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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Feeding the Birds as a Spiritual Practice

When I moved into the house I’m living in now (about 13 years ago), one of the first things I did was to set up a couple of birdfeeders. I’d never been able to do this in the previous places I lived, either because I had outdoor cats—and it always seemed kind of cruel for me to put out food for the birds, knowing that some of them were going to get attacked when they came to eat—or because I was living in an apartment with no good place to put a feeder.

As a Pagan, I look at feeding the birds (and the other critters who are attracted to the seeds that spill onto the ground underneath) not just as a fun thing to do, but as a part of my spiritual practice. Allow me to explain.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Deborah Blake
    Deborah Blake says #
    These are all great! Thanks for sharing your stores with me.
  • Kin Roberts
    Kin Roberts says #
    I don't buy commercial birdseed. I go to the stores that carry farm feed--like Tractor Supply--and pick up a fifty pound bag of cr
  • Christopher Blackwell
    Christopher Blackwell says #
    I have for early thirty years though perhaps over do it. But when we built this place we had to take out a number of bushes here
  • Peggy Frye
    Peggy Frye says #
    I'm a follower of The Morrigan. Every morning I feed a murder of crows in my yard. I say an offering prayer, call them with a cr
Ariadne was just a girl and other urban legends of antiquity

We like to think of the gods as having always existed, time out of mind. In one sense they are timeless, of course, but in another sense they are closely linked to the cultures and societies of specific eras. It’s important to know when each deity ‘showed up’ and in what culture they did so, in order to understand which versions of the myths are the original ones and which are later alterations.

That’s right, later cultures came along and changed the earlier versions of myths, in most cases because they were taking over a society and wanted to downplay or even demonize its deities in favor of their own. You may be familiar with the way the writers of the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible) depicted Asherah, Ba’al and other Middle Eastern deities as evil demons. You may also have heard about the ways the medieval Christian church condemned the European Pagan gods as evil spirits in the cases where they couldn’t manage to transform them into local saints. Well, these kinds of propaganda weren’t invented by the Judeo-Christian world; they’ve been going on as long as there have been people and pantheons.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Dreaming Spring

They say that at Winter's midpoint, Spring walks the earth for a single night. (Or maybe it is her Dreaming that walks.) Look for her footprints in new snow. At her passing, they say, sleeping animals stir in their burrows and dens. At her passing, they say, seeds stir in the frozen soil, and dream of germination.

This playful Appalachian (originally English) folk carol, with its charmingly medieval-sounding minor tune, tells the story of the growing season to come, from plow to winnow. Originally sung at an already oversubscribed “Christemas,” we've reassigned it—for reasons that seem good to us—to Candlemas instead.

Generally we sing this song while standing in a circle, with lots of stomping, clapping, and percussion to help wake the animals and seeds. Each in turn jumps into the center, mimes a verse, and then jumps out again.

After all, there's no reason why making magic shouldn't be a raucous, joyful experience.

No reason at all.

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New Moon in Aquarius: Be True to Your Vision, and Never Mind the Haters

The New Moon this month occurs in the sign of Aquarius (0 degrees) on Tuesday, January 20th, at 5:14 am (PST).  Aquarius is a Fixed Air sign, meaning that it is a sign that embodies the heart of the season, in this case winter, in the Northern hemisphere.  It also resonates with the objective and intellectual element of Air.  Aquarius is the Visionary, The Wild Card, the Genius, the Rebel and the Revolutionary.  Uranus rules this Air sign, and is known as the Great Awakener.  Uranus also rules electricity, and lightening flashes of intuition and moments of revelation characterize the often times brilliant Aquarian psyche. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

The power of words is indisputable, especially spoken words.  They have sparked war and paved the way for peace.  Words can cause great emotional pain as well as convey the deepest and richest love.  The idea that words have power is one key to understanding the power of magick.  From dirt-worshipping neo-Pagan to the greatest practitioner of High Magick, words hold power for all of us.  That is especially true of words spoken during spells and rituals. 

Knowing this, I am often surprised at the number of Solitaries who practice only silent rituals and spells.  While even silent rituals often use words, they are thoughts and not spoken aloud.  There was a time that I also performed rituals in virtual silence, perhaps only speaking to cast my circle.  Sometimes not even then.  One day while explaining the power of words to someone, it struck me how wasteful most of my silent rituals were.  Don’t get me wrong – there is a place for silence within rituals and also a place for completely silent rituals.  I was just surprised at all of the opportunities I had squandered with my silence. Since I was alone, as is the accepted norm in American culture, I tended not to speak aloud.  After all, nobody else was there to hear the words, right?

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Metaphysical Quartz Crystal Description: CHANNELER or CHANNELING

This week we'll discuss the metaphysical properties of Channeling or Channeler quartz crystal points; what they are, how to determine if you have one, and how to work with their unique energy. They are referred to as either Channeler OR Channeling, both are correct and are used interchangeably.

Metaphysical description: Channeler quartz crystals help you access higher wisdom, either in the form of your Higher Self or Spirit Guides, or of Angels. These crystals exude a crisp, regal energy. Channeling crystals can bring you love and light from beings in the higher realms.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
In the Heart of Winter

It's late January, and my almond tree is blooming.

What makes that so surprising is that I live in Minnesota.

I've long joked that I'm a Mediterranean trapped in the body of a Northern European. (The quip would actually read more accurately as “...having a perfectly fine time in the body of....”) Civilized people drink tea and wine and cook with olive oil. Barbarians drink coffee and beer and cook with (ugh) butter. Not that there's anything wrong with barbarism, understand. Some of my best friends.... And since I've certainly put away my share of brews down the years, I suppose that by my own definition that would make me semi-barbarous. Fine. See if I care.

Why in the world am I living in Minnesota, one might wonder? Short answer: love. But that's a story for another night. Right now it's late January and my almond tree is blooming. I just can't look at it enough.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Let me add: in a world of resin repros, Constance speaks the truth of terracotta.
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    True story: when I got back from P-con, I hung the little Bell Goddess on a branch of the almond tree, which was budded out but no
  • Constance Tippett Chandler
    Constance Tippett Chandler says #
    Hey Steven, Glad to see you put my little Goddess to use. I think I remember you buying it at PantheaCon a few years ago. I live
  • Miles Gerhardson
    Miles Gerhardson says #
    So interesting to hear that here in Minnesota, where I reside also, that people actually DO grow such plants/trees. Wonderous!
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I hear (how did I not know about this?) that there are hot springs down by Mankato that have created around them a semi-tropical m

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