Showing posts from May, 2023

Recommended Reading: Carpe Jugulum

  Topic: Recommended Reading: Carpe Jugulum   Today we will be discussing the novel Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett, published in 1998, and the lessons of Compassion and Mindful bene volence within it.   This book is about the senior witch Esmerelda “Granny” Weatherwax and how she and the other witches in her coven handle an invasion of vampires in their little kingdom. Granny gets bitten, and the vampires attempt to make her one of them, but she foils their plans through sheer force of will. Even though this book is satire, poking fun at most vampire myths, there are some powerful nuggets of wisdom within its pages. This book is where we get the eighth core tenet of the Path.   After Granny is bitten, she is forced to contend with the darker side of her nature. She has often been in the position of having to put a suffering animal or even a human out of their misery, and such a tragic errand is bound to have an effect on the psyche. Too many mercy killings, and you start to wonder

Zoom Meeting Sermon May 21 2023

  Topic: Recommended Reading: The Handmaid’s Tale Today we will be talking about The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, published in 1985, and the distinction between “freedom from” and “freedom to.” In the novel, the narrator talks about “freedom from.” She and her sisters are held captive by the patriarchy, forced into reproductive servitude until they can no longer bear viable children. But they are free from random sexual violence, so they can fulfill their “biological destiny” in peace. This “freedom from” comes at the cost of bodily autonomy and self-determination. Every woman is given a role, and anyone who cannot bear children but also cannot serve in another capacity is relegated to a concentration camp. There is no place in this dystopia for the disabled, the transgendered, or the queer. There is very little ethnic diversity described in the book, although the dramatization includes women of color and an interracial relationship. The scariest thing about this vision of

Zoom Meeting Sermon May 14 2023

  Topic: The History of Mother’s Day Today, we get to talk about the history of Mother’s Day, which goes back much further than most people realize. There is something about motherhood that is almost intrinsically sacred to the human psyche. Mother is the origin of life and, for most of us, the first bond we develop with another human being. “I want my mom” is not quite universal, but close to it, and even those few who do not have such a bond with their biological mother will develop a similar bond with a surrogate mother. So it is no wonder that we have been celebrating and honoring our mothers for thousands of years. The tradition of taking one day a year to honor mothers, Mother Goddesses, and motherhood in general began centuries ago in ancient Greece and Rome. One of the first Mother Goddesses we have a record of is Cybele, who was honored by the Romans with a celebration on the Spring Equinox. The ancient Greek equivalent to Cybele was Rhea, the mother of Zeus who saved hi

Zoom Meeting Sermon May 7 2023

  Topic: Recommended Reading: Imajica Today we will be talking about the book Imajica by Clive Barker, published 1991, and the ways in which the primary protagonist practices - or fails to practice - the Virtues. The main character in this story is a man named Gentle, who eventually speaks the line that is the mantra and heart of Compassion. But before we get to that line in the book, we must follow Gentle across entire dimensions in his quest to find both his beloved and himself. Gentle starts out as a self-absorbed hedonist, indulging his base desires with little thought to his character or future. He sustains himself by means of his artistic talent, which he takes completely for granted. His world is turned upside down when he is almost killed by a mysterious but somehow familiar assassin, and he abandons everything he knows to follow his would-be killer across the borders between worlds. He discovers an entire Universe, consisting of four Dominions aside from our own, filled wi