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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 1 blog entry contributed to teamblogs
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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ProstitutionI read a blog called "The Honest Courtesan" written by a retired call girl named Maggie McNeil, that discusses sex, sex workers and our attitudes about it.  I don't always agree with everything she says, but she wrote an article recently that I've been ruminating on.  The long and the short of it is this:

For many years, prostitution has been decriminalized in Canada; but everything around it has been illegal, from the keeping of a place of business to "living off the avails" of prostitution (so if, for example, a hooker hired a driver/bodyguard to protect her, he could go to jail.)  On September 28, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that, at least in the province of Ontario, these laws were against our Charter of Rights and Freedoms (our equivalent of the Constitution) and the government was given a few months in which to try to appeal or to draft a new law.

Sounds like a positive choice, right?  But Maggie predicted, accurately, that this would be used as an opportunity for anti-prostitution lobbyists to suggest another option, which was to adopt a policy that is becoming known as the "Swedish model."  That is to say, prostitution itself isn't illegal - buying sex is.  So the criminals become the clients, not the prostitutes.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

If there had indeed been pagans of our kind in Europe during the Hidden Years, and

if those old paganisms had managed to survive in backwaters here and there, and

if they had undergone the usual kinds of culture loss and internal innovation, and

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