The film tells the story of the notoriously ingenious, multicultural people of Trinidad and Tobago, who fought to hold on to their African drum and in the process created the steel-pan, the only new instrument to be invented in the 20th century.
At least books and films such as "Harry Potter" and "Beautiful Creatures" have started to bring the popular image of the witch beyond the realm of the 16th-century pointed hat. But now it's time to move forward still further into the 21st century.
For me, prayer is a form of connection. Whether that connection is to deity, to the cosmos, or to something else doesn't really matter. What matters to me, and makes a difference in my life, is the practice of presence that prayer brings.
I would like for us to redeem ourselves to each other, to come to terms with the distance we put between us and our neighbors, to release ourselves from indifference, to recognize that our lives are indelibly interconnected.
Jesus not only exists in the hearts and minds of the faithful, but he is also a useful point of entry for conversations about different expressions of faith, experiences of divinity with people from many different religious traditions.
Fighting a religious war is no way to maintain a democracy. It's not even a great way to maintain a religion. The challenge for Pagans, today and over the long haul, is to use our spiritual beliefs to galvanize us to action.
When you take on a new religious tradition, a new spiritual name, a new title, or when you develop a new set of ritual practices, how do you go about communicating that to the people who knew you as something different?
The sun is still at the center of all our winter religious holidays: Hanukkah, Christmas, the Keltic Druid festival of the stars, the Katchina night dances in the Hopi pueblo. So maybe we should start deliberately worshiping the sun again.
I know it's still several weeks away, but the last harvest is upon us, which means a chance to explore our own darkness and reserves is coming, too. Take some time now to think about the accomplishments of this year.
High holidays offer a moment for assessment and appreciation. It is always appropriate to be grateful for what we do have, and at the same time to notice what is waning and how we are called towards reconstruction.
Pagans celebrate Imbolc as a time to consider intentions and tools; it is a time to clarify aim and dedicate one's self for the coming year, to let go of clutter and to prepare for the season of growth.
And they said things were bad in the 70's. The dirt, the porno shops, the Disco. All that is now a fond memory for many New Yorkers who gamely braved that bit of Hades to attend a real Broadway musical.
Put aside the crazy "Obama's a Muslim" idiocy -- assume John McCain had won the presidency instead. Do you really think the Senate would confirm a Muslim candidate right now, even a conservative right-wing one? I don't.