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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Mother Tree

When you see the Tree, you understand right away that this is the Mother Tree of All Apples.

A farmhouse, now long gone, once stood here. Nothing remains but a pile of old foundation stones.

But the Three Springs still bubble from the creek-bed, and feral apple trees fill the Secret Valley.

The Mother Tree is oldest, and biggest, of them all.

Orchard trees are pruned, bred low for easy picking. This tree has known neither pruning saw, nor the shade of other trees. Three with outstretched arms could barely span its girth.

Approach, and understand. Three sister trees—sprung, maybe, from a single apple—have grown up together, merging, in mutual embrace: the Three that are One, the One that is Three. You'd go far to find a better image of the Triple Goddess.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Music among the Minoans

Like every culture, the Minoans had their music. We can see that in their art and artifacts. The image at the top of this post is of a group of terracotta figurines from Palaikastro. There are three women holding hands and dancing in a semicircle around a fourth woman who is playing the lyre. We don't know what the occasion was here: a celebration? A ritual? One of the famous harvest dances on a circular threshing floor? (There was a circular piece found with these figurines that might have been a model threshing floor.)

It could even have been a funeral; there's a lyre-player on the "death" side of the Hagia Triada sarcophagus.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Riddle Me This

One of the genres you may not expect to be popular in the Middle Ages is that of riddles. They're not usually as straightforward as the riddles we know. They tend to be more metaphorical. I mentioned before in The Magic of Names the riddle that has 'magpie' as its solution (probably). Many of them are scatalogical or full of double entendres, which also doesn't fit our image of pious monks -- but it's our picture of monks that's wrong.

The myth persists that the church ruled the Middle Ages with a heavy hand. Like the myth that people thought the world was flat, it's just wrong. Many people who thought of themselves as Christian went to church once a year to confess and that was enough for them. Many monks who were part of the church were no more devoted to their religion than the average slacker working for a giant corporation is. It gave them a living if they weren't inheriting any wealth. For many it was an easy life (see Chaucer's monk for example).

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Sweet riddle! Love it. Thanks for sharing! A most interesting blog.
  • Dragon Dancer
    Dragon Dancer says #
    Haha, I was gonna say apple.
  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    The answer is of course -- an onion!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

 

Memorial Day

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Thank you for a beautiful prayer. I have reposted it on Facebook through your link at the top of the page. I also printed out a
TROUBLED TIMES, LIGHTWORKERS and CRYSTALS - revisit

Well, I found myself wondering what I was going to blog about this week, and found a post I wrote about troubled times, Lightworkers and crystals from one year ago.

Things are even MORE shaken up and crazy than they were this time last year...

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In Western culture, we have often been taught that darkness is bad and light is good, and that life energies begin at the point at which light is perceived.  However, if we look at other cultures, particularly traditional cultures, they are not as influenced by Judeo-Christian traditions as is our modern culture. Light and dark can be understood as important parts of a holistic existence.

Our culture is also very lacking in a healthy understanding of and relationship to death. We don’t speak about it, we don’t learn about it, and it is to be avoided at all cost.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Anvil of the Horned One

“That's the anvil of the Horned One,” a friend wrote to me recently, meaning a hard, but ultimately formative, situation.

As regards the situation, his analysis was bang on, but in the days that followed I've found myself reflecting again and again on that resonant phrase: the anvil of the Horned One.

In Old Craft, the God of Witches is (inter alia) a Smith-God: among his many by-names is Coal-Black Smith.

Back in the day, goes the story, when you had to cloak everything in the Church's names and stories, he came to be called—and so still is, by some—by the name of the Biblical smith, Tubal Cain. “The Clan of Tubal-Cain,” Bobby Cochrane (father of modern Old Craft) called his Royal Windsor coven: one clan in the Tribe of Witches.

The point here is that, as god of animals, he's also god of culture: the originator and teacher of the civilized arts. (Humans aren't the only animals possessed of culture, of course.) Hence smithery: the anvil, tongs, and hammer are his tokens.

Yet there's more than mythology here.

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  • Kile Martz
    Kile Martz says #
    KM is honored to be your muse for this particular post. ~ O, let me suffer on the anvil of the horned one so that he might forge

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