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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 1 blog entry contributed to teamblogs

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_snowy-day-in-the-woods.jpgThe chart cast for the moment of the Winter Solstice — when the Sun enters Capricorn — is predictive for the three months ahead, and when the chart is cast for the capital of a country, it is predictive for that entire country. As we spiral in towards the next solsticial shift — from dark to light here in the northern hemisphere, and from light to dark in the southern — we are caught up in planetary energies that demand change, and change often demands the destruction of the old before the new is birthed. It is the light within us — our inner Sun — that gives us the vision, energy, courage and strength to build anew in a world in which hi-tech warfare, critical levels of environmental pollution, catastrophic climate change and resource depletion promise a future very different from our present. The challenges are clear, and the Solstice chart offers us insight into the personal and spiritual strategies we can use to meet these challenges with grace, compassion, and courage.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

At the end of 2012, I looked over what I had read the previous year and came up with a list of Literary Discoveries. Considering how much I have read this year -- novels, novellas, anthologies, short stories, essays, longer works of philosophy and history and spirituality -- continuing the tradition seemed like a good idea. And, just like the previous list, not all of these titles were published in 2013 (though most were); I just discovered them this past year.

So, in no particular order, here is my 2013 edition of Literary Discoveries.

1) I read Reza Aslan's No god But God several years ago, and found it to be a well-written introduction to and overview of the theology and history of Islam; this is the book I recommend to anyone looking for a basic primer on the subject. So, when Aslan released Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth I decided it was worth checking out, even though I have very little interest in the development of Christianity -- actually, let me amend that. I find some of the early Christian sects which were later deemed heretical to be interesting, and I've studied the fall of Classical Paganism even though it makes me angry. So, I was curious as to Aslan's conclusions about the carpenter from Nazareth. I won't spoil it for you. Suffice to say, the book was well-researched and engaging, and I highly recommend it to anyone at all interested in Middle Eastern history, the Age of Augustus, or the history and evolution of Judaism.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Sassy Solstice Soirée

Winter Solstice is a perfect excuse to wind down for the year. It is happily emphasized since I am on Winter Break for school– hibernating more and going out less. For the last seven years and counting, I have held some sort of Winter Solstice gathering for friends and sometimes family. I have hosted sit-down traditional dinners and the more informal drinks and appetizers only fiesta. We have mulled spiced-wine together, played an old parlor game entitled, "The Minister's Cat," and lit candles. One of my favorite theme ideas was putting a spotlight on the sun: I served spicy Indian food for snacks and the soundtrack featured all songs mentioning the sun. There are a seemingly endless supply of these to choose from.

This year, I am taking some advice from an Indianapolis food blogger, featured in the current issue of Midwest Living. Her article, "Holiday Party Tips From Annie Marshall: Eat Drink and Be Merry," is a great approach to a more relaxed get-together. From hanging treats on an "edible cookie tree," to her insistence on serving a signature drink for the event that you can make a nice big batch of in advance, Marshall knows her stuff. Here is her recipe for Cranberry Margaritas:

Stir up a pitcher of these rosy margaritas for your next holiday bash. The Simple Syrup recipe makes enough syrup for 30 margaritas but is easily halved or quartered.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I love this time of year...though I could do without the single to negative digit temperatures.  A lot of my traditions haven't changed from what I did as a child in a Roman Catholic household but I do have some additions.  Below, in random order, I list some of my holiday traditions.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Season of Creativity

Often when we think about the Empress card, we think of things pertaining to the springtime and fertility. The Empress can inspire fertility year round, though, through creativity. She is a very potent symbol of abundance and plenty. 

When I'm stuck for inspiration, I call upon Empress energy. This season, she's been working with me to help me very creatively make seasonal gifts for friends and family. That's the thing I've found with Empress energy; it works best when the creativity is infused with love.

Are you in need of a bit of inspiration, a bit of creative energy or some new ideas? Call upon the Empress to assist you in your endeavors. There are many ways that this can be done. If you keep an altar or a place of meditation, put an image of the Empress from a favorite Tarot deck there, where you can see it often and remember to focus on the task in hand. Perhaps you would prefer to put the image as a wallpaper to a computer monitor, tablet, or smartphone. Small tiles can be worn as jewelry, or a photo of the card carried in a wallet or purse. 

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