Quaker Pagan Reflections: Blogging in a Spirit of Worship

Quaker Pagan Reflections is the online journal of a couple of Quaker Pagans. We write about the ways our Quaker and our Pagan practices overlap, intersect, and occasionally conflict with one another, and about the insights they give us about life, humanity, magic, nature, and the gods.

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Cat Chapin-Bishop and Peter Bishop

Cat Chapin-Bishop and Peter Bishop

Cat Chapin-Bishop and Peter Bishop have been Pagan since the mid 80s, and also Quaker since 2001. Cat is the former Chair of Cherry Hill Seminary's Pastoral Counseling Department, and her essays have appeared in the Pagan anthologies Godless Paganism, Pagan Consent Culture, and Celebrating the Pagan Soul, as well as in the anti-racism anthology Why Black Lives Matter (Too). She has earned her bread as a a psychotherapist, a high school English teacher, and once, for two days in her youth, as the person who cleans the gunk out of the potato-chip machine in a potato chip factory. Peter has served asan officer of the Covenant of the Goddess and the Church of the Sacred Earth, and on the board of directors of the Woolman Hill Quaker retreat center. His essays have appeared in Celebrating the Pagan Souland in Enchanté: A Journal for the Urbane Pagan, and he hopes to publish his first novel soon. He has worked as a WIC nutritionist, a high school biology teacher, and on occasion, as the guy drawing carrots on signs for the local coop.  
Quaker and Pagan Means What, Exactly?

Since I began describing myself as a Quaker Pagan, I run into people who are suspicious of my claim to be both Quaker and Pagan. To these folks, Peter and I look like spiritual cheats, trying to sneak fifteen items through the clearly labeled Twelve Item Express Lane of a spiritual life.

“Cafeteria spirituality,” I’ve heard it described, expressing the notion that my husband and I are picking and choosing only the tastiest morsels of either religion, like spoiled children loading our plates with desserts, but refusing to eat our vegetables.

This isn’t the case. The term “cafeteria religion” implies imposing human whims over the (presumably) sacred norms of religion.  But Peter and I are both/ands not out of personal preference, but because we were called to our religion… twice.  By two different families of Spirit.

I can explain this best through my own story.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Thank you for sharing. I find the indifference gods and spirits have toward theology to be quite entertaining. Back when I was
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Very interesting and a lovely authentic piece of exposition concerning your faith. Thank you for sharing. I believe that the most

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