Cosmology

Cosmology

A match is struck — the flare in the darkness, the smell of sulfur, the quiet roar and hiss that is the first whispered melody of the cosmic dance. Energy and matter, process and emptiness, fire and water, the dance of relationship. Each sacred rite begins this way. The match is struck. The world begins again.

I light the small white candle floating in the deep blue bowl. What was before this? Nothing and void, pure potential. The flame licks and eats the air, the waters beneath swirl and turn, the soft wax of the candle hangs suspended in between. The wax melts, shining and dripping into the waters. The wax evaporates, lifting in invisible currents into the air. The fire stretches and curls, its edges sharp against the darkness, its movements as fluid as blood or rain. The waters grow still, a hard surface like the mirror reflection of some greater night, infinite as space and full of stars. The Three Realms unfold, dynamic in their spiraling dance of self-giving and welcome. Land, Sea and Sky created and re-created again, the cosmos reborn with every prayer.

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In the Wake of Controversy

Google Analytics is fascinating. For instance, this past week and a half, my readership shot up to more than 10 times the average of the previous week (thanks to my inadvertently controversial post, “I am a Conscientious Objector in the Spiritual War”), before dropping back down to pre-bump numbers. The majority of these referrals came from Facebook.

Yet when I look at the statistics for time spent actually viewing pages on the website, a shocking 60% of those viewers spent 1 – 10 seconds on the site. Another 20% spent 11 – 180 seconds viewing the site. Which means that about 80% of readers from this past week spent less than three minutes actually reading the contents of the site before navigating away again.

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An Evolving Story of Green » No Unsacred Place

An Evolving Story of Green » No Unsacred Place

In my latest post over on No Unsacred Place, I gush about the amazing, evolving story of Phipps Conservatory, a local “green” garden conservatory and greenhouse in the heart of Pittsburgh, inspired by a recent video they shared in their membership e-newsletter about their continuing plans to transform Phipps into a “living building” through sustainable landscape and architecture:

“Jeff and I spend a lot of time hillwalking and hiking through the woods of Frick Park, but on rainy days like today, and especially during the long winter months when green is scarce in the woods, we love to head on over to Phipps to indulge in some ‘green therapy.’ …”

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Why Druidry?

Why Druidry?

There is, I think, an old, white-bearded man who has taken up a place in my soul, like a seed of light or a hermit’s lantern held up in the surrounding dark. His staff is heavy, planted in the ground. His brow is bright. In his dark eyes, that have seen such sorrow, there is still a star, a gleam like wisdom or stubborn joy. And he is a leader of a people, and he would lead them into the wilderness, that they might make of themselves whole constellations with the patterns of their dancing.

That darkness is my body. That wilderness is my spirit. That constellation is the soul-song rising, woven from the sound of my breathing and the blood turning through my gnarled, twining veins.

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30 Days of Druidry

30 Days of Druidry

During the month of August, while work and wedding preparation take me away from my usual writing, I’ve decided to use this “30 Days of Druidry” meme as a way to spark some free associative, poetic musings to share here on this blog.

This meme is based loosely on the “30 Days of Paganism” meme that was making its way around the blogosphere last year. How it works is simple: each day, write about your thoughts and experiences on how the day’s topic fits into your spiritual tradition or path. You can use the day’s topic as a jumping-off point for creative writing, or take a more straight-forward approach by writing essays or journal entries. You can also adapt the list of topics to suit your own tradition, though part of the fun is seeing what others have to share on topics that everyone is writing about together.

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Blessings of Sunlight

Blessings of Sunlight

This past Alban Heruin (the Druid holy day of the summer solstice) I had the pleasure of attending the local ADF grove’s ritual to greet the sunrise — and though the rain and thunder put a bit of a damper on the event, our greeting the lightening dawn with offerings, song and prayer was inspiring all the same. Afterwards, I returned home and spent the day in meditation and creative work. Specifically, designing a tattoo in honor of my relationship with my goddess, Brighid, in her solar/stellar aspect.

The original plan was to design a small tattoo as a expansion for my shoulder where I have a older and very faded design in desperate need of being touched-up. On my other arm, the Celtic armband weaves in rolling waves in honor of my relationship with Manannan Mac Lir, as well as my ancestors who traveled “beyond the ninth wave” into diaspora on this new continent.

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I am a Conscientious Objector in the Spiritual War

I am a Conscientious Objector in the Spiritual War

We have a rare chance to shape the future of Pagan/polytheist culture with an awareness of the mistakes made in the past. We have seen how seemingly innocuous influences in the early stages of the development and evolution of a New Religious Movement can quickly grow to become entrenched prejudices and twisted justifications for violence against those who are different. We have the chance to recognize those same potentials in ourselves, and to do our best to avoid them. Instead, I worry that we are too eager to make those same mistakes again, to invite a mythology of victimization and perpetuate a story that subscribes to the same tired “us versus them” duality that many of us were trying to escape when we left Christianity behind.

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Dining with Druids: A New Podcast!

Dining with Druids: A New Podcast!

Jeff and I have some exciting new projects in the works, and one of them is already underway. I’m psyched to officially announce the launch of our very own podcast: Dining with Druids!

Dining with Druids is your opportunity to sit in once a week and eavesdrop on the wild and rambling dinner conversation of two Druids as we discuss the news of the day and other interesting tidbits, informed by our backgrounds in political philosophy, linguistics, religious studies, history and modern-day spirituality. Don’t be fooled by the name — this is no cooking show! It’s a chance for us to unwind with some friendly conversation about the intersection of religion, politics, community and spirituality in an ever-changing, multicultural world.

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Sustainable Living as Civil Disobedience » No Unsacred Place

Sustainable Living as Civil Disobedience » No Unsacred Place

In my latest post over at No Unsacred Place, I tongue-in-cheekly declare Julie Bass “the Rosa Parks of sustainable gardening” for her refusal to comply with city officials demanding that she remove her vegetable garden from her frontyard and move it to the backyard, and explore ways in which choosing an eco-friendly lifestyle can be an act of civil disobedience:

“This summer, the U.S. continues to face devastating floods, droughts and fires that threaten large swathes of midwest farmland and bring the consequences of human-caused climate change into inescapable focus. Political and cultural leaders all over the world acknowledge that environmental destruction has become so dire and so wide-spread, it is perhaps the single most difficult, most vital challenge we will face in our lifetimes…”

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Badgers Need Your Help » No Unsacred Place

Badgers Need Your Help » No Unsacred Place

In my latest post over at No Unsacred Place, I take a look at the controversial measure under consideration in the UK for a large-scale “DIY” badger cull to reduce the spread of bovine tuberculosis, and consider some of the potential consequences that threaten the extinction of this iconic animal, a protected species under British law:
“Animal rights activists and other opponents of the cull argue that better regulation and testing of the cattle industry, along with vaccinations of infected badger populations, could do much more to combat bTB outbreaks without risking the potential extinction of the English badger. Instead, the government has backed itself into a corner…”

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