Abuse and the Language of Privilege

Abuse and the Language of Privilege

I don’t want to live in a world where we are no longer allowed to ask each other for kindness and respect. I don’t want to live in a world where one person’s anger is more important than another person’s pain. I don’t want to live in a world where our only recourse if we want to be heard is to raise our voices more and more loudly and force our anger onto others.

I would rather learn how to turn my anger into something beautiful and powerful that cannot be ignored, than to waste it in ways that can be dismissed because of my “tone.” I would rather turn my rage into an agent of compassion, than use it as a weapon against those who have hurt me.

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Anatomy of a God

Anatomy of a God

We want so very much to understand our gods, to know them intimately, to see how they work in our lives. It is tempting to dissect, to analyze, to categorize. And sometimes, it is necessary, even beneficial. We are categorizing creatures, we human beings. We pick out patterns as a matter of survival. When it comes to our gods, we reach for them not only with our prayers and offerings, but with our reason and our intellects — we would know them with our whole selves, in all their parts, in part so that we might know our own selves better in all our parts. The challenge is to delve into theology without killing its subject, to try our hand at analysis and critical thinking without pretending that the numinous divine is a dead thing that will hold still beneath our careful knives. Theology is not dissection. It is much more gruesome than that; it is vivisection.

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Adventures in Natural Polytheism: A to Z

Adventures in Natural Polytheism: A to Z

What is ecological polytheism? That was the question that I knew I’d eventually have to answer. There was something going on in the root-webbed dark, some new kind of way of being Pagan that was starting to take shape for me. I tried to answer this question, or at least articulate it, in a couple of posts over on No Unsacred Place, and they became two of the most popular posts on the blog. I wasn’t the only one interested in asking these kinds of questions, it seemed. Lots of other people were wondering the same thing. What is natural polytheism? How does ecology inform my theology? How can I bring science and religion into conversation for a more grounded and earth-centered Paganism?

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Keystones of the Sacred Land (And Other Adventures in Ecological Polytheism)

Keystones of the Sacred Land (And Other Adventures in Ecological Polytheism)

During the winter holidays, I gorged myself on pie and hot chocolate and twinkling lights and solstice cheer. I hope you did, too! But while I was lolling about in my sugar-induced hibernative haze recovering from a busy and productive fall, two more of my articles were published — “Keystones of the Sacred Land,” in Aontacht Magazine, and “Reading the Book of Nature,” in The Witches’ Voice. Both articles continue my exploration of ecological polytheism and the work I’m doing to blend my naturalist training more into my spiritual practice.

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Steampunk Frog Familiar

Steampunk Frog Familiar

Sometimes I get sick of the flat, bright rectangles of computer screens and book pages. When that happens, I go on crafting binges. My latest was inspired by the steampunk aesthetic and my recent spiritual work with the local flora and fauna of the Pacific Northwest.

This little guy was the result.

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Light a Candle to Begin

Light a Candle to Begin

Christmas eve night, about nine o’clock. Basket slung over one arm and bumping into my hip with every step, I trudge through the snow. The ribbon wound around the basket’s slim handle glistens in a hint of milky moonlight, gold thread woven in elaborate patterns through the deep red cloth. In the basket, a red pillar candle and two tapers — scented “seasonal berry” — jostle in a nest of intertwined greens, bits of douglas fir and blue spruce smelling sweetly of bent needles and dried sap; wedged among them, the frankincense sticks, the crystal bowl full of dark sunflower seeds and dried cranberries, the small jar of spring water decorated with silvery snowflake designs and curled bits of blue string. The snow crunches as I feel my way along the un-shoveled path through the park, some of it falling onto the tops of my moccasin-like shoes and slipping down inside to melt against bare skin.

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SageWoman, I am in you!

SageWoman, I am in you!

I’m thrilled to be the newest member of the SageWoman team! My first column, “Forever Maiden: Wild Dirt-Worship in the Digital Age,” makes its debut with a story of seeking out those safe spaces to nurture the youthful goddess within. Plus, my contemplative essay “Goddess in the Details” is featured as the lead story for the issue. Squeeee!

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Hipster Paganism

Hipster Paganism

I’m working hard to make Hipster Paganism a thing. Now that Pagan means Wiccan, and polytheist means Pagan, it’s only a matter of time before the People We’re Embarrassed By start calling themselves polytheists and recons. (It’s already starting.) I for one am embracing this endless cycle by bringing “Pagan” back… but in, like, an ironic way.

Read… Things Hipster Pagans Say

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Embarrassment: An Invitation to Growth

Embarrassment: An Invitation to Growth

Embarrassment has been a hot topic in the Pagan blogosphere this week, and it has me thinking about my own relationship with the Pagan community. But it also has me pondering my relationship with embarrassment itself. I learned early on that when others perceived my embarrassment, they almost always assumed that it was because I was ashamed of myself, and I was encouraged — in all the subtle ways that culture shapes the individual psyche — to turn a critical eye on my embarrassment and question how it might reflect my various flaws. Maybe this is because, in our culture, male embarrassment is more often perceived as a value judgment about others, while female embarrassment is interpreted as a response to personal failing.

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Why (Not) Be a Christian? – The Oasis

Why (Not) Be a Christian? – The Oasis

Meeter gives Christianity a bit of a soft sell, emphasizing all of the ways that being a Christian can help you get your head right and find a more meaningful way of living. But what he doesn’t do is justify, or even articulate, some of the foundational ontological beliefs on which he’s based his arguments. Since the kind of god we worship affects the kind of human beings we are, let’s see if we can’t find out a bit more about Meeter’s god by looking at the kind of human he inspires.

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