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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Yule-Halm

Yule is a birth, and birth is a messy business.

In the old North, women used to give birth in straw. This was called the birthing-litter or the birthing-strew: cushioning, absorbent, and readily disposable.

In fact, straw and strew come from the same verbal root, apparently meaning “to spread.” It was once customary to spread the floors of the house with straw—called halm or haulm, from the same root as Greek kalamos, “reed”—to insulate and absorb spills. Generally the halm had fragrant herbs mingled among it, but even so it must have gotten pretty rank with use. So for many years it was the practice to lay fresh strew for Yule: the Yule-halm. In Sweden this was known as Julglädje, the “Yule-joy.” (The old stuff must have been pretty bad.) Some people would sleep in the Yule-halm so as to leave their beds for the visiting dead who rejoin the family during the holy tide. Straw-dreams were said to be of great omen.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_9228.JPGDaily Practice helps me from going crazy. No, seriously, in a world where so little is in our control, seemingly less filled with compassion and more filled with injustice, my daily practice allows me to sink into the safety of the only thing constant in my life, the breath.

I encounter people everyday, whether direct or in passing, and wonder… are they breathing? I mean, really breathing? With faces intently locked onto phones, harnessed at the computer, walking briskly, or rapidly talking, I wonder are these people breathing? What might it look like for them to simply acknowledge the breath within their body. The simple, yet realchemizing breath that fills our lungs to energize our blood and move toxins, like stress, out of the body.

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  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Oh Erick, This is just what I needed to read this morning. I am drawing a bath right now. I will tend to my outside altar and then

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Self-Care tips from the Space Witch

We all know that the holiday season can be incredibly stressful, no matter which holidays one celebrates this time of year.  This season has always been hard on me, but this year it’s a lot worse.  So when I found myself crying in my boss’ office for practically no reason at all, I knew I needed to start practicing what social workers and other healthcare professionals refer to as “self-care.”"

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PaganNewsBeagle Airy Monday Dec 8

In today's Airy Monday post, we've got PaganStudies at the AAR; new classes at Cherry Hill; the New Alexandrian library; buzzards (tracked from space); and a look the Orion mission.

“The AAR annual meeting is a huge intellectual energy infusion, not to mention a social occasion with Pagan Studies scholars from around the world,” reports Chas Clifton, co-chair of AAR’s Contemporary Pagan Studies Group. The Wild Hunt has the rest of the story.

Cherry Hill Pagan seminary announced its slate of upcoming spring classes last week. They include offerings in subjects including Sacred Cycles; Ministering to Military Pagans; Paganism and the Body; and much more. Check the whole list out here.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Song of the Crow Man

he wold com to my hows top in the shape of a crow, or lyk a dear or in any uther shap now and then, I wold ken his woice at the first heiring of it, and wold goe forth to him and hav carnall cowpula[tio]n w[i]th him 

  [Scottish witch Isobel Gowdie, of the Devil (1662)]

For just a moment, I thought that somehow I'd driven onto a set from Hitchcock's The Birds.

Sunset, Christmas Eve 2000. In the stillness of the Yule-frith, the only things moving were me and the stoplights, as I drove to work in downtown Minneapolis.

And the crows. Thousands of crows, literally, filling the trees that lined Park Avenue. Hundreds, raucous black fruit, in each tree, silhouetted against the sunset sky. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Crystal configurations are varied and many. What do I mean by "configuration"? Crystal configurations are the different shapes of quartz crystal, named according to:

Facets (placement, number of edges) such as:

Transmitter, Dow, Channeler or Channeling, Isis, Eight Sided Face and Windows;

b2ap3_thumbnail_config-facets.png

Projections (crystals penetrating one another) such as:

Inner Child, Bridge and Manifestation;

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I just wrote a whole post on Ferguson, white privilege, and racism. It was all about overt and institutionalized racism and the difficulty of seeing your own privilege. It recognized my own privilege as a white man and asked people of color to have patience with those of us who have a melanin deficiency as we try to figure out how to handle these successive rounds of evidence of systemic racism in society. Then I threw it out.

It was way too “Great White Father.” I was speaking to the white community, not the African-American community, but it still smacked of power and privilege. I can afford to sit down and think about these things because they don’t affect me. That’s privilege.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Tim Titus
    Tim Titus says #
    I'm with you, and all I suggest is that we talk with rather than over each other.
  • Linda Pardue
    Linda Pardue says #
    The thing is while I can't completely empathize with the current climate's situation - I CAN empathize with the fear for their chi
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Love your pentacle of activism!

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