Let’s Talk About Miasma

Actually, let’s not! Let’s seriously not, and let me tell you, in great detail, why not. One of the most surreal moments for me in the last decade was when a Wiccan asked for my commentary on a Heathen accusing a Hindu of “having miasma.” I think I sort of gaped for a long moment before asking, “Why, is there an unexplained plague in her village? Did a large number of people die or give birth in her house? Did she murder someone?” Miasma is an obsure, specifically Hellenic, ritual concept which historians do not have a great deal of […]

Mythology: Continued, not Revised

I stand with Planned Parenthood. They do amazing work. Whether it is providing cancer and STI screenings, helping young trans people with HRT, or just plain supporting reproductive justice, they are making people’s lives better. But it wasn’t always as simple as that. In the “About Us” section of the Planned Parenthood website, you can read about their founder, Margret Sanger. Despite her heroism, Sanger had beliefs, practices, and associations that we now acknowledge and denounce, and work to rectify today. For example: •In her effort to educate about birth control, Margaret Sanger spoke to almost any group interested in […]

Is “Eclectic” a Dirty Word?

Most of what I write, when I write about deities, is about the Hellenic pantheon. There’s nothing wrong with that part of my spirituality, but I’m watching myself stagnate. I’m not as generative as I once was, and I’m not writing or researching as much as I need to be. I’ve been through this once before, and I have an inkling of what to do to remedy it. The answer, on first blush, might be dismissed as “eclectic.” Let me explain. As a teen, after I got out of the sparkle-cloud of my mother’s New-Agery, when I first started to […]

What Is Mythworking?

It is to be found everywhere; but if you do not find it in your own house, you will find it nowhere. It is a living substance that can be discovered only in places inhabited by man. It is the only substance from which the Philosopher’s Stone can be prepared, and without that substance no genuine silver or gold can be made […] It is before everybody’s eyes; no one can live without it; everybody uses it; the poor usually possess more of it than the rich; the ignorant esteem it highly, but the learned ones often throw it away. […]

The Four-Letter Word We All Need Right Now

CW: Judgments, references to child abuse, politics, and the Keurig situation, naughty language There is a lot of messed up stuff going on right now. Case in point: I am now going to clarify, publicly, that I do not support grown men having sex with 14-year-old children. Because, apparently, it’s not a given that everyone in our culture believes that an 8th grader cannot give meaningful consent to a grown adult who is capable of wielding power in our society. And this is far from the only issue like that in our society. Why am I writing about this on […]

What “Love Languages” Have To Do With Devotional Practice

As a Ceremonial Magician, I am given to understand that ritual actions are supposed to mean something to the one who is performing them. I’m going to put forth what should not be a controversial opinion: devotion is about expressing love and commitment. When we talk about “building a relationship” with a deity, the emphasis inevitably falls on offerings, whether they are gifts for the altar, incense burned, or wine spilled out. While this is a normal part of group ritual, I always found it deeply unsatisfying in my personal practice. It didn’t feel like it meant anything to me. I didn’t […]

All Paths Do Not Lead To The Same Destination

Two guys are drinking in a bar. One turns to the other and says, “Hey, are you going to Saint Mary’s for Mass this Easter?” The second guy replies, “No, I’m an Atheist.” Says the first guy, “Well, I never heard of that one. But I guess we all worship the same God.” Obviously, he doesn’t, and we don’t. The urge to gloss over our differences and imagine similarities, even where none exist, is very real. I keep running across it in Pagan and Polytheist circles, although the problem — and it is a problem– obviously impacts society much more […]

The Power of Fixed Prayers

If you are new to the concept, it can seem daunting. A long, fixed prayer that you say daily? What even is the point? Isn’t prayer supposed to be a reflection of your up-to-the-moment feelings about things? An outpouring from your heart? Where do we even find fixed prayers for a tradition? If we write them, will anyone bother using them? Though it can take a lot of work to get started, these pieces of liturgy, which have been adopted by many religions around the world, are powerful and, I believe, an important tool to consider when building a devotional […]

Understanding Ares

Ares is a controversial figure, and a favorite villain in cartoons, comics, and movies. For some people, making the most basic statement that he’s a deity, an Olympian, and worthy of respect is so unthinkable that they assume that I must be out of my mind to say it. But, I’d go further. Ares is the first deity I call when I am on the verge of losing my temper. He’s the first god I call when my fear is about to make me do something stupid. No, this is not a Neo-Pagan thing. It’s a Homeric thing. Please enjoy […]

Save The Planet: Embrace human power and agency as sacred.

Welcome to the Anthropocene, and congratulations: you are now the now the dominant natural force on the planet. There is an island of plastic bits and shopping bags in the Pacific. Sea life is turning up dead on our shores. The ice-caps are melting. The seas are rising. Global warming is transforming once fertile grasslands into deserts. We are facing the planet’s sixth mass extinction, and the majority of scientists believe it to be our fault. We are members of the most deadly, most powerful, and most monstrous species on the planet. Properly trained, a human can run down a […]