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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in hospitality

 How to Replace a Toilet | DIY Toilet Installation Guide | HGTV


"So, what have you been doing lately?"

I haven't seen N in quite a while. Foolishly, I ask the expected question.

“Thank Goddess, I finally got the new bathroom finished,” she can't wait to say.

Woe upon me, she whips out her phone and, finger-jabbing, speaks the dreaded words.

“Want to see some pictures?”


The definition of a bore is someone who says the same thing to anyone. (Interesting people discuss topics of mutual interest.)

No N, I don't want to see your pictures.

No one wants to see your pictures.


Gods, clueless pagans.

She'll show me three pictures of the toilet—from different angles, of course—three of the sink (same), then the shower. Then, if I'm really lucky, maybe I'll get to see some close-ups of tiles and grout, too.

And that's just the beginning. She'll stand here, rapid-scrolling, with running verbal patter, for just as long as I'm fool enough to play the polite.

Sorry N, you're committing a major breach of hospitality here. I understand that you've worked very hard and are proud of the results.

Seriously, though: how could you possibly think that anyone else would be interested?


Boorishness, meet dishonesty.

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My Vegetarianism Is Not a Judgment of You. But....

A Helpful Guide to Social Relations Between Dietary Minorities and Practicing Omnivores


First off: Hey, Non-Vegetarian, my vegetarianism is not a judgment of you, OK? There's absolutely no need for you to feel criticized, defensive, or apologetic.

No, I don't feel superior. No, I'm not out to convert you. You make your choices, I make mine. Really, there are far more important things to disagree about.


That said, let me make a few helpful suggestions to my fellow vegetarians, vegans, dieters, and other non-practicing omnivores for dealing with the Dietary Majority:

When someone offers you something that you don't eat, say: No, thanks.

No, thanks.” That's all.

Not: “I can't eat that.” Actually, you can; you just (for whatever reason) choose not to.

Not: “I don't eat that.” That's the kind of statement that can't help but come off as judgmental, however you intend it.

Not: “Ooooh!” (recoils in repulsion). When someone else offers you what they themselves are eating, it's an act of generosity and hospitality, regardless of how revolting you may or may not find it. Act accordingly, instead of with a rebuff.

I won't tell you about my dietary parameters if you don't tell me about yours.

For gods' sakes, spare us the details, OK? 1) They're a bore, and 2) they're the best way to sound like a smug, sanctimonious, self-righteous A-hole. Just shut up and eat already, OK?

Be proactive.

When someone else offers to cook for you, make sure that they know your parameters beforehand, so that you're not springing it on them at the last minute. The laws of hospitality are binding on the guest as well as the host.

So when Mom invites you to a Thanksgiving table that you know won't fit your dietary parameters, tell her: “Great! I've got this great [vegetarian entrée] that I'll bring along; I know you'll just love it.”

Or offer to help with preparation. ("Hey, I'm going to mash some of these potatoes with almond milk; I really love them that way.") Then you can actively ensure that there's food that you're willing to eat.

Take some ownership of the situation.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    When I visit my sister Barbara for Thanksgiving the big dishes are set out buffet style and we help ourselves. I pass on the corn

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Asatru FAQ: Hospitality

A question that comes up periodically in the heathen community is how to apply the virtue of hospitality in the modern world. Many heathens try too hard to make the square peg of ancient stories about kings fit into the round hole of an average modern city dweller's life.

The modern list of religious virtues called the Nine Noble Virtues that some heathen groups preach dates to the 1970s, but was based on historical literature. This literature was largely stories of interest to the patrons of poets, and those patrons were kings. In attempting to live how these stories say is an honorable way to live, many heathens are unintentionally trying to replicate a lifestyle that only applied to those at the very top of the social hierarchy in historical heathen times.

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What Do You Say When a Non-Pagan Wishes You 'Good Samhain'?

If you're out of the broom closet, and it hasn't happened to you yet, it will.

A non-pagan wishes you “Good Samhain”* (or Beltane, or Yule).

What do you say in response?

It's an act of hospitality to wish someone joy of their holiday. When that holiday is not one's own, the act becomes even more gracious, an act of grith-weaving. (Grith is an old name for “peace between communities,” as distinguished from frith, which means “peace within a community.”) It says: I know you. It says: I accept you for who you are. It says: I care enough to keep informed.

When someone wishes you Good Samhain (or Beltane, or Yule), the automatic instinct is to return the greeting, but of course when the well-wisher is not pagan, it's bootless to wish her joy of a holiday that she doesn't celebrate. It also denies the difference that she has just so graciously acknowledged.

So what do you say in response to a non-pagan "Good Samhain"?

Best, as always, is to answer graciousness with graciousness, hospitality with hospitality, while at the same time acknowledging difference.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
People of No Honor

In Ireland of old, there was a practice known as “fasting on” someone, and this was the way of it.

If someone had wronged you, you would sit at his or her doorstep, and keep a fast. There you would sit, if needful, to the death.

This was accounted by the ancestors as a powerful tool of persuasion and justice, even against kings.

For Hospitality is chief of virtues, and it were accounted a grave breach of it, that an unarmed stranger should die of famine at one's very doorstep, and the shame of it upon the house forever.

Nor might one take up violence against the faster, for this also was held a grave dishonor to the house.

But in these days there is neither sitting-out nor fasting-on.

For those that rule are accounted by all as people of no hospitality, as people of no honor.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Murphy Pizza
    Murphy Pizza says #
    I'll look into that...thanks!
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Let me just add that the single best treatment of a virtue-based pagan ethics that I know of in the Literature is the chapter on t
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    So let it be written, so let it be done.
  • Murphy Pizza
    Murphy Pizza says #
    Oh not on the Irish tradition...I know of that.. ..I mean write more on what it means for us in the community to be hospitable an
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I was writing from memory, Murphy; I'll see if I can pull together some sources for you. Meanwhile, for a paradigmatic example of
Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, May 26 2017

Taoism finds an unexpected appeal among young people. A look at the revolutionary spirit of Sikhism. And how a Muslim victim of abuse is making her voice heard. It's Faithful Friday, our news segment about faiths and religious communities around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Last modified on

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
To Be A Pagan Chaplain: Compassion

I field many questions about what I do as a chaplain from people who are curious, but who also are under the misconception that as a Pagan I don't actually have a faith tradition (or my faith tradition is not acceptable). A large reason I am pursuing this path is to do the work of representing my faith group at the table with other groups--to do the work of "legitimacy" if you will. We have a long way to go in this battle, as I will demonstrate in the example I will leave here. As I do this work, I am beginning to realize people need to understand why Pagan chaplaincy is necessary. It isn't just the interfaith work, though that is important too. But for every Pagan who is in the hospital and wants a chaplain of their faith to be there with them, for every Pagan in prison, or the military, or in universities, there will need to be someone willing to do the work of fighting this battle of legitimacy.

**Note: For those who are familiar with what verbatims looks like, this format will be familiar. This was an actual encounter with someone I work with, recollected to the best of my ability and presented to my group for processing. This is the reality I live with everyday.** 

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Thanks for sharing your experience and insights. Respectfully, I'd like to offer some variations on your replies. FWIW, I've bee

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