October 15, 2020

But there are reasons that the spiritual traditions that have achieved power in the world portray karma as personalized. It’s useful for getting people to behave — the most juvenile form of religious ethics, the threat and promise that the gods or the workings of cosmic forces will give you candy if you’re good and a spanking if you’re bad. Read more

September 30, 2020

I know people who call themselves or are initiated as witches and wizards and magicians and shamans. I think I’ve even met a sorcerer or two. But I don’t think I’ve met anyone who calls themselves an Enchanter. And it’s interesting because it’s a broad and general term. It can mean a practitioner of magic — sharing its Latin root cantō with “chant” — but also “a person who enchants or delights”. Read more

August 2, 2020

The past few days have been among the worst in my life. I find that am estranged from my brother, most likely permanently — I have to think that if you don’t seek rehab after ending up on a ventilator, you’re probably not ever going to. And I’m left much more distant from my beloved mother that I want to be, though I’m going to try to keep the connection open. My heart is heavy. And yet. Read more

June 15, 2020

Yes, the plague is killing thousands! and Yes, the oppressors are brutal! and Yes, the cities are burning! But Stop Stop and breathe. A slow breath in through the nose, not a quick panicked pant And again, breathe And for the power of three, again. Do you smell it? Do you smell the honeysuckle? The sweet smell of summer is here Because the cycle of the seasons goes on no matter what mistakes we make (And yes, yes, yes it… Read more

June 10, 2020

The fnords are the cliche phrases and stock tropes that obscure the truth without actually lying. They are whatever black magic has led to Americans seeing accounts of police violence and other crimes of the state in newspapers and on TV news for decades, yet somehow looking past them. Read more

May 28, 2020

This period of change isn’t over and will not be for some time. That means that you, my fellow magician, are in a liminal space where the possibility for deliberate change — for magic — is greatly expanded. Read more

May 8, 2020

But on my shopping trips over the past few weeks I’ve been struck by how distracted and unfocused many of my fellow shoppers are. So in this post I’d like to use four fundamental concepts from the Japanese martial arts to discuss strategies for safer and smoother shopping. And perhaps in the process give an example of how the study of the martial arts has much broader application to our lives than merely punching and kicking. Read more

April 5, 2020

If we accept the Way of the Fool, we can keep perfect hope even at the edge of the cliff, even in the depths of perfect doubt. (Doubt and hope are a yin and yang pair: opposites, yes, but mutually supporting and constantly transforming into each other.) Read more

March 28, 2020

It is Papa Legba (not “the devil”) whom we meet at the crossroads. And what are the routers and hubs of the internet, where data packets are sent this way or that way, but crossroads? Read more

March 19, 2020

A bit more than twenty years ago, after my 30th birthday, I went away for a long weekend by myself. I rented a cabin in the woods, and spent a few days alone (other than my dogs) thinking and writing, doing some divination and meditation and ritual. No radio, no TV, no computer — and this was the days before smartphones. I came away with some insights worthy of the effort, but the most important insight was one I discovered… Read more

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