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
Green Breath

In medieval art, the Green Man is frequently depicted (as here) exhaling vegetation.

I'd always taken this as a symbol of death—someday you'll be dead and plants will grow out of your mouth—but while reading a book about ancient Maya art, I realized that I was missing something important.

In Maya culture, nothing was more valuable than jade. Jade (being green and permanent) = life; when you live in a tropical rain forest, how not? In Classical Mayan art, nobles were frequently represented with a jade bead suspended in the air between their mouths and noses: the breath of life.

That's why the Green Man exhales vegetation: he's the giver of the breath of life. This, of course, is literally true: that incredible reciprocal arrangement that we Red-Bloods have with the Green-Bloods called the Oxygen Cycle.

If we take the Green Man/Green God as the collective embodiment of all the flora on Planet Earth—a reading utterly in consonance with Received Tradition—we may indeed say that from Him comes the Breath of Life.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    When I was much younger I could look into the leaves of a tree and after a while I would see a face among the leaves. there is so
Nurture Yourself With Nature: Hygge Healing Tea

We might call it kitchen witchery and our Scandinavian friends could say it is how we “get hygge,” which means to get as cozy as humanly possible. This newly trendy lifestyle tradition from the frozen north is not just for lazing about, though we greatly appreciate that aspect; it is also a very healthy way of living with sauna sessions, lots of herbal food and drink but also community, which is an immunity booster on its own.  Tea is a mainstay if you want to be healthy and we feel sure wise women and hedge witches in Northern Europe were the first on the hygge bandwagon, So much of our knowledge about herbal teas and tinctures comes from them.  Herbal tea conjures a very powerful alchemy because when you drink it, you take the magic inside. For an ambrosial brew with the power to calm any storm, add a sliver of ginger root and a pinch each of echinacea and mint to a cup of hot black tea. Before you drink, pray:

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
ONE TERM prezzy-DENT

There are three things I've learned never to discuss with people:

religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.


(Linus von Pelt)

 

You may remember the chant from the demos following the last presidential election here in the States:

 

NOT MY presi-DENT!

(clap-clap clap-clap-clap)

NOT MY presi-DENT!

(clap-clap clap-clap-clap)

 

As chants go, it's really pretty good: focused, succinct, a nice alternation of verbal and non-verbal, words and percussion. And it certainly beats Hey hey! Ho ho! — — has got to go!

Unfortunately, they were wrong. If you're an American, the Troll-in-Chief is your president.

But it doesn't have to stay that way.

So I'm choosing to look on that chant, not as a statement of fact, but as a prediction which we know—and may it be sooner rather than later—will eventually come true.

So, riffing off the old chant, here's the new one that I'll be chanting:

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Crystal Cures: How Your Wand Can Be a Meditation Tool

One of the most powerful benefits  you game from having a wand of your own is that is can focus and direct energy. And there are times when we all need that! I often experience “monkey mind” when my thoughts race around and this seems increasingly common, based on what I hear from friends and clients. For that reason, I have been creating more rituals and meditations to counteract a wandering mind, one of the woes if our overbusy world.

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Dog Named Yahweh

Back in the 80s, a friend was thinking about getting a new dog. She planned to name him Yahweh.

People, of course, name their pets for gods all the time. (Whether or not this is a good idea lies outside the parameters of this post.) Still, naming your dog Yahweh seems a little...well, let me at least say that I wouldn't do it. Do you really want to use someone that you love to even a score?

For this was the Reagan Era, and the Age of the Culture Wars. The danger of a full-blown theocracy in the US seemed like a very real possibility at the time. (The Kreesh-chun Reich certainly seemed to think so.) So you did what you could to strike a blow—even a symbolic one—against the theocrats and their triumphalist ways.

One can, of course, readily appreciate the idea's humorous potential.

"Yahweh bit me!"

“Bad Yahweh! Bad boy!”

“Yahweh really stinks; I'm afraid he needs another bath.”

“Oh no, Yahweh peed on the carpet again.”

Still, when it comes to Yahwehs, one has to admit that one—even one that only exists in people's heads—is bad enough.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I think of Romero's Dawn of the Dead, with the shopping mall zombies, the zombie Hare Krishna and the zombie nun among them. Satir
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember the 80's too well. Ronald Reagan Antichrist, Nancy Reagan the Scarlet Woman, Milton Freedman the False Prophet. I had
Lovingkindness Meditation: Conjuring Contentment

If you had a rough day at work, your inner critic was overactive or are just feeling a little down, try this as lovingkindness meditation.. It can be difficult cultivate self-love but it is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. The very peacefulness you create with this ritual, you can also send to another,  Begin by sitting quietly, taking relaxed, slow, deep breaths and wishing yourself happiness. After sitting quietly begin to speak this mantra aloud::

May I be happy.

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“The Only God Worth Worshiping is the Great Mother, Source of All Life”

You know the feeling: the words leap up off the page and seize you with such force that you know you're never going to forget them.

Years ago, I was reading an article about German Expressionist painter Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876-1907).

“The only god worth worshiping is the Great Mother, Source of all Life,” she was quoted as saying.

(I should mention that I've since tried to track down this quotation, so far unsuccessfully; but since her words smote themselves into my heart at the time, I'm willing to trust my memory on this one.)

To look at her paintings, you could certainly believe that she would say such a thing. Her secular madonnas, many of them self-portraits, radiate a serene and luminous sanctity of their own.

***

The wand beeps over my breastbone. With a jerk of his head, the TSA guy indicates: Show.

By her chain, I pull the little silver goddess up out of my shirt.

“Who's that?” he asks, surprised.

(Interesting: not "what?" but "who?")

“The Great Mother, Source of All Life,” I tell him. Then I hear myself adding: “I have it on good authority that She's the only god worth worshiping.”

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