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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in spirituality

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

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Earlier this week Bill Nye, the "Science Guy", debated Ken Ham, founder of the creationism museum in Kentucky, and it was billed as "Science vs the Bible", among other things. I watched it, and participated in a Twitter discussion for a short time during it, and then moved over to a Facebook discussion among a friend and others who are all Atheist, as far as I can tell. When the debate was over, I was left with a few thoughts.

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  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    If "the word of an infallible god" has any place at a debate the infallible god should show up and say so. Otherwise its just her
  • Arwen Lynch
    Arwen Lynch says #
    Very true words, Peter. "religion, faith, and belief should never be tools used to destroy others" Thanks for an interesting loo

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Sometimes, as a public Druid, I get frustrated. Because over and over again, I seem to be saying the same thing. 'What's a Druid?' 'What do Druids do?' and so on, and so forth. I suspect we all get this at some point or another, if we're 'out of the broom closet' in any way. We just smile and get on with it as part of life.

But I do worry. Is this because nobody's listening? Am I actually trying to con people into following this mad 'cult' of modern Paganism? And of most concern, am I on the take?

I'm not - but it's easy to see why people would think that.

Spirituality is a deeply personal, heartfelt thing - a state of being, mind, emotion... so much contained in a such a complex state that it's virtually impossible to put into words. Especially, I might add, when someone asks me suddenly to explain my Druidry in two minutes or less.

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(Yes, this is me - in the woods near my home)

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  • Nimue Brown
    Nimue Brown says #
    There is a world of difference between standing up and saying 'this is what I do' and saying 'this is what you should do'. So many

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Awake in beauty - rsi m nfr
Awake in peace - rsi m htp
Awake my soul in beauty and peace
Awake in beauty and peace, Great Ones in the Boat of a Million Years
Awake in beauty and peace, ancestors, guides, spirit friends and elements
Dua!  Iti m htp - Hail and welcome!

This is the beginning of my daily morning devotional, based on an ancient Egyptian prayer. As I light a candle* while offering this prayer, I imagine myself in my wholeness as if my soul is waking to a renewed awareness of its immortality.  I remember the great continuous thread of existence of which I am a part.  I rebirth myself into the present moment, ready to bring the gifts of the past and future into my day.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_Dos-XXX-Guy---Hibernate.pngThose who read a lot of my work will know that the output has been a little bit slow over the last month or so.  For the most part, I cite the holidays, a wicked cold, and a sick three month old for the distraction; it's really a hard time of the year to get anything done when you have a family, and the modern iteration of the black death doesn't help anything.  Those who can read between the lines, however, may have seen an additional factor.

It's funny saying that I felt a little burnout lately, when I consider the size of my body of work.  This becomes doubly true when I see some of the work that others do, which is sometimes both more energetic and more prolific.  Still, that's the only was I can explain how I feel right now, and it wasn't the writing itself that stymied me; it was what I was writing about.  Lately, I've done a lot of work and research on racist influences within Heathenry and Asatru, cross checking the references that the Circle Ansuz articles used when making accusations against the founder of the AFA, looking in to the ideology and philosophy of racist groups in general, deconstructing the Lokean issue, and trying to make sense of a Pagan community that tears itself apart on an hourly basis.

I have no regrets about any of this, because it good work.  It drives me nuts sometimes, but I think it would drive me nuts more to leave it on the shelf.  It would make me far more upset and distraught to do nothing about the problems I see.  There is a beauty to demanding the best of ourselves and never being satisfied with an unsatisfactory answer.  Still, it is not uncommon for me to write half of an article, grow dissatisfied with it, and cast it to the side.  The issues I'm looking at are very complex, and I haven't been happy with what I've had to say or how I've had to say it.  It's been very draining, to say the least.

Important work is often draining work.  I've seen a lot of ennui amongst Pagan writers of all stripes as of late, and more and more I understand their moments of apathy and weariness.  Where once I was confused at the large number of polytheistic bloggers who took a month off from the internet, now I completely understand.  Battering against the shouting masses is rougher than you'll realize until you face it yourself, and keeping your equilibrium is a contest that never truly ends; you just keep going as long as you can until you get knocked down.  Such a war of attrition, in of itself, can be infinitely frustrating.

The trick, then, is to get back up and keep going.  To see these issues for what they are; obstacles, and not conquerors.

The work we do has great meaning.  Every time we are read by Pagans and non-Pagans alike, we are less remote and more accessible.  Every time we sit down to write of our spiritual experiences and beliefs, we make a better network of roads and pathways for those who come after us.  With every word we make things better in some way, so long as making things better is our goal.  Sometimes fights happen, and pointless arguments spring forth from the egotistically bruised or the antagonistically verbose.  These are influences that cannot be truly bested, but they are annoyances that can be endured and ignored at our leisure. 

I'm not going to say it's easy.  In the myriad of shouting voices, it's hard not to loose your way.  Recently, I saw a published writer question their own right to have their voice heard.  It was bewildering, as this same writer was one who I had found a decent amount of inspiration from.  It attacks all of us at some level, and it's important to remember that.

b2ap3_thumbnail_ceiling-cat-awaits-your-devotionals.jpg.pngAs the year closes, I hope that 2014 gives everyone the opportunity to do good work.  Whether that's good work in the form of writing devotionals, investigative journalism, writing about their own praxis, something else, or all of that at the same time.  Most of all, I hope that we all have the endurance to keep pushing through when things get tough.

It's a tough gig going out there and talking about spirituality and religion on the internet.  Much harder than most people realize, and far more challenging than some of us give ourselves credit for.  It's important work, and I'm glad we are out there doing it.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
What is Tantra?

With media and the Internet providing ready information and resources for new-fangled and sex-focused adaptations of Tantra, it is no wonder that many people giggle or perk up when they hear the word. And while many Western contrivances or Neo-Tantras focused on the erogenous may be ultimately beneficial in a world where negative ideas about bodies and body image issues abound, the truth is that there are charlatans out there under the guise of Tantra praying on people’s insecurities and self-doubts about what it means to be a powerful and unique incarnation in this world.

I find that troubling. Some do it because they have discovered that putting sex on a spiritual menu under the pretext of an ancient tradition gives their wares or services credibility, and with that the justification for a price tag. The problem with this is that too many people, including some who would likely benefit from a much deeper understanding of Tantra, believe the superficial sexual practices offered to be the doorway to spiritual progress. In truth, these usually go no further than a freeing of libido—if that—and the cost on both material and subtle levels can be enormous. 

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  • Chandra Alexandre
    Chandra Alexandre says #
    Thank you, Paola. Jai Maa!
  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez says #
    Very powerful post! Definitely so much that I needed to be know and rediscover about Tantra. Really appreciate the historical cont

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She’s looking at herself in the bathroom mirror of a motel on Van Buren and 24th. Her friend is staying next door. It’s early and the sun creeps between the ripped curtains and missing blinds. A man is in the bed, another on the sofa. She hid a bottle last night and pulls it out from the pack she carried through various parts of town. Her hands are dry. Her mouth cracks. There is no water and the fan makes annoying sounds. Her head has hurt for two weeks. A few pills line her jean pocket. Lovers speak in muffled sighs and sentences she cannot fully make out. She can no longer look into her eyes, only at her hair, an eyebrow, the curve of her shoulder. The wrinkles are showing up in every inch of skin, a world map of miles she never intended to travel. There’s never enough time, yet all she has is time. Limitless time. Time like a knife killing minutes. She’s stopped wondering what happened. Now all she must do is move. There’s a word from the bed. She knows it’s time to go again.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Ms. Sato, Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. I've not seen the things you've seen, nor is my life probably very much
  • Aleah Sato
    Aleah Sato says #
    Thank you for your comment and for the work you do. It seems we are coming from similar perspectives and approaches, although perh
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Ah, I see, thank you for correcting my intial impression. Yes, giving addicts only one option is stupid if not abusive. As to yo
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Lol, that was supposed to read onward in the good fight, not good fit! :-)
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Hi, I like your piece a lot. There are many commonalities I share with it, but here are two. 1) My work as a shamanic guide help

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

"Bunch of wanna-blessed-be's. Nowadays every girl with a henna tattoo and a spice rack thinks she's a sister to the dark ones." - Willow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Photo by Katie Tegtmeyer

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