Culture Blogs


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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs
A Lost Pagan Classic: Rereading Gerhart Hauptmann's 'Island of the Great Mother'

Gerhart Hauptmann's novel The Island of the Great Mother or the Miracle of the Île des Dames: A Story from the Utopian Archipelago was first published (in German) in 1928, but 90 years on, it still reads appositely, especially for the pagan community.

Here's the story.

A passenger liner filled with women (they're going to a women's convention) is shipwrecked somewhere in the Pacific. Several hundred women, with only one male among them—the prepubescent son of one of the castaways—are washed ashore on an uninhabited island.

There they create a glittering women's civilization, with its own gynocentric culture and religion.

Then something amazing happens. One by one, the women begin to become pregnant and give birth.

It's one of the novel's great strengths that these mysterious pregnancies are never explained. Hauptmann makes it quite clear that they are not, in fact, due to the only surviving male on the island, now grown to adolescence. They arise, apparently, as an inherent quality of the island itself.

Well, but there's trouble in utopia. Half the children born are female, half male. What to do with the males?

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Crystal Jewelry That Helps and Heals

Earrings don't just look lovely, they can help and heal you. Try these jewelry magic secrets and see what works best for you. Earrings help to balance both hemispheres of the brain and can stabilize the throat chakra. The earlobes are sensory centers on the body and usually benefit from the stimulation of a gem or crystal. Jade and tiger’s-eye are great for reviving and refreshing. You will generally feel quite good with these two earring choices. Sapphires will bring you greater wisdom. However, lapis lazuli and opal can be over stimulating as earrings, so watch carefully and see how your body reacts to them. Some people feel light-headed with these two stones placed so high on the body. Malachite can be too spiritually stimulating as earrings; don’t wear them unless you want to be in a soulful or dreamy reverie. Go for garnet, as garnet earrings will enhance your popularity. And here is a tip that might soon cause a stampede to the jewelry shop: Rose quartz is wonderful for the skin and can even slow aging!

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Of Beans, Rice, and Thinking Tribally

Back in the 70s, I was a good, doctrinaire Diet for a Small Planet vegetarian.

Frances Moore Lappé's epoch-making cookbook was based on the notion of protein complementarity: in order to get a complete protein, you need both beans and grains. Eaten together, you get more nutritional benefit from the combination than you would if you ate them separately.

So, religiously, I ate my beans and rice together at meal after meal after meal.

Since then, we've learned more about how the body handles these things. In fact, the body and its digestion is more flexible than we used to think. If you eat, say, your whole wheat toast for breakfast and your lentil soup at lunch, you'll still get the full protein benefit from the combination.

And that's another thing that the tribe does for us.

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Mystic South - 2018

Well, magical folks. It’s been about a week, and now I finally have enough time, energy, and understanding to share about my experiences at Mystic South 2018. Wow! What an event! It takes a whole week (or more) to process experiences like this – a Southern Pagan conference full of love, learning, magic, healing, and mysticism.

I arrived to Atlanta “a day late and a dollar short” (as Grandpa used to say). Despite missing a day of workshops, as well as literally losing hours to Atlanta traffic, I was able to settle in nicely on Friday night. The kind, patient, and smiling folks at the registration table set the tone for the rest of the weekend – everywhere I went I was greeted with friendly smiles and welcoming energy.

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Elemental , My Dear: Harnessing the Power of Fire

I am inspired by the teachings of the brilliant Yoruban priestess, Luisah Teish, who told me she keeps a votive glass candle burning in her fireplace (where safe) at all times to “harness Magic Fire in another way.”  

On the next full moon evening, gather a group around your hearth or build a bonfire on the beach or a beautiful fire in a safety-certified fire ring in a park. Ask everyone to bring a glass votive candle, preferably one of the seven-day candles you find at grocery stores or metaphysical shops. After everyone is comfortably seated around the fire, speak aloud:

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For 'Devil' Read: 'Horned One'

Take any proverb with the word “devil” in it.

Substitute “Horned One.”

See what you get.

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Needs must, when the Horned One drives.

Echoes of the Wild Hunt, here. That's Him all right: driving us to action (or at least flight). Why do you think the Scourge is His symbol?

Between the Horned One and the deep blue Sea.

Oof. Choose between the Lady and the Horned. Meaning: an impossible choice.

When you sup with the Horned One, best bring a long spoon.

This one's old, going back to the days of the common bowl. Back then, everyone carried his own spoon. Since the Horned One feeds everyone from his cauldron, the long spoon would be well-advised. When you're dealing with the powerful, best be well-prepared.

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