Muse in Brief

Natural Theology: Polytheism Beyond the Pale » No Unsacred Place

In my latest post over on No Unsacred Place, I explore in more detail what it means to take an ecological approach to polytheism through the concept of "natural theology," and the kinds of tough questions that this kind of inquiry might challenge us to ask: "Ecology does not reject the hard sciences that came before it, but brings together and expands upon them. In this same way, natural polytheism draws on an ecological approach to theology to build upon the insights of hard polytheism, challenging us to deepen our relationships with the gods by asking more challenging questions about their relationships with us, with each other and with the natural world. ..."

Muse in Brief

Naming the Water: Human and Deity Identity from an Earth-Centered Perspective » No Unsacred Place

In my latest post over on No Unsacred Place, I respond to Teo Bishop's recent musings over at Bishop in the Grove, in which he contemplates hard polytheism and ancestor reverence, and the problematic issues of self-identity that might arise when we imagine our descendants worshipping us as gods: "As a Pagan, my theology is rooted firmly in the earth. To me, the earth is sacred, and so the ecological truths that guide and shape life on this tiny blue marble are sacred truths. One of those truths is that identity is fluid. I can no more name the discrete entity that is “me” than I can name the water flowing in a river. From moment to moment, that identity changes. This was the insight of the Buddhists, too: we are not the same person from one second to the next, and reincarnation is less like viscous soul-substance getting sloshed from one meat-container into the next as it is like a flame passing from one wick to another. Is it the same flame? Yes… and then again, no. ..."

Muse in Brief

Effective Communication for Tree-Hugging Dirt-Worshippers » No Unsacred Place

In my latest post over on No Unsacred Place, a recent xkcd comic inspires me to reflect on the ways that earth-loving environmentalists sometimes undermine their cause through a preoccupation with doom and gloom, and how modern Pagan spirituality gives us tools for finding better ways to share the love: "Environmentalists spend a lot of time telling everyone how close we are to destroying the planet, or at least disrupting the delicate balance that allows the human species to survive on it. But they spend almost as much time complaining about how it seems like all that their fellow environmentalists ever do is run around frantically preaching doom and gloom, trying to harass and frighten people into action. ..."

Muse in Brief

Disturbing the Bones of the Beloved Dead » No Unsacred Place

In my latest post over on No Unsacred Place, I share the heart-wrenching story of one of the lesser known consequences of mountaintop removal coal mining in the Appalachian mountains: the destruction of centuries-old family cemeteries that have been part of the landscape and the small communities of Appalachia for generations: "Many of the small communities scattered throughout Appalachia, where mountaintop-removal mining has done so much damage already, face the destruction of cemeteries that have been part of the wooded wilderness for centuries, left to become overgrown and sometimes forgotten as younger generations leave the area. These grave sites might not be officially registered or marked on any map, leaving them vulnerable to destruction from mining companies that buy up property and indiscriminately strip the landscape bare in an effort to reach the valuable coal deposits underneath. What minimal laws there are protecting cemeteries only apply to registered sites marked off by a fence and regularly maintained by a caretaker, and the historical value of family cemeteries can be difficult to prove, especially in cases where graves are unmarked or headstones have fallen into disrepair. ..."

Muse in Brief

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?

Muse in Brief

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. ..."

Muse in Brief

Scientists Discover Life’s Common Ancestor, An Ancient Living Ocean » No Unsacred Place

In my latest post over on No Unsacred Place, I talk about the exciting discoveries of recent genetic research into LUCA, the Last Universal Common Ancestor of all life on earth, and what parallels we can draw to ancient creation stories about the divine origins of life from cultures all over the world.