Victim-Blaming After the Zombies Come

Is preserving our own beliefs better than reaching out to help others no matter what the personal cost? I contemplated this thorny issue watching “JSS,” the second episode in season six of the zombie apocalypse TV juggernaut The Walking Dead. The question centers on the actions of two good, kind men: Morgan and Aaron. In…


Halloween: Your Questions, Answered

Halloween’s origins lie in the Celtic mists of carved turnips, bonfires and celebrations of life and death. It’s always been a fun/spooky time of year since, of course, the flipside of  harvest is utter desolation and fleece socks. The Irish brought Halloween to America, where it became a children’s holiday. Tots were free to wear…



You may remember the fateful day, 5 years ago, when Mrs. Hannah Hubbard tried to rise from her grave where she lay buried since 1747, in Concord, Massachusetts. Very spoooooky. . . . Happy Halloween!

Killing the Buddha

Farewell, Olympia

I want to apologize to Republican Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, who announced last week that she will not seek re-election.  Some time in the early 1990s, as a teenager growing up in Downeast Maine, I dressed up as Senator Snowe for Halloween. (Pictures will remain in a sealed vault.) First as a representative, then as…


Festival of the Hungry Ghosts

What to make when it’s your turn to feed a dead grandmother?


Your Reformation Day Blowout!

Did you know that October 31 is not only a great time to be a Catholic or Pagan, but also a very special day for Protestants? That’s right! October 31 marks Reformation Day, which Brother Jeffrey Gros recently told me has fallen into disuse: “Since the 1980s, traditional Reformation Day services have evolved into commemorations…

'Samhain Altar' by Denise, via Flickr. Some rights reserved.

A is for Athame

A glossary of terms for dealing with witches.


Season of the Witch

Tea Party candidates aside, I’m always thrilled by the pagan good times offered by Halloween, and what is now called the Halloween season. We are approaching the time of year when many cultures consider the membrane between the worlds to be the thinnest. I enjoy celebrating the Feast of All Saints on November 1st, and…

Killing the Buddha

American Mythology

For a Halloween special, Buddha-killer E.J. Park shared with us this wonderful film of his, the story of a mystic Jew in search of the American dream. (He meets the devil along the way.) Synopsis: A vérité portrait of Ari Lehman and his pursuit of fame. As a 13-year-old, Lehman portrayed the young Jason Voorhees…