The Value of Sacred Language

codex regius

I've been married now for almost a year, and my wife and I have been together for nearly three. During that time I've gotten to know the local Jewish community fairly well, and (being the Rabbi's son-in-law) I've gotten a unique kind of “behind the scenes” look at how Synagogues and the general community function. One of the biggest internal cultural movements I've noticed in modern Judaism is this drive to reclaim Hebrew as a sacred language and encourage everyone in the community to learn it. T … [Read more...]

Commonality of Humanity

It’s amazing sometimes to sit with a retired minister of (choose your abrahamic faith). All these years I was under the impression that they had their act together – that they had all the answers and knew what life was all about. My eyebrows are raised in stock shock to recognize the complete opposite.I have learned that these ex-ministers that I now call friend are just as human as I am.  It makes me wonder though, if my new-found surprise is merely for the fact that I've yet had the oppo … [Read more...]

Speaking for Others: Part Two

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In Part One of this series, I talked about the difficulties and dilemmas in being asked to talk about a tradition or faith that is not your own.  This week in Part Two, I'd like to offer some suggestions to those who find themselves in this situation.I must imagine that the monists or soft polytheists who attend interfaith events and work with those of other faiths want to accurately convey the great diversity within Paganism.  I don't believe that anyone is out there honestly trying to m … [Read more...]

What Does Interfaith Mean?

artichoke

 Since last we met, my little corner of Interfaithland has been a patchwork quilt of emotions and events. I’ll start with the surprising death of one of my local interfaith colleagues. His name is Ahmad Amara and he came to our town in his retirement and it was his quiet voice that brought me to the place I stand regarding Palestine.He was my first Muslim friend and his stories of growing up in Jaffa were sweet and heartbreaking. Ahmad died an old man so he remembered playing w … [Read more...]

Asking the Right Question

A five-pointed star with a dollar sign centered within it.

From time to time, the curators over at the Patheos Public Square send out writing prompts to all of us. Usually, they don't fit well within the overall topic of interfaith that we tend to stick to here at the Wild Garden so I, personally, haven't used them.  This time, though, I think there is a connection to be made.For the public square, we were asked to answer a question:  has capitalism failed?Unfortunately, I don't think the world deals in absolutes, so the answer can only be "yes a … [Read more...]

Interfaith in the Pagan Community

Pagan Interfaith

We talk a lot about how we need to engage in interfaith work to bring peace and harmony among the religions of the world.  Generally when we are speaking to this we are talking about Pagans working with Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, etc.;  in other words, working with members of religions that do not fall under the Pagan umbrella.  All of this is important work that badly needs doing.  And it is vital that Pagan voices be heard in any discussions about how the religions of the world can … [Read more...]

A pagan visit to a Hindu Ashram Community

Last weekend I went up to the Virginia mountains to become certified as a Laughing Yoga Leader.I am now trained in laughing exercises to use as a means to help people re-learn to laugh. :-) More on that in another post.  My focus for this blog is the center of which the two-day laughing yoga class was held: Yogaville, and the resulting observation that can only be heard from a neutral Pagan.Tell me, what does that word, Yogaville bring to mind for you?  Lots of people doing yoga? Healthy … [Read more...]

How to Do Interfaith: Basics For Pagan Beginners, Part 1

photo10

Someone asked me recently, however did you gain acceptance in South Carolina as a Pagan interfaith leader?  Honestly, the story is not much of a mystery, but I’ve learned some things along the way which you may find useful.1.  Show up.  Patrick McCollum was asked once what is the key to successfully building Pagan community.  His answer was, “Show up.”  If you want to be part of something, you have to be there when the action happens.  That may mean visiting religious services, meetings, disc … [Read more...]


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