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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Fir Rune

Given its iconic centrality to the American celebration, it's always struck me as odd that the Yule tree has inspired so few carols. Off-handedly, I can think of only one, and that one is, shall we say... problematic.

William Sansome once remarked of O Tannenbaum that it's apparently impossible to make an English translation of this German children's song “that doesn't sound simple-minded.”

Listening to Alf Houkom's Rune of Hospitality the other day, it occurred to me that maybe we've been working in the wrong genre.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Solstice Practice

Around the winter solstice is the time of year when many people get together, families and friends, to celebrate the holidays. If we are fortunate, we have some time off to be together, all together in one place – we may not have such an opportunity until the next solstice season rolls around. It can be a wonderful time of loving hugs, good conversation and deep, belly filled laughs.  It can also be a trying time, when the bonds of friendship or family can become tested as we are all thrown together, our usual routines and habits left behind and we are faced with situations that are perhaps out of the norm.

My home is usually very quiet, filled with deep silence and stillness.  In that silence I find my personal sanctuary, where peace is around every corner.  I’m not a big fan of crowds or noise. However, at this time of year, I leave behind my little sanctuary and venture out into the world of lights and noise, family and friends when I’d really rather be sitting on my meditation cushion in the dark, with a candle and some incense.

It’s quite a shift to deal with.  There is constant noise around me, different noise to that of my own home. It’s the noise of other people, which I am not accustomed to.  Loud televisions, conversations, arguments, laughter – it’s a bit of an assault on my senses.  Dealing with other people’s behaviour when there is no opportunity to “escape”.  I have to confront everything that upsets me head on, or lose my temper, say something in anger as my “sanctuary” is thrown out the window.

Or is it? Yes, it’s difficult. Even as I type this blog, there are interruptions by people walking in and out of the room, asking me what I’m doing and other various questions.  Nemetona, my goddess of sanctuary, has taught me that she is ever within me even as she is without – I take her with me wherever I go, and where I go she is always there.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs



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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

President Obama announced last week that the United States and Cuba are moving toward normalizing their relationship.  I may have the world’s strangest set of credentials to comment on this.  I have been there twice, both times legally.  I have visited Cuban schools and talked to the students.  I have presented on Cuba at professional conferences, universities, and to church groups.  I was doing research in Havana on the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution (nothing interesting happened).


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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Greeting the Light, Embracing the Dark

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • April Lynn Konyu
    April Lynn Konyu says #
    Thank you for your post, it is easy to forget the beauty that surrounds us in the dark of winter especially when you find yourself
  • Deborah Blake
    Deborah Blake says #
    Thanks, April. I'm glad you liked the post. Many blessings to you too.
Pagan savings challenge, week fifty-one:  penultimate post

I just need to take a breath, and say, "Good golly, look at how much I've saved so far!"

My savings thus far:  $1,326, $51 of which I saved today.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Celebrating with the 6 of Wands


The 6 of Wands from The Tarot of Delphi deck is depicted in the1885 artwork entitled The Triumph of Titus: The Flavians by Sir Lawrence Alma-Taderma.  Here, the heir to the Roman Empire, Titus, receives high honors and praise.  This image perfectly depicts the victory that is the 6 of Wands.

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