Tag Archives: spirituality

Time and place: Seasonal thoughts

Christmas is an odd time of year for me. The reasons are various but it’s largely to do with its proximity to the Winter Solstice. Christmas Day is a few days after what for me is the main event and … Continue reading

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Eco-Paganism and place

I recently posted a guest blog on Adventures in Animism called ‘Eco-Paganism 101’. Eco-Paganism exemplifies several themes that I’ve been exploring here, so I want to flag them up. Eco-Pagans are animists, “people who recognise that the world is full of persons, only … Continue reading

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Twyford Down

Although my chapter in ‘The Wanton Green’ tells of life on recent protest sites, the spirit of an older campaign hovers in the background like a ghost. Twyford Down was an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Site of Special … Continue reading

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London’s burning

Ubuntu is an African word which can be inadequately translated as ‘humanness’. It may, in fact, be untranslatable, but the principle is expressed in the African saying: ‘Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu’ – ‘A person is a person through other persons’. One of the most influential Western philosophers claimed that … Continue reading

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The Wanton Green – Pagan places

For many contemporary Pagans the relationship between bodymind and place is fundamental, but that relationship has rarely been explored in any depth. Paganism is often described as being polytheistic, animist or about ‘nature worship’, and while that’s all true in a vague and anodyne way, it’s of … Continue reading

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The threshold brook

My Ph.D. research into embodied knowing found that Eco-Pagans living in urban environments often had a powerful spiritual connection to a specific place. Barry Patterson, one of my research participants, described this connection as listening to the “threshold brook” (Harris, … Continue reading

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Your tiny mind

Our thinking is like an iceberg, with everyday awareness at the tip and 95% of cognition happening out of sight (Lakoff and Johnson, 1999: 13). Most of the time we identify that tiny 5% as ‘self’, discounting the hidden cognition … Continue reading

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The sit spot

The principle of the sit spot could hardly be simpler: Find a place outdoors and sit there everyday for at least 15 minutes.  Though it’s generally traced to Native American teachers, this ancient practise is cross-cultural. What modern Pagans call ‘sitting out’ has a more … Continue reading

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Spirit of place: What lies beneath

Most of Uluru lies beneath the surface of the desert. Human cognition is like that too: Probably 95 percent of embodied thought lies below our everyday awareness. Our cognition is like an iceberg; the familiar self is just the tip that emerges from the sea, while the vast bulk … Continue reading

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On-line and off-line, or who ate my toast?

A mate gave me some home-made marmalade, so I slapped some on my toast and sat down to enjoy it with a cup of tea. Ten minutes later I looked forlornly at a crumb dusted plate and realised I’d eaten … Continue reading

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