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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

Every year the same thing happens: the evergreens come down, the hearts go up. It's Valentine's Day--get on your wolf-suit and let's party!

Wolf suit?

It's too early for April Fools—but we're not kidding! Once upon a time, the 14th of February marked the celebration of Lupercalia, “The Day of the Wolf,” an important festival in ancient Rome. What the heck happened here?

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    I've seen references to the possibility that Silphium might have also been used as an abortifactant. That might have been importan
Questioning Love: Finding Love Through The Lovers Card

For February’s shadow card, I purposely chose The Lovers as it can be use as a tool to delve into our psyches to learn more about the love, our lack thereof, in our lives.  With the approach of Valentines Day, many people who are unattached begin to wish for someone in their lives that they can share that special bond with.  They yearn for the special love that only lovers can share and sometimes begin to question why they do not have it or why they are unable to find it.  Others that are already attached begin to yearn for someone that is not their current love, someone that embodies different qualities than their current love has.  By looking at the shadow side of ourselves through this card, we can take a look and perhaps discover why we aren’t happy with what we currently have in our current situation.

In the traditional Rider Waite deck, we see a couple striped of their clothes with an Angel overhead coming out of an ethereal cloud.  The Angel appears to be blessing their union as they stand there, under the bright sun, with a tree burning behind the man and a tree of fruit behind the woman.  The man looks at the woman while the woman looks at the Angel.  A mountain stands in the background between them as their feet are firmly planted on the green grass below them.  

The Lovers card is about relationships, love, and choices.  When we are in a relationship, like the couple in this card, we bare ourselves completely to each other, trusting that we will be accepted for who and what we are.  We can look for approval from a higher power (the woman looking at the Angel) to make sure that this is our soul mate – a match made in heaven.  There is a very strong sexual attraction with this card, represented by the tree of desire behind the man and the tree of forbidden fruit with snake behind the woman, reminiscent of the story of temptation of Adam and Eve.  The woman can also be looking at the Angel for an answer for a choice that she needs to make.  Should she give in to the temptation of the man in front of her?  

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Saving money as a community:  the sou-sou

As the Pagan savings challenge progresses, I'm aware that there are Pagans who are not participating because my weekly (and impersonal) posts aren't motivation enough to keep it up.  The pressures are many, and my voice is small.  But my belief in the power of savings is strong.

  • Savings is a discipline, as surely as devotion and magic are, and discipline is its own reward.
  • Savings transforms one's relationship with money, changing it from one of reaction to one of intention.
  • Savings results in a pile of money that literally wouldn't have been there if it hadn't been saved, which is the sort of reward that even the most right-brained among us should appreciate.
  • Savings requires the right mix of patience and attention, which in proper measure can nurture virtually anything.

So in keeping with my sincere belief that each and every Pagan should have a savings plan as part of their spiritual practice, I present an alternative for working groups:  the sou-sou.  It is one of the simplest savings programs to understand, but challenging for the typical American to participate.  It came to the United States from West Africa, and is most commonly used in this country by populations who are on the edges -- or outside -- of the traditional money system.

You know, kind of like some Pagans.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 Whatever happened to the Thunderer?

The ancestors knew him well: Thor, Perkunas, Perun, Jupiter, Zeus, Ba'al, Enlil, Indra, they called him. The heathens in their wisdom honor him to this day. His name lives on the tongue of every English-speaker: Thunder. And in the many-colored world itself, of course, he's never gone away: his rains still fall, if not quite as they always have.

But in pagandom at large, where is he?

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Other Triangle and Square Shapes on Crystals (Growth Interference and Record Keepers)

Last time we talked about Keys and Imprints. There are other ways that triangles and squares may present on crystals. We'll discuss those here, namely Growth Interference and Record Keepers.

GROWTH INTERFERENCE

Indentations and markings similar to Imprints and Keys also occur but they fall into a different category. Some of these triangular and square-shaped impressions are caused by what is called Growth Interference. Growth Interference happens when another mineral grows during the development of the crystal and then subsequently disappears.

b2ap3_thumbnail_growth_interference_desc.gifAs well as the square and triangle, more often than not, it looks like a buzz saw was taken to the crystal. Sometimes there is a little bit of mineral left in part of the crevasses.

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