Autumnal Introspection

To those celebrating, Happy Helig! Photo courtesy of shutterstock.

I grew up in a household that practiced portions of two religions:  Judaism and Christianity.  My mother was Christian but converted to Judaism; my father is Jewish by birth.  But, just because my immediate family nominally had a single religious identity, my extended family remained multi-faith.  I remember fondly lighting the menorah and the tree at my maternal grandmother's house during years where Christmas and Hanukkah overlapped, for example.  My choice to live as a Pagan and a polytheist a … [Read more...]

Bringing Them All Back Home

Moral Injury

In 2012 the suicide rate among combat veterans reached an all-time high with some 22 veterans dying by their own hand every single day. Deaths to suicide among these veterans were actually higher than combat-related deaths that year in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite efforts by the Veteran’s Administration and other agencies, suicide deaths among combat veterans continues to be a major problem with approximately one veteran suicide every hour. This rate is twice that of those who never served … [Read more...]

Cynicism, Solidarity & Communitas

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Do Pagans have a basic misunderstanding of what is meant by the term “interfaith”?Comments to a recent Wild Hunt blog were disturbingly juxtaposed with evening news reports of horrible sectarian violence in the Middle East. A sampling:“Interfaith work is often just another way for other people to try and convert us” “No thank you. Pagans need to focus on Pagans and leave others to do their thing.” “I'm sure at those meetings it's rainbows and butterflies. When the rubber hits the road t … [Read more...]

Abortion: The Hardest Choice

I don't walk in her shoes, so I can't describe them to you.

Abortion is a hard subject to talk about. Coming up with theoretical situations to illustrate a standpoint is usually not helpful because doing so fails to express the complexity of the decision whether or not to end a pregnancy. This decision, more often than not, comes with other major life-changing events and it is not only a medical concern, but a deeply spiritual and difficult ethical decision. By the grace of Artemis, I have never been faced with a pregnancy that I considered ending and I … [Read more...]

Cracking Wise About Trees

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Red-Tail Hawk in a Tree Doing interfaith work really never ceases to amaze me--and my recent experience was no exception. Here's what happened at the panel discussion I wrote about in my last post. To recap--I was contacted by a colleague in a neighboring county who was putting together an interfaith panel to discuss spirituality and the environment. I checked my calendar and agreed it was possible.  The date changed due to Ramadan but the new date worked for me, too. If you live in a small … [Read more...]

Same and Different

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Respect for our differences is our common ground. – Don FrewThis was just one nugget of wisdom gleaned during an interfaith panel at last week’s Covenant of the Goddess annual Leadership Workshop, “Standing On Common Ground,” held this year at the beautiful Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell, Georgia. CoG interfaith representatives spoke from a panel during the morning session, and in the afternoon they were joined by community representatives of several faiths: Baha’i’, Unity, Buddhist, … [Read more...]

A 2000-Year Journey in Interfaith

Pennsic

I have just returned from my annual vacation in Pennsylvania where my husband and I attend Pennsic War, the world’s largest medieval re-enactment event. This year nearly 11,000 of us who are fascinated by the Middle Ages camped together at Cooper’s Lake enjoying two weeks of friendship and learning in the hills of Western Pennsylvania. During that time we took classes on medieval arts and skills, fought mock battles, danced, sang the hours away, renewed friendships and made new friends. All of th … [Read more...]

Default Settings

I've written about this before and will, no doubt, write about it again. There are often default settings in the interfaith world that require patience and open-mindedness to reset. Years ago I was part of a group talking about "sabbath" and there was a sense that everyone has one and that it was a "day of rest" in which one communed with the Divine.  Many of us, though, have sabbaths/holy days and they are not in the least restful. They are loud and raucous and celebratory and we are exhausted … [Read more...]


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