28 01 2017

The new edition of Heart of the Travellers magazine is ready for download:

vol-3-ed-1

 





The Pooka Pages Magazine for Pagan Kids – Imbolc 2017

28 01 2017

The new edition of Pooka Pages Magazine is available now: imbolc-issue-17-doc    More fun stuff for kids here: http://www.pookapages.com/





Pooka Pages Magazine – Samhain 2016

24 10 2016

Pooka Pages Samhain Issue is posted. Have a happy and magical Samhain ! www.pookapages.com  or download directly:      samhain-2016-issue-doc





Heart of the Travellers Magazine, Vol.2 Ed. 4

18 10 2016

The new edition of HOTT magazine is now ready for download – either from the magazine page of out website – http://www.heartofthetravellers.scot or directly by clicking on this link:

http://www.heartofthetravellers.scot/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Vol.-2-Ed.-4.pdf

 





Pooka Pages Magazine for Pagan Kids

16 10 2016

Lora Gaddis, creator of Elsie and her adorable Pooka cat, Pooka magazine for children and a host of other stuff, has made some back issues available for download. Samhain issues for the northern hemisphere and Beltane issues for the southern.

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© Lora Gaddis

http://www.pookapages.com/Back_Issues.htm 

 

 





What Does Good Interfaith Education Look Like?

4 10 2016

This was the question posed by an Interfaith activist based in Europe. He had the idea of a collaborative book focusing on Interfaith and education in various European countries. It’s an excellent premise for a thoughtful volume. Unfortunately, I won’t be submitting my essay as part of this as I really don’t think it is necessary for a publisher to demand the copyright of an author’s work – it’s a bit odd, to be truthful; and certainly not something I’ve come across before.

So I’m  left with a little lost and lonely chapter on why Paganism ought to be included in the RME Curriculum in Scottish schools. It’s linked below, for interest. In time, I will link the volume, should it be completed.

a-case-for-pagan-inclusion-in-multi-faith-religious-education-scotland

interfaith-education-essay-docx-updated-jan-19th-2017

*January 2017 update: This has now been accepted as a chapter in a book about Interfaith across Europe after agreeing the copyright of work stays with the author.  I will link the book details and the chapter when it is published. I’ve also updated a set of statistics because I forgot to include the Mormons in an original sum. Sorry, Frank!





Soul of the Earth: The Awen Anthology of Eco-Spiritual Poetry, Ed. Jay Ramsay

27 07 2016

This beautiful collection of poetry centres on our earth as a living entity and on whose survival our own lives depend. Ramsay states in his introduction: ‘We are being asked, individually and collectively, to make an absolute basic spiritual choice for life.’  The spiritual choices in this collection are positive, life-affirming declarations of love for this planet from a variety of perspectives.

Each of the twenty-one contributors to this book of poetry has something vital to contribute to the concept of eco-spirituality; and the myriad of explorations on this theme will resonate with readers quietly contemplating this important question explored in the collection. It is difficult to single out individual poets / poems as the entire volume is soul food.  Apologies to those poets not mentioned in this review – rest assured your poems too were appreciated.

So – what are these spiritual choices?  Karen Eberhardt –Shelton’s Misplaced Calibrators explores the disconnection between modern life and the things that really matter. The natural world in her observational poem is removed from the personas within it by the personas’ obliviousness to patterns and meanings of life:

Mum walks the springer spaniels while talking

On her mobile phone;

Ladybirds crawl away, bees watch in amazement.

The ladybirds flee; the bees are stunned. The loss of all the old wisdom of bee-keeping, part of the ancient knowledge that allowed us to survive as a species is wonderfully captured in this personification and their astonishment as they observe this human so indifferent to their presence.  No telling the bees here.

The whole poem reverberates with old knowledge and the personifications used are more than a literary device. The question asked at the end: ‘What would they do if there was no moon or sun or seasons ever again?’ is the heart of this poem and the gentle meditative wisdom at its centre.

Jehanne Mehta’s Hymn to the Earth is a stunning panegyric reminiscent of classical works in praise of Gods and Goddesses. The earth is portrayed as a beautiful young woman who has many moods:

She is lovely in the springtime in her dress of gold and purple;

She is lovely in the summer in her robe of living green…

The poem invites its reader to walk the seasons and to appreciate our world as a living, breathing entity. It encourages the reader to think about the earth and what it means. But it does more than this. It involves the reader at a visceral level and makes them contemplate a relationship with the earth as they might contemplate a relationship with a lover. The power in this poem is palpable and it is perfect for immersion in spiritual practice, regardless of path.

Lynne Wycherley’s Substitute Sky picks up the same theme as Karen Eberhardt –Shelton’s poem: the disconnect between the appearance of living and of life itself:

…we stare at screens,

A sly fluorescence, a not-quite sky…

(…)

Less talk,

Less laughter, less sun on our skins;

Our lives on hold, our children wired in.

The imagery of children entrapped by wires is a powerful punch to the gut and reminds the reader that a literal tying down of children to control them would – rightly – be viewed as child abuse, but our acceptance of a metaphorical tying of children by the unseen wires and cables of technology is an abuse we seem to accept without question. Such sad children are all too often the norm and it can sometimes seem they neither know nor care that they are in the thrall of machines.

The eco-spiritual question asked of the reader throughout the book is how we interact with our modern world and the technology within it – and how we teach our children that a machine is a good servant but a bad master. This is an important, pertinent and relevant question and the result of not addressing it is encapsulated in the final couplet of Wycherley’s poem:

Core addiction: captive eyes.

Outside the real world breathes, and dies.

These three poems are but a small taste of the treasures contained within this volume. Each of the poets brings their own interpretation to the question of eco-spirituality and each offers something of themselves and of importance to the reader.

Fiona Tinker

 

Soul of the Earth: The Awen Anthology of Spiritual Poetry, Ed. Jay Ramsay, (England: Stroud, Awen Publishers, 2010.)  £12.