The enormity of the world’s grief: racial hatred and tikkun olam

I wrote our ritual script for Samhain, which was a joy to do, even if it was also a lot of work — I think there’s something extraordinarily beautiful about creating liturgy. But after the events of the past week, we knew we had to call an audible. This is my recreation of what I said, mostly off the cuff; it’s the closest thing to a sermon I’ve ever delivered in ritual.

Yesterday, in Pittsburgh, a gunman entered the Tree of Life synagogue. It was morning services, and there was a bris, a celebration of new life. That gunman killed eleven people. I want to say their names: Continue reading “The enormity of the world’s grief: racial hatred and tikkun olam”


The Autumn Equinox: beginning, and beginning, and beginning

Three Cranes Grove celebrates the Autumn Equinox in about 5 hours. I should be doing ritual prep right now — gathering music stands, printing programs, preparing offerings, doing some final cooking for the potluck — but I find myself sitting here, instead, thinking about the Equinox and the Wheel of the Year. Blogger problems, I suppose. But it’s exciting to get think about the feastday, because it kicks off a whole series of rebirths and beginnings.

Continue reading “The Autumn Equinox: beginning, and beginning, and beginning”

Remembering my grandparents

Though the first post didn’t appear until a few days after, this blog truly began a year ago on Samhain. I made a vow to write of my journey in the worship of the old gods. I pledged it in fire, and in the witness of my ancestors. I’ve written of my journey, and I’ve written of my gods, but my ancestors have stayed in silent witness. But it is again Samhain, when the veil thins and the departed are near us, asking to be remembered with reverence. Two weeks ago I gave a brief toast to my departed grandparents around a blazing bonfire, then walked a candlelit labyrinth under the cold night sky to greet them in the center of the worlds. Tonight my fire is small, a single candle, but I honor them all the more on this holy night as we pass into the dark of the year. Continue reading “Remembering my grandparents”