Different Religions Like Different Paths Through the Forest

In my household, we’re all Pagans, but we come from very different backgrounds and religions of origin, and we probably … Continued

In my household, we’re all Pagans, but we come from very different backgrounds and religions of origin, and we probably all have very different conceptions of God/dess.

In Circle Round, the book I wrote with Anne Hill and Diane Baker, we describe our Pagan holiday traditions and how we might talk about God/dess to children.

I would say:

“Can you think of a place that you love, a special, beautiful place, where you feel wild and free, loved and loving, and safe and happy all at once?

“Being in that place is being connected to the Goddess, the living being that we are all a part of. And all the different religions are like paths through the forest to that special place. Each one will take you on a different journey to get there. Some might take you up steep rocks and over high mountains, others might sail over water or cross green meadows full of flowers. Each one might have a different name for the place, or appreciate different things about it. And you might find your own way there, a path that is yours alone, that no one else has ever walked in just the same way before.

“But the most wonderful thing is—that special place is inside you. And once you know that, you can always go there, just by thinking about it and wanting to be there. You’ll find more and more things in life that remind you of that place, and more and more ways to remind other people that love, creativity and generosity exist at the heart of the world.

“This is the season when, in the Northern Hemisphere where we live, the sun is lowest, the days are shortest and coldest. But on the Solstice, a wonderful thing happens—the sun begins to grow strong again, and the days start to get longer. We celebrate the moment of turning—when the light is reborn.

Our story is that The Great Mother gives birth to the New Year child on Solstice morning. The Christians tell a similar story, but for them it’s about Mary giving birth to Jesus. The Jews light the Hanukah Menorah, adding a candle each night to remember the miracle of their faith, African Americans celebrate Kwanzaa, lighting candles that honor important principles. But all those stories have this in common—they remind us that love and hope are constantly reborn in the world, and that we can honor them, celebrate them, and feed their power.”

And we do celebrate just about everything, to honor our ancestors and their traditions as well as our own beliefs. We plunge into the ocean on Solstice Eve, for cleansing and purification, and then dance around a bonfire. We stay up all night, to accompany the Mother in her birth vigil, baking bread to represent her swelling, fertile belly, then dance the sun up on the hilltops. We light Hanukah candles and tell the story of the Maccabees, and decorate a Yule tree, hang stockings and open presents, to celebrate generosity and just for the fun of it.

Then we collapse, and let someone else throw the New Year’s Eve party!

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  • Daniel A. Brown

    WOW! What a joy to know that Starhawk is included in the religion forums of these respected media institutions. I read the “Belief” section in Newsweek and have a great deal of respect for its fairness and integrity.But in this difficult time of religious fanaticism, getting enlightened wisdom in any way, shape or form about love and spirit is a wonder…..and a necessity.Thanks to all involved for making this happen.Peace….Daniel

  • Daniel A. Brown

    WOW! What a joy to know that Starhawk is included in the religion forums of these respected media institutions. I read the “Belief” section in Newsweek and have a great deal of respect for its fairness and integrity.But in this difficult time of religious fanaticism, getting enlightened wisdom in any way, shape or form about love and spirit is a wonder…..and a necessity.Thanks to all involved for making this happen.Peace….Daniel

  • Daniel A. Brown

    WOW! What a joy to know that Starhawk is included in the religion forums of these respected media institutions. I read the “Belief” section in Newsweek and have a great deal of respect for its fairness and integrity.But in this difficult time of religious fanaticism, getting enlightened wisdom in any way, shape or form about love and spirit is a wonder…..and a necessity.Thanks to all involved for making this happen.Peace….Daniel

  • Sherian Howard

    Hoorah! for this website. I’m very grateful to see this manifest. May Love and understanding grow in this world. I appreciate your special voice, Starhawk. No need to respond. I’m just speaking up to support.

  • Jared

    There is no such thing as mixed-faith marriages or families, as God’s Word tells us that there is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5). Therefore, all other “faiths” are false and should be rejected. Why believe in something that maintains people in their fallen, rebellious, and sinful condition and rejects God’s saving grace? We cannot know God the Father without knowing Jesus Christ – God the Son. The earth and sky declare the glory of the Lord, and we are called to praise and exult in Him, not glorify created things.

  • OneIn7Billion

    …!!!!When will you start to reinstate human sacrifice? I mean getting pagan means getting to serious things and coherence. I know that telling right now to people that they would have to sacrifice their first born or their virgin daughters would be a little harsh righ now, but with time they could get used to it.They could go take a look at Apocalypto for starter, just a reminder of a not so distant past…Well, as for me, I’m really happy to know that there is at least a faith that pretends that someone else already paid to “balance” things and get some reach on a kind of blessing (permanent, according to them…). It’s seems too good to be true …! Hey!But wait! Maybe we better check this thing just in case it could be true…How do they call him, by the way?…ah! Jesus. Yeah! They say he’s the Savior of the world!Hum! Maybe not such a bad deal, after all!Go figure!

  • wiccan

    Merry We Meet, Starhawk. When I chose my avatar as “wiccan”, I did so because it felt like I was the only one participating in these chats. It’s so nice not to feel alone! Your Yule celebration sounds wonderful. My family has become resigned to the fact that by Yule I will have so many evergreens in the house it will smell like a forest, which is exactly what I wanted!

  • kay

    Thank you!Being firm in my faith base has created a tolerance for other belief systems.To see the same extended to us makes my heart soar! Brightest Blessings to all!

  • Julian

    “There is no such thing as mixed-faith marriages or families, as God’s Word tells us that there is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5). Therefore, all other “faiths” are false and should be rejected. Why believe in something that maintains people in their fallen, rebellious, and sinful condition and rejects God’s saving grace? We cannot know God the Father without knowing Jesus Christ – God the Son. The earth and sky declare the glory of the Lord, and we are called to praise and exult in Him, not glorify created things.”Please just go preach in church I am so tired of you Jebus freaks calling us Devil worshipers.This is why I go and piss in the holy water every time I pass by a church. Marry x-mas and remember don’t drink the water.

  • Nathan

    If it is true that many religions are like paths through a forest, is it not also true that not all paths lead to the same place, and that one may lead just as easily to the mouth of a lion’s den, while one leads to a meadow beyond?Though I recoil at the knee-jerk fundamentalist damnation expressed by some of the posters above (both Christian and Wiccan, Jared and Julian) I do think that they feel, without knowing it, the essential that there may, indeed (and in my opnion, is, indeed) a right answer to the questions that bring us all to sites like this.Blessings indeed, and may you find the one path.

  • Nathan

    If it is true that many religions are like paths through a forest, is it not also true that not all paths lead to the same place, and that one may lead just as easily to the mouth of a lion’s den, while one leads to a meadow beyond?Though I recoil at the knee-jerk fundamentalist damnation expressed by some of the posters above (both Christian and Wiccan, Jared and Julian) I do think that they feel, without knowing it, the essential that there may, indeed (and in my opnion, is, indeed) a right answer to the questions that bring us all to sites like this.Blessings indeed, and may you find the one path.

  • Nathan

    If it is true that many religions are like paths through a forest, is it not also true that not all paths lead to the same place, and that one may lead just as easily to the mouth of a lion’s den, while one leads to a meadow beyond?Though I recoil at the knee-jerk fundamentalist damnation expressed by some of the posters above (both Christian and Wiccan, Jared and Julian) I do think that they feel, without knowing it, the essential that there may, indeed (and in my opnion, is, indeed) a right answer to the questions that bring us all to sites like this.Blessings indeed, and may you find the one path.

  • Jesse

    So quickly after his death, for our sins, we begin to believe the wisdom of ourselves and ignore the truth written in the greatest selling book in the world – the bible! It is written in the book that we will begin to trust our own understanding and reject the truth. No matter what twist you place upon Christmas – it is impossible to get the “Christ” out of his birthday! It is hard to understand what truth is as you rely upon your own conclusion – ask him who is truth…. the secret, he already jotted it down for you in the bible!

  • Jesse

    So quickly after his death, for our sins, we begin to believe the wisdom of ourselves and ignore the truth written in the greatest selling book in the world – the bible! It is written in the book that we will begin to trust our own understanding and reject the truth. No matter what twist you place upon Christmas – it is impossible to get the “Christ” out of his birthday! It is hard to understand what truth is as you rely upon your own conclusion – ask him who is truth…. the secret, he already jotted it down for you in the bible!

  • Jesse

    So quickly after his death, for our sins, we begin to believe the wisdom of ourselves and ignore the truth written in the greatest selling book in the world – the bible! It is written in the book that we will begin to trust our own understanding and reject the truth. No matter what twist you place upon Christmas – it is impossible to get the “Christ” out of his birthday! It is hard to understand what truth is as you rely upon your own conclusion – ask him who is truth…. the secret, he already jotted it down for you in the bible!

  • Anonymous

    Let’s put the Saturn back into Saturnalia!!

  • Dan

    Paths and QuestionsFrom the Arch Bishop to Starhawk and all the posted comments all ring true with similiar tones. Choices; to love, accept or believe is what it boils down too. I think ,as with most everything in life, that there is a little truth to all.

  • 2in7billion

    They laughed at him as he died for them and our society still wants the unconditional, tolerant and unmolested right to continue laughing at him today.Previous post: “If God is “Love” then God is…” – thanks for clearing that up for human race – a God expert without using his words, viewing his message, checking the gospel, etc… If I live in a barn, then I must be a cow? Blinded by pride, people will spew words that express the simplistic human thought. Your written words will be mentioned in time again – as for me – I think I’ll stick with being a JESUS Freak! http://www.depotmart.com

  • fern

    > Then we collapse, and let someone else throw the New Year’s Eve party!Thanks for the humorous aside. I think God must have a sense of humor. One of my favorites is related by Saint Teresa:When Jesus told her, “Teresa, that’s how I treat my friends” Teresa responded, “No wonder you have so few friends.”

  • Anonymous

    “They laughed at him as he died for them and our society still wants the unconditional, tolerant and unmolested right to continue laughing at him today.”You know, I said almost the same thing to my wife when I saw that Best Buy ad too…wait a minute, you are talking about John Belushi and the Season 1 SNL release, right?

  • victoria

    Ill inject my own particular choice of religion here, but i hope no one thinks im going to waggle my finger at them because im really not- one of the beautiful experiences i had when i became muslim (yes, muslim) was i was reading a book that said since everything is in submission to ALLAH- then even the rocks and trees etc… are. and i was thinking also stars and black holes and we are made of the same stardust that is spinning ‘billions and billions’ of light years away and all a part of the same creative force and i felt such a sense of belonging here and an entitlement to my own skin and a unity with everything vibrating with the animated material manifestations of being- even with people and theyre the hardest to feel nified with of all…there are so many differences of words that disconnect us and cause us to judge each other…i only know one joke- i dont want to drive the christians crazy but this seems like a safe place to tell it and i was inspired by ferns joke (hee hee notice how i cleverly shifted blame from the fallout? sorry fern that was a weasel maneuver!)its about judgements=let the stone throwing begin….

  • yest me

    Pagan gods and goddesses are certainly the best of the batch. They deliver the goods when the chips are down, the barberians are at the gate and we need a miracle to save the city. However.Please don’t sacrifice anyone important to appease your gods(esses). When the huricane is coming down hard please don’t throw your kids into the pot of boiling oil to stop it from blowing your house away. That’s the tried and failed method of appeasement.You may be able to get a list of people to sacrifice to the gods at the RNC. They’re not reliable though as the RNC describes them as substandard and inferrior, “not fit to lead” is how they say it. It’s OK to sacrifice them though since they are already going to hell, why burning at the stake was moral and a lot of fun too. It’s my understanding that the DNC has a similar list of unreliable sacrificial subjects.You may not take that bad man out and shoot him. It’s against regulations. Are pagan gods(esses) pure love like the Gods of the three great faiths?

  • fern

    > ferns joke (hee hee notice how i cleverly shifted blame from the fallout? sorry fern that was a weasel > maneuver!)I liked the joke so I’ll take the blame for injecting humor into the discussion. If the earlier jokes don’t get people to throw stones, how about this one:What does a pagan do at a parking meter? Reads the signs, calls the quarters, and pays tribute to Demeter

  • Evan Stewart

    “Our story is that The Great Mother gives birth to the New Year child on Solstice morning. The Christians tell a similar story, but for them it’s about Mary giving birth to Jesus…But all those stories have this in common—they remind us that love and hope are constantly reborn in the world” Although the birth of Jesus does certainly remind us of “love and hope”, if we are going to talk about that event (or any other event/narrative of any religion) let’s be honest to the story. To dwindle the birth or life of Jesus to a mere story of love being reborn into the world is dishonest to the facts of the story. The story of Jesus is not one of love and hope being reborn, it is the story of infinite love and everlasting hope entering the world through God in human flesh. There are common elements within the Christian gospel that are contained in other ancient or even relatively recent narratives, but in the story of Jesus one finds the God of the existence coming to a broken and fallen world in order to voluntarily die for His creations in order that they may be reconciled to Him by faith. One finds the hope that true life on earth and in the life after this one can be found and experienced and one also finds the everlasting, unimaginable, and the forgiving love of God.

  • Macha

    Hey folks, pagans don’t appease our goddesses with human sacrifice. That was Jephthah, and Abraham (almost), and then there was Jesus… No, wait, he was executed by the Roman empire. (Not the Jews, Mel.)As long as people delude themselves that there is only One True Way, and it is theirs, we will have conflict. Learn to respect and learn from all faiths. Otherwise how can you be attuned to the Ultimate and drink her rich nectar?

  • Evan Stewart

    correction…”One finds the hope that true life on earth and in the life after this one can be found and experienced and one also finds the everlasting and unimaginable love and forgiveness of God.”

  • Tonio

    Nathan, why does there have to be “a right answer to the questions that bring us all to sites like this”? I suspect that no one can really understand what life is like for another person. Each of us faces the certainty of death and suffering, of course. But can one really understand how another handles those certainties? It’s possible that no two people can ever have the same answer to the questions that bring us all to this site.

  • Michael Glenn

    “On that day when you kneel before Jesus and declare that He is Lord of all, you will remember this post and the words I write to you. Unless you see Him for who He is now, today, your fate on that day is grim.”That’s what it always comes down to with the One True God and the believer’s one-upmanship: Threats.”My heart goes out to those posting close-minded and hard-hearted comments towards faiths other than their own.”Well said. Surely the majesty and beauty of life and universe are for more than cosmic winnowing, deciding who’s going into an eternal gulag and who’s not.Give us the lighted paths, not the black hole of a jealous deity obsessed with blood sacrifice and submission.We’ll all find the same blessed sleep in the end, one-upmanship or no. As the Buddha said, “The world does not know that we must all come to an end here; but those who know it, their quarrels cease at once.”The one-upmanship of the Jealous God offers only quarrels. I’ll take the openness, inclusiveness, and compassion of a Starhawk (or a Dan Dennett, for that matter) any day or any night. So would the real Jesus, I suspect, if there was such a man behind the mythic and almighty blood sacrifice.

  • 3in7billion

    Tina – what are you thinking. Mark you are right on, as Jesse, 2in7billion and the others that have knowledge of the truth. Tina – I do not want you heart or you wishes for me or the others that have knowledge of the truth. “To be foolish enough to think that yours is the exclusive path is similar to thinking…” Well, “if you are born in a barn then you must be a cow”? as stated previously…Jesus said ” I am the way, the truth and the light – NO ONE enters heaven but through me..” According to your words, then Jesus is “close-minded and hard-hearted, [and an] ignorant man.. If you have a problem with the exclusive knowledge given in the bible – then tell GOD he was wrong…but, please stop speaking words without meaning as you pour the constant dribble that spills from your letters.”The real you understands that we are all connected and the goal is about treating each other with respect and kindness” – Tina – isn’t this a country song? Do you find it ironic to toss out your belief as fact and called it from an open mind – your open mind. It is amazing that the tolerant are only tolerant of their concepts and never includes tolerance of the truth as Jesus told us over and over and ….It is those Christians that are one-sided, untolerant and think we are in error…. Wait… God, Jesus and the holy spirit are one-sided, untolerant and think you are in error. They have a beautiful way to his kingdom and offered for free to he who accepts the gift. Now who has the ego and self rightousness behavior? You can’t save yourself!If only the unwilling would actually read the book they mock…

  • Duff

    There is so much “love and emotion” in the testimonials of some of you people, I wonder if several of you wouldn’t test positive for temporal lobe epilepsy. If you are overwhelmed by the emotions evoked by your faith, you may have a neurological pathology.

  • Jill

    Isn’t there a little something inside each of us that makes us ‘who’ we are? A unique something that makes you Jill, Jesse, Fred, Tara or … What makes you ‘who’ you are is that which will live forever. The good news – Your unique “you” has a choice to go to Heaven or Hell! Whether you chose to believe in eternity or not, it doesn’t matter… This unique “you” is going to reside in your choice of eternity.The leading killer in the world is DEATH – it gets everyone eventually. Last time I checked, 10 out of 10 people die. Do you know what happens when life is over? When the final shout comes… “Game Over! Everyone out of the pool!” What will happen? Are you going to have Jesus’ help and support on the final day? Will you go to heaven? Can you handle the truth? Well… Here it is!You have sinned and so have I. We have been separated from God which eliminates great experiences of God’s love and plan for our life.God Loves ALL people (lucky for us). He offers a wonderful and free plan for your life!God sent his son, Jesus Christ, to pay restitution for our sins. The pure Jesus took upon himself the sins of the world for our redemption. He is the only way to Heaven – no other way exists under earth or in the surrounding universe.If you believe upon his name, you will be granted entrance to heaven forever! We must individually believe that he came to earth and died for our sins. We must accept him as our personal savior….. THAT’S IT! TRULY BELIEVE!Jesus Christ came to earth for our redemption. Of all the prophets, saviors or church founders that many religions place their faith upon, there has been but one that still lives! There is only one bible – the HOLY WORD OF GOD. Man has tried for centuries with the help of Satan to distort GOD’s Grace and his word…. don’t let them stop you from eternity in the glory and presence of the LORD! Toss the man-made ideas away from you, re-read this page and receive the LOVE of our GOD.Put your faith in Jesus rather than men!He is waiting with his arms wide open! Right off my website – http://www.depotmart.com

  • Jill

    Isn’t there a little something inside each of us that makes us ‘who’ we are? A unique something that makes you Jill, Jesse, Fred, Tara or … What makes you ‘who’ you are is that which will live forever. The good news – Your unique “you” has a choice to go to Heaven or Hell! Whether you chose to believe in eternity or not, it doesn’t matter… This unique “you” is going to reside in your choice of eternity.The leading killer in the world is DEATH – it gets everyone eventually. Last time I checked, 10 out of 10 people die. Do you know what happens when life is over? When the final shout comes… “Game Over! Everyone out of the pool!” What will happen? Are you going to have Jesus’ help and support on the final day? Will you go to heaven? Can you handle the truth? Well… Here it is!You have sinned and so have I. We have been separated from God which eliminates great experiences of God’s love and plan for our life.God Loves ALL people (lucky for us). He offers a wonderful and free plan for your life!God sent his son, Jesus Christ, to pay restitution for our sins. The pure Jesus took upon himself the sins of the world for our redemption. He is the only way to Heaven – no other way exists under earth or in the surrounding universe.If you believe upon his name, you will be granted entrance to heaven forever! We must individually believe that he came to earth and died for our sins. We must accept him as our personal savior….. THAT’S IT! TRULY BELIEVE!Jesus Christ came to earth for our redemption. Of all the prophets, saviors or church founders that many religions place their faith upon, there has been but one that still lives! There is only one bible – the HOLY WORD OF GOD. Man has tried for centuries with the help of Satan to distort GOD’s Grace and his word…. don’t let them stop you from eternity in the glory and presence of the LORD! Toss the man-made ideas away from you, re-read this page and receive the LOVE of our GOD.Put your faith in Jesus rather than men!He is waiting with his arms wide open! Right off my website – http://www.depotmart.com

  • Jill

    Isn’t there a little something inside each of us that makes us ‘who’ we are? A unique something that makes you Jill, Jesse, Fred, Tara or … What makes you ‘who’ you are is that which will live forever. The good news – Your unique “you” has a choice to go to Heaven or Hell! Whether you chose to believe in eternity or not, it doesn’t matter… This unique “you” is going to reside in your choice of eternity.The leading killer in the world is DEATH – it gets everyone eventually. Last time I checked, 10 out of 10 people die. Do you know what happens when life is over? When the final shout comes… “Game Over! Everyone out of the pool!” What will happen? Are you going to have Jesus’ help and support on the final day? Will you go to heaven? Can you handle the truth? Well… Here it is!You have sinned and so have I. We have been separated from God which eliminates great experiences of God’s love and plan for our life.God Loves ALL people (lucky for us). He offers a wonderful and free plan for your life!God sent his son, Jesus Christ, to pay restitution for our sins. The pure Jesus took upon himself the sins of the world for our redemption. He is the only way to Heaven – no other way exists under earth or in the surrounding universe.If you believe upon his name, you will be granted entrance to heaven forever! We must individually believe that he came to earth and died for our sins. We must accept him as our personal savior….. THAT’S IT! TRULY BELIEVE!Jesus Christ came to earth for our redemption. Of all the prophets, saviors or church founders that many religions place their faith upon, there has been but one that still lives! There is only one bible – the HOLY WORD OF GOD. Man has tried for centuries with the help of Satan to distort GOD’s Grace and his word…. don’t let them stop you from eternity in the glory and presence of the LORD! Toss the man-made ideas away from you, re-read this page and receive the LOVE of our GOD.Put your faith in Jesus rather than men!He is waiting with his arms wide open! Right off my website – http://www.depotmart.com

  • victoria

    JILL–Instead of presuming to tell GOD how He(or SHE) should be worsipped-why dont you ask HIMORHER instead? howabout GOD LEAD ME TO WORSHIP YOU THE WAY YOU WANT ME TO, NOT THE WAY THAT IM COMFORTABLE WITH.if God wants us all to be christians, that prayer will lead us all there. ut perhaps God has other intentions but you wont know unless you ask.a salaamu alaikum

  • wiccan

    To Victoria and Fern,Thanks for starting my day two good belly laughs!

  • Michael Glenn

    Jill: Why so strident?Victoria: Why the emphasis on discomfort?The cosmos is so vast, and time is so deep. Is placating a jealous deity really what it’s all about?

  • Mark Eaton

    Dear Starhawk:My heart breaks for you. How blinded you are. Do you realize that you are in darkness, blindfolded and in chains? Yet you think that you have total freedom and proudly proclaim it to others. One day you will find out. On that day when you kneel before Jesus and declare that He is Lord of all, you will remember this post and the words I write to you. Unless you see Him for who He is now, today, your fate on that day is grim.For we are not on the same path, you and I. We are not seeking the same God. You are seeking the god of this world and the pleasures he can give to you for a season. The pleasure will not last. The high you will come down from. The heartache you feel will still be there. You see, I know where you are, because I was there too. Enslaved. Hating this life, hating this world, hating this God. Lying to myself that everything was OK. But everytime I got alone, I knew that was a lie. Everytime I was alone, I could hear His voice calling me. You hear that voice too. Everyone does, whether they want to admit it or not. The one and true living God made us with a hole in our soul that only He can fill. He continually calls for us to come to Him, like a father would call for his child to come home. He calls for you. Listen to Him. Talk back to Him. Tell Him how you feel. Yell at Him. Ask Him to show himself to you. Call Him by name “Abba Father”. Ask about His son Jesus. He will answer you.

  • Tina

    Thanks to Starhawk for sharing the Pagan tradition and demonstrating open-hearted love for people of all faiths.My heart goes out to those posting close-minded and hard-hearted comments towards faiths other than their own. This ignorance is a product of man’s intellect and ego rather than God’s bidding. To be foolish enough to think that yours is the exclusive path is similar to thinking you can truly capture the infinite power and love of God {Allah, The Goddess, etc} within the finite constructs of human language…even if it is printed in a text that is thousands of years old and has been reprinted billions of times. Knowing ABOUT God and knowing God are 2 completely different things.The Buddhists say something like [not sure of the exact words]….The world’s religions are like many fingers pointing at the moon; if you gaze too intently upon the fingers, you will never know the truth and beauty to which the point.The real you {the you that is one with God} does not need to define yourself as “a believer…different than the non-believer” to feel okay. That’s your ego talking…your ego needs to convince itself that it has found the right and only path. The real you is knows the deal already and is not fooled be the ego. The real you understands that we are all connected and the goal is about treating each other with respect and kindness. Loving others trumps following the “right” set of rules any day of the week.The trick is to quiet the mind enough to hear the heart. Then the truth shines through.Peace to all…see you in the clearing. :)PS. to that one guy…quit peeing in the holy water. That’s just nasty. :) Not all Christians are divisive…play nice.

  • Crystal

    Jill, you need help and I hope your jesus gives it to you. I wish people like you could see beyond your nose. Please get professional help.

  • babble

    It’s been said before, but why is it that we don’t have an influx of Pagans (or Jews, or Muslims or what have you) spamming the comments of every Christian columnist on forums like these? Why is it that only the Christians who feel compelled to comment seem to be the only people who MUST preach at us? Please, please…preach somewhere else. We’re not interested in what your book has to say about us. We respect that it’s meaningful to you, but please don’t make the mistake of thinking that gives you the right to DEMAND that it means the same to me.

  • Mama Kelly

    Dear StarhawkThank you for a thoughtful and well-written first post here at your new “home” on newsweek.If only everyone, of every faith, could truly understand that all positive paths lead to the same end. That the Divine is beyond the human trappings of names. If nothing else my hope would be, and after reading some of the previous posts perhaps it is a fruitless one, that people would understand that the Divine is, at the very least, beyond human failings of narrow-mindedness and cruelty, and is instead understanding and accepting.Blessed Be

  • Mama Kelly

    Dear StarhawkThank you for a thoughtful and well-written first post here at your new “home” on newsweek.If only everyone, of every faith, could truly understand that all positive paths lead to the same end. That the Divine is beyond the human trappings of names. If nothing else my hope would be, and after reading some of the previous posts perhaps it is a fruitless one, that people would understand that the Divine is, at the very least, beyond human failings of narrow-mindedness and cruelty, and is instead understanding and accepting.Blessed Be

  • Mama Kelly

    Dear StarhawkThank you for a thoughtful and well-written first post here at your new “home” on newsweek.If only everyone, of every faith, could truly understand that all positive paths lead to the same end. That the Divine is beyond the human trappings of names. If nothing else my hope would be, and after reading some of the previous posts perhaps it is a fruitless one, that people would understand that the Divine is, at the very least, beyond human failings of narrow-mindedness and cruelty, and is instead understanding and accepting.Blessed Be

  • victoria

    OK, MAYBE COMPLACENT IS A BETTER WORD, OR STATIC, OR CRYSTALLIZED, OR INDOCTRINATED WITH,

  • Whitney

    WHY IS EVERYONE USING CAPITALS ALL OF A SUDDEN!?!

  • victoria

    ooo sorry that is the second time someone has chastised me for that i dont look at the keyboard when i write and sometimes slip in and out of caps i also misspell and abuse punctuation im old and kind of new to these subtleties ive been told it means yelling i only use it for emphasis when its with lowercase im more interested with content and will probably make this mistake in the future

  • Solea

    Ok, I haven’t read all of these posts, but enough to want to comment.WHY do people have to focus on the negative and attack each other for their differences? “Love is always faithful and kind and never jealous…” (1 Cor. 13)Green Blessings and Love

  • Dana

    Y’know, I don’t really care if all paths lead to the same clearing. I didn’t get on my path to go to the same place the Abrahamics are going. I got on my path because it was going where *I* wanted to go.I’ve been on the Internet ten years and there are just as many loonies now as there were when I first signed on. And they don’t convince anyone so I don’t know why they bother. But this amounts to blog vandalism. Can’t Newsweek delete these comments?To the person who wanted to know why it should be necessary to tell a child about a deity, there is nothing wrong with imbuing a sense of the sacred in our children. Denying the sacred, in fact, is how the world has gotten into its present mess, and I include in that estimation the Abrahamic practice of denying sacredness in some quarters while exaggerating it in others. But the atheist approach is no better where it declares that the universe is a dead machine worthy of no particular veneration. On the other hand, the atheist who values all-that-is as important and special in its own right is OK with me.Thanks to Newsweek for allowing Starhawk this forum. I’ve followed her work for a long time nad admire her greatly.

  • donalea

    Starhawk it is so good to see your name and your post here. What a lovely childlike explanation to offer a little one. Thank you.I read the posts that the Christians are writing and shiver. Are these the same things that were being said when they tied people to the stake and lit the fire?I thank Newsweek for giving Starhawk this forum as well. Newsweek is showing itself to be on the cutting edge of contemporary thought. Bright Blesssings to you all at this special time of year.

  • Mark Eaton

    Comments like “If only everyone, of every faith, could truly understand that all positive paths lead to the same end. That the Divine is beyond the human trappings of names.” is the reason we must post, we must preach, we must inform. Who knows this statement to be true? Does anyone have any facts to support this statement? Only with facts can truth be found. Or is anyone interested in truth? If all we desire is to hear (read) our own words, why correspond at all? Have we lost the desire to do research, find facts, dig the depths for real knowledge? Do we really know why we believe what we do?I challenge everyone who posted here to some homework. Find the real reason you believe what you do. No matter what it is. It may be because my parents believed it. It may be because my friend turned me onto it. Possibly a professor showed you the path. Be honest with yourself. Challenge yourself. Find the real reason. But make sure its real. Quoting scripture may be the reason, perhaps its not. Then, let us return and post our reasons for others to read. I think we will find our reasons for believing are very similar. What we choose to believe, however, is problematic.My personal reason is simple. I see the world through the eyes of an engineer. I make and design things. I see that the world must have been designed and created. It could not have happened by chance. And if that is so, then I want to know the person responsible for creating all these things.

  • Karen I. Olsen

    Hi again, Starhawk! I hope you continue writing/posting here, even though being constantly preached at in the Comments sections might get a bit tiresome. Does your family still celebrate Winter Solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa all together?! If so, I trust you will take the needed vacation from holidays afterwards (LOL).By the way, have you had a chance to read the essay thing I gave you the last time you were in Seattle? It’s called “Genesis: Notes for Research.” If you haven’t gotten around to it, that’s okay; I know you have a massive schedule during most of the year. But one of these days, you might dig it out for a bit of light reading, and let me know what you think of it. If you’re having trouble finding it again, it can be found at Thanks again for writing,Karen Olsen

  • Karen I. Olsen

    Hi again, Starhawk! I hope you continue writing/posting here, even though being constantly preached at in the Comments sections might get a bit tiresome. Does your family still celebrate Winter Solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa all together?! If so, I trust you will take the needed vacation from holidays afterwards (LOL).By the way, have you had a chance to read the essay thing I gave you the last time you were in Seattle? It’s called “Genesis: Notes for Research.” If you haven’t gotten around to it, that’s okay; I know you have a massive schedule during most of the year. But one of these days, you might dig it out for a bit of light reading, and let me know what you think of it. If you’re having trouble finding it again, it can be found at Thanks again for writing,Karen Olsen

  • Karen I. Olsen

    Hi again, Starhawk! I hope you continue writing/posting here, even though being constantly preached at in the Comments sections might get a bit tiresome. Does your family still celebrate Winter Solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa all together?! If so, I trust you will take the needed vacation from holidays afterwards (LOL).By the way, have you had a chance to read the essay thing I gave you the last time you were in Seattle? It’s called “Genesis: Notes for Research.” If you haven’t gotten around to it, that’s okay; I know you have a massive schedule during most of the year. But one of these days, you might dig it out for a bit of light reading, and let me know what you think of it. If you’re having trouble finding it again, it can be found at Thanks again for writing,Karen Olsen

  • Dinah

    Oh, if only I could have stayed in the place Starhawk guided me to. Not moved on to the discussion.

  • Jill

    The words are long and empty of so many… I find a massive and diverse mix of people who are lost but seek within their experience the answers for things beyond their comprehension. Many are instructed by masters in the art of words and human feelings. It would have been easy, even for myself, to cling to the reiteration of what felt right! To love – ah, the joyous sound of those words… I am at times ashamed of those who call themselves followers of God but deny Christ. I am at times ashamed of those who call themselves followers of Christ but deny his written teachings. I am at times ashamed of the hypocrites that follow his written teachings in their skewed ways. BUT, then I realize that we are simple, human and easily perverted. The bible is the most historically accurate and unadulterated book ever written. If secular experts cannot disprove a single concept within, how can those who have never read it believe they are experts in its writings, meanings, understandings and ultimately…its truth? The freedom lovers, the religious spiritualists’ and ‘tolerant’ ironically toss words of hatred and needed censorship of others who express differences. Ultimately, the end will come for each of us. Do you want to rely upon the teachings of men, the feelings of your heart, the expressions granted by evilness or a book? If I tell you the way it should be; then I make the rules and you become followers. Why do we have such a hard time accepting our God and that he gave his only begotten son for our sins so that we may join him after our end? Truly he made the rules and we need be his followers. Those that speak without research or knowledge – shame on you. A study of the odds that Christ is Lord has been completed that proves without a shadow of a doubt – that his if the messiah! The bible has brought multiples of people to the gospel of Christ, even though they set out to destroy its foundations!Do you know for SURE that you are going to heaven? Will you be surprised after your death? http://www.depotmart.com

  • wiccan

    Jill-I think we ALL are going to be suprised after our physical death.

  • Jill

    Wiccan,I am glad that you think “All” will be surprised – for I will not. It shows hope, for you are not certain of your footing. Surprisingly, You will one day hear your words again. Jesus is the answer…seek and he will provide confidence… May God help you!

  • wiccan

    Jill-I’ll look you up when we both get to the other side, and we’ll share a good laugh over our misconceptions. Til then, Blessed Be.

  • Cailean

    To all the Christians who posted here:Welcome. Now, all that nonsense about reading the “Good Book,” I have. Several times. 12 years of Catholic school. And I have YET to meet a Christian who lives by it. Jesus advocated tolerance and yet I hear none of it in your messages. Jesus preached non-violence. Yet, non-christians are continually attacked by his followers. How do you reconcile this?Also, when I speak with door-to-door preachers (and I do SPEAK with them, we have wonderful, enlightening, intelligent conversations for the most part), I ask them to answer the one question no christian has yet been able to answer satisfactorily to me. Perhaps you know:The Bible is about God. In the Old Testament, God is stern, eye-for-an-eye, turn-you-into-a-pillar-of-salt for induling the human curiosity I gave you, “sacrifice your only son to me…oops just kidding” kind of god. In the New Testament, Jesus tells of his wonderful father who wants only to love us and welcome us into his heaven. Now, explain to me how that is the same God. Sounds like two different beings to me or one with one hell of a split personality. Pagans at least tend to have a live & let live attitude. Why must you seek to inflict your thoughts and your beliefs on all of us? Why can you not let us do as we wish? If, at the end, you’re in heaven watching us burn in hell, so be it. Can you even entertain the idea that you will go to your heaven, and I will go to the Summerlands I ache for? Why must religion be black & white when nothing else in life is?Cailean

  • Fred

    It is almost frightening that you state you have read the bible? Have you not heard of the old covenant and the new covenant? What knowledge have you grasped in reading the living word of God? If you do honestly talk with people of true faith and they can not answer your valid yet simple question, then you are talking with people that do not have knowledge of the truth. Go forward and learn my friend – for you have sought answers in places that are empty vessels. I wonder if that is your intention. It is as stated previous – sad to see a man preach of tolerance while dishing his version of tolerance. Only the intolerant preach of tolerance as they cry like offended children in the corner… He has answered it all in the reading you have stated, but you have understood nothing? Preach your tolerance filled with ignorance, this will get you far. You have no willingness to understand the truth… May God help you!

  • VICTORIA

    CAILEEN AND CHRISTIANS WHO KNOCKED US IN THE HEAD WITH A BIBLE-I really tried hard to live in imitation of Jesus(ata) for many many years- i dont want to be self glorifying- but i lived for years in complete service to humankind- total pacifism made bullies beat me up- renouncing all material possessions made me very poor – but God did find ways to keep me fed-i have found in my life, that those with the greatest need to pound others on the head with their beliefs seem to harbor the deep need to convince themselves… peace

  • VICTORIA

    CAILEEN AND CHRISTIANS WHO KNOCKED US IN THE HEAD WITH A BIBLE-I really tried hard to live in imitation of Jesus(ata) for many many years- i dont want to be self glorifying- but i lived for years in complete service to humankind- total pacifism made bullies beat me up- renouncing all material possessions made me very poor – but God did find ways to keep me fed-i have found in my life, that those with the greatest need to pound others on the head with their beliefs seem to harbor the deep need to convince themselves… peace

  • victoria

    rats and bats sorry bout the double post

  • Rick Lell

    Merry Meet and many blessings to you all! Thank you Starhawk for leading us so beautifully and with such courage all these years. I’m writing this today asking your approval and blessings…at your convenience please go to http://www.saktijnana.net and you will see what I’m speaking of here. PEACE )O( Rick

  • Rick Lell

    Merry Meet and many blessings to you all! Thank you Starhawk for leading us so beautifully and with such courage all these years. I’m writing this today asking your approval and blessings…at your convenience please go to http://www.saktijnana.net and you will see what I’m speaking of here. PEACE )O( Rick

  • Rick Lell

    Merry Meet and many blessings to you all! Thank you Starhawk for leading us so beautifully and with such courage all these years. I’m writing this today asking your approval and blessings…at your convenience please go to http://www.saktijnana.net and you will see what I’m speaking of here. PEACE )O( Rick

  • PriveR

    Hi all. It took a while for me to find Starhawk’s other postings.. When you’re out on the main boards they don’t show up most of the time, so I wasn’t aware she’d put up other answers to the questions asked.It’s good to see that. I wish that there were other folks who were followers of the big 3 religions who were genuinely interested in a dialogue rather than conversion. If they’re out there, I haven’t found them.Blessed Be!

  • Evangeline

    To Jill, the problem, as I see it, is that it’s just so hard to believe that your version of “God” really does love us, as “he” condemns all of humanity to everlasting fire in “hell”, for the reason that we are less than perfect (sinful), which is the way “he” created us in the first place, then offers a chance to get out of “hell”, but only to Christians (incidently or not so incidently the dominant faith of the major world powers)! It would make some sense if your faith taught that though we deserve hell, Jesus died once for our sins, so therefore we are all saved, regardless of what culture we are born into (which determines our faith, for most people). But that would take away the power of the churches to control the people, so that wouldn’t work, I guess.But unlike your “god the father”, my Goddess, the Mother, like most human mothers, never forsakes us, not in life, not after this life, not if we are “bad” or even really really “bad”. We can count on Her to hold us always, whether we know Her or not, worship Her or not.

  • Vetch

    I agree with previous posters – the God of the OT and the NT are supposedly the same yet behave so differently and he expects this to slide.So I challenge you, Christians:Keep up the good work, Starhawk. You are a light for Pagans around the world.

  • Adjuvant

    GUILT, FEAR, IGNORANCEThe true test of any faith based on LOVE is the living of it. Starhawk’s words about many different paths to this same truth is something worth repeating and even putting down into a book for others to see. Not to control or dominate anyones mind and body, but to share ideas about another possible way to healing and love of one another and this planet, our Mother Earth.

  • ring true

    sind die Mittelgebirge deutlich teren Datums

  • ring true

    sind die Mittelgebirge deutlich teren Datums

  • ring true

    sind die Mittelgebirge deutlich teren Datums

  • ring true

    I stumbled on this from Google and wanted to say thanks for posting

  • ring true

    I stumbled on this from Google and wanted to say thanks for posting

  • ring true

    I stumbled on this from Google and wanted to say thanks for posting

  • Richard

    Howdy all. I’m a Christian, but I wanted you to know that I love Pagans and Wiccans and other nature-centered folks. I read Genesis 2 to say that we are to be stewards of the Earth, and you folks do a great job of leading folks in that direction, honoring God’s (I mean that in a gender-neutral/gender-inclusive way) creation.I just worry about one thing though. I know Christians say really bad things about “witches” and “devil-worshippers” and whatnot. But I’m just curious if Pagans and their allies are ever willing to add their panoply of gods or manifestations of the divine the (suspect) God of Abraham or God of Jesus (or if you’re feeling Catholic, Mary), or to look at the (horrors!) teachings of Jesus without thinking of Jesus as your “Lord and Savior.” I mean, what he said (as opposed to what people wrote *about* him) is pretty compelling, and pretty compatible with the “don’t hurt people” idea you folks have.Just curious!

  • Richard

    Howdy all. I’m a Christian, but I wanted you to know that I love Pagans and Wiccans and other nature-centered folks. I read Genesis 2 to say that we are to be stewards of the Earth, and you folks do a great job of leading folks in that direction, honoring God’s (I mean that in a gender-neutral/gender-inclusive way) creation.I just worry about one thing though. I know Christians say really bad things about “witches” and “devil-worshippers” and whatnot. But I’m just curious if Pagans and their allies are ever willing to add their panoply of gods or manifestations of the divine the (suspect) God of Abraham or God of Jesus (or if you’re feeling Catholic, Mary), or to look at the (horrors!) teachings of Jesus without thinking of Jesus as your “Lord and Savior.” I mean, what he said (as opposed to what people wrote *about* him) is pretty compelling, and pretty compatible with the “don’t hurt people” idea you folks have.Just curious!

  • Richard

    Howdy all. I’m a Christian, but I wanted you to know that I love Pagans and Wiccans and other nature-centered folks. I read Genesis 2 to say that we are to be stewards of the Earth, and you folks do a great job of leading folks in that direction, honoring God’s (I mean that in a gender-neutral/gender-inclusive way) creation.I just worry about one thing though. I know Christians say really bad things about “witches” and “devil-worshippers” and whatnot. But I’m just curious if Pagans and their allies are ever willing to add their panoply of gods or manifestations of the divine the (suspect) God of Abraham or God of Jesus (or if you’re feeling Catholic, Mary), or to look at the (horrors!) teachings of Jesus without thinking of Jesus as your “Lord and Savior.” I mean, what he said (as opposed to what people wrote *about* him) is pretty compelling, and pretty compatible with the “don’t hurt people” idea you folks have.Just curious!

  • Ursyl

    “I just worry about one thing though. I know Christians say really bad things about “witches” and “devil-worshippers” and whatnot. But I’m just curious if Pagans and their allies are ever willing to add their panoply of gods or manifestations of the divine the (suspect) God of Abraham or God of Jesus (or if you’re feeling Catholic, Mary), or to look at the (horrors!) teachings of Jesus without thinking of Jesus as your “Lord and Savior.” I mean, what he said (as opposed to what people wrote *about* him) is pretty compelling, and pretty compatible with the “don’t hurt people” idea you folks have.”Most Pagans I’ve met have read the Christian Bible. In fact, most Pagans I know were raised in one form of Christianity or another.Some of us, most even?, once we get past the pain and initial rejection stages, come back around to having respect for the teachings of Jesus in terms of the “Love one another.” messages.Interestingly enough, in my experience, one doesn’t have to follow a religion to respect that it contains some truth. From what I’ve seen over the decades, none contain All Truth, and All contain some.Spoken like a true UU Pagan? LOL