Soul Writing: Finding Balance in Group Spiritual Practice

Soul Writing: Finding Balance in Group Spiritual Practice

Writing in a group setting is different, much more like praying together. Or sitting together in meditation. Being present to each other in-process, witness to the very act of discovery and composition, soul-deep in the chaotic waters of creativity. This is writing as a spiritual practice — a kind of sacred deep listening, what Karen Hering calls in her book Writing to Wake the Soul, “contemplative correspondence.”

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The Sights of Santa Fe

The Sights of Santa Fe

Even just a few days in Santa Fe can leave me speechless…

Partly because I’m parched — my rain-soaked soul, so used to wandering the misty shores of Puget Sound, rebels against the high elevation and incredibly dry climate… But mostly because, in the midst of the desert, the astounding color and diversity of human culture overwhelms me with amazement and gratitude.

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Participating in Enchantment: Redefining Magic

Participating in Enchantment: Redefining Magic

Magic is not something you do. Magic is participatory consciousness: a consciousness of enchantment.

By placing participation at the heart of our magical work, we no longer relegate magic to the realm of anti-religious power-mongering and manipulation. Instead, magic opens us up to relationship. To reverence. To an engagement with an enchanted world that plays a vital role in an earth-centered spirituality that seeks the sacred in the natural forces and landscapes in which we live our everyday lives.

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Landscape in Ink, With Horse

Landscape in Ink, With Horse

We draw a line around what is sacred, to set it apart as special. We imagine the planet as a precious blue marble floating in space, so small and far away we cannot see the delicate contours of our own faces turned upwards towards the night sky, doing the imagining. We worship the lands that give us life, the earth that sustains us with its salty waters and wild winds, its mud and grit. We encircle the world in the darkness of outer space, and it shimmers all the brighter.

But when we’re not paying attention, the lines we draw around the sacred can cut us right through the middle.

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Romancing the Flower Maid: or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Anima

Romancing the Flower Maid: or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Anima

These days our society is moving further and further from the simple conception of gender as a binary: male or female, man or woman. We are beginning to recognize that gender is complex. In the natural world, scientists continue to discover undeniable examples of how sexuality is multifaceted and fluid, from the parthenogenesis of blacktip sharks to the three distinct sexes of the midshipman toadfish. But we’re not there yet. Binaries have kept us trapped for a long time, defining us by what we are not or what we supposedly cannot do, rather than by who we are and what we’re really capable of.

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New Moon, Forever Maiden: Wild Worship in the Digital Age

New Moon, Forever Maiden: Wild Worship in the Digital Age

We live in a time of amazing opportunities and heart-wrenching tragedies, a time when many of us live daily with the humming tension between wild enthusiasm and deep cynicism. Women in particular face challenging contradictions in this brave new age. In a society that celebrates equality, we see before us endless opportunities to pursue our dreams. And yet in many ways, the glass ceiling seems thicker than ever, and the balancing act of gender equality forever remains a perilous one.

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Memorial Day, Motherland and Blood Sacrifice

Memorial Day, Motherland and Blood Sacrifice

When it comes to questions of how to respond to the cultural demand to “honor the soldiers who died for you,” I find that the problem is not so much that I do not want to comply, but that I literally do not know how. Assuming, of course, that our honor and memory should take a form other than silent complicity in the continuing violence and militarism of our government — what should my honor look like?

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Holy Adoration: Fire as Prayer

Holy Adoration: Fire as Prayer

Sometimes what I want is a wild fire. A fire that roars. A fire that beats at the air with its bright fists clenched. Sometimes I want prayer like a fire that claims everything it touches.

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Celebrating Earth Day: Phenology Bingo

Celebrating Earth Day: Phenology Bingo

Earth Day has long been a holy day for me, and I’ve marked it through personal and family rituals for years. But this year, I was especially blessed: I had the chance to help out with the Earth Day service offered by my UU church this past weekend. And it was nothing short of marvelous.

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A Leap Day Altar (and more)

A Leap Day Altar (and more)

“There are two paths to transformation: the way out-beyond and the way deep-within. Either way will work. But it’s no good to stay here wavering between the two, weighing which one asks the least of you.”

A leap day altar, and more excerpts from my altar-a-day challenge

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