Culture Blogs

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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Who Are the New Pagan Heroes?

Some people have saints. Pagans have heroes.

But you don't have to slay dragons to become one.

To the ancestors, heroes (the term is gender-neutral) were those who had done such outstanding things that they deserved to be remembered for them.

You found a city, you're a hero. You teach the People something important that makes their life better, you're a hero.

Who are our modern pagan heroes? Well, they differ from group to group. Some would number Gerald Gardner among them. Doreen Valiente, Robert Graves, Robert Cochrane: they weren't perfect people, they weren't gods.

But they each did something remarkable, something that we, their inheritors, have benefited from, and therefore they deserve to be remembered.

The Kalasha of NW Pakistan are the only surviving Indo-European people who have practiced their ancient religion uninterruptedly since antiquity. In their valleys, there's an altar to the hero who taught the People to make cheese.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I love this story. I happen to be one of those people who enjoy cheese. I think a festival in honor of the cheese hero is a grea
An Open Letter to the Editor of 'City Pages'

Dear Editor,

This concerning your coverage of Paganicon 2018 (“The Twin Cities—AKA Paganistan—Will Host a World Gathering of Witches”).

In the vocabulary of modern Witches, the word cowan (rhymes with plowin') refers to a non-Witch. It is not necessarily a derogatory term.

Not necessarily.

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Survival Secrets of the Long-Lived Covens

Statistically, the average coven has a lifespan of three years.

But let us not make the mistake of taking this as normative.

In fact, the history of the modern Craft is studded with examples of long-lived covens. In a year and a half, the group that I'm part of will have been together for 40 years. Our daughter/sister coven is still going strong after almost 35 years. Gardner's original Bricket Wood coven has been up and running for some 60-plus years now. Across the wide and many-colored world of modern Witchdom, there must be hundreds—if not thousands—of similar examples.

Long-lived covens may be a minority in the Craft, but they are neither outliers nor anomalies. They are, rather, the heart of who we are and what we do.

Each of these covens is a success story: a success story in which we all share. Each one is a triumph for us all.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Hot Line

Back in the days BC (Before Cell), a priestess from Minnesota was visiting another priestess in California.

As she's showing her around, the Minnesotan notices a red phone on the desk.

“Is that what I think it is?” she asks.

“The Hot Line,” says her friend. “Direct to Big Mama Herself.”

“Do you mind if I make a call?” asks the Minnesotan. "I've got a question I need to ask. I'll be happy to cover the cost.”

“Be my guest,” says the Californian.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs



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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Great Remembering

The Khazí is the guardian of the legends. With his songs and his stories he reminds us all who we are and where we come from.” (Saifullah Jan, of Khazi Khoshnawaz)


Paganism is a matter of remembering.

We are pagan because we remember.

For a long, long time we forgot who we are. We forgot who our people are. We forgot what our people do. We forgot our stories, our songs, our rituals. We even forgot our gods.

It was a time of forgetting, the time between the Old Paganisms and the New. You could call it the Great Interruption. You could call it the Great Forgetting.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
What Am I?

The ancestors loved to hone their wits on a good, gritty riddle, especially on long winter nights. (Words in winter are light, they say.)  Here's one that occurred to me while out walking today.

Go ahead, kill me.

Break me in pieces;

see if I care.

In one winter's night,

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  • Victoria
    Victoria says #
    I love the riddles in the Exeter Book, this is my favorite: Yes, I agree with your comments, border
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    It's interesting that, according to the conventions of the riddle genre--as, for example, among the Old English riddles in the Exe
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    That's it. I was out early enough that what, during the day, had been puddles of melt-water, were still frozen smooth.
  • Victoria
    Victoria says #
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Fractured? Or melting and reforming.

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