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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs
Kick-Ass Traditional Scandinavian Midsummer's Recipe

By Midsummer's, the garden is really starting to kick in and feed us. There on the traditional Scandinavian Midsummer's Eve table, along with the caraway cheese, the deviled eggs, the new potatoes and dill, the cucumbers in sour cream, the roasted baby beets, and the strawberry-rhubarb pie, is this absolutely stunning puree of asparagus and fresh garden peas: the very essence of green life.

If ever you've wondered what Midsummer's tastes like, this is it.

 

Green Pea-Asparagus Puree

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Night on Witches' Hill

The cop car careens up into the park, right over the grass. It slams to a stop; two doors fly open simultaneously and a cop leaps out of each one, hands on holsters, poised and ready to go.

Welcome to our Midsummer's Eve.

There we were, up on the highest hill in the metropagan area: us and folks from our sister coven. We'd decked ourselves and the picnic tables with oak leaves. We'd sung the songs, danced the dances, and shared the feast of new foods.

Now it's sunset, and everyone's gone up to the top of the hill to bid farewell to the Sun at its latest setting of the year.

Except for me. Here's old Uncle Steve, right in character, down in the park running around with the kids. There's even one sitting on my shoulders.

I don't know what the cops were expecting. Something nefarious, I suppose. Something occult. Black hooded robes and a virgin in a white gown.

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Um Is Not an Answer!

Whenever a witness on my beloved Judge Judy starts hemming and hawing about a question they don't want to answer, she always barks, Um is not an answer!  But sometimes?  It kind of is.

I always assume that everyone who reads me is a psycho in the same way.  You know what you want, you know how to get it, you just need a kick in the ass to get it.  But then I look at people I actually know and I realize that not everyone knows what they want in the micro or macro.  For example, I thought I'd be writing books about hearth witchery.  It turns out though that writing recipe based pieces (such as my Llewellyn annuals work) is incredibly tedious for me.  I don't mind it for the annuals, but a whole book?  I'd run away to New Orleans with no forwarding address a lot faster than I would be likely to actually finish it.  I knew I wanted to be a writer since I was eight, but what I actually write about depends on who's paying, like most artists.  I've written smut, I've written about camping (despite loathing it) and camping equipment, I've written about miniature goat farming.  I prefer the smut and the witchy over content writing, but I would do content work again if I had to and I would love to write Young Adult.  But I spent several years working to pave my way into hearth witchery, to the point that it was the first proposal my editor had from me.  She wanted it to be witchier and I said, I can do that but can I pitch a few other things first?  We can come back if you don't like any of it.  She picked up glamour and here we are.  I love hearth based witchcraft, but I'm passionate about glamour. 

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The Other Rede

The baby bird is lying broken on the ground, dying. Its parents, perhaps detecting some weakness in it, have pushed it out of the nest.

Clearly, it's suffering. What do you do?

“Don't do what you want to do,” wrote Robert Cochrane, father of the contemporary Old Craft movement. “Do what needs to be done.”

Cochrane is critiquing the Wiccan Rede here. “Do what you want to do” is his sneering version of “Do what ye will.”

Old Craft ethic is different from Wicca's. It's tribal at heart, concerned with life together and the obligations that social existence entails.

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  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    I also find Judy Harrow's "Exegesis on the Wiccan Rede" to be of considerable interest. You might too. http://www.sacred-texts.com
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Oh, gosh, I think the Wiccan Rede is vastly more complex than "do what you want". "An' it harm none, do as you will" requires a
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Diotima. I agree that Cochrane's reading doesn't even begin to plumb the depths; Cochrane had a k

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Part I. ended with the observation monotheism seems to have an innate proclivity to violence and it has inspired some of the most noble people in history. It asked “Why?”

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. DiZerega, I have to say that I agree with everything you've written. Many times it has occurred to me that Allah, Yahweh, and
Why Public Hexing Could Actually be Good Publicity

Frankly, I think it's the best publicity that we've had in years.

The recent cyber-hexing of a convicted (but, some would say, under-sentenced) college rapist has generated both an unwonted flurry of interest in the mainstream press and a firestorm of controversy within the Craft itself.

Much of the criticism that I've seen (and heard) has centered, interestingly, not on whether or not hexing is ethical, but on whether or not it's good press to talk about it in public.

And I'm going to contend that it may well be.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    My thanks to everyone who took the time and thought to comment on this very important topic. Regardless of where one comes down on
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Wonderfully provocative post, as usual, Steve. I don't concern myself much with karma because it seems like the Xian notion of
  • Christopher Crittenden
    Christopher Crittenden says #
    It should not be taboo to talking about cursing in general, but if you publicly claim to curse a specific person, and something ba
  • Wendilyn Emrys
    Wendilyn Emrys says #
    There is nothing that says one cannot ask a Goddess or a God to deliver proper retribution upon a wrongdoer. That is not cursing,
  • Ali Art
    Ali Art says #
    I am all for self-empowerment. Particularly as this relates to females who live in a world where rape culture is so prevalent. H
Midsummer Ritual: Calling Down the Sun

 

The Summer Solstice, also known as Midsummer and Litha, is coming up on Monday June 20th. For those who celebrate, or anyone who could use a boost of positive energy after the last few weeks (and months), I thought I'd share this ritual from the Midsummer book I wrote for Llewellyn' Sabbats series. Midsummer

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  • Tony Lima
    Tony Lima says #
    What the modern world doesn't realize concerning rituals of just about any sort is in the state of mind the ritual practitioner mi

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