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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Thunderstones

Truly, the Old Gods are everywhere. You can't escape them.

I had been listening to Bach's Goldberg Variations on the radio. “That was American pianist Simone Dinnerstein,” said the announcer.

 

Dinnerstein (rhymes with “seen”): a not uncommon Ashkenazic surname. But suddenly it was as if my ears had become unstopped.

 

It's Yiddish for “Thunder stone.” (German would be Donarstein.) There are men named Þórsteinn in Iceland, and Torsten and Torstein in Scandinavia, even today. English Thurston could be “Thunar's stone” (or tún: Thunder's enclosure). It's a name from the Danelaw—the area of England settled by Scandinavians—so it could bear the name of the Norse rather than the English Thunder. But they're both still Thunder.

 

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Break through your authority conflicts today

Break through your authority conflicts today. The key is: go to the place where leadership and following start to merge until they dissolve. Buddhism helps out.

 

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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, May 28

Food, glorious food! After water it's easily the most vital resource we utilize (except perhaps for air). But in a world that's growing ever larger and where land fertility is under threat it can be a struggle to find new solutions to feed the hungry. Among the other stories we've gathered today, this week's Earthy Thursday talks about the different and creative ways by which people are trying to create new and plentiful food sources, from seaweed farms to insects. Continue below to learn more about these future possibilities.

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  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    GMO crops already keep half the world population alive. If GMO food was not available something like 3 billion humans would soon d

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Compassion With Claws

Mother said be good,/ Father said be nice,/ That was always their advice./ So be nice, Cinderella,/ Good, Cinderella,/ Nice good good nice-/ What's the good of being good/If everyone is blind/ Always leaving you behind?/ Never mind, Cinderella,/ Kind Cinderella-/ Nice good nice kind good nice-

Everything Zen (I Don't Think So)

When I was creating my Red Tent/ Mary M ritual, I wanted to chose the words that could be selected for each sister's root of power very carefully.  Somehow, the idea of selecting words to describe magic that was already there was more frightening than selection words to describe what was to come.  I wanted the words to be powerful and rich, not just throw away positive-affirmation-cakes.  I wanted each word to potentially describe the root of my power in a way that would be meaningful as well as the rest of the sisters.  Still, I felt compelled to carefully type the word compassion on my list.  I kept making a face and deleting it and then putting it back.  Compassion.  What a bullshit place for your power to come from.  But I thought of my sisters and figured someone would benefit from it.

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May in Britain sees the hawthorn      ( Crataegus Monogyna) in flower, frothing down the lanes in clouds of white tinged with the deepest pink. So important is the hawthorn that in our indigenous traditions, the festival of Beltane cannot happen until the full moon after it blossoms, highlighting its significance to the goddess of Beltane the lady of sovereignty who goes by many names in British and Irish lore. At Beltane the goddess marries the sun god Bel, or sometimes oak king, or jack in the green, to bring fertility to the earth, and this is a highly erotic tree, associated with female sexuality and life force.  Known as the May tree, and the goddess tree, it is also the original Faery Thorn, marking places sacred to our Otherworldly kin. In Britain and Ireland there are many 'faery thorns' which are honoured as sacred magical places, and are protected even from roads and other development by their local villagers even to this day. Hawthorn blossom should never be taken inside the house lest the faeries wreak havoc on your home. However, the hawthorn is a powerfully magical tree to have as an ally and friend.

One of the greatest Celtic seers, Thomas the Rhymer, who lived in the early 13th century met the Queen of Elfland beneath a hawthorn tree, growing near his home in the Eildon hills in Scotland,  revealing its nature as a marker between the worlds and a tree beloved to the faery queens, preserving its place in our traditional sacred faery lore.

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  • Helena
    Helena says #
    I loved this entry! Thank you for the information about clooties - I did not know the real purpose behind them. From now on, I wil
Running for Public Office While Openly Heathen

I had been looking for a job for about a year when I decided that I was going to take the next opportunity I was offered, even if it was volunteer work. I sent out a very clear intent that I would accept whatever I was offered the next day. The universe having a sense of humor, the next day the Libertarian Party asked me to run for public office. So I did.

That's how I came to run for Nevada State Assembly in 2010.

I've been completely out as a heathen for a long time, and I've always published under my birth name, even as the publisher and editor of Berserkrgangr Magazine in the 90s. The print edition of Asatru For Beginners was just hitting the presses, and I was publicizing the new edition, so when I ran for office, I knew that a few seconds with a search engine would bring up the words Asatru, heathen, and pagan. Sometimes reporters covering the election asked me about Asatru, and included a short quote about it in the election coverage. Sometimes heathen and pagan reporters reported on my campaign as news of interest to heathens and pagans. Other than that, it didn't really come up as an issue during my campaign.

Most people were far more interested in what I could do for them than in demographic details of my identity. Other than organizations for a specific religion, ancestry, sexual orientation, etc., the only demographic that seemed to matter to most people in my local area was that I was a woman, and that was a plus. It was such a plus that I adopted a more feminine style for my campaign style than I use in my real life. In real life I'm a little non-binary. In the campaign, well, being female is good for an extra 5% of the vote, and one of my campaign's major goals was to show that women had a place in the Libertarian Party, so I made sure I always photographed as female. My hair was always down, and I wore a lot of pink.

I ran again in 2013, for Henderson City Council. Again, my religious affiliation didn't seem to matter much to anyone but other pagans and heathens. After the campaign was over, I heard that one group decided not to endorse my campaign because of my religion, but I only heard about it because a supporter told me.  I got support from a wide array of different local groups and individuals from various points on the political spectrum. The City Council race was a 4 way contest, and I received over 15% of the vote.

Over the course of my two campaigns, I became deeply connected to the local community, as well as becoming much more well-known in the heathen and pagan communities nationally. I don't know how much of my new fame came from my book tour and how much from running for office, since I did both in the same year. I learned a ton, influenced the local conversation on issues, and made lots of great friends, and I'm glad I did it, but I am never, ever, ever running again.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Christ in the Cauldron

Inside the circle of empty chairs I began to set up my altars on the floor.  I have been invited to speak with The Sonoma County Pagan Network on how I live as both a Witch (very active in the Reclaiming Tradition) and a Christian (ordained as a minister and serving within the United Church of Christ). 

In the East/Air, I lay a white cloth and on it an Icon of Sophia/Wisdom, who in the Judeo/Christian mythology was there “...before the beginning of the Earth...”  Next to the Icon of Sophia I lay books full of wisdom that I have found fill my lungs with sacred breath and free my breathing of oppressive dogma.  I lay books full of words that entered my mind and helped my thoughts and intellect fly and wonder, piqued my curiosity and spun webs of connections.  I lay books like Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Parker’s “Proverbs of Ashes” which gave me permission to remain Christian even though I do not subscribe to substitutionary atonement theology, and Cynthia Bourgeault’s “The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three” which helped me see the Christian Trinity as a fluid and dynamic dance of all genders and forms. 

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    The best I've been able to do is an article "Messianic Expectations in the Eastern Religions" on the www.bibleguidance.co.za websi
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thanks Anthony.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I read a book called "The Samurai from Outer Space" about anime and it mentioned a shrine in Japan where Jesus is married to Otohi
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Your welcome Anthony - let me know if you come up with more on that shrine….
  • Annika Mongan
    Annika Mongan says #
    That sounds amazingly beautiful. I really wish I could have been there in person, but thank you for sharing it here!

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