Entries by Maris

Lunatics, Idiots, and Charlatans: Bridging the Secular and the Spiritual

I was raised in a secular-intellectual environment firmly grounded in materialist reductionism: there is no world but the physical world and that which can be verified through research science.  Religion had no part in my upbringing, and spirituality even less.  Spirituality was the realm of lunatics, idiots, and charlatans; people who were either too crazy […]

The Spiritual Teacher – Student Relationship

A spiritual teacher is someone who serves as a guide along the path of your soul’s journey, providing information, methods, and modeling that help you realize your life dream.  They help you access and strengthen your connection to the source of your own soul and spirit.  Spiritual teachers come in different varieties, from well-known gurus […]

On Death and Suicide: A Shamanic Perspective

As today, November 16, 2014, marks the 10th anniversary of my sister’s suicide, it seems a fitting time to write a post on death and suicide, starting with a disclaimer: death is ultimately a mystery and a sacred contract of the soul. Every contract is different and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the subject. […]

Creating the Moment: Shamanic Practice in Musical Performance

The following is a write-up I did for a conference on musical leadership in churches.  They asked me to contribute by answering the question: “Why might we want to include a shamanic element to service through musical performance?” First, we need to define what we mean by the word “shamanic.”  I recommend taking it out […]

The Power of Community

One source on the etymology of the word “community” has it related to Old French comunete meaning “reinforced by its source”.  When we access community we are, in essence, being reinforced by our source.  In this context our source can be our extended family and cultural communities – our biological source, or communities based on […]

Reframing the Patriarchy – The Goddess in Winter

For approximately the past five thousand years, Western culture has been dominated by the values of the masculine, what Joseph Campbell calls a “masculine accent” to the culture and what is popularly called the patriarchy.  The elevation of the masculine and the suppression of the feminine in culture has led to the same state within […]

Seiðr: Past and Present

Seiðr (pronounced “SAY-ther” in Reconstructed Old Norse) is a shamanic-magical tradition that was practiced in pre-Christian Northern Europe, primarily in the Germanic and Norse regions. Practitioners of seiðr were called völur (plural of völva), given the interpretive translation “staff-carriers”, or alternatively seiðmann (seiðr-man) or seiðkona (seiðr-woman). There are 24 accounts of seiðr in medieval Norse […]

The Spirit of Science

(This post started as a Facebook post that someone asked me to recreate as a blog entry.  You may notice the tone is different from my other blogs, and that is the reason.  For a great resource along the lines of this topic I recommend Rupert Sheldrake’s book Science Set Free.) There’s an article in […]