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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 1 blog entry contributed to teamblogs
Business as if human beings mattered more than profit

Capitalism seems invulnerable today not because anyone likes it, informed decent people do not, but because it is hard to imagine a realistic alternative. State socialism failed, and failed in a horrible way.  Going back to the land is impossible for more than a relative few of us.  Markets work better than explicit controls and markets seem inevitably to generate capitalism.  We seem trapped. 

But markets are not as predictable as economists claim and most economists confuse their theoretical categories with the real world of men and women. Consider the Mondragon cooperatives   in the Basque country of northern Spain. In September, 2012, I had the opportunity to visit these cooperatives in September of 2012 as part of an annual study group organized by the Praxis Peace Institute.  Given all that I had heard, I felt that while I could not easily afford to go financially, I could not afford not to go intellectually. 

Here is why.

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  • Stifyn Emrys
    Stifyn Emrys says #
    Intriguing analysis. It seems to me you've put your finger on a weakness of corporate capitalism as practiced in the United States

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Keeping Fit with the Tarot?

My friend and I were talking about fitness the other day. She's been wearing a 'FitBit,' and another friend of mine has been wearing  Nike FuelBand. I was contemplating investing in such a gizmo, as I'll be the first to admit I could take better care of myself than I do. These things are neat little gadgets and I'm sure they work for tracking, motivation, and encouragement . Mulling it over before sleep that night though, I started thinking about the tools that I already have. I've got a food tracker on my smartphone, I've got a pedometer, and I've got my Tarot. 

"How on Earth does the Tarot fit in with a keep fit plan," you might well ask? Before you chalk me up to being completely crazy (as opposed to just the 'way-out-there-crazy-but still-functional' type of crazy that I'll readily admit to being), hear me out. I thought I might be off my rocker, but I've played around with this for a few days now, and I've been very surprised by how well it works. 

While doing my morning meditations with the Tarot, I've started pulling a card as a 'living well' theme for the day. Sometimes it's a bit vague, and I put that down to me only starting to work with the cards in this manner. Sometimes it's uncannily appropriate. For example, yesterday I was thinking about starting to use my little set of kettle bells again, and I pulled the card, the Ten of Wands. Now, when I do Tarot readings, this card always makes me think of carrying burdens or there being too much weight on someone's shoulders. It stands to reason then that this was confirming that the kettle bells might be a good choice for that morning. 

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  • Charlie Rainbow Wolf
    Charlie Rainbow Wolf says #
    It's fun, yes? Today I drew the Devil. Wasn't sure how it fit at all... till my husband appeared with potato chips! I know it may
  • Meg Pauken
    Meg Pauken says #
    Can I just tell you how much I love this? I'm going to try it tomorrow!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Canadians Take the Gold (Photo courtesy of The Guardian) 

Okay, so this is completely off the topic from what I usually post in this blog, but I am a proud Canadian, and like all Canadians, I watch when our team is at the gold medal hockey final.  It's kind of like Americans and the Superbowl.  I think it's a Canadian law or something.

Now, I admit that for a good deal of the game I was shaking my head in dismay.  The Americans played a much better game than we did for most of it.  They were much more aggressive and energetic and were just overall handling the puck better.  The Americans almost won the game when, with a minute and fifteen seconds left, Canada pulled the goalie for an extra attacker, and an inexperienced linesman interfered with one of her teammates, freeing up an American shot on goal into an empty net.  Perhaps it was an example of the manifestation of collective Will as thirty percent of Canada's population screamed, "No no NO!" and miraculously, the puck bounced off the post and the goal was averted.  But our ladies tied it up in the last five minutes, and then stole the gold in sudden death overtime!  I would hardly be considered a hockey expert, but I am Canadian, and so you learn about it whether you want to or not, and overall, this was one of the most exciting and tense games I've ever watched.  Here's the link if you want to see it.

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  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    And the boys did us proud too!
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Yes, congratulations indeed. I was a Landed Immigrant in Canada from 1971-1973. I was a company member with the Shakespeare Fest
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    That strikes me as a uniquely, and perhaps iconic, Canadian story. Thanks so much for sharing it!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Pagans and voluntary poverty

A few weeks ago I wrote a post inspired by a conversation I had with an indebted Pagan, and one idea that came out of it -- that of a Pagan credit union -- really caught fire.  The level of interest made writing a follow-up post on your reactions to the idea of a Pagan credit union the next logical step.

Comments are a double-edged sword in the blogosphere, but I've learned a lot from the ones I have received here.  In pointing out what he or she thinks is the fatal flaw in any plan for Pagan financial infrastructure, Kveldrefr got me thinking about one of the underlying beliefs about Pagans, that they want to be poor:

"I would think that part of the issue regarding credit unions in particular is that many Pagans make a virtue of poverty, taking pride in their lack of concern for "material things." While anyone should be allowed to make such decisions for oneself, all too often those same individuals insist that others should share that attitude, and attack those who are successful.

"Until and unless the 'virtuous poverty' syndrome is dealt with, Paganism will not be able to mature in the ways you suggest, because it quite simply won't have the resources to do so. You can't pay mortgages for temples and hofs [sic] with piety and selling handmade soap."

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  • Mariah
    Mariah says #
    I am both poor & privileged- I work retail, but I have a bachelor's, and the social connections & cultural knowledge/capital of a
  • Dver
    Dver says #
    I wouldn't describe myself as voluntarily poor, but I fall somewhere between that and the usual materialistic approach in this cul
  • Aleah Sato
    Aleah Sato says #
    Wow, so much to say in response. This is a very succinct post on such a complex issue and I support Alley's response, with some di

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
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