Column: Reflecting on the Mighty Living

Pagan Perspectives

Reverence is the way of radical respect. It recognizes and honors the presence of the sacred in everything — our bodies, other people, animals, plants, rocks, the earth, and the waters. – Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
As the seasons change and we move into the fall months, discussions of ancestor reverence and the Mighty Dead become more prominent. Seasonal ancestor altars are erected and many practices engaging our connection to those who have transitioned from their physical existence become the focal points of our traditions. These very practices are a part of many different cultures, and are not exclusive to Paganism or Polytheism by any means.

Column: Look at Everything That’s Come and Gone

Pagan Perspectives

A few years ago, I attended a bonfire celebration in South Florida for Midsummer, complete with drinks and drumming. It took place close to the beach, so there was a constant breeze, and it was held later in the evening, so the thunderstorms had passed over and the mosquitoes were full and satiated.  The air was thick and accented by night-blooming flowers.  But it was also bearable. The night takes no toll like the day. That year, a few friends interested in Paganism asked to join. They let the drums lead their bodies and thoughts.

Column: Ásatrú Ritual and Climate Change Ethics, Part Two

This is part two of a two part series. Click here to read part one. Transtemporal Care
The Ásatrú practice of blót builds a concept of care in three temporal directions: sideways, backward, and forward. The ritual life of the religion nurtures a sense of both intra- and intergenerational solidarity. The sideways relationship exists between current practitioners.

Druid studying Pagan views on death

DURHAM, England — A graduate student at Durham University has launched a survey aimed at better understanding Pagan attitudes to death, funerals, and ancestors. Thus far, Jenny Uzzell reports, the participation has been much more widespread than she might have hoped, meaning it could lay a foundation for more scholarship around these areas in the future. Uzzell is herself a Druid, and the bulk of her scholarship has been focused on British Druidry specifically. However, she’s looking for broader participation in this survey. “I am interested in building up as complete a body of research as possible, into the attitudes of Pagans to a range of subjects related to death and memorialisation, as well as beliefs about what happens to a person when they die,” Uzzell explained.