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
Urban Procession: Harvest Moon

I hear the procession before I see it.

They enter in at the front gate, with rattle and drum. I join them, and together we wind around the house and back to the garden.

All summer the little goddess has presided over the growth of tomatoes, eggplant, beans, beets, kale, and collards, sunk to her knees in the ground.

Now we stand her instead in a bowl of wheat grains, wheat that we will eat (cooked in almond milk, sweetened with honey, perfumed with rosewater) on the year's longest night. We garland her with harvest marigolds.

Lastly, we cover her over with the same veil of night-blue silk that will enwrap her through her winter slumber in the pantry. We're about to process her down a public street, on which she will duly bestow her blessing, but this is, after all, a goddess: not everyone is privileged to see her.

The procession reforms. I walk this street every day of my life, but tonight it becomes a sacred route, a processional way. People arriving for choir rehearsal at the corner church stop to watch.

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Healing Crystals For When You Are Freaking Out From Stress

I don’t know about you, dear ones, but many of my friends, family, coworkers and I are experiencing extremely high stress. Therefore, I feel called to offer what small wisdom I have for what you can do to counteract this lack of balance in your environment and our world.  As you may know, I am a strong believer in the calming and healing power of crystals. When people ask me, “How the heck could a piece of rock help heal my body?, I will point them to the wisdom of the chakra system.

It is becoming widely known that crystals can be curative for the emotional body, the spiritual body, and the physical body. And, we have learned that crystals can interact electromagnetically with people. The prehistoric medicine man and shamans knew instinctively how to harness this stone power and use it to enhance or stimulate energy; they never doubted the power of the unseen. Modern shamans talk about the body in a different way; they are in tune with and are working with the etheric body, the subtle life force that sustains the physical body and serves as the matrix for the metabolic functions. They work with the system of chakras (points of energy in the astral body that are associated with various parts of the physical body) and endeavor to make sure everything is in proper alignment. Illness beginning with misalignment of either the etheric body or physical body can result in a domino effect of maladies. Imbalance in the etheric body can cause low energy; depression; stress-related diseases such as shingles, ulcers, and migraines; and any number of other serious physical issues

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Shine On, Harvest Moon: The Same-Sex Version

I grew up singing this charming little courting ditty with my parents, who grew up singing it with theirs; its seasonal relevance gives it perennial interest. Here's my updated, same-sex version, for all those boys out there falling in love with one another right now. Hey, everybody needs a pal.

Spooning” is old slang for “making out.” Think of two spoons fitting together.

Some day, we'll have songs for all the Moons of the Year. We begin here.

 

Shine On, Harvest Moon

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Kay Schoenwetter
    Kay Schoenwetter says #
    Of course, lesbians do not have to change the words at all.

b2ap3_thumbnail_witchesindreamland.jpg

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
You, Your God, and a Stick of Incense

You, your god, and a stick of incense.

That's all that you need to get a daily observance in place.

And—believe me—if you don't have a daily observance going, you need to start one stat. Every good garden requires regular cultivation. What would you think of a friend who only comes to you when she needs something?

Stand before an image of your heart-god.

(I'm using the word “god” inclusively here.) This can be a statue, a picture, or an aniconic symbol.

Stand, don't sit. (Sitting is passive, and this needs to be an act of active engagement.) Think of it as standing to attention. Think of it as rising when someone important enters the room.

Light the incense.

"The offering," they say, "bears the prayer." Actually, coals and a grain or two of quality natural incense would be better, but you can't beat the ease of stick incense. Here, as always in pagan ritual, the offering is the go-between, the mediator.

Be in the presence of your god.

What you do next is up to you. If you pray, pray. If you know a hymn, sing it. If you'd rather stand silently in rapt contemplation, do that. If a state of no-mind better suits you, that's fine. (Silent time with a friend is sometimes the most intimate time of all.) Always, you should be listening for the voice of the god.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Spirit Guardians: Orishas of Santeria

On September 22, 1862, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. This is an excellent opportunity to celebrate freedom from oppression for the hardy and deeply spiritual Africans who kept their own religions alive despite the incredible odds against them. African slaves brought their native religion with them wherever they went. African spirituality is based on nature—water, rivers, plants, seashells, and all the elements of the world around them. When the Africans came to the Catholic lands in Central and South America, their African deities were blended with Catholic saints to make an interesting new religion called Santeria. It was their way of keeping their African religion alive, and it has worked well. These orishas are spirit guardians, similar to those honored in Candomble. All of life is believed to come from one great creative force, Oloddumare. Practitioners of Santeria believe that everyone has one orisha as a guardian throughout his or her life.

    Aganyu corresponds to Saint Christopher. This volcano god is the father of Chango and whose mother is Yemmu. He can protect you from harm but only if you make your appeal through Chango.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Turning Point

Autumn started in my neighborhood last Tuesday night in the wee hours.  The clock read 3:23 am when I rolled over to look at it, awakened suddenly by the loud plash of rain hitting my balcony, moments before the downpour started rattling the roof and windows. This was not a Summer rain, chilly but scented with pollen and flowers and smoke. This rain was the child of the snow that was fallng on Longs Peak many miles away.  It lasted late into the day, soaking the lawn and swelling my apples, and sneaking into the corners of the house. The following day, sunny and warm, revealed yellow leaves on the cottonwoods.

                The days following have been very hot and dry, this whole week temps are reaching into the low 90s and there are still a few wild fires burning in the high country, driven by high, hot winds and fueled by bone-dry vegetation. It is hard to feel the approaching Autumn, even if the trees are starting to turn.

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