Monday, May 2, 2011

Our Saturday GG2011 Keynote Presentation

Nature is My Prayerbook: The Problem of Liturgy in Modern Paganism
by Arin Murphy-Hiscock

The concept of liturgy, an established system or repertoire of rites and ideas designed for use in worship or religious observance, is a problematic one in modern alternative spiritual paths. Contemporary Paganism encourages self-expression and a continual evolution of the self and one’s relationship with the Divine, and often a deep suspicion or outright rejection of anything that suggests prescribed canon or static law, which creates tension when contrasted with the traditional concept of a conventional, common liturgy.

At the same time, it’s human nature to surround oneself with reliable, recognizable structure for comfort, a sense of connection to others and/or the past, and for the ease with which one can reach a desired mindset for worship or practice. This dichotomy is part of what characterizes contemporary Pagan practice, and is the subject of this talk.

Bio: Currently a resident of Montreal, Canada, Arin works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Power Spellcraft for Life (2005), Solitary Wicca for Life (2005), The Way of the Green Witch (2006), The Way of the Hedge Witch (2009), and Pagan Pregnancy: The Journey From Maiden to Mother (TBA). She is also the editor of the anthology Out of the Broom Closet (2009).

Arin is a third-degree Wiccan High Priestess in the Black Forest Clan, a tradition linked both by lineage and practice to several other branches of Wiccan thought and philosophy including the Caledonii Tradition, Druidism, Gardnerian practice, Seax-Wicca, general Celtic Wicca, and German witchcraft. She works as a priestess in her community performing rites of passage and giving occasional workshops, and leads a private coven. Her hobbies include playing the cello, handspinning, and weaving. She can be found online at

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