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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Keys to Creating New Habits

Millions, perhaps billions, of people all over the world are all attempting to begin new habits today.  Some have vague resolutions, some have concrete goals.  Most will give up by the end of next week.

Why is that?  Why do people make resolutions and goals, begin with varying levels of enthusiasm on the first day of the new year, or the new week, but give them up without making lasting change?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Of Kreesh-chun Radio and Ego-Paganism

As someone who regards himself as “religious but not spiritual” (the main difference being, are you part of a community or not?), I'm always interested to see how other religious people do what they do.

I've recently been watching Shtisel, a smash Israeli series about a dysfunctional dosi (ultra-ultra-ultra Orthodox) family in contemporary Jerusalem. Part of what has made the series so popular among secular and marginally-religious Israelis is the intimate portrait that it paints of what it's like to live in a world in which even the most commonplace everyday function—taking a sip of water, chopping vegetables, taking a shit—becomes an act with religious implications.

To me, as a pagan, such a world seems very familiar indeed.

That's why, when I happened to chance on a Kreesh-chun music station in the car the other day while channel-surfing, I stopped and listened instead of moving on.

What struck me most about what I heard was the music's egocentricity: how happy I am, how bad off I was before I got religion. Me, me, me. Even when the songs were ostensibly about Jesus or “God,” the referent was nearly always the self: how much my god has done for me. How much I love my god.

My impression of the essentially egocentric nature of Kreesh-chun music is, of course, by no means a methodical sampling—I'll leave that work to some other student of contemporary American religion—although I do have to say that it does indeed match how much contemporary evangelicalism (to my eye, at any rate) presents: as shallow, self-satisfied, essentially an exercise in self-projection.

Alas. Lest we feel smug, let me mention that much contemporary paganism strikes me in the same way. This my dear friend and colleague Sparky T. Rabbit used to refer to as “ego-paganism.”

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I have listened to contemporary gospel and found it boring and monotonous. There used to be a station that played Country, Bluegr

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Mumming for the New Year

Mumming was long a popular entertainment for the dark time of the year. The Christmas and New Years or Hogmanay plays offered adventures, dragons and Saint George and other wild characters -- Turkish Knights or Kings became popular after the Crusades. They offered an opportunity for hijinks, costumes and ritual of course. But they had another important theme, too.

At heart the plays were about healing.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

I call upon the Goddess
She who weaves the whole.
I call upon the elements b2ap3_thumbnail_49343208_2244658619079681_8282815331932569600_o.jpg
Air, Fire, Water, and Earth.
I call upon my ancestors
the legacy of their years.
I call upon the creative pulse within
this fire of inspiration
I am privileged to carry and birth.
I call these together now to support,
recognize, honor, and witness
the completion of this year
and my work therein.

This week, I anointed my head, throat, heart and wrists with oil and settled down with representations of our work from 2018 for my annual ritual honoring the completion of the year. I burned incense, helped Tanner (4) waft palo santo around to all the stale corners of the house, and worked on the biz review section of the Shining Year workbook. I sang my new song of the year, celebrated myself for a year well spent, and thanked these creations for coming through me. After I acknowledged the work, I took a cleansing shower with a special salts mix from Sugar Muses and offered myself a body blessing of appreciation and gratitude. The words of blessing poured from me spontaneously in the shower and I wish I’d written it down for better recall, but perhaps it was meant as solely a personal experience. Today, I will walk the labyrinth as the final step in sealing the year. b2ap3_thumbnail_49444818_2244340859111457_2214261490280562688_o.jpg

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I've been sitting on how to write about this divinity.  Of all the cultural deities I've written about, the Orishas of Vodun and Santeria, tend to give me the most pause.  I'm a child of the 80's, Angel Heart is alive in my subconscious I think.  I spend a lot of time searching for something that I could, should write about Ogun.  Today I stumbled upon a website that took me to my source.  I give you my ode.


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A Tarot Spread and Magickal Process for the New Year

Though not a holiday on any Pagan calendar with which I am familiar, the secular New Year feels like a magickal time to me for a couple of reasons.


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  • Virginia Carper
    Virginia Carper says #
    Roman Polytheists (of which I am one celebrate this day and the Ides of March as New Years. This is the month named for Janus, th

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Psychological Solstice

“There's no more light now than there was a week ago—in fact it's even colder—but somehow just knowing that the solstice is past makes a difference.”

My non-pagan friend and I had been discussing the exhaustion and sense of listlessness that tends to dog this time of year.

For me, the Solstice is an occurrence of profound religious significance, for him it's not. But his comment is right on the mark, and it's good for me to be reminded of how the solstice looks from outside the Broomstick Ghetto.

The darkness, the oncoming cold, the cumulative rush of preparations for Yule often leave me feeling drained, as if there's simply not enough of me to go around.

But then we turn the corner.

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