Roots & Branches: Forked Paths

This is my third essay in an ongoing series of essays. In these essays, I reflect upon my familial roots and how they may inform my relationship with the numinous. Part one of this ongoing series may be found here; part two may be found here. … In searching for some insight into the matter of whether or not one’s spiritual path may be informed by their ancestry, I asked several members of the pagan community to weigh in on the subject. For some, the answer was a resounding yes. There was no question as to why someone with one specific ancestry or another should […]

Roots & Branches: March of the Ancestors

I’d like to think that each of us, in our own time, comes to a point in our lives when we want to know where we came from. For some of us, tall tales of fabled ancestors don’t always satisfy our desire to learn more about our roots. Recently, like several friends had done, I had my DNA tested to determine what my ancestry truly was. As I write this now, I am waiting for those results and will have to do so patiently for the next six to eight weeks. Growing up, my brothers and I were often regaled […]

Eternal Return: Bulls on Parade

I was never one to wholeheartedly believe in the concept of reincarnation, or transmigration of souls. The concept of eternal return was quite unorthodox for someone who grew up believing Christian doctrine (“it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment”, the Apostle Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews). The mere thought of it was enough to either instill the idea that I was sinning against God for even entertaining the notion, or lead to sleepless nights due to my overactive imagination. Having once watched an episode of Highway to Heaven, I asked my Sunday school teacher […]