January 9, 2019

Welcome to the first Random Wednesday of 2019, a randomly appearing feature of short bits here on The Zen Pagan. Heathen Sailors A small group of Heathen sailors on the USS John C. Stennis, a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered supercarrier, are now holding lay services in the ship’s chapel. Aviation Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Joshua Wood has been appointed Heathen “lay leader” for the carrier and authorized to facilitate sumbels. It’s unclear how many Heathen sailors are joining him, but it’s a… Read more

January 5, 2019

We sometimes think of creativity as a light, playful thing, an airy-fairy luxury for the good times. But this is not so. Creativity is essential for liberation. More and more we hear the slogan "A better world is possible"; to envision that world takes an act of creative imagination. Read more

January 1, 2019

Just as it is a genuine act of witchcraft to give a friend with an upset stomach a cup of ginger tea, and just as prosperity magick can bump up against matters as mundane as balancing your checkbook, there is a magickal attitude with which to approach your calendar and to-do list. Read more

December 21, 2018

Are we on the watch for the light, or for the darkness? The whole phenomenon of the seasons and the solstices is, in effect, a question of which direction we look. Read more

December 2, 2018

I woke up yesterday morning to the news that President Bush — the first President Bush — had died. The NPR reporter told a story about how Bush the First had told her that the happiest time of his life was not his Presidency or his campaign, but when he returned from World War II and was going back to school, with his wife and son at home waiting for him. I’m sure the hearts of the ghosts of the estimated 13,000 Iraqi civilians who died in Gulf War I and the 70,000 who died in its aftermath were suitably warmed by this tale of domestic bliss. Read more

November 29, 2018

Deities are either invented, created, or discovered. And that is a process of story-telling. We invent them in our stories, or create them via our stories, or we spread the discovery of them through our stories. Stories make gods. Read more

November 18, 2018

For those of us in the business of unusual religious practices, the fortieth anniversary of the Jonestown Massacre is a good opportunity to pause and reflect on how we protect against dangerous cultish behavior. And to contemplate how movements that seem to have noble ends can end up deadly authoritarian nightmares. Read more

November 11, 2018

What we owe our veterans is not some “thank you for your service” platitude. What we owe them is a deep apology and compensation for the way our government has used the lives of men and women as geopolitical tools for the benefit of our ruling classes. Read more

November 5, 2018

It is ironic and problematic that this style of republic, structured from the start to restrict democracy and preserve the power of the wealthy, has become synonymous with “democracy” in modern conversation. In general, your vote matters little. That’s how the system was designed from the start. But we won’t get better if we don’t exercise the tiny capacity we do have. Read more

October 29, 2018

What if we thought of the veil between the worlds not as a separation between our physical realm and a realm made out of some more rarefied substance but as the boundary between the ordinary view of reality and that fuller view which sees that "form is emptiness, emptiness is form&quot, as the Heart Sutra puts it? Read more

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