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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_1039f6596cec77dfadd9159fc0550ab7--native-american-beadwork-native-beadwork.jpgNative American jewelry is one of the most highly visible expressions of Indigenous culture and art that is familiar to many people around the world. Silver-work, beading, weaving and use of turquoise are widespread components of Indigenous jewelry making, though the nations all have their unique cultural style and materials. Pictured is an example of some gorgeous Eastern Woodlands beadwork.

b2ap3_thumbnail_c60a6000f2231082bade632cb3827e75--native-american-beadwork-native-beadwork.jpgTraditionally, all objects Indigenous peoples created were done so with a high aesthetic value. In other words, utilitarian items (like a hairbrush or a basket strap) were also made to be beautiful. What this means today is that the handles of our can openers would be beautifully beaded or have silver and stone inlays! Even the most "mundane" items were, and still are, elevated to objects of artful beauty by Indigenous peoples. b2ap3_thumbnail_index-bracelet.jpgThis should tell you a lot about their outlooks on life (life is understood as reflecting beauty), their sense of time in creating these objects (careful patience and timeless perspectives), and the reality that everyone had beautiful items (no class/caste system).

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
On the Reading of Omens


My favorite form of divination has always been reading omens.

Of course, there isn't always an omen lying around when you happen to need one. Hence the cards, the runes, the lots: systematized omen-taking.

What's so compelling about omens is the way that they offer themselves. There you are, in the middle of everyday life, and suddenly something out of the ordinary happens. Voilà: a sign!

Of course, omens aren't always favorable. Then it's good to have some counter-magic handy, usually spoken. Absit omen, said the Romans: May it not be an omen. Keinehora ("no evil eye") my grandmother used to say. Hornie avert, I say, making the sign of the Horns.

There was a hole in the pasture fence. That's the simple explanation for why five cows kept coming up to the wooded ridge in southwestern Witchconsin where the Midwest Tribe of Witches had gathered this summer.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Or that you can get a different kind of browse on a wooded ridge than you can in a pasture!
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Let's see; five cows-five elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Dream. I know most people would write spirit instead of dream, b
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Loved it, I like omens too and have always found them useful. Messages are all around us wherever we care to look. You are so righ

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Don't forget the sun...


I think sometimes as a witch the moon tends to get pride of place and the sun perhaps takes a back seat?  But it is an incredibly powerful source of natural energy and magic.

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A Living World: Language, Memes, and Thought Forms : Moving Beyond 'Cultural Appropriation' Part IV


Many memes are communicated through language, and, like any tool, language shapes how we look at the world when using it.  Language facilitates some memes’ replication and makes the survival of others more difficult by shaping what relations are easy to notice and what relations require more effort. Different languages have different biases in this regard. One linguistic feature is particularly relevant here: do we experience our world primarily as objects, or primarily as processes and relations?  Clearly there is value in both perspectives, but which gets emphasis is in no small part shaped by language.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

My youngest son Robin (age 8) was recently accepted to be part of a kid's advisory group for a well-known national youth magazine.  Lots of fun!  One of Robin's first tasks was to send in some possible questions for a “you asked” column.  Some of his questions were pretty normal: how does a chameleon change colours? how many bricks would it take to build a life-sized Lego person?  Solid questions!  He also generated this question: what proof do we have that any gods exist?


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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Aryós Héngwis
    Aryós Héngwis says #
    Editorial note: Credit for the art added.
  • Shawn Sanford Beck
    Shawn Sanford Beck says #
    Thanks for all the friendly comments ... I really enjoy the community here at Pagansquare, and I'm thankful to be part of it!
  • Mariah Sheehy
    Mariah Sheehy says #
    Oh! You're the EcoSophia guy! Your blog is very interesting, kinda thought you'd disappeared from the Internet, but we all have ou
  • Aryós Héngwis
    Aryós Héngwis says #
    "Biblical theologian Walter Wink has done a wonderful job of unpacking the language of “powers and principalities” which we find i
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Rev. Beck, Thank you for sharing the underlying theology of your ChristoPagan beliefs. I'll pass along that bit from Tolkien to a

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Vesta as a Symbol of the Soul

Fire has long been a holy symbol, a representation of the spirit and even the divine.  Fire worship is one of the earliest forms of religion known to humankind – one can almost imagine our ancient ancestors marveling at the sight of a red ember crackling out of a fire and flying up and away into the black night sky.  It just sparks a sense of reverence, doesn’t it?

The ancient Romans sure thought so.  Building on Etruscan spirituality and borrowing at times from the Greeks, they built an empire – literally and metaphorically – around the sacred fire of the goddess Vesta. Rome's founding people lit Vesta's flame in the space that would become the Roman Forum and soon built a temple around it. 

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  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    I consider my work in the Green Party Greece to be spiritual, but of course I don't mention that to my Green friends. And as you s

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