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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

Seeing the Maetreum of Cybele win its tax fight was satisfying:  justice prevailed, a small Pagan congregation gets treated with respect, the separation between church and state is preserved (if not strengthened) by a decision that basically said that local governments don't get to decide what religions look like.

The underlying principle -- that religious institutions don't get taxed -- is being upheld in a fair and consistent manner.  But in the belief that a good idea bears up under examination, all this hubbub inspired me to ask whether or not it's a good idea not to tax churches in the first place.

For the sake of clarity, I'm following the IRS usage of the word "church" in this post -- it's a broadly-defined term that includes all manner of organized religious activity, including circles, covens, temples, and other terms that Pagans use to describe how they worship together.  It's similar to how the God on money is secular, so at least the government is being consistent.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Ward, Thanks for your article. I had no idea that in 1875, President U.S. Grant tried to abolish the tax-free status of churc

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Crystal Grid for Lung Issues

Hey Everyone!

I thought I would share with you my most recent crystal grid. I have been battling Pneumonia and the after-effects for several weeks now. I created this grid so the Crystal People could help me bring balance and health back to my lungs.

Creating a grid is no different than any other magical working. Grids are very interesting, and something from which we can all benefit. I believe it is best to use what you have (no "special" crystals are necessary) and to use your intuition when building a grid (versus having an "expert" build one for you).

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  • Genn John
    Genn John says #
    Thanks for commenting, Jeanine! I was hoping to spark some ideas. There is no limit to the possibilities. I hope your next grid is
  • Jeanine Byers
    Jeanine Byers says #
    What an awesome post! I hope you are feeling better. You gave me some great ideas for my next grid. I have used pictures before bu

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_new-home-026-2.jpg

So I had a half written post about using magic, specifically a magic spell to find a home, using a combination of Kiwiana, and perhaps other more ‘traditional’ magical stuff, but I stalled and have only written about one object, the 21st Key Mirror, a Kiwiana staple for 21st gifts, generally given to you by your family.  It has strong significance of love, family and independence, which is for most of us, what we are looking for when finding a new home, rather than just a place to live.  I was also going to include things like tiki’s, and teapots, but in actually that was nothing like what I actually did. 

What I did looked nothing like the spells in books or described in blogs, I did not wait for the waning/waxing dark moon, or other significant timing, I did not purchase a Mirror Key or make one myself, in fact I didn't really use any of the Kiwiana objects that I had been contemplating.  I also didn't set up an altar, with the correct red blue orange candles, and matching altar cloths, even though I do love my altars, and have quite the collection of wonderful altar cloths,   I didn't’t call on any specific deities who help with such things...  What I ended up doing looked nothing like ‘magic’ spell work, that you read about so often in those instructional spell books, actually what I did I have never really found in any book or blogs.  What I did looked like me walking into town one morning.   

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mistress Polly, Thanks for sharing! As some who frequently incorporates found objects into my shrines to the Deathless Ones, I ca

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

PALENVILLE, NEW YORK -- The Maetreum of Cybele got to the end of its seven-year property-tax fight with the Town of Catskill today, when a three-judge panel of Appellate Court judges ruled that they do, indeed, deserve the same tax exemptions that other churches do.  While the town still has one more chance to appeal at the state's highest court, Reverend Cathryn Platine feels that the decision's wording makes that unlikely.  A portion provided by Platine reads as follows:

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  • J'Karrah
    J'Karrah says #
    Congratulations!
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Ward, Thank Cybele, praise be to all the Goddesses and Gods, that this decision was in the Maetreum's favor. Catskill was wr

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

The next divinities from the “God Graveyard" list are the Slavic divinities Belbog and Chernobog.  They interest me because I have Slovenian (Bohjon) ancestry.  I’ve been a bit intimidated in researching these divinities because I want to get it right.  Unlike many other pantheons there are no firsthand accounts for this pantheon.  There is no irrefutable evidence that the Slavs had any system of writing so all their beliefs and traditions were passed down orally.  This creates or enables many individual characteristics within that belief system (a fancy way of saying that there are as many differences as similarities in the details of their belief system).  While there are many archeological remains, there is no contextual understanding to be had.  The only time anything was written down was by Christian missionaries who were not always interested in accuracy in depicted Pagan beliefs.  Fragments of the old beliefs are found in folk customs, songs and tales.  This is not to say that this pantheon is not still honored, for it is, but I imagine Slavic rely heavily upon similarities in other belief systems and on unsubstantiated personal knosis (aka UPG).

The existences of both of these deities, Belbog especially, are heavily contested.  So let me tell you what I have found out about them and then offer an interesting possible conclusion that I stumbled across.  Belbog and Chernobog are twins and, one could say, the mirror images of the other.  One website stated that they were honored by the priestly class. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_the-4th-day-of-the-creation.jpg

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  • Melia Brokaw
    Melia Brokaw says #
    I recently was given a helpful link that discusses the twin. Wish I had this before I posted the blog. http://ofepicproportion

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