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 An Introduction to French Sauvignon Blanc | JJ Buckley Fine Wines


Pagans being pagans, we like to drink, and we like to get drunk. When we are, we like to sing about it.

So pagans have lots of drinking songs.

But, of course—pagans being pagans—it's not quite that simple.


Dewi Brown—Dewi is “David” in Welsh—was an early, founding member of the Pagan Movement in Britain and Ireland, one of the earliest (and most influential) New Pagan organizations in the West. His poem “The Drunkard” was first published in the PM's quarterly, The Waxing Moon, in the Lughnasadh 1971 issue, which is where I first came across it. The poem impressed me at the time; 50 years on, it still does.

(Here let me mention that this particular issue of TWM was my personal introduction to the Pagan Movement, a group that would shape my own nascent paganism and, indeed, the rest of my life—you're reading this now because of it—but that's another story for another night.)

Brown's poem is cast in traditional form: four stanzas, each arranged in two couplets. This form, the poem's rather archaic diction (“sup,” “from out”), and its willingness to controvert standard grammar for the sake of rhyme (“Nor of your beauty can he tell”) give the poem a sense of agelessness, of the pre-modern; almost it reads like one of the 17th century Cavalier poets, perhaps a Robert Herrick.

This dislocation in time is fully intentional. Bad poetry sacrifices anything, even clarity and grammatical integrity, to clinch that rhyme. Brown, though, is fully in control of his medium.

On the surface, “The Drunkard” reads as a secular drunk's tribute to his drug of choice. “Screw 'em all,” he sings to his glass of wine, his sole drinking companion.

But, of course, it's not that simple. That's what makes this such a good poem.


The Drunkard

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Confluence: Flowing Together

For some time now, Ariadne's Tribe has been developing our own counterpart to the hieros gamos as it's known from ancient Mesopotamian, Greek, and Buddhist traditions and that's expressed in modern Paganism via acts such as the Wiccan Great Rite.

We wanted a concept and a practice that we could use in our rituals that would encompass the idea of communion with deity as well as connection with each other and with the non-human beings whose spirits also fill our world. And we wanted it to be inclusive, avoiding any kind of gender binary.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Rune Stones

Moonstone is reputed to be the most powerful crystal for use in rune stones, the tools used for a specialized form of divination. Runes, or letters from a language used by early Nordic peoples, are carved into the stones and are said to hone and intensify the intuition of the reader divining the future from them. You, too, can use a bag of lustrous and mysterious moonstones to get in touch with your powers of perception.  

While others throw the I Ching or read their horoscopes with their morning coffee, you can pull a rune and contemplate its meaning for your day.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Boyan - Nicholas Roerich |


Humans are story-telling animals. We live and die by our stories, and most of us tell them every day.

(“When I was down at the store today....”)

Here's how to do it better.


One story at a time, please.

A good story has a single trajectory. The sad fact is that most of us are only half listening to one another at any given moment, so as soon as you start in with the digressions, your listeners have already lost the momentum of the narrative, and you've blunted your story's edge.

Spare us the back-story.

With stories, it's always tempting to want to start at the beginning. Don't. The creation of the universe is not a good place to start your story about what happened at the ritual last night. Give your listeners only the information that they need to have in order to get the point of what you're telling them.

Keep the detail relevant.

If it really doesn't matter that she's wearing a blue coat rather than a red one, don't mention it.

Keep it short and toward.

If you've been talking for more than five minutes, I can guarantee you that nobody is listening to you any more. Deliver, or shut the eff up.

Be specific.

Which of these two phrases tells you more? Which makes the man in question sound more desirable?

a. “A really cute guy.”

b. “A guy with a butt like two halves of a white pumpkin, and cheekbones you could cut your hand on.”

Don't be the hero of all your own stories.

He's a dear friend, whom I love well. But, gods, he's always the hero of all his own stories. After a while, quite frankly, I get tired of hearing about how wonderful he is and, by implication, what a clown I must be by comparison because I am most decidedly not the hero of everything that I do.

Build to a specific point.

The whole story should be leading us somewhere. Telling a good story is a matter of building tension, which is finally released at the climax.

A good story is like good sex.

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Capricorn Full Moon Blessings + 7 Ways To Deal with Psychic Vampires

As summer rolls on here in Southern California I continue doing art shows. As always I learn many lessons about life and people along the way.

The other weekend a woman came into my booth and started grilling me in a very intense and judgemental way about my soul readings.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

On our morning walk,

two hawks,

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 Image: Ripe merlot wine grape clusters on the vine High-Res Stock Photo -


Why did Allah prohibit the drinking of wine to believers?

According to the Yezidis, it was out of jealousy and fear.


Islamic law generally prohibits the use of intoxicants to Muslims—not that this has slowed the use of drugs such as qat and hashish in the Muslim world, mind you—and Wine is regarded as the first, the chief, the Mother of all Intoxicants.

(When coffee was first discovered, Muslim religious authorities ruled it an intoxicant, and its use therefore forbidden to Muslims. This ruling was so universally rejected by the 'umma that in the end the mullahs just had to suck it up.)

Known euphemistically in Arabic as the Red One—as if even to pronounce its name would be dangerous—wine is specifically forbidden in the Qur'an. Though the book itself provides no reasons for this prohibition, the Yezidis—a Kurdish-speaking religious minority centered in Iraq, whose worship of the Peacock Angel would seem to have arisen in the 13th century in antinomian protest against the tyranny of the Mosque—do.


(That, in Europe, what we now know as Old Craft also arose in antinomian protest against a tyrannical Church, at roughly the same time, must be considered, at very least, a striking coincidence, if not the actual Hand of some god.

Presumably, the Left Hand.)


When Allah saw how much humanity loved the Red One, they say, he feared that they would always love and worship it more than himself.

Therefore, in jealousy, he did what those unequal to the race—just as Republicans in the US are trying to do today—always do.

He banned the competition.


(That Islamic mystical tradition has always equated Wine with Divine Love tells a truth both older and deeper than any Revelation.)


The blood of the grape is the blood of a god, Red Blood of a Green God. Before any others, the Green Man first wore vine leaves.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Thanks, as someone who adds a jigger of red wine to his dinnertime glass of lemonade I appreciate this blog.

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