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Showing posts from March, 2007

Great Waters Pagan Friends Gathering

For those interested in coming together in Quaker/Pagan community this Memorial Day Weekend, The Huron Valley Friends Circle is hosting a gathering for Pagan Quakers and Quaker Pagans. The gathering will last from May 25--28 in Ann Arbor, Michigan; most events will take place at the Ann Arbor Friends Meetinghouse.

"Are you a Quaker who experiences the Divine primarily through Nature, the Earth and Her seasons, the Divine Feminine, the Goddess and the God, or other pre-Christian Deities? Are you a Pagan who finds Quaker worship and Quaker testimonies – Peace, Simplicity, Equality, Integrity, and Stewardship/Earthcare – a central part of how you walk through your life?" the organizers write. "Come to Great Waters."

Though the costs do not include food or lodging (information on both, including camping options, are available at the site) the price is a very reasonable $45 for each attendee over age 5.

"Worship, worship sharing, ritual, meals, games, workshops and…

One at the Root

A little while ago, in response to a comment I left on his blog, Brooklyn Quaker, Rich wondered "what a Quaker Pagan is. Is it somehow related to nontheism or to polytheism or to both or to neither?" and I threatened to make a long post here in reply. (I made a pretty long comment as it was, and poor Rich could be forgiven if the eyestrain alone keeps him from ever wanting to read further!)

I'm not, however, feeling really moved to write about what it means to be a Pagan, probably because I've been one for almost twenty years now, and, though like a good marriage, it still holds plently of surprises and delights after all this time, it's also familiar enough that I don't often have a lot to say about it. For the most part, my Paganism fits comfortably into my self, and, as with my husband, I don't write as much poetry about it as I once did. The Quaker identity is newer, and so sorting out my relationship to it takes much more of my time and energy, and…

All Snakes' Day

WARNING. THE BLOG POST YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ CONTAINS HUMOR. IF ALLERGIC TO THIS SUBSTANCE, PLEASE DO NOT INGEST!

So here it is, the eve of St. Patrick's Day--well, technically the eve of the eve--and I find myself in the annual quandry--what to do about St. Patrick?

You might not think St. Patrick would be much of a factor in my yearly calculations. After all, as a Quaker or a Pagan, what relationship could I possibly have with St. Patrick? Alas, this leaves out my place of residence. I'm a Massachusetian, and my state boasts a population that is 22.5% Irish ancestry. This means that we have a population of approximately 1,420,000 Irishmen and Irishwomen in the state, all of them proud to be so, and, interestingly enough, that means that, were Massachusetts a county in Ireland, we'd have the largest population of them all.

St. Patrick's Day is practically the Massachusetts official pride day, and its celebration is mandatory, not optional, wherever you travel... ra…

No Longer Chicken: News From the Home Front

My daughter has just returned from a trip to see her grandparents over her spring break. And we just concluded yet another of our ongoing mother-daughter debates on the future of the environment. "Debate" is a word that only applies because I'm her mom, mind you; this is an area where she knows enough more than I do that I pretty readily yield to her expertise--she just keeps arguing because, after all, she's used to it. Comes with the age--though it also goes with the age, meaning we now have fun talking about world affairs together.

Part of the fun, for me, is my pride in her. A few weeks ago, when the stock market had it's big drop, Hillary happened to be awake while I was getting ready for work. (This is somewhat unusual, as sophomores in college pretty much live in a different time zone from public school teachers. But, other than the awkwardness of sorting out who got the shower first, it was a pleasant change of pace.)

As a parent, you really know yo…

Holding Back?

I’m realizing that I’ve been holding back from commenting on the Quaker blogs I read lately.

I don’t exactly “hold back” from commenting on Pagan blogs that I read. The conversation there seems to be a bit different. Pagan blogging seems, somehow, to take place in a larger “room” than Quaker blogging does. I suppose that makes sense, given how many more Pagans there are around than Quakers—over 400,000 in the United States alone , according to some recent data, compared to an estimated 123,000 Quakers in North America. But it’s not just that. Pagan bloggers seem to be writing in a more public vein, even when they write on personal experience.

Quaker blogs, though, seem to me to partake more of the tradition of journaling… or of a conversation of letters recopied and sent on, something harking back to eighteenth century norms and traditions. Maybe that’s a stereotype—being Quaker surely does not keep me from holding them—and there’s not really something old-fashioned in the Quake…

Salty Goodness

Two posts in one day? Holy Herne and Hecate, Batman, what is this blog coming to?

It was SO GOOD to have a snow day close my school yesterday. Amazing what a little bit of time off can do for your soul...

It may also be, if not amazing, a little odd for such a self-consciously Pagan Quaker to want to encourage you to read a post that ends by reflecting on what "we - - as His disciples - - ought to be," but despite the clearly Christian language, I think one of the things my Quaker and my Pagan friends have in common is a deep desire to live lives consistent with their spiritual leadings. Which is what Brooklyn Quaker's post this week, It Needs a Little Salt, is talking about.

Something that has been coming up for me again and again in meeting for worship is the way I need to let go of working so hard to be virtuous and good. When I work at making a difference, I get tired and frustrated, or, if things are going well, I slip into self-congratulatory mode, and while I'…

Since Rome

I just heard an interview on NPR's Morning Edition with a singer named Jai Uttal. Raised in Brooklyn (if my memory is correct) with a father in the music business who had a particular affection for R&B, Jai discovered Indian music at the age of 19. Middle aged now, he's known for a form of musical devotion known as kirtan--sacred chant--but he also performs in concerts with a kind of fusion of Western and Eastern musical forms, and has released CDs that are often used by those who practice yoga to help them center.

New Age music, I guess. And New Age music has such a bad rap among musicians, as the New Age does among most serious spiritual students.

But as I listened to his strong, plain, unapologetic voice leading a more traditional sounding chorus with Indian drumming in the background, chanting names of Hindu gods, I felt my head opening out. Pagans have a funny kind of love/hate relationship with Eastern mysticism, both studying and teaching it with some frequency and …