Deep to on High: Traveling the Way of the River

A Wiccan priestess/UU minister transplanted from Central Pennsylvania to Portland, Oregon, helping those who seek intimacy with the One Who is Many—Male, Female, Both, and Neither—through ritual, seasonal observance, mythology, divination, and examination of current events.

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Catharine Clarenbach

Catharine Clarenbach

I am an initiated priestess in the tradition of Stone Circle Wicca, and began my Pagan studies in 1990. I have led rituals for thousands of people, in ceremonies as large as 400 in a Circle of Standing Stones under dozens of branching oaks and tulip poplars, and in rituals as small as a couple of folks in a living room. I am an affiliated UU minister with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, GA. I also provide spiritual direction—what I call spiritual accompaniment or sacred conversation—and have for over 15 years. Over that time, I have been with individual people of many faiths and none as they explored, encountered, and shared their relationships with the Divine. You are welcome to my spiritual accompaniment page for a fuller invitation.  
The Sweet Beltaine of a Butterfly

The below is the meditation/story I offered in preparation for Beltaine. Feel free to use any part of it with attribution.

You. You.  have been a caterpillar.

You have been not just any caterpillar, you have been a brightly black-and-chartreuse-striped caterpillar, chomping happily throughout your life, ever hungry, never satisfied, ever hungry, never full. Chomp. Chomp Chomping on the milkweed around you. You have been black and yellow, brightly striped. You have been a prize for birds, but you have lived. You emerged from your egg and you have been a caterpillar.

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  • Rose Jacob
    Rose Jacob says #
    Wow. You have explained it so well. I really appreciate this post. I’ve been trying everywhere for this! impart goodness I found i
Spiritual Wounding, Early Musings

I’ve been thinking about spiritual and religious wounding. I have written about it in Your Journey Toward Wisdom and I think it bears consideration during this period of all kinds of special spring holidays.

As a Unitarian Universalist minister and a Pagan priestess, I see many people come into our faith traditions with deep wounds from the traditions, beliefs, and customs, and people in traditions from their past. Many people come to me/us because they recognize their own deep desire for spirituality or a more fulfilling sense of meaning combined with a mistrust, or even antipathy toward religions they perceive as being like those from which they came.

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A Witch’s Practice of Prayer: Why Not? (Part 3)

Many of my friends and colleagues who identify as Pagan are suspicious of prayer, as I’ve mentioned earlier.

 

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  • Catharine Clarenbach
    Catharine Clarenbach says #
    Yes, April, I really like your way of looking at that. The praying that changes ourselves, is so important, especially since we k
  • Natasha Aiken
    Natasha Aiken says #
    This Witch’s Practice covers an exceptionally straightforward approach to rehearse enchantment and witchcraft without the prerequi
A Witch's Practice of Prayer: It's within You (part 2)

When last we met, I quoted the last line from a version of the Charge of the Star Goddess:  “…if that which you seek, you do not find within yourself, you shall surely never find it without. For behold, I have been with you since the beginning, and I am That which is attained at the end of desire.” 

I find this last sentence so compelling because it reminds us of Who we are. Some people say we are spiritual beings having a human experience. I’m not sure I subscribe entirely to that position, given that I believe in a theology of immanence, that the Holy is here and now in this place and this time, wherever one is, and that the human experience is holy of itself, and doesn’t need a separate category of spiritual-ness to make it sacred…but that’s for a separate time.

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  • Jennifer Brownz
    Jennifer Brownz says #
    THANK YOU! I'm working on these very things you are talking about. Acknowledging the kotodama, stopping the self-abuse with my wor
A Witch's Practice of Prayer: Part One

Good day, dear friends, and welcome to January 2018!

Today, and for the next few entries, I want to talk about the practice of prayer. Prayer is something of which I’ve noticed many of my Pagan friends and colleagues are suspicious. It smacks of Abrahamic religions (especially Christian traditions) by which they have been rooted, or seems somehow antithetical to our own practices of magic. 

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  • elecia wilson
    elecia wilson says #
    Most of my prayer is regarding merely permitting myself to rest within the Presence and Embrace of Divine Love. it's merely quieti
  • April Russell
    April Russell says #
    I see praying as similar to spellcasting: a means of making my wishes known to the Web in the hope that it can help bring about ch
  • Selina Jasmin
    Selina Jasmin says #
    it can be that your dad had started to have mind/intellectual changes years sooner than he resigned, however because of the realit
  • mariadenial
    mariadenial says #
    it is able to be that your father had commenced to have mind/cognitive modifications years earlier than he retired, however due to
  • Aaroncgray
    Aaroncgray says #
    I truly cherish perusing this sort of articles. I don't have a clue, however I adore it. The straightforwardness of your writing e

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Celebrate Solstice with Me

Yuletide celebrations of most kinds from traditions all over the Northern Hemisphere, capture my imagination. Ice-skating on frozen rivers in Quebec. Outdoor festivals in the short days of Scandinavian winter where traditions ancient and new blend together seamlessly. The famous outdoor Christmas markets in Germany where people come together for all the sun they can get in the darkening days. The gorgeous, books-and-chocolate tradition of Iceland.

 

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A Light Shines in the Darkness

I have been away for some time. And I have, unfortunately been away for a reason many of us know all too well:  Depression laid me low for several months from early spring all the way through the summer. I did not take the election of the current president of the US well, and my depression was, I believe, a manifestation of the agonies that many people went through at that time. 

I am pleased to report, however, that as the season darkens, my mood lightens, and that as I prepare for my annual winter solstice retreat, Going into the Dark, I delight in the grey and the rain and the lowering clouds of the Pacific Northwest. There is still the occasional visible sunrise or sunset, the first late and the second early, but mostly we are now in the rains of early winter. 

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  • Alvina
    Alvina says #
    Subsequent to perusing this, I can just lament that I didn't read this when I was in school. The story can be deciphered in such G
  • jennyhannb
    jennyhannb says #
    Do you observe US Thanksgiving? And if you do, how do you do it? YES! happy wheels game online.

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