Muse in Brief

The Speed of Blood » No Unsacred Place

In my latest post over on No Unsacred Place, an illness that leads to a hospital visit has me reflecting on questions about the relationship between health, healing, body and spirit and how we experience moments of transcendence even in the midst of danger: "If it weren't for these strange experiences of transcendence, I might be a pure animist. When I feel the wind caress my skin and it seems to me to be living and animate, filled with purpose and awareness — I cannot divide that sense of Presence from the wind itself. ..."

Muse in Brief

Web of Green: Ecology, Economics and the U.S. Political Climate » No Unsacred Place

In my latest post over on No Unsacred Place, I weave a web of green, headline-hopping through this past week's important news stories about environmentalism in the United States and the growing protests of economic inequality as part of the #OccupyWallSt movement: "Environmentalism has been making headlines recently in the United States as the political climate in the run-up to the Republican primaries continues to heat up like, well, the actual climate. From government censorship of climate scientists, to House Republicans voting to disempower the EPA, to environmentalist protest in solidarity with the #OccupyWallSt movement in New York and across the country, the common theme is the clash between two vastly different stories about the role that protections and regulations play in helping or hurting Americans. ..."

Muse in Brief

Water on Water’s the Way » No Unsacred Place

In my latest post over on No Unsacred Place, I explore the relationship between the Druidic element gwyar and the classic elements more familiar to most modern Pagans, as part of a larger discussion about the tragedy of water pollution and the inaccessibility to clean drinking water for millions of people living in poverty all over the world: "It’s no surprise that the general numbness and disconnection of our modern culture — our alienation from gwyar as the expression of sacred connection and exchange with the planet and its many beings and gods — can be poignantly seen in our damaged and dangerous relationship to the element of water. ..."

Muse in Brief

The Tale of Mabon: A Bedtime Story » No Unsacred Place

In my latest post over on No Unsacred Place, I share the story from Welsh mythology of Mabon, son of Modron, in honor of the coming autumnal equinox. This story was originally published on the former site of Meadowsweet & Myrrh back in 2009. In the comment section of the original post, a reader asked, "I've never understood the connection between this tale and the Equinox. Can you help with that connection?" This was my reply: "In Druidry, the autumnal equinox is not actually called Mabon, but instead goes by the name Alban Elfed/Elued (Welsh, meaning 'Light of the Water/Sea'). ..."

Muse in Brief

“Ethical Oil” is Not an Oxymoron » No Unsacred Place

In my latest post over on No Unsacred Place, I follow up on John's recent coverage of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline with a video from the Tar Sands Action protests in Washington D.C. this past weekend, where activists, environmentalists and ordinary citizens gathered to demonstrate their opposition to the proposed pipeline. Naomi Klein speaks on the manipulative corporate ad campaign to rebrand the Tar Sands as "Ethical oil": "I’m from Canada, and let me tell you something. We don’t have ‘ethical oil’ in Canada. We have Tar Sands oil, which is like regular oil, but a whole lot dirtier. It ravages the earth as it is extracted. Ravaging bodies, ravaging the land as you just heard from our brothers and sisters from the Indigenous Environmental Network. And it ravages the earth at the point of combustion. ..."

Muse in Brief

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.' ..."

Muse in Brief

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..."