Green Priestcraft: A ChristoPagan Pastoralia

"Pastoralia" is a somewhat archaic term denoting the spiritual, pastoral, and ritual care of a community.  "ChristoPagan" is a somewhat emergent term denoting a blend of Christian and Pagan thealogy, cosmology, and spirituality.  So, put the two together, and you have the hopefully intriguing (and, to some, infuriating) description of my own journey as a greenpriest.  I trust that folks of various and sundry spiritual persuasions will find something here to pique their interest, deepen their practice, and feed their souls.  Hear the Rune of Sophia: "God is Love, and Her body is all creation.  She is a Tree of Life, who gathers Her children in Love."  This is the conviction which guides me.  Blessed be.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Shawn Sanford Beck

Shawn Sanford Beck

 
The Rev. Shawn Sanford Beck is a priest in the Anglican Church of Canada, and a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids. He is the author of Christian Animism, and the founder of the Ecumenical Companions of Sophia, an informal online community fostering Christian-Pagan dialogue and spiritual practice.  He lives with his family on an off-the-grid farm community in north-western Saskatchewan (Treaty Six Territory), where he is chaplain to the human and more-than-human wights of the community.  When not training priests, chopping wood, or practising magic, Shawn can be counted on to have his nose buried in a book. He can be contacted at greenpriest@hotmail.ca
 

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

For the past half-decade, our family has been homesteading on an off-the-grid farm in Treaty 6 territory.  For anyone who is unfamiliar with Canadian history, Treaty 6 refers to a particular regional relationship whereby land was shared (not ceded ... a very important distinction) by the Indigenous Peoples with the Crown and its settlers.  The treaty was made in the late 19th century, and still holds today, though it has been bent and broken numerous times by the colonial government.  Today, our farm's direct neighbours are the First Nations of Moosomin (Cree) and Saulteaux (Ojibwe), as well as many Metis folk in the near vicinity.  For me, that means that when Samhain comes round on the Great Wheel, my mind turns to a very complicated ancestral inheritance.

As a Christian, and in particular as an Anglican priest, my genetic and spiritual ancestors  were responsible for some pretty reprehensible mayhem in this part of the world.  The residential schools were probably the worst of it, but racist colonialism has been an Anglican curse for several hundred years, and there's still plenty of it to go around.  In recent years, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has delivered a mandate of 94 “Calls to Action” ... concrete steps which can be taken by the Canadian government and other institutions (and individuals) to repent of the toxic legacy which has oppressed so many Indigenous people and torn our nation asunder.  Several of these calls to action are directed specifically toward the churches which ran the residential schools.  This one in particular has been haunting my conscience lately:

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

 

I hope it gives offence to no one, but here is a ChristoPagan version of the Charge of the Goddess. I've adapted it from Starhawk's adaption of Ms. Valiente's original, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!

...
Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Piper
    Piper says #
    I am a Gnostic Priest, and a Sophian. This is excellent, Blessings Brother
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I like it. I liked it enough to print out a copy for my records.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

My youngest son Robin (age 8) was recently accepted to be part of a kid's advisory group for a well-known national youth magazine.  Lots of fun!  One of Robin's first tasks was to send in some possible questions for a “you asked” column.  Some of his questions were pretty normal: how does a chameleon change colours? how many bricks would it take to build a life-sized Lego person?  Solid questions!  He also generated this question: what proof do we have that any gods exist?

 

...
Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Aryós Héngwis
    Aryós Héngwis says #
    Editorial note: Credit for the art added.
  • Shawn Sanford Beck
    Shawn Sanford Beck says #
    Thanks for all the friendly comments ... I really enjoy the community here at Pagansquare, and I'm thankful to be part of it!
  • Mariah Sheehy
    Mariah Sheehy says #
    Oh! You're the EcoSophia guy! Your blog is very interesting, kinda thought you'd disappeared from the Internet, but we all have ou
  • Aryós Héngwis
    Aryós Héngwis says #
    "Biblical theologian Walter Wink has done a wonderful job of unpacking the language of “powers and principalities” which we find i
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Rev. Beck, Thank you for sharing the underlying theology of your ChristoPagan beliefs. I'll pass along that bit from Tolkien to a

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

One of the many things I appreciate about contemporary “Northern Traditions”, or Heathenry, is the reclamation of lost words. These days, it is the word frith which is catching my attention. Theodish elder Winifred Hodge has this to say about frith:

 

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

 

Every year it surprises me. Saskatchewan winters are long and hard, beginning in November and not really done until well into April. That's a lot of snow and cold, grey skies and skeletal trees. Toward the end, the snow melts away and the ice releases its grip on the lake, but things still feel dead ... muddy and spent.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Season of the Bones

I know, right?  I'm in the wrong season.  Bones are for Samhain, when the Wheel turns us toward the dark, and we contemplate our mortality, gazing into the shadowed eye-sockets of a bleached skull.  Bones are not for spring, not for warm weather and shoots of green and vernal bunnies.  Bones are a bit macabre for that, yes?  ... I thought so too.

But here on the farm we have a black dog named Shadow, who has a love affair with bones.  Throughout the late fall and winter, while the butchering season endures, Shadow delights in raiding the slaughter-pen for all types of cast-off body parts:  hoofs, pigtails, chicken heads, whatever.  And for some strange reason she drags them all into our front yard.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Walk with Me?

Greetings from the Canadian prairies! I feel so honoured to be here taking part in this amazing conversation. As a long-time reader of Witches and Pagans, as well as PaganSquare, it is very exciting to be invited to blog with you, and share some of my reflections on earthen spirituality at this critical juncture of our shared planetary life.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Rev. Beck, Praise be to the Gods everlasting! I never thought I'd see an Anglican priest who's also an OBOD Druid. I have a de
  • Shawn Sanford Beck
    Shawn Sanford Beck says #
    Hi Jamie, thanks for the note! Any idea of how your friend configures his (her?) ChristoPagan perspective?
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Rev. Beck, His Christo-Paganism is influenced by the Book of Enoch and similar writings. He believes in the Goddesses and Gods. H

Additional information