven easy answers. Read more

If the heritage you receive from an ancestor is one of hatred or ignorance or violence, it’s your responsibility to not accept that heritage. You don’t have to accept a gift, you know. If someone walks up to you with a big box of dog crap and tries to hand it to you, you can say, “No, thank you.” Read more

By all means, raise a toast if you like, change your Facebook profile picture to something rainbow if that’s your thing. Enjoy. But later, maybe it should be time for a serious discussion: shouldn’t we be trying to get beyond marriage? Read more

The speculation is this: that both the Boy Scouts and modern Wicca can trace a significant part of their heritage to a naturalist, mystic, author, and advocate of Native American culture who was popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but mostly unknown today. In the case of the Boy Scouts the history is clear, though largely forgotten for political reasons. For Wicca, it’s a foggy connection at best, but there is evidence for some sort of connection. Read more

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