Goddess Withdrawn

Goddess Withdrawn

It takes a long time to understand why she left.

She’d arrived one day with a burst of rain, a glint of sunlight on wilting ice. She’d come with mud and wind and trampled dogwood petals pressed into the cracks of the sidewalk, with quickened breath and light, with the smell of cheap wax candles burning well past midnight… And then one day, just as quickly, she was gone again.

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Q&A: What is the Song of the World?

Q&A: What is the Song of the World?

The latest issue of the Alternative Religions Educational Network’s newsletter just came out this past weekend, and I was excited to be included as one of those featured in an interview with the editor, Christopher Blackwell. We chatted about my background being raised in a liberal Catholic tradition flavored by my father’s Irish heritage, and how that shaped my spiritual journey towards Druidry as I live and practice it today. It was great fun!

One thing we touched on was the Oran Mór, or the Song of the World. Chris asked me to talk a little bit more about how this cosmological concept is reflected in my Druidry. You can read the excerpt here, or check out the whole interview.

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Q&A: How do you honor your Irish Christian ancestors?

Q&A: How do you honor your Irish Christian ancestors?

I try to answer an intriguing question put forward in an essay by Sionnach Gorm:

“How do we, as devout polytheists, reconcile the historic reality that our ancestors (at some point in the 5th-6th century CE and with no evidence of coercion) chose to turn to a god of bells and tonsures, of monks and scriptures, of Rome and the Papacy? Why would they ‘abandon’ the gods of their ancestors, and choose this newfangled Christ and his missionaries?”

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Art, Entertainment and the Technology of the Sacred

Art, Entertainment and the Technology of the Sacred

In light of recent events and discussions, I wanted to share this essay as a robust defense of the sacred value of art, poetry and satire within both our theological explorations and our political discourse. It is my view that ambivalence itself can be sacred, for it opens us to authentic experiences of others which may be unexpected or challenging, and so we can appreciate this ambivalence and the art forms that express it as powerful and meaningful aspects of our relationship with the numinous, and with each other.

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Druid’s Blade and Witch’s Broom: An Ode to Mistletoe

Druid’s Blade and Witch’s Broom: An Ode to Mistletoe

They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but that’s only half the truth.

In the face of our assembly-line obsession with efficiency and expendability, keystone species like mistletoe serve as powerful reminders of why individuality is so essential to abundance. True prosperity lies in the diversity of our communities and the ways that we support that diversity with our own unique gifts. It can be lonely, even a little frightening, to be different. But nature is messy. Nature is wild…

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Making Ancestor Prayer Beads: A Samhain Craft Project

Making Ancestor Prayer Beads: A Samhain Craft Project

In my last post, “Honor for the Dead,” I mentioned that this year as part of our family Samhain celebration, we crafted prayer bead bracelets to help us connect more deeply with our ancestors. A bunch of you have asked for more details on how to make prayer beads of your own, so I put together this handy-dandy step-by-step tutorial. Let’s do some magic!

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Honor for the Dead: Crafting Relationship with the Ancestors

Honor for the Dead: Crafting Relationship with the Ancestors

There is always pressure to either romanticize or demonize the past. As it recedes into the distance of memory, its complexities are all too easily lost in the mists. The veils of time fall across our vision and we glimpse only vague impressions of a landscape, a culture, a handful of faces on the edge of our perception that seem to change and fade when we turn to look again. What does it mean to part this veil, to honor the ancestors?

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Lughnasadh: Honoring the Harvest Through Grief and Gratitude

Lughnasadh: Honoring the Harvest Through Grief and Gratitude

Today is Lughnasadh, and I find myself returning to the strange mixture of work and rest, grief and celebration that always marks this time of year for me.

It is the acknowledgement of fear and loss during the most fruitful time of the year that marks this as a holy season. It is this mingling of love and sorrow, hope and grief that transforms the cycles of production and consumption into something more: a sacred harvest. When we forget the hard work of our ancestors, when we distance ourselves from the sweat, blood and tears that connect us to the living reality of those who have come before us, when we anesthetize ourselves to the grief we feel at the struggles they faced and the sacrifices they made — that is when we risk becoming mere consumers. Grief serves a sacred purpose, for we cannot grieve what we have not loved. Grief is one of the fruits of love, even as joy and prosperity are the fruits of labor.

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Wonder on the Wing: Lessons from the Owl Goddess on Climate Change

Wonder on the Wing: Lessons from the Owl Goddess on Climate Change

The Pagan gods are not exactly known for their forgiving natures. Yet as divine powers of regeneration and return, they offer a forgiveness all their own. Not the forgiveness of escape and abdication, nor the forgiveness of a benevolent Almighty on whose behalf we can act with unchallenged dominion. Rather, theirs is the forgiveness of restored responsibility, the response-ability that we possess as natural beings and citizens of the earth.

After all, what do we seek when we seek forgiveness, but the chance to start again?

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The Joy of Hidden Things: Tidepooling on the Salish Sea

The Joy of Hidden Things: Tidepooling on the Salish Sea

Tidepooling is a practice in patient observation. It’s also a reminder that some things happen in their own sweet time. That’s the thing about low tide. Sun, moon and earth turn through the steps of their celestial dance, and once in a while you get lucky and the three of them meet just right in a moment of revelation. You have to be ready.

I’m often humbled to realize how oblivious I can be to the wonders of the natural world all around me. And what treasures might yet be hiding right in front of me, in plain sight.

After all, there are so many different ways to hide.

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