What We All Want

Yes, we are the same as human beings, but we are also different, and in the sacred space of our friendship, I honor our differences, even celebrate them, and I expect you to acknowledge them, too. Furthermore, you are safe with me. I no more think less of you for being different than I expect you to think of me. We have this privilege because we live in a democracy. Read more

What’s Compassion Got to Do With It?

So, when I first approached the leadership of Cherry Hill Seminary about our becoming an educational partner for the Charter For Compassion, some immediately embraced the idea as a natural fit for a seminary, while others were skeptical of why we should be affiliated with something they perceived as just another way of being absorbed by the dominant religious culture and losing our identity. Read more

Talking Our Way to Understanding

I was pleased because at last it seemed we were really acknowledging our differences rather than glossing them. That acknowledgment must precede any true acceptance of differences. Read more

Hatred is the Poison of the Soul

“Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.” By Jill Jackson Miller and Sy Miller, 1955 This month I find myself trapped between the events of 9/11 and a Samhain that seems more and more filled with the angry voices of both the living and the dead. Perhaps that is why Mabon with its call for balance and for letting go of that which is not helpful seemed especially poignant. There is so much hatred and… Read more

People Like Me

We know we all believe in the same god. I sighed as a couple of friends around the table caught my eye with a knowing look. The new people at last week’s interfaith meeting were introducing themselves, and their use of this tired, inaccurate aphorism was, no doubt, their way of stating that they were in harmony with all the others present. Read more

Autumnal Introspection

I grew up in a household that practiced portions of two religions: Judaism and Christianity. My choice to live as a Pagan and a polytheist as an adult further complexifies my family’s religious landscape. My spirituality is layered with pieces of a Pagan and Jewish identities that I feel most notably at the Autumnal Equinox. Read more

Bringing Them All Back Home

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

It can be very hip to rage, but eventually we must settle down to the real work of crafting a life. Solidarity unites those who agree on one cause, but it still maintains opposition against others. Opposition can be a powerful force when channeled wisely. Sooner or later, however, opposition must dissolve when the object of resistance gives in. Then, must we seek another force to oppose? Read more

Abortion: The Hardest Choice

I’m not going to argue ethics here because I don’t feel comfortable telling any woman what is appropriate for her in her situation. It’s too complex. There are too many variables. My very own Pagan ethics, which may differ from your Pagan ethics, tell me that one of the hardest choices a woman might ever have to make in her life should remain with her and no one else. Read more

Cracking Wise About Trees

I had a question about trees and described myself as a genuine tree-loving dirt-worshipper. General titter in the audience. I quoted the verses from 2 Kings and quipped–so you don’t cut down some trees but the trees of the Goddess-worshippers–my people’s trees–those were fair game, huh? He shook his head, smiling and we high-fived each other as the audience chuckled. Read more