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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thurday November 12, 2016

Today's Pagan News Beagle salutes the efforts being made, worldwide, to make our world more liveable for all lifeforms. From citizen science to local farmers to composting our remains, these are stories of how we can all make a difference.

Christina Eisenberg is an amazing biologist and activist. (I had the good fortune to work with her as a writer and editor for SageWoman in the early 1990's.) In this post, she explains how the rise of the citizen scientist has profoundly affected her discipline.

Within living memory, Northern California's Mendocino County was the primary supplier to the Bay Area for crops such as oats, wheat, and barley. But for a good portion of the last century, Mendocino’s increasingly valuable agriculture land on valley bottoms haven’t been sown with grains. The farmers profiled in this report aim to change that.

Is mega-agriculture necessary to feed the world? This article at the Ecologist explains that small farms are feeding the planet because they prioritize local food production, especially for the rural and urban poor.

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Shadow Animals (Part 1)

People fear snakes, and run from spiders. When we see these particular animals, we shrink in fear. Certain types of animals make our skin crawl. These animals are the “creepy crawly” ones or the ones we only see at night like owls. The ones that we feel the queasiest about are the animals that are the most alien or radically different from us.

Animals that elicit such a strong response from us are our Shadow Animals. These animals represent the part of our inner landscape that we want to keep in perpetual darkness. Shadow Animals are the manifestations of the unacceptable aspects of ourselves. They hold the aspects of ourselves that we dislike. Since many people feel uncomfortable in embracing their dark side, fear of certain animals is one way to keep it at bay. Hence, we invest our dark qualities in spiders and snakes.

What do Shadow Animals do? They give us permission to love the unacceptable parts of ourselves. When we work with Them, we take back our lost power to forgive ourselves. Once we embrace our Shadow Animals, we will be reunited with these missing parts of our being. They show us that our most hated, feared, and shameful qualities are actually our keys to living the life of our dreams. Shadow Animals call you to make peace with yourself.

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The Compleat Pagan


In Hopi, the expression ka-Hopi means “un-Hopi.” It describes, not non-Hopi (who, after all, cannot rightfully be expected to act like Hopi), but rather fellow Hopi whose actions lie outside the Hopi way.

It is not a compliment.

Similarly, among the Kalasha, the last remaining pagans of the Hindu Kush, the phrase sau Kalasha, “completely Kalasha,” describes someone who embodies the Old Ways in their entirety.

It is the highest praise one can offer.

In the absence of a universal definition or central authority to decide paganness, pagan identity is largely a matter of individual determination, and I (for the most part) am willing to take people at their word. Who, after all, better knows the truth of your heart than you do? Certainly not me.

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I’ve heard it said that the famous “Witch City” of Salem, MA has five seasons: spring, summer, fall, winter, and October. As a witch from the opposite end of the country, I’ve always wanted to experience that October goodness in Salem. Finally, two days before Samhain, I got the chance.

Part of the experience is the overall vibe of acceptance and openness among the pagans in town. I’m so used to being part of a fringe religion, that to be thrust into a situation where I was among the majority was a sudden and welcome change.   Certainly, not everyone wandering Essex St. and Pickering Wharf that day was a practitioner of Witchcraft, or even Pagan, but they were open and tolerant of my minority religion. Even if they were only doing it for the money, it was still a wonderful feeling.

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  • Miles Gerhardson
    Miles Gerhardson says #
    Wonderful insight....that coincides with "What's good for the goose is good for the gander"....
PaganNewsBeagle: Watery Wednesday Community News Nov 11, 2015

It's Veteran's/Remembrance/Armistice Day, and today our Pagan News Beagle is focusing on remembering our elders (both veterans and civilians.) What is remembered, lives!

In this PaganRadioTonight blogcast, Selena Fox discusses Circle Sanctuary's military ministries, the quest for equal rights for pagans serving in the US military, and rituals of healing, protection, & support for Military Pagans and their families.

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Astronomy and the Minoan Temple Complexes

These days when we consult an architect to create a new building, we generally orient it with the front toward the street that will access the building, for convenience and practicality. But in much of the ancient world, each new building was carefully oriented toward one or more cardinal directions or astronomical alignments. Ancient Crete was no different. The temple complexes at Knossos, Phaistos, Zakros, and other Minoan cities and towns were built to align to a variety of related astronomical events.

For the most part, the celestial events the Minoan buildings align to are risings of various sorts: sunrise, moonrise, the rising of the planet Venus, and the heliacal rising of certain stars. These astronomical events held a special place in Minoan religion, marking sacred times of the year, and also helped to maintain the Minoans’ complicated lunisolar calendar.

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Reposted from Between the Shadows, November 12, 2014:

Remembrance Day is how Canadians acknowledge November 11th.  In the US it is Veterans Day.  These observances evolved out of Armistice Day, which continues to be observed in some countries (or simultaneously.)  There are commonalities but the focus is different.  Our identity of ourselves as a nation came from fighting together in World War I.  At that time, Canada was still a British colony, and most of us thought of ourselves as British (or French, under British occupation).  We became Canadians together at Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Thank you for sharing.

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