Category: Anthropology

Honouring the New Age

When I left academia it was partly because I found it frustrating the way new age religions were dismissed and became sites of no holds barred kinds of critiques that would never have been applied to any of the major religions. I actively tried to push up against this almost contemptuous way of pulling apart and explaining the deeply important…

Being Mindful of Ethnocentrism

I’d like to say something as an anthropologist of religion. I think it’s wonderful people are questioning beliefs, where they come from and spiritual practices right now. We should always be thinking critically. That’s a good thing. I also want to say that it’s important to honour the integrity of people’s choices when it comes to their beliefs. There isn’t…

Syncretism

This is a photo of a statue of Persephone-Isis from the mid 2nd century CE that I took at the Archeological Museum in Crete last spring. She’s holding an Egyptian musical instrument called a sistrum and is standing next to Pluto-Sarapis (not pictured). Cerberus (the three-headed dog and guardian of the underworld) stands between them. It is an example of…

Grateful for Unexpected Edges

Lately, I’ve been feeling this deep desire to just say what I think and show up as I am. I keep waiting for the sky to fall down but it hasn’t. I’ve had a few gut-punch moments, which as a highly sensitive person do affect me more than I’d like. But, you know, this is what I signed up for. I know that. To feel…

Reflections on My Encountering the Wilderness Article

I wrote an article 10 years ago called “Encountering the Wilderness, Encountering the Mist: Nature, Romanticism, and Contemporary Paganism.” It was published in Anthropology of Consciousness, and it was the result of an independent study during my graduate coursework in Newfoundland. Little did I know how much this research (really an extension of my personal practice) would affect the course…