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A Pagan's Blog

A Pagan's Blog

Nature Archives

Earth Day and the Sacredness of the Earth

posted by Gus diZerega

I think Earth Day is a particularly important moment for contemplation and commitment by us Pagans.  Often American Christian critics accuse us of “pantheism,” and in a important respect they are right.  We do find the sacred, most of us, […]

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The controversy over Pink Slime – and what it means.

posted by Gus diZerega

The controversy over pink slime is helping educate Americans to the fact that corporations are as beneficial to agriculture as they are to politics. Tom Laskawy put it pithily: “What pink slime represents is an open admission by the food […]

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Bees, pesticides, and environmental ethics

posted by Gus diZerega

For me, all our interactions with nature have an ethical component. None are purely with a insensate object to be used simply as a tool.  For example, I buy organic not because it tastes better – although it can – […]

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Pandora turns out to be a better description of forest life than most anyone thought

posted by Gus diZerega

Suzanne Simard of the Dept. of Forest Sciences at the University of British Columbia has a delightful short video reporting that multi-species forests are connected in complex communicative networks with “mother trees” serving as the nodes in these networks. Her […]

Pagans and the more-than-human world

posted by Gus diZerega

Today I read two thought provoking pieces that cross traditional divides while addressing key issues in environmental thought. In both cases I think a Pagan sensibility brings new and valuable insights to the table.

Thinking about what the Yukon taught me

posted by Gus diZerega

One of the most unexpected aspects of my Yukon adventure was the very different ‘feel’ of country where humanity’s technological imprint is an unpaved road with no dwellings or other roads for over 100 miles – and for many hundreds […]

Lammas 2011

posted by Gus diZerega

Lammas, or Lughnasad, is the first and greatest of the Sabbats honoring the harvest, for it is now that in most places in the northern hemisphere life’s abundance most overflows in flowers and fruit, grain and root.  In our urban […]

Cricket Choir

posted by Gus diZerega

A friend had this on his FB page, and when I looked at it, and more importantly, heard it, I was awe struck.  Who knows what crickets really hear?  I don’t.  But I have often wondered what other beings actually […]

Summer Solstice meditations

posted by Gus diZerega

Since I pulled way back from writing blog posts on politics, and radically reduced by attention to the day to day activities of the sociopathic crowd who dominates the news, I have found my outlook  improved even if my view […]

Janine Benyus, biomimicry, and a vision for the future

posted by Gus diZerega

The modern world’s essentially autistic view of reality has suffered many assaults over the past 150 years.  In particular Darwin, the paradoxes of quantum mechanics and the rise of ecology as a science and a societal crisis, among other issues, […]

And to put politics in perspective

posted by Gus diZerega

It is so very easy to get caught up in the organized sociopathy that is characteristic of so much politics and organized ‘religion’.  A walk in nature is one of the best correctives.  But that is not always possible.  This […]

Earth Day 2011

posted by Gus diZerega

Today is Earth Day, and For the first time many in modern America decided to honor their home and make a personal commitment to protect it.  Some have kept that commitment. Most of the powers that be, Democratic and Republican, […]

Bolivia adopting “Law of Mother Earth” recognizing Nature as having Her own rights

posted by Gus diZerega

Bolivia is preparing to boldly go where no one has gone before, although Ecuador started the ball rolling.  Asof this writing Ecuador is on the verge of passing a kind of Bill of Rights for Nature, a series of laws called […]

The return of the condor and camping in Pinnacles

posted by Gus diZerega

I just spent a few nights camping out at Pinnacles National Monument, far away from computers, cell phones, and the news.  It was wonderful, both being in nature and not beimg connected to the news or technology beyond basic camping […]

Prairie dogs and language

posted by Gus diZerega

Sabina Magliocco brought this site on prairie dog language up on her Facebook site.  It’s great.   Turns out that a whole lot more is going on with prairie dogs than any Westerner ever thought. And if this is true for […]

Myth as a way of knowing

posted by Gus diZerega

I have been struggling with better understanding what Karen Armstrong calls mythos in her book The Battle for God, on religious fundamentalism worldwide.  I think it is essential towards developing a deeper appreciation of what Pagan spirituality brings to the spiritual […]

Thinking about tripping reindeer

posted by Gus diZerega

The apparent frequency of animals eating entheogens is really fascinating to me.  It strengthens my suspicion that what our society calls “normal” consciousness is as deficient as a diet without certain crucial vitamins.  Life continues, but is crippled.  To a […]

Reindeer getting high

posted by Gus diZerega

I have just read about a delightful report that reindeer and other animals as well eat mushrooms to get high.  Having done the same myself (and seen colors that are not on the spectrum) I can only nod in approval. […]

From Jane Goodall to parasites, Christopher Hitchens and Henry Kissinger

posted by Gus diZerega

Trust me – there is a connection Every other Wednesday I spend the morning in a kind of salon where a bunch of us get together to discuss various aspects of science.  One is a retired physicist, another a geologist, […]

Culture Shock

posted by Gus diZerega

It’s been hard to concentrate on this blog since I returned from Utah.  Really hard.  While the trip, like any trip with a 9 year old, was not without its aggravations, being immersed in such powerful, beautiful and peaceful land was […]

Las Vegas and Energy Fields, I.

posted by Gus diZerega

Writing about a Pagan take on Las Vegas and the Colorado Plateau has turned into a vastly bigger undertaking than I initially imagined.  Bigger than a single blog post – but really clarifying in helping me get a better grasp […]

Samhain meditations on the Rodota Trail

posted by Gus diZerega

I took a walk a few days ago out on the Rodota Trail, a lovely foot and bicycle path linking Sebastopol and Santa Rosa.  It goes mostly through a oak savannah filled with big spreading gnarly old oaks.  This time […]

Cultivating Spirit of Place

posted by Gus diZerega

Getting settled into my new place has really disrupted my writing for now.  But the vegetable and flower gardens have given me a chance to reconnect viscerally with the earth, an opportunity that has been very rare for the past […]

David Abram’s New Book – Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology

posted by Gus diZerega

I have begun reading a wonderful book, David Abram’s Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology. No book I have ever encountered does as good a job of describing what it is like to be fully aware of our immersion in the […]

Gardens, Spirits and Barbancourt Rum

posted by Gus diZerega

I’m soon moving to a place with many fine gardens shared with people who are open to the magickal side of nature.  I am already imagining returning to the way I gardened here years ago, when I had the land […]

Working With Nature Organically: shown to be superior agriculturally

posted by Gus diZerega

Here is an interesting article in Science Daily on the agricultural and ecological superiority of organic farming methods over industrial agriculture.

A Meditation on the Ethical Side of Energy Production

posted by Gus diZerega

The growing crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, caused by BP, coming on the heels of Massey Energy’s crimes in America’s coal fields  and our rape of Iraq bring us face to face with the question of whether we have […]

The End of Men? Fascinating Changes Occurring Around Us

posted by Gus diZerega

I have just read and then printed out for further study a fascinating article Stephan Schwarz alerted me to by Hanna Rosin on “The End of Men.”  The article starts out with an account of the strange things now happening […]

Kevin Costner May Be Savior of Gulf of Mexico

posted by Gus diZerega

From out of left field in every sense, Kevin Costner may be the man who made technology capable of saving the Gulf of Mexico by separating oil from water quickly and thoroughly available.  He financed it while his brother developed it.

A Pagan Perspective on Rand Paul, Civil Rights, and Libertarianism

posted by Gus diZerega

For a former libertarian such as myself Rand Paul’s attack on Civil Rights legislation is to be expected, except perhaps for its political idiocy.  For that latter quality I am grateful because it weakens his candidacy.  But there are interesting […]

Nature’s Healing Power for Veterans

posted by Gus diZerega

Still more evidence is arising that Nature is a healing force when approached respectfully.  Washington State has developed a program enabling veterans suffering from PTSD to get involved with Nature in a mutually healing way.  As they explain,  The mission of […]

Nature is Good for You

posted by Gus diZerega

It turns out that immersing ourselves in Nature is good for us in ways that science can actually measure.  A paper published last week, “A Dose of Nature” Jules Pretty and Jo Barton found that people’s mood and self-esteem benefit […]

Wildflowers and a Poem by Robinson Jeffers

posted by Gus diZerega

Today I am headed off to Bear Valley, a place northeast of here famous all around for the beauty of its spring wildflowers.  Here are some photos a person posted on Flickr.   Here’s another set I discovered (scroll down).  Going […]

Earth Day at 40

posted by Gus diZerega

Earth day celebrates this wonderful planet that is our home.  Today is its 40th anniversary, celebrated world-wide, the inspiring off spring of Senator Gaylord Nelson and some students back in 1970.   It is a wonderful corrective to the two forms […]

On Jeremy Rifkin, Empathy, and Spirit

posted by Gus diZerega

Yesterday I went to a book group gathering to discuss Jeremy Rifkin’s monumental new book, The Empathetic Civilization. What follows are insights I developed in preparation for that gathering that I think will interest many Pagans concerned with the deeper […]

Mt. Tamalpais, Two Poems, and National Poetry Month

posted by Gus diZerega

This is National Poetry Month, and as spring caresses the hills of northern California, one of the most magickal places in the San Francisco Bar Area, Mt. Tamalpais, is rising serenely above the hustle and bustle below, the good and the bad, […]

Thoughts on the Sacredness of All Things

posted by Gus diZerega

This blog frequently covers organic food issues.  It could be said to do so a little obsessively.  Most of my readers will prefer eating organic, but is this an important ethical issue?  How is that Pagan? We experience the Sacred […]

Make Sure Organic is Organic

posted by Gus diZerega

Fascinating and disturbing post on Hullabaloo about San Francisco giving our “organic: soil amendments that are really toxic sludge, and encouraging its use in veggie gardens.  If you read it, be sure to look at the comments.  It’s a knowledgeable […]

Avatar a Hit With Indigenous People

posted by Gus diZerega

Avatar is a hit with Amazonian indigenous peoples, who were invited by the Pachamama Alliance to a showing translated into Spanish.  They loved it and felt a close connection between themselves and the threats they face and the Na’vi.  There […]

Dolphins as Persons

posted by Gus diZerega

Recent scientific research has led some biologists to argue that dolphins should be ranked as “non-human persons.”  I can only wish them success in their quest.  Our kind has a long history of retreat from the early modern and Abrahamic […]

John Mackey of Whole Foods, Libertarian Blindness, and New Age Spirituality

posted by Gus diZerega

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, is at it again, using his version of libertarianism to deny global warming.  It is a false crisis that responding to would impoverish and enslave us.  Even a writer who has long defended him […]

Avatar and the attack on Pantheism

posted by Gus diZerega

Catholic Ross Douthat is bothered – more than bothered – by Avatar’s pantheism. If one were looking at an attack on Pagan sensibilities, Douthat’s column would be a good place to start.  Beliefnet’s own Rod Dreher of “Crunchy Con” fame […]

Avatar and the resurgence of Pantheism

posted by Gus diZerega

I had come across so many right wing and Christian attacks on James Cameron’s Avatar that I made up my mind definitely to see it, and to write on it after doing so.  But I haven’t seen it yet.  The […]

Reinventing the Sacred by Stuart Kauffman

posted by Gus diZerega

Books exploring the philosophical implications of science by contemporary scientists tend to fall into two categories: those that assert and explore the implications of scientific reductionism and those that explore the implications of quantum physics.  Neither is directly relevant o […]

Fungi Saving the World?

posted by Gus diZerega

Paul Stamets gave a couple of mind-blowing talks at TED and Bioneers about mushrooms that suggest ways we might ultimately come to harmonize pur civilization with the natural world.  They are well worth the time it takes to watch.  In […]

Going Native, Part 2.

posted by Gus diZerega

Magick? This brings me to Pitch’s second point, that in many ways really underlies his first.  Wild species are more magickally powerful than tame.  When you have a message from Spirit that your work should focus on native species, as […]

Going Native, Part 1

posted by Gus diZerega

When I posted on Mabon,  I suggested we need to get in better touch with the energies and denizens of the places where we live.  Only then could we really honor the spirits of the earth.  I mentioned salmon, grapes, […]

Cristina on Kirk Cameron, Stupidity, and Darwin

posted by Gus diZerega

Some Fundamentalists think they have concocted a neat way of attacking evolution on the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species, lowering our national IQ below even the level to which it has currently sunk.  A young […]

Liberalism: A Pagan Perspective, Part III.

posted by Gus diZerega

This final section is where I think the bigger picture of how a Pagan perspective helps the modern world better address its problems comes together.  Look below the fold if you like political theory…

Pain Free Farming Through Genetic Engineering? Yeech.

posted by Gus diZerega

Modern factory farms may soon be raising animals that are “pain free,” and so not able to suffer physically from the abominable conditions under which they live.  So says a story in this week’s New Scientist, my favorite science magazine. […]

The Whale of Life

posted by Gus diZerega

After the God of Death, why not the Whale of Life?

Remembering Apollo 11

posted by Gus diZerega

As we commemorate Apollo 11’s successful trip to the moon and Neil Armstrong’s first steps there, all done with the aid of less computing power than exists in my cell phone, I am reminded of how in one respect it […]

Pagan Musings on the Modern World and Nature

posted by Gus diZerega

When I read these two articles about how we are emptying our oceans  and exterminating sharks not even on purpose, but as thoughtless “bycatch” while we exterminate other things,  I was led into musing about the kind of world we […]

Animal Morality

posted by Gus diZerega

I’ve just finished Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce’s  new book, Wild Justice: the Moral Lives of Animals.  Theirs is a wonderful book that in less than 200 pages has deeply changed how I look at our other-than-human neighbors on our […]

Spirit of Place

posted by Gus diZerega

While visiting Walla Walla, Washington, where I had taught for some years at Whitman College, I took a side trip over to northeast Oregon, one of the most beautiful and least known parts of our country.  There I visited the […]

Impermanence and Divine Nature

posted by Gus diZerega

Hello, this is T. Thorn Coyle, stepping in for Gus today.   One of the things I do in life is act as a spiritual director. Recently, one of my clients was talking about a struggle with the fact that […]

Drew Dellinger’s Poem on Thomas Berry

posted by Gus diZerega

Given the negativity that so easily can come to seem the defining feature of this society, it’s good to be reminded of why so many of us push back against the forces of dark ignorance.  Drew Dellinger’s poem is a […]

Passing of the Guard

posted by Gus diZerega

Thomas Berry has died today.   He had been a central figure in helping Western Christians, those willing to look and learn anyway, re-establishing connectedness with the sacred immanence we Pagans find in nature. Other giants in ecological and spiritual thought […]

Thoughts on Reading Derrick Jensen

posted by Gus diZerega

When I first was made to know, in no uncertain terms, that the earth and everything in it was vastly more sentient than I had ever imagined, I looked long and hard for writings that could shed more light on […]

More on Bird Brains: Rooks are also Tool Makers/Users

posted by Gus diZerega

Recent discoveries about bird intelligence after so many many years of people knowing we were the only tool users and making it a definition for being human are great evidence for how what we “know” blinds us to what is.  […]

Atheists, Christians, and Pagans

posted by Gus diZerega

The recent plethora of books by militant atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens is beginning to generate a good deal of return fire from people writing within the Christian tradition, either as sophisticated adherents or writers […]

Animal Intelligence- Much More Than Most Imagined

posted by Gus diZerega

Alex, Snowball, Betty – recently birds have been transforming the world we live in – as we discover what had been in front of us for thousands of years. The transformation is in our perceptions and understanding.  

A Day at Mt. Tamalpais

posted by Gus diZerega

Saturday was Pagan pride Day in Berkeley.  Many dear friends of mine participated, and if someone sends me an account, I’ll pass it along.  But after much dithering one way and the other, I did not go.

Earth Day and Experiencing the Life of the Earth

posted by Gus diZerega

Earth Day celebrates the earth and our relation to this wonderful place.  But our society relates to our home the way a sociopath relates to others: only as a tool, and only valued when useful.  Modern science is invoked to […]

Answering a Critique of Earth Day and Environmentalism

posted by Gus diZerega

Earth Day is approaching, and while I want to honor it, today I was sent a link to an article that suggests honoring Earth day would be a mistake.  The author, Bradley Doucet, repeats standard attacks from various kinds of […]

In Praise of Nature Poetry

posted by Gus diZerega

Nature poetry is important in helping us reconnect with the living earth, an experience even some Pagans have not personally experienced (yet). National Poetry Month is a fine time to reflect on this, and share some poems.   Our society […]

Earth Hour! 8:30 Tonight!

posted by Gus diZerega

Tonight, at 8:30 in whatever time zone they live, millions of people will be turning out their lights in a symbolic action pressing for worldwide change on energy and our relations with the More Then Human World. Sponsored by the […]

Of Frogs and Love of the Earth

posted by Gus diZerega

Today I read “The Race to Save the Frogs” by Jennifer S. Holland in the April National Geographic.   Her article describes the horrendous impact the fungal disease chytrid  is having on the world’s amphibians, killing off entire species.  Holland quotes […]

Cool Book: Linda Hogan’s ‘Dwellings’

posted by Gus diZerega

I have just finished Linda Hogan’s Dwellings.  Hers is not a new book.  It appeared in 1995, and I missed it then. I have been the poorer for my oversight.  I stumbled across it in a bookstore -and picked it […]

Pagans can feel Pride at Headwaters Forest Celebration

posted by Gus diZerega

While we are a small portion of America’s population, on occasion we can be mighty.  Ten years ago the Headwaters Forest  in northern California was saved from the rape and pillage methods of logging by Texas financiers who took over […]

New Article in Gobekli Tepe, Nature, and Conservation Today

posted by Gus diZerega

I just discovered a good account  Gobekli Tepe on Stephen Schwarz’s  often fascinating site.  Not only does it give a good account of the place and its discovery along with great pictures, it also discusses in greater detail than I […]

A Pagan Celebration of Darwin’s Birthday

posted by Gus diZerega

I almost forgot!  Today, Feb 12, is Charles Darwin’s birthday.  And an illustrious day it is.   Why should I, a committed believer in the Gods and the Sacred, support a guy who has been used by atheists to debunk […]

Listening to the Earth

posted by Gus diZerega

We are having a fearfully dry winter here in northern California.  Summers are all but rainless, with only the coastal fog keeping this region from total desiccation in the summer.  You can tell where the fog gets when you visit […]

Previous Posts

More Blogs To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting A Pagans Blog. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: The Latest on Pagan and Earth-Based Religions Happy Reading!!!

posted 9:39:40am Jul. 06, 2012 | read full post »

Earth Day and the Sacredness of the Earth
I think Earth Day is a particularly important moment for contemplation and commitment by us Pagans.  Often American Christian critics accuse us of “pantheism,” and in a important respect they are right.  We do find the sacred, most of us, in the earth without reference to any transcendental sp

posted 11:57:03am Apr. 20, 2012 | read full post »

Instructive examples on why interfaith work is a good idea
I deeply believe the problems in our country are more of the heart than of the head. Here are some youtubes courtesy of John Morehead of the Evangelical Chapter of the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy on Facebook. They speak more eloquently than anything I can write that interfaith work is a good

posted 1:08:25pm Apr. 12, 2012 | read full post »

The controversy over Pink Slime - and what it means.
The controversy over pink slime is helping educate Americans to the fact that corporations are as beneficial to agriculture as they are to politics. Tom Laskawy put it pithily: “What pink slime represents is an open admission by the food industry that it is hard-pressed to produce meat that won’

posted 4:03:07pm Apr. 11, 2012 | read full post »

How the "war on religion' backfired into a war on women
Here  is a really good article by Tina DuPuy on how the Republicans got themselves into such a mess with America's more intelligent women.  Left undiscussed is how the extreme pathological masculinity of both their deity and their leaders made that slip so very easy.

posted 12:12:35pm Apr. 11, 2012 | read full post »

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