Summer Solstice, the Longest Day

Summer Solstice around June 21 gives us the longest day and shortest night of the year. ”Solstice” is derived from the Latin sol (“sun”) and sistere (“cause to stand still”). On Summer Solstice, the sun reaches the northernmost point of its trek along the horizon from its southern setting place on Winter […]

The Nest

I spotted an unusual lump on the ground at the base of a Ponderosa pine tree about 30 feet away. It was slightly grayer than the carpet of dry pine needles around it. I had to investigate. It was a nest – a marvel of structural engineering unlike any of the other nests […]

The Horse Next Door

The two bay geldings live next door to the house where I stayed for two weeks, under the shadow of Taos Mountain in northern New Mexico. Each horse has a blaze of white from forehead to nose. We began tentatively, and deepened into a teacher/student relationship. Their stalls stand in the corner […]

Beltane Fires & Sacred Union

The fires blaze with nine of the sacred woods – ash, oak, apple, hawthorn, birch, elder, blackthorn, grape vine, rowan, holly, willow, cedar, yew, or hemlock. Drive your cattle between the fires to purify and protect them, bring luck, and ensure their fertility. Pass between them yourself, to burn away the sludge […]

Rites of Spring: Easter & Eostre

We all have pagan roots. While “pagan” has come to mean a person who is not a Christian, Moslem, or Jew, its root is the Latin pagus, which is simply “rustic, peasant, of the country.” Many of our current secular and religious practices have come to us through these pagan roots. Easter […]

If You Find a Baby Bird …

Birdsong, the bright flash of wings, birds of many species fly to and fro collecting nest materials – all welcome signs of spring. Yet weather, predators, and other causes can result in nest mishaps for even the most diligent bird parents. Here are some guidelines to follow if you find a nestling or […]

Coyote Dance

The coyotes advanced and retreated, one posturing, one tentative, dancing the change in balance of living in the same space. It is spring, and the younger has just reached maturity. Two male coyotes, both neutered, both “imprinted” – unable to be released into the wild because well-meaning (or not) humans tried to […]

Equinox and Do Be Do Be Do

Equinox. Equal day and night. In astronomy, it’s when the tilt of the Earth’s wobbling axis leans neither toward the sun nor away from it, thus creating days and nights of equal length. Balanced light and dark. This moment of balance is a great time to consider our own balance between the […]

Return of Light, Renewal, and Rabbits

Early February is an exciting time of renewal from several faith perspectives, continuing celebrations  that began in January with the new year of the 430-year-old Gregorian calendar. In late March we’ll see the beginning of the astrological year when the Sun moves into the sign of Aries, the ram. In early February, different […]

Conversation with Rabbit

2011 is the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese lunar calendar. I wondered, what do Rabbits think about that? First, a bit of background. The Rabbit, or Hare as he is referred to in Chinese mythology, is “the emblem of longevity and is said to derive his essence from the Moon. […]

"Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms." - George Eliot
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." - Gandhi
"There is little that separates humans from other sentient beings – we all feel pain, we all feel joy, we all deeply crave to be alive and live freely, and we all share this planet together." - attributed to Gandhi
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