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An Introduction to Neo-Paganism for Non-Pagans

This month, I'm taking a break from my introductory series of posts (Gael Ùr, Cànan, Sgeul and Creideamh) to offer a transcript of the guest lecture I delivered this week at St. Francis Xavier University entitled An Introduction to Neo-Paganism for Non-Pagans. You can find a printable transcript and audio download of the lecture at

An Introduction to Neo-Paganism for Non-Pagans at St. FX University

Yesterday, I traveled to Antigonish to speak at St. Francis Xavier University at the invitation of the Celtic and Religious Studies departments. My topic was Neo-Paganism, and I was speaking from the perspective of someone who has an academic background in Celtic Studies and who is both a Neo-Pagan and a Gaelic advocate. Kristen Mills was my host for the day's events, and she interviewed me for her Celtic Paganism class in the afternoon before my evening lecture.

Activism Updates: Yesterday, we went to a cattle auction.

Please Note: This article has undergone a revision since it was first written. Two footnotes have been added.

There are many introductions I might make to this post. I might discuss the accusation that vegans are privileged city-dwellers subsisting on a First World diet who don't understand how animal agriculture works. I might relate the conversation I had with a Buddhist friend last week when I told him we planned to attend a cattle auction. I might use any number of tried and true vegan inroads to conversation (Meet Your Meat, etc.). But we didn't do this so that I could answer vegan criticisms, tell personal stories or fill this space with received language. We did it to see and to tell you what we saw.

This is what we saw.

Gael Ùr

As I write this entry, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia is in full, autumn glory and the Celtic Colours International Festival is well underway. For those of you who don't know, Cape Breton is a Gàidhealtachd, a place where the Scottish Gaelic language is still spoken and taught, a place where Gaelic culture still lives.

Celtic Colours is nigh!

(See how I got to use 'nigh' twice in two days on my blog?)

The island is awash in colour and music, and we are about to become tourists in our own home. We likely won't do this every year, but we've bought lots of tickets to concerts, and we plan to attend some workshops and demonstrations as well.

A is for Apocalypse

I'm delighted to report that I've been asked to contribute to a forthcoming anthology of fantasy and science fiction entitled A is for Apocalypse and edited by Rhonda Parrish. This themed anthology will feature twenty-six stories, one for each letter of the alphabet, all apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic.

A Stunning Review of The Ruin of Beltany Ring from Eternal Haunted Summer

I continue to be delighted at the reception my little collection is getting. This time, Jennifer Lawrence of Eternal Haunted Summer offers a review so generous it has left me somewhat gobsmacked and has motivated me to keep writing and keep the faith, in more ways than one.

Here it is, with my deepest thanks.

I wrote a puirt à beul!

People. I wrote my first puirt à beul tonight. I was in a song class, and we had this awesome ethnomusicologist, and she was teaching us how to write songs in Gaelic, and I was like, wow. And I wrote this:

Duilleagan dearg 's duilleagan gorm -
Na bidh thusa dubhach an-diugh!
Duilleagan dearg 's duilleagan gorm -
Tha duil agam as t-fhoghar.

Fosgail an doras, fosgail an doras -
Na bidh thusa dubhach an-diugh!
Fosgail an doras, fosgail an doras -
Tha duil agam as t-fhoghar.

It's a jig, by the way. I wrote a haiku too, but it wasn't as good.

It's not as dramatic as all that.

So, my post yesterday garnered 120 separate hits, far more than most of my others. We're a species who loves its drama, we are. And I also attracted a troll, but dramatic posts will do that.

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Random Quote

Na vedn nevra doaz vaze a tavas ree heer.
No good will ever come of a tongue too long.