She That Is: A Meditation on Brighid

She That Is: A Meditation on Brighid

What is She? Who is She? Celestial, ephemeral, pristine and pure, delicate, new, grace itself, fresh and bright. Earthy, dark and grounded, sweat and dirt and hot breath, the hard flex and tension of muscle, the rough power of fire and stone, the burning fluidity of molten ore. Primal, deep and ageless, utter stillness and distance, utter light in the darkness, spun out, flung out, fragmented, holographic, the whispering wholeness buried within each disparate glint of limit and form.

Read More

Education or Death: Why the SOPA/PIPA Blackout Protest Matters

Education or Death: Why the SOPA/PIPA Blackout Protest Matters

As a writer and creative type who thrives in the online world, issues of copyright protection and piracy can be very real problems for me. Of course I want legal protections for my work. As an avid reader and web-surfer who loves lolcats and Dinosaur Comics as much as the next person, I want the artists, writers and creative types out there who produce content for my favorite sites to have those same protections — even, no, especially if those creative types are just some college students messing around on YouTube and not Hollywood stars making millions off the latest blockbuster.

But that’s not what SOPA/PIPA is really about. The SOPA and PIPA bills are like the ring of power forged in the fires of Mount Doom: one law to rule them all, one law to find them, one law to bring them all and in the darkness bind them. Sponsored by a bloated entertainment industry that overcharges for pretty much everything, these bills would put in place the kind of invasive oversight infrastructure that would not only allow large corporations to sue technology start-ups and independent artists out of existence based on little to no evidence of piracy or copyright infringement, but would require on-going surveillance of user-produced content that makes Facebook’s privacy problems look like child’s play. Any website perceived as a potential threat to the Powers That Be would be vulnerable to lawsuits, while individuals would be subject to censorship and data-mining as a matter of course, creating a hostile and uncertain online environment in which conformity becomes the order of the day.

Read More

Satire, Suffering and the Pantheist’s Dilemma » No Unsacred Place

Satire, Suffering and the Pantheist’s Dilemma » No Unsacred Place

In my latest post over on No Unsacred Place, I explore the meaning of pantheistic faith in the face of the “hour of adversity” and the role that satire and deep play have in helping us through times of spiritual crisis and community strife. How does pantheism cope with the “hour of adversity” and the inescapable reality of physical death? What can the bardic tradition of satire in Celtic mythology and folklore tell us about how we can confront a loss of faith in our spiritual lives as well as in our political leadership?

Read More

Altars: A Showcase

Altars: A Showcase

I’ve created many altars, shrines and ritual spaces over the years. Each expressed the unique needs and aspirations of who I was at the time of its creation, and each balanced the limits of my living space with the potential for aesthetic and spiritual engagement. For these have all been living spaces — spaces that were alive with their own energies and moods, spaces that shaped my understanding of myself and sculpted me into new forms even as I organized and cleansed and decorated and invariably made a mess of them in an ever-repeating cycle.

House-hunting in Seattle has put me in mind of these many different sacred spaces, and what new altars I will craft as I make a home for myself on the shores of a new ocean. So, while I’m nursing my jet lag and scrambling to pack, I thought this week might be a good opportunity to take a look back at some of those altars of old as I dream of inspiration for new ones yet to come.

Read More

Ancestors

Ancestors

Imagine how we are woven bodily into this world, pulsing veins and sinew wrapped tightly around bone. Blood and marrow so intimate in the secret recesses of our structure. This is what connects you to them. Your whole life presses forward. Like a single thread pulled taut until it aches, the spun-spiraled blood and body of your life pulls away from the past, yet anchored there by the fact of your birth, the stubborn persistence of your being. They had that too, and now here you are. What strange and unwieldy imperfections make up the beauty of your body, the lumpy joints and stringy tissue. And the tension in you, it is theirs as well.

Read More

To Walk with Resolution: The Energy and Guidance of a Star

To Walk with Resolution: The Energy and Guidance of a Star

Going into the future is like going into the dark.

That was the theme of our family’s solstice ritual this year, as the nine of us (grandparents, parents, four kids and one cool step-uncle) settled down into a circle in the darkness of the living room. It was several hours after sunset on the longest night of the year, and the kids were antsy with excitement over unopened presents. I struck a single match, and began to weave our sacred space.

Read More

Justice Like Earth

Justice Like Earth

“What would happen if the government collapsed?” My oldest stepdaughter asked after I’d spent fifteen minutes explaining exactly what a bond was and why I was filling out paperwork to report which ones had been lost so that the government knew how much money they owed me.

Her siblings all sat quietly, listening intently to the more-grown-up-than-usual conversation, and her voice carried a weight of anxiety in the silence.

“This is going to be one of those Princess Bride moments,” I told her. “I’m going to let you know that the giant screeching eels don’t eat you. I’m telling you now because you look nervous.”

Read More

Introducing the New Wild Earth Feature Editor for Aontacht Magazine!

Introducing the New Wild Earth Feature Editor for Aontacht Magazine!

I’m really pleased and honored to be able to announce that I am now officially the Wild Earth feature editor for Aontacht Magazine! It’s going to be a lot of fun joining the editorial and production team of such an awesome magazine, and I’m thrilled to have yet another excuse to work with writers in the Druid community who are “walking their talk” and connecting with the Earth and the natural world in authentic, creative ways — and of course, to do a bit of writing of my own!

My first contribution appears in the most recent issue of Aontacht, which you can download for free on the Druidic Dawn website. The piece is called “Seven Wonders of the Natural World – In Your Own Backyard,” and in it I share a little bit about the winners of the New7Wonders campaign and the themes of diversity, depth, balance and mystery that these exotic sites exemplify — plus, how we can discover those wonders of nature everywhere.

Read More

Kid-Friendly, Earth-Friendly Solstice Crafts » No Unsacred Place

Kid-Friendly, Earth-Friendly Solstice Crafts » No Unsacred Place

In my latest post over on No Unsacred Place, I share some of the kid-friendly craft recipes I use for making ornaments and animal-safe ritual offerings for our winter solstice celebrations:

“It’s become a winter solstice tradition at our house to wake before sunrise on the morning after the longest night and head down to the local park where we climb the highest hill and greet the new sun with songs and offerings. …”

Read More

Solace of Perfection, Beauty of Decay

Solace of Perfection, Beauty of Decay

Let’s just say that life has been a bit stressful lately with everything going on. Back in high school and college when life was understandably a bit like being high strung on a high wire, I would throw myself into poetry. I spent long hours playing with words and sounds, line breaks and juxtaposition. Now, since writing is kind of a career for me these days, I find that I need some other creative outlet that I can throw myself into head first without worrying about being good at it.

Read More