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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Two days ago, the Asatru Folk Assembly released this statement on its Facebook Page:

Today we are bombarded with confusion and messages contrary to the values of our ancestors and our folk. The AFA would like to make it clear that we believe gender is not a social construct, it is a beautiful gift from the holy powers and from our ancestors. The AFA celebrates our feminine ladies, our masculine gentlemen and, above all, our beautiful white children. The children of the folk are our shining future and the legacy of all those men and women of our people back to the beginning. Hail the AFA families, now and always! - Matt Flavel, Alsherjargothi, AFA

Down-thread, one commenter asked:

Am i...

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Heathen professor of mythology Karl E. H. Seigfried was recently asked to appear on BBC Up All Night, hosted by Dotun Adebayo, to discuss the new Pagan temple under construction in Iceland. Dr. Seigfried was presented with a specific list of topics beforehand, which were mutually agreed-upon, but when Adebayo began the live interview, he went off-script. In a tone that dripped smirking condescension, he called Northern European Paganism a violent fantasy and asked Dr. Seigfried a series of insulting questions designed to trip him up and tittilate listeners.

I thought Dr. Seigfried handled the man well, but this is exactly the sort of behavior Pagans and Heathens sometimes encounter when they make efforts to engage the public. For example, a couple of years ago a prominent member of the Gaelic community here - who by his own admission only knew about Paganism from YouTube - led me into just such a...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I've been thinking a great deal about what Paganism means to me and more directly about the relevance of the term 'Pagan' as a descriptor of my spiritual life. Paganism is a broad umbrella that shades a variety of budding faith paths, from Wicca to Aztec Reconstructionism (a blossom I find deeply troubling, given my recent research into Aztec religious practices). It boasts a host of non-Christian Gods and a burgeoning repository of historical, pseudo-historical, reconstructed and reinvented religious practices, including many that non-Pagans would call magical (ritual, spell-craft, tarot and the like). It is certainly diverse, and I've often heard that our unity is drawn from our diversity, though...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Back in 2000, I was in Ireland at the same time as Isaac Bonewitz, and we traveled together for a couple of weeks. Before we parted company, he shared Brigid's flame with me from a candle he had lit at the shrine in Kildare. Subsequently, I passed the flame to friends, among them a priestess in Maryland.

Over the years, I lost the candle that held the flame, but my priestess friend in Maryland is putting a birthday candle in the mail to me that carries it, which she consecrated at Imbolc. So in a few weeks, I'll restore the Brigid's flame that Isaac gave to me, and I thought the occasion deserved mentioning.

'Feill na Bride, feis na finne.'
'Bride binn nam bas ban.'
'A Bhride chaoin cheanail,
Is caoimh liom anail do bheoil,
’D uair...

Friday, August 24, 2012

The last time I practiced my faith in the company of like-minded people was in 2003, when Sean and I were attending and occasionally leading an open circle of diverse Pagans in Bangor, Maine. Since then, I've been largely solitary, except for my correspondence with OBOD tutors in the Ovate and Druid grades. Part of the reason for this was Sean's education, our subsequent moves to Michigan and Nova Scotia and my immersion in both my writing career and the Gàidhlig community. I'm just busy. However, my primary reasons for solitary practice have had to do with the community itself; the lack of welcome I received when reaching out to local Pagans, the pervasive negative behavior I found on message boards, the open groups and rituals riddled with co-dependency and problematic practices. Because I'm so busy, and because I've been Pagan for so long, I just don't have the time or the energy for anything that doesn't meet my spiritual needs in a healthful way. Unfortunately, that meant...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I am a Druid member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids who prepared the attached gwers as a gift to the Order upon completion of the Ovate grade. If you are a member of the Order in the Ovate Grade or higher, you can request the password to this document by sending me an e-mail that contains the first sentence of the first paragraph on the first white page of your first Ovate gwers.

Yours in the Grove,

Tuesday, June 1, 2010
This essay does not represent the entirety of my spiritual perspective, nor am I entirely comfortable with the 'Heathen' label. To be sure, I am not always comfortable with any label. However, I do believe the piece speaks to the problem of racism in the Pagan community, and so while I am not always comfortable with labels, I am always comfortable with multiculturalism, and so the essay remains.

I am a Heathen, which means that I am a practitioner of reconstructed Northern European (NE) spirituality. Heathenry is a Pagan religion, which is to say that it draws wisdom from the animistic, nature-based spirituality of pre-Christian, Northern Europe. I'm providing this resource on my web site for two reasons; first, I hope to answer a couple of basic questions about my faith for interested readers, and second, I hope to address the problem of Heathenry vs. white supremacy.

If you have a question about Heathenry you'd like me to answer here, please...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010
A Note to prospective plagiarists: If you're reading this paper in hopes of trying to pass it off as your own, then you should understand a couple of things in advance. First, your instructor knows how well or how poorly you write, because it's your instructor's job to know. So if you try to pass this paper off as your own, your instructor will become suspicious and will probably search the Internet for key phrases in the paper, since that's where most plagiarists steal their information from these days. You can't change this paper enough to thwart that kind of search without writing it from scratch, so you might as well do your homework to begin with and save yourself the failing grade, the course dismissal or the expulsion you would receive for academic dishonesty. Second, I taught college English for five years, and I actively support the efforts of other instructors to uncover and punish instances of academic dishonesty, so if your instructor contacts me with regard...