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Showing posts from May, 2009

They Make Me Proud...

It's been several years now since I left the faculty of Cherry Hill Seminary. Many things have changed since I was last affiliated with the school--the first Pagan clergy training school in the modern world to offer graduate-level courses.

But as someone who passionately supports equality for same-gender couples, I'm very pleased with the speed of their response to this week's disappointing California decision on Proposition 8.

They're making me proud...
Cherry Hill Seminary Responds to Same-Sex Marriage Debate

COLUMBIA, SC -- Cherry Hill Seminary students and faculty are representative of the range of human sexual diversity. They minister to communities which include many same-sex couples.

As Pagans, we embrace all forms of consensual adult sexual expression and relationships. We recognize sexuality as a sacred and spiritual force and, therefore, support legal, social and spiritual recognition of these relationships.

More information about Cherry Hill Seminary may be fou…

Paganism: What's Not To Love?

I knew somebody was going to call me on it, eventually.

Though the blog is called Quaker Pagan Reflections, I do a lot more writing, day to day, about how the Quaker part fits into my life than the Pagan part. David Miley noticed:
I think it’s fair to say that you have produced less and less on pagan themes over the past year. I mean about your own personal paganism... ...What I haven’t heard in a long time Cat is what you love about the pagan community. To some extent, my relative silence on Paganism is only natural. I have been Pagan for twenty years, now, and most of the sudden discoveries and revelatory transformations of this path are behind me. In contrast, I've only been a Quaker for much less time. I think I write more about being a Quaker than being a Pagan, because I am more actively wrestling with what it means to me.

But David is right. Though it may make sense for me to draw from my perspective as a longtime Pagan in critiquing that community, that's not espe…

Keeping a Sabbath

I need a rest. It feels like every day there is some new reminder of just how low my reserves have gotten; between the loss of our April vacation and the post-viral fatigue that weighed me down all year, I feel tired in a way that goes well beyond joints and muscles and even mental alertness. Teaching has worn me out this year. Living has worn me out. I feel spiritually tired.

I'm realizing this morning that I need not to go to meeting for worship today.

This will be the third week in a row I won't have made it to meeting. That is so not like me. When I think about that in terms of my relationship with my community, and especially with the fact of my serving on Ministry and Worship, I get a tight little knot in my belly.

But it's not changing anything for me, that little knot. I'm working very hard this year--I've had to work very hard this year--to learn the difference between being acting faithfully and allowing myself to be co opted by gray-faced duty. I'…

Son of Fame

There was quite a response to my recent post on the subject of Fame. It must be a subject that others beside myself have wrestled with. Certainly, a number of comments that were left on the original post made me look again at the whole subject of fame.

I think the trouble within the Pagan community is not so much that we have no one among us who can distinguish between fame and wisdom, as it is that we have not yet, as a religious movement, come up with any cultural norms that show us, as a group, how to figure that out. Because of that, I think many Pagans do have a somewhat unhealthy obsession with fame and popularity—and judging by the sheer number of comments on this post, it looks like I’m not alone in thinking that. As Chris said, “It is far easier to count the number of books published, to calculate the weight of a name you've heard many times in our relatively small lives than it is to recognize wisdom.”

But there is more to our (Pagan) cultural fascination with fame tha…

I Had a Mother Who Read To Me

There's a picture, somewhere in the piles of albums and photos in my parents' house, of my mother at about the age of 24 or 25, crouching down on her heels next to me, her short, early 1960's skirt tucked demurely beneath her. I am, in the fashion of two year olds everywhere, looking deep into the cold, wet heart of a storm drain, fascinated by the gurgle of the water beneath us.

My mom is doing something wonderful, and all too easy to overlook. In that picture, my mom is looking at and enjoying the world through the eyes of a child. I have a mom who can do that kind of thing.

I have a mother who read to me.

I have a mother who read to me, and took me for walks through the neighborhood, and who had the patience to read the same stories to me again and again and again, or to stop and listen to the water in the storm drain for as long as I wanted her to. I have a mother who sang me lullabies--I can still the sound if I try.

But not only that.

I had a mother who had a br…

Fame

(Note: there were so many thought provoking comments in response to this post that it generated a second-round of ideas. You can read the follow-up post here.)


I have a confession to make. I want to be famous.

Well, sort of. I don't want to be famous, famous, and ride around in a limousine and have to hire security and that sort of thing. I just want to write a book, have it published by somebody other than my mother, and bought and read by somebody other than my mother, and maybe even sign a couple of autographs along the way.

Mom can have one autographed, too, if she wants.

It has to be a spiritual book. A really moving and truthful book, that makes people want to look deep inside themselves, and then they come up to me and say something like, "It was all because of that book you wrote! It changed my life!" And I would say, no, no, really, you did all that, you and God/the gods--I'm a little fuzzy on whether the life-changing book is for Pagans or for Quakers--an…