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 wand is a magical tool, an extension of the power within your own hand, projected through the wand, to affect the world via your Will. The Yule tree was once a living reflection of the wand’s magic. It drew its own strength from the earth—it’s source—much as the wand draws its strength and direction from your Will, channeled through you. The Yule tree directed water and nutrients upward through its trunk, expressing these elements outward as branches, needles and pine cones. They, in turn, affected the world by providing shade, shelter, protection, food, and the seeds of a new generation. Therefore, at a time of freshly flowing sap, and the awakening of nature, a wand can be fashioned from the offering of branches of the old tree, copper wire to conduct energy, and quartz crystal to focus it.

The crafting of an Equinox swag carries the seeds of the Yule spirit forward. If you need to backtrack a bit, have a look at our introduction to this year-long magical project and tips for preparation and storage. If you do not have access to a Yule evergreen, fallen branches from other trees can be used for this craft. Use your favorite resource to identify the tree from which the branch came, and what energy that particular tree will bring to this work.

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Travel the Earth

For Earth Day this year, I suggest keeping it simple. Pack a handful of your nearest and dearest in a roomy auto and go road-tripping. It could even be more fun if you have no particular destination in mind. You can call on the directions to help guide you to a beneficial place for all. There really are only a few prerequisites to make for the optimum road experience: gas, tunes, and snacks.

To be fair, why not have each rider pitch in with a playlist of road-worthy songs and take turns playing them? Speaking of pitching in, if you're not the driver, don't forget to offer some cash for fuel. The other kind of fuel you require is of course, munchies. You should cover sweet, salty, crunchy, protein-rich, and throw in something healthy if you can. Veggie Straws, celery and carrots, apples, grapes, cheese, hummus, trail mix, and fair trade dark chocolate all make my list. These don't really require a cooler, either. The other thing you don't want to be without is beverages. Water, iced tea or coffee drinks, and juice are all good bets.

Try to get rolling by high-noon so that you still have plenty of daylight to get out and go for a hike, if you choose. Crank the windows down, sing along, and let the good times roll. There is a lot of gorgeous green earth still out there. Get out and enjoy her while you can.

    COLLEEN'S CRAZY TRAIL MIX
    A perfect blend of salty, sweet and spicy.
    organic dark chocolate-covered cranberries
    organic Dried Turkish Figs
    sesame sticks (Cajun)
    brown rice miso crackers
    roasted, salted Peanuts
    organic raw pumpkin seeds
    Greek yogurt-covered pretzels
    wasabi peas
    All of these items should be available in your friendly neighborhood bulk foods section. You can use equal parts of each, or go heavy on your favorites to create your own mix!
    (Recipe concocted by Colleen DuVall, due to the tree-nut heavy trail-mixes already out there)

    BEET HUMMUS
    Start to finish: 20 minutes
    Servings: 5
    This hummus is a vibrant bright pink thanks to the addition of steamed beets.
            1 beet (small, trimmed and peeled, cut into chunks)
            1 1⁄2 cups cooked chickpeas
            1 clove garlic (coarsely chopped)
            3 tablespoons tahini
    3 tablespoons lemon juice
    1⁄4 cup water (plus up to a 1/4 cup more if needed)
    1 1⁄2 teaspoons cumin
    1⁄2 teaspoons salt
    Place the beet in a steamer basket above simmering water and steam, covered, until tender, up to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the beet pieces.
    Place the garlic and chickpeas in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the tahini, lemon juice, 1/4 cup of water, cumin, salt, and cooked beets, and process until smooth and creamy, adding more water, a couple tablespoons at a time, to reach the desired consistency.
    (Recipe adapted from www.dailyburn.com by Willy Street Co-op in Madison)

Photo by ponsulak at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net



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Measuring Worth

A great meeting of the gods was called for a certain day. As the various statues of the gods arrived from all over the world, the gatekeeper directed them.

Gold statues in rows 1 to 3, silver statues rows 4 and 5. Bronze statues in rows 6 through 10; marble statues, rows 11-20. Wooden statues in rows 21 to 40.

Now it so happened that Socrates was in attendance that day. He approached the gatekeeper.

Come, come, my friend, he chided him. A work of art cannot be judged merely on the basis of what it is made from. Some of these bronze and marble statues—even some of the wooden ones—are great masterpieces, made by the finest artists of their day. By any reasonable standard, we must hold them to be of greater value than statues of lesser craftsmanship that merely happen to be made from gold and silver.

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Tale of a Triple Goddess

They say that in ages of ages, Earth gave birth to Moon, her first-born daughter and other self.

The size-ratio of our planet to its moon is anomalous in the solar system. In many ways, the two look more like a binary planet than a planet and moon.

In Moon, it is said, we behold Earth's knowledge of self.

It is believed that the moon accreted from material expelled from what is now the Pacific Ocean, perhaps as the result of impact, some 4.5 billion years ago.

She then gave birth to Sea, it is said: Earth's daughter and other self, born of her longing for Moon, and imprint of her love for self and daughter.

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The God in the Woods

Really, those woods saved my life.

Fourteen is hard. When home and school grew too much to bear, I turned to the woods. I'd walk the paths there, and the storm within would still. And when I left the woods I knew that, no, to live was better.

At first the woods were mine and I walked them fearlessly, but only by day. By night they belonged to themselves, and I feared to go there. To carry a light would have been a profanation, and I feared to walk in the dark.

But then I learned what still can't help but seem a metaphor.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Growing up in the suburbs has its advantages, access to the wild being one of them. I was back in western PA recently visiting fam
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    When my family moved back to Richmond in '72 there were woods in back of the house. I was 13 at the time and the woods were great
Come Join Genn's Crystal Workshop 'WORKING WITH QUARTZ CRYSTAL, SIMPLIFIED' Fayetteville, Arkansas April 17th @ 1030am

As promised in my earlier blog post, here is the information about my upcoming workshop at the Ozark Research Institute's 28th Annual Dowsing and Alternative Health Convention! Unfortunately, I'm sending this a little late, the computer ate the original post. But here it is... come on by and pick up a few excellent classes!

Anyway, it is going to be in at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1325 N Palak Drive, in Fayetteville, Arkansas. There is a pre-convention workshop on Friday the 15th, and the convention is Saturday, Sunday and Monday. If it fits into your schedule, you can plan to attend the whole event, or just come for a day. Click here for more in depth information about the entire event and all the wonderful speakers.

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Mastodon Family: Look Closer and Think.

Often confused with Mammoths, Mastodons (Mammutidae) are in their own family, since They split off from Elephants and Mammoths earlier. Therefore, there are many differences between the two Animals. Mastodons have larger and flatter brows than Mammoths. Moreover, They have paired low conical cusps for teeth, and upper jaw tusks. In addition, Mastodons are shorter and more muscular than Mammoths. Scientists have liken Them to a bus, whereas Mammoths are more like construction cranes.

Living side by side with Mammoths, Mastodons colonized Eurasia and North America about fifteen million years ago. As browsers, They preferred to live in spruce forests and open woodlands. During the winter, Mastodons had a double coat of fur to prevent Them from freezing in the icy cold. However, they preferred warmer climates to live in.

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