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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Our Lady of the Mammoths

She's one of Stone Age Eurasia's lesser-known “Venus” figurines.

But she has an extremely interesting story to tell.

Carved from mammoth ivory, the Lady of Yeliseyevich—named for the place in Siberia where she was found—stands 15 cm. (5.9 inches) tall.

You could call her Our Lady of the Mammoths.

Some 15,000 years ago, she was buried in the Siberian permafrost, with a pile of bones and partially-worked tusks heaped over her. Arranged on the ground in a circle around her were 27 mammoth skulls.

In other words, heap big magic.

Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Celebrating the Lambs

In standard, wheel of the year, northern hemisphere Paganism, we talk about lambs at Imbolc. Or at least, we link the name of the festival to ewes’ milk. That may be all the sheepy goodness we get. Of course, how sheep relate to your landscape is a very local issue. In some places, they don’t feature much, while in others there may be a very long history of grazing. There are huge differences between vast, industrial flocks massively impacting on the local, environment, and small sustainable flocks. We can treat sheep and the environment well, or badly. Not all farming is created equal.

However you feel about farming animals for meat and/or wool, I think it’s important to acknowledge the role they have played, for thousands of years, in the lives of our ancestors. In the UK, grazing has shaped some landscapes. It’s important to know how ancestral use of land impacts on the landscape you now inhabit.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Miracle of Dirt

Of all the many factors on planet Earth that enable us to live and thrive, there are two which border, in my opinion, on the miraculous*: the conversion of sunlight into sugar through photosynthesis, and the mysterious alchemy of microbes and nutrients and water that makes dirt into the life-giver to us all.

Yet we take dirt for granted—even denigrate it.

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Spiritual Wounding, Early Musings

I’ve been thinking about spiritual and religious wounding. I have written about it in Your Journey Toward Wisdom and I think it bears consideration during this period of all kinds of special spring holidays.

As a Unitarian Universalist minister and a Pagan priestess, I see many people come into our faith traditions with deep wounds from the traditions, beliefs, and customs, and people in traditions from their past. Many people come to me/us because they recognize their own deep desire for spirituality or a more fulfilling sense of meaning combined with a mistrust, or even antipathy toward religions they perceive as being like those from which they came.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Mole: Fearless Explorer

After I found a mole near the common dumpster, I learned that moles live underground in many urban areas. This particular mole was trying to find his way home amid the concrete. With my handkerchief, I carefully picked him up and deposited him on the grass.

Nearly forty kinds of moles live in the woodlands and fields of Eurasia and North America. Moles spend most of their lives underground. In the darkness of their burrows, moles eat, sleep, mate, and raise their young. These insectivores, with their small eyes and ears, eat many insects and other invertebrates. As underground tunnellers, moles have taken advantage of where they live.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Cascadia Grove
    Cascadia Grove says #
    Love the article! Great picture I will relate to moles in a whole different way from now on. Debbie Olhoeft, Cascadia Grove

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_web3_sm.jpgAny discussion of the meaning of “Harm none” can - and should – generate plenty of questions. That’s the nature of determining our ethical behavior: our perspective shifts as we circle the problem at hand. This is necessary. The reason for ethics is to determine how to minimize damage to others, and unless we try to walk for a while in their shoes, to empathize with their viewpoint, its almost impossible to do that. This includes our own viewpoint. If we didn’t need to consider our own desire in any given matter, there would be no need for ethics. Which means we need to be very clear about why we want something, and ideally be aware of the consequences of that desire.

We might call this being good neighbors. How would you treat your neighbor if you want to continue – or create – a good relationship? That in no way means that you must be friends with this person, it only means that when you see them in person, that a smile and a wave is easily done. It might be faked, this person may have done something to mildly annoy you, but the fake is easy, and can eventually become a genuine smile if the offense is not repeated.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
First of Gods

They get off the school bus together every day.

They're maybe nine, ten. The tall one has long hair, with a knit cap pulled down tight. His friend is shorter, with short hair. They've both got that indeterminate beauty that might turn into anything, the beauty of the as-yet-unformed.

Two boys. They don't even realize that they're in love.

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