Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Why I Am Not at the Heartland Festival.

All day I had been tracking the progress of the eastbound Southwest Chief, the Amtrak train between Chicago and Los Angeles. It was slightly late out of Gallup, N.M., but on time into Albuquerque. Then something happened to slow it between Lamy Junction and Las Vegas, New Mexico. The estimated time of arrival at my […]

Normal for Glastonbury, Normal for Boulder

I love snarky local blogs. Unfortunately, the one for my little mountain county seems mostly devoted these days to attacking one county commissioner candidate, so I will spare you that. But thanks to a Facebook friend, I was introduced to Normal for Glastonbury, which contains such nuggets as these about the most esoteric town in […]

Being “Nones” in a Pagan Society?

In Estonia, as with many Eastern European countries, the native Pagan religion is entertwined with national pride. Conquerers from the medieval Teutonic Knights to the Soviet Union have tried to supress it. According to this writer, many—perhaps a majority—of Estonians are spiritual-but-not-religious in a Pagan sort of way: Taaraism [native Paganism] went against the ways […]

Being an “Oxbridge Scholar”

Yesterday’s mail brought my contributor’s copy of The Cambridge Handbook of Western Mysticism and Esotericism, to which I contributed an article on contemporary Paganism. There ought to be a long German compound word for “fear of looking at something you wrote several years ago.” The back cover of this hefty (2.5 lbs.; 958 g.) volume […]

Western Polytheists Have a Long Way to Go

For example, at our funerals, where are the dragon dancers? The all-female marching bands? The strippers? “I want it to be boistrous. My father liked this kind of atmosphere.” These Taiwanese make a New Orleans funeral look positively Lutheran. And it’s much the same in mainland China, where the spicy-funeral custom is drawing the attention […]

It’s Because Texans Make Good Witches

Yes, “Wicca Grows in Austin“! And beyond! Californians may recognize a familiar name in this Austin group too. The headline was a youthful pronouncement of mine, because it seemed that if you peeled off the Baptist conditioning, Texans were craz-eee. (Catholics? Maybe so, maybe no.)

Celebrating Spring, Red Rocks, and Wine

I look outside today and see a white landscape, with light snow falling and a couple of hungry humingbirds huddled on the sugar-water feeder like barflies staring into their whiskey glasses. Yes, it’s a typical May Day in the Colorado foothills. Is any surprise that Colorado’s biggest public Beltane festival does not occur until the […]

More Links — Hand-Forged Ones At That

• At Fay’s Forge you may buy “knives, swords, and do castings from the Celtic, migration, Anglo Saxon, and Norse cultures.” Support your local shieldmaiden. • Probably it would be more accurate to say that the planned Black Mass terrifies some Christians in Oklahoma. And before you dump on Oklahoma, remember that Harvard University backed […]

“It’s Only a Tree. It Can’t Hurt You!”

Plus “You’ve been watching too much television” and other undying lines from a “teens in peril” screenplay. So who is  the writer? That well-known Wiccan author Stewart Farrar (1916–2000), slipping a little bit of a Craft-y message into this 1975 episode of a British show called Shadows. (A tip of the pointy hat to Veles […]

A Small Victory in the Struggle for the Capital P

I was contacted some time ago to write an article on contemporary Paganism for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion, now in production. After the usual writerly procrastination, I cranked out my 8,000 words (or whatever it was) and sent it in. Then, in April, the copyedited version arrived for my approval. No problems there […]