Yeats and the Sycamore

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

~W. B. Yeats

Hello again dear friends,

I find myself musing on the above quote.  I encountered in in a suitably sparkly graphic from a friends Facebook page, promptly shared it, and find it bouncing about in my mind and heart…

So very much of Paganism and Witchcraft, hell of any sort of religious and spiritual journey, is this sharpening of the senses.  Learning to discern the difference between the noise of the world and the signals of the Holy Powers.  Unlearning the habits and reactions engrained in us by the Ten Thousand Things of the Buddhists, and striving towards wholeness and health and complexity and completion.

Image found HERE.

Seekers are people who are truly engaged in their Spiritual Journey, their Religion (not in the sense of merely believing something but of living it), their Great Work.  If we are to truly be engaged as Seekers, no matter what our religious or spiritual or philosophical tradition, we need to stop being buffeted about… propelled through the world like a Sycamore Seed on the wind and spun around in every direction.  Instead we must ground ourselves, dig deep into the fertile soils of the world around us, and we must grow.

This is the challenge we face.  To grow in our completeness and embrace our complexity in a world filled with messages about how we are broken and imperfect, a world that tells us that complexity is bad and that sparkles with distractions and detractors.

This is challenging and sacred work.  Work that our times need all of us to do, individually and together.  Share your journey with others, especially those who are on their own -sometimes very different- journeys.  Support one another in your journeys and take what wisdom you find and lessons you may learn.  Do not surrender reason or science in your pursuit of the miraculous and the magickal.  Take delight in the damn difficult work of growing, of becoming the brightest and best you that you are capable of being.  Practice presence and pay attention.

After all, the world is full of magic things….

The things I share for friends… and thoughts on December 2012.

Dear Friends,

So I have been a terrible slacker lately as a blogger.  In large part this is because I have been feeling creatively drained and more interested in hiding from the world watching t.v. than engaging with it.  It was a rough year and a lot of emotional ups and downs… not as bad as 2011 but at least as challenging.

So I was talking last night with my friend and fellow RPG geek Aarnvast.  We were chatting briefly about our nascent Dungeons and Dragons game and somehow wandered onto the topic of how regrettable it was that we were out of time to cash in on all of the “2012 Mayan Prophecy” marketing scheme of the last several years.  I mentioned having seen the image below on a friends Facebook wall and he started to laugh hysterically.  I told him I would try to share it with him, and he mentioned how he was rarely on there any more.  Since he is also a religious and spiritual Seeker exploring Paganism, and since he regularly reads my blog (you know, when I am actually posting…) I figured I’d share it here.

This is…. very tempting…



This has me thinking though, about all of the hoopla coming out of New Age authors and how people are making money by spreading fear and uncertainty.  All to often in times of change it seems like people are looking forward to “THE END!!” and placing all their time and energy into supporting various Rapture’s or Doomsdays.  Into preparing for them, including bankrupting or killing themsleves … rather than work to try and make the world a better, safer, happier place.

I also find myself thinking about the folks I have encountered in the Pagan community who seem content to set aside things like critical reasoning, or known historical or scientific facts, or the statement of actual Indigenous Peoples… all in service of some Doomsday or some secret Crystal Skull Convergence Conspiracy.

I have always had trouble understanding why Reason and Faith must be seen as being at odds with one another?

What do you think?




*note* for many years this was pinned to the top of the blog as a welcome and first post.  I’ve moved on from that design… but I’m leaving it floating in the stacks as it were as a momento of a different time in my life…

Welcome dear reader to Chrysalis!

Chrysalis is one part online journal with a spiritual focus, one part bully pulpit for my opinions and ideas and observations on Paganism and spirituality and life in general, and one part a place to practice the art of writing that has at times obsessed me from childhood.  Originally I focused on spirituality, but over time I am realizing that whatever your religious persuasion it interweaves with every other aspect of your life, so you never know what you might find me writing about here!

I am returning to this blog and the journey of writing/blogging after a number of years away.  Look for some of these pages to change over time as I get to them, and bear with me as I shake the rust and dust of my wordsmithing skills and reconsider some ideas I expressed (in some cases) nearly a decade or more ago.

Fair warning…



Running Away, Running Towards.

Dear Friends,

“Running Away, Running Towards”

I sometimes think that nearly all of human behavior can, at heart, be defined by one of those two options; or perhaps those are the two categories that so many observers and philosophers have been trying to put people into for so many many years.  Sexuality, Substance Abuse, Religion, Hobbies, Reading… so many activities and actions can fit into one of the two categories of today’s title.

Religion will serve as a handy example, and given that this IS a religious/spiritual focused blog it does seem appropriate.

I was not churched as a child, and came home to Paganism sometime in my late teens to early twenties.  It’s not so much that I don’t remember the exact moment, it is more that there wasn’t one big one.  There were lot’s of moments, of learning, of self-discovery, small moments and the process of discovering my relationship with the Universe.  I have taken this journey fairly seriously, even when I wasn’t entirely aware of the journey.  So it came a a very big surprise to me in my mid-twenties when I realized that people’s reasons for being one religion or another sometimes seem to have little to do with, well, religion.

There are folks who like belonging to a group, who are looking for someone to tell them what to do, who are looking to retreat from the complexity of the world.  There are those who have decided to stick it to someone in their past, or the faith they were raised in.  Those who want a safe refuge where they don’t have to do the damn difficult work of their spiritual journey. *

Folks who are running away from something else, and not towards religion.

When you’re running towards, you are doing your work, you’re growing and learning, and engaging in behavior and practices that nurture you mentally, spiritually, and physically.

I have always tried to be more of a runner towards,… although Gods know I’ve fallen and stumbled over the years.  Lately, though I’ve been kind of running away.  After a very hectic time in my work life, I have been hiding from the world in my off hours watching tv show marathons and barely stirring from my chair.   Inertia has become my new normal.

Time to start Running Towards again.


* It does not matter who you are or what your journey entails, it is ~always~ damn difficult work, if it isn’t then you are not Working, then are you?