Culture Blogs


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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs
Celebrate Wildness: the Feraferia Path.

 

For many older Pagans, the personal roots of our practice lie within the ‘counterculture’ of the 60s and 70s. New spiritual winds were then blowing across the desiccated body of American religion, which for many of us had withered into beliefs rooted in fear and habit. On a mass level questions of right livelihood first began challenging the American Dream of more things and more money - and many of us accepted alternative visions to a greater or lesser degree. Across the country efforts to make real greater equality and respect between the sexes, affirmation of different cultures and ways of life, and enhanced love for the natural world, transforming many lives. Many were drawn to seeking and sometimes encountering the Divine Feminine.

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the little mystic book that could

So...um, Beyond Reason, my book about my path as a godspouse of Loki, is selling well.

beyond_reason_no_1

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The Care and Feeding of Sacred Fires

When the thede (tribe) of witches foregathers, as we did recently at this year's Midwest Grand Sabbat, we kindle (wood on wood, in the old way) the traditional Fire of Gathering.

The Fire burns continuously throughout the time of assembly. Everyone tends it; offerings are made to it daily. It roars at the very heart of the sabbat itself, and on our final morning together it is ritually extinguished. People take the ashes home with them when they leave.

Anyone who grows up in a traditional culture knows how to behave around a sacred fire—how it differs from a household fire, for instance—and doesn't have to be taught What You Do and What You Don't. For those of us who (alas) did not grow up in such a culture, how then does one impart these rules, the Does and Don'ts of sacred Fires, in a manner that doesn't devolve into learning boring lists of regulations?

Well, my friend and colleague Chris Moore came up with the perfect way to do it: you give people a metaphor.

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PHANTOM CRYSTALS: Access Past Lives, Embody Patience

This week (and next week) we're going to be talking about crystals with Phantoms. Phantoms are mineral inclusions formed evenly throughout a crystal. They are formed when the crystal is growing, still in solution, and a different mineral (or even a more gas-filled layer of milky quartz) gets introduced. The forming crystal point is then surrounded by this now mineral-filled (or different consistency quartz) solution. Settling of the mineral causes the solution to return to clear. Sometimes Phantoms will even have layers of Barnacles on them, inside the crystal, like the one below:

Arkansas crystal with Phantom and internal Barnacles

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Monday morning dawns bright and cheerful which doesn’t match my mood at all.  After a rough night of sleep filled with pain, I only want more darkness and sleep to smooth out the rough edges.  However, I’m a responsible adult (mostly) and have to be at work. 

Somehow I have to smooth out the rough edges to get through my day.  Coffee is not something which helps me.  I’ve never liked it nor do I ever drink it.  I have to find other things which will ease my grumpiness. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Oak Moon, Holly Moon

At the Summer Solstice it is said that the Oak King and Holly King do battle, and the God of the Waxing Year must give way to the King of the Waning Year. This is a Hinge, a moment of transition that drives the Wheel of the Year. At the Solstice, the Sun is at its peak, the fruitful earth is coming into its most delicious bounty. After this, we cross a tipping point, as the days grow shorter, and we move forward towards the harvest festivals.

For me it feels more intuitive that this transition comes as the solar transit of Cancer turns into Leo. The lunar month attending Cancer is the Oak Moon, hearkening to the Oak King of the growing, fertile, waxing season of the Year. The Oak King evokes the solar qualities of the divine masculine: strength, forthrightness, generosity; he holds the energy of divine kingship and warrior-ship. A sacred animal often associated with this lunation is the Horse, embodying the power and dignity of the Solar God. An animal fit best for open, sunlit plains, the horse has been associated with solar gods since the Greeks wrote of Phoebus driving a chariot of fiery stallions across the sky each day.

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The Hidden Magic of Nashville

When I think of Nashville, I think of country music and the Parthenon. I probably never would have associated the spot with meditation and summer magic, even after I visited the town, if it weren’t for a lucky chance. I attended a writing conference in Nashville a few years ago, held at the gothicly beautiful Scarritt Bennett retreat and conference center.  That was the last year the conference was small enough for that particular venue, and if I’d attended a year later, I never would have discovered the peace and beauty of the labyrinth that waits in Tennessee.


b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_03461.JPGI’d never walked a labyrinth before, and when I stepped out of my on-site dorm to discover the familiar pattern of the Chartres labyrinth laid in the grass in front of the building, I got incredibly excited. There’s already something magical about wandering around a facility that feels like a Southern Hogwarts in the purple gloaming of June, but then to spot that mystical shape, complete with dancing fireflies, completes the sensation of having stepped into another world.

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