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Showing posts from August, 2014

On Privilege

I took a vacation last week.  And I got to spend much of it at one of my favorite places in the world: Schoodic Lake, in Lakeview, Maine. My family has been going there since the mid-sixties, when my grandparents built a “camp” on the lake.  My grandfather had lived his whole life in Maine.  He was a farmer’s son who started out as a truck driver, then worked his way into sales. He raised four kids during the Great Depression, and sent them all to college, too.  In fact, each of his children went on to earn a graduate degree, and to excel in their professions: college professor, nurse, teacher, lawyer. The postwar years were good to my mother’s family, and to a lot of families.  Lakeview, home to a spool mill that closed before the war, found a new life as little home-built cabins sprouted all along the shore, my family’s among them. My father and my uncles helped my grandfather to build his camp from a prefab kit, and the cabin’s four rooms were all open to the

Hands-On Worship

Many years ago, a goddess at a spinning wheel sat me on her lap and nested my hands within her own. This did not happen during my waking life, but during a trance journey inspired by a a powerful dream; a goddess whose name I do not know placed the thread she had been spinning into my hand, and showed me how to spin. Now, when a spinning goddess places her thread into your hands, you don’t have to be a specialist in mythology to begin thinking of possible layers of meaning. This happened in the years that I was a coven leader and a teacher of Wicca, and it seems clear that part of what I was being guided to do was to learn to take the threads of others’ lives into my hands, and to work with them with skill. Twenty years later, I hope I lived up to the work that I was given. But it’s not the obvious, symbolic meaning of that vision I am thinking about today. In fact, as I look back, it’s the physical aspects of that journey that strike me most. It seems to me now

My Polytheistic, Mystic, Monist Heart

I have a taste for gods and for cilantro. So I was struck by a conversation David Dashifen Kees started recently. “Some people are colorblind,” he wrote. “Can people be god blind? I.e. Unable to see some or all types of deity? Discuss.” I think Kees is onto something here. It seems to me that there are some real and profound differences hard-wired into us around how (and whether) we see Spirit in the world, and maybe whether we care to look into the subject at all. Setting aside thoughts on how lots of people seem to substitute a blind adherence to a creed, and wave allegiance to it like a flag of loyalty, I think there are real differences in how humans are drawn to religious experience or not–and, among those who are drawn to the spiritual encounter, how we perceive it. With the exception of those who would turn Mystery into an excuse for a tribal loyalty test, I don’t think these differences are moral in nature. It seems as though they simply are . I’m someon