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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
New Moon in Leo

On Wednesday, in the deepest dark of the Moon, I made a little nest of blankets on our balcony and sat back to try and watch the Perseid meteor shower. This is always one of our favorite Summertime traditions, as my kids and I shut off all the lights we can, and lay back to watch the darkening sky. This year, thin cloud cover veiled much of the show, but I saw spectacularly bright flashes across the sky. The rest of the time, I sensed, vaguely, that there was movement up there, but I just couldn’t quite see it. The clouds were bad luck, especially since the shower's peak was coming on a moonless night, the dark sky making the show more visible. The darker the setting of the night sky, the more brilliant the flash of shooting stars.

This New Moon in Leo lines up 5 planets in Leo, the sign of high Summer, the Fixed Fire of the zodiac, ruled by the Sun. Leo illuminates our sense of power and passion, shows us our desires, fuels our creativity and our play. The Sun and Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars are all radiating Leo's boundless solar joy and strength just as the Sun itself is pouring down intense light and heat. The presence of the cosmic lovers, Venus and Mars, in the same sign brings luck and love, but this year, Venus is retrograde.

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New Moon Flower Oracle Reading--Guidance for the Cycle Ahead

Happy Leo new moon! This three card reading (using images from my forthcoming Magic of Flowers Oracle) provides guidance for what to focus on for spiritual growth and positive personal unfolding during the brand new moon cycle ahead.

Card 1: Devotee of Beauty (Tulip)

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Venery of Pagans

 Reader Alert: Contains material some may find offensive.

I was reading my favorite "non-pagan-but-regularly-writes-about-pagans" author, S. M. Stirling.

"[T]he Brannigans were a family as prominent as any in Sutterdown," he wrote, "and usually contributed the senior High Priestess and High Priest of the town's clutch of covens" (Stirling 352).

"'Clutch of covens,'" I thought, "that's good." Like “clutch of eggs,” presumably.

They call them "venereal terms" (from the hunting, rather than the amorous, form of venery): poetic miniatures of collective being. An exaltation of larks. A murder of crows. A parliament of owls.

So:

A clutch of covens.

A venery of pagans. (Some might say: "...venality....")

An argument of witches.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    "A battery of drummers." This one's directly from Brazilian Portuguese (e.g. Candomble usage: bateria).
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    I just finished reading that book, too!
Proselytizing and the Limits of Hospitality

 Q: What's the difference between a Jehovah's Witness and a Wiccan?

A: Three Watchtowers.

 

The Jehovah's Witness stood at the door, holding up a copy of The Watchtower. My mouth literally fell open when I saw the title.

 

Isis Is Still Being Worshiped.

In this very room, as a matter of fact, I thought.

“I don't have time to talk, and I can't give you any money,” I told her, “but I'll be happy to take a look at your literature if you leave it here.”

Turned out to be an anti-Catholic tirade. Boy, was I ever disappointed.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I'm sorry to hear that door-to-door religion-peddling isn't just an urban problem. Personally, I try to be as polite and as brief
  • Jenn
    Jenn says #
    I was stalked by JWs in my area for several months. We live very rurally, but they get out to us somehow. I handled it similarly t
  • beth steptoe
    beth steptoe says #
    i live deep in the 'bible belt' and they stop by every 8 to 12 months to make sure i'm still here i guess. They are never invited
  • Michele
    Michele says #
    I actually find them kind of creepy. They walk around in pairs, two young men in white shirts and black pants, nametags, and a bla
  • Holli Emore
    Holli Emore says #
    I agree with you, Anne. I took Steven's reference to be about Pagans who like to get into long arguments with, e.g., evangelical C

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Casting Love Spells: A Cautionary Tale

This post also appears at www.tarotbyhilary.com.

 

Once upon a time, a young foolish teenager cast a spell.

She cast a spell at one of the many power sites in the world, where all the elements meet in one place. Air, water, fire, and earth ... where the land meets the ocean. She found a pure white stone, and asked the Gods to bring to her a true love. She was tired of waiting, so she sought out a way to bring him to her. She held the stone in her left hand, and cast the love spell in the way that she was taught to cast it: without envisioning a specific person and without being unduly specific, because magic follows the path of least resistance, and magic often does not work in ways that humans understand or can anticipate. She held the stone firmly, and when she felt ready, she threw the stone out into the ocean, into the crest of a huge wave, and determined that the waves of the oceans constantly coming into shore would eventually bring love into her life.

It took three years and many relationships and coincidences for him to arrive.

How did she know that he was the one she asked the sea to bring to her?

His name means "from the sea."


 

I wrote this little “fairy tale” story back in 2007, when I still was with the person in question whose name meant “from the sea.” Yes, that young foolish teenager that cast the love spell was me, and yes, the story above (though flowery in language) really happened. Why am I writing about it now? That spell taught me very valuable lessons in how spell-casting really works.

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Consent Culture at Coph Nia | High Praise!

b2ap3_thumbnail_header2.jpg

This year I was invited to present my work, Priest of the Goddess at the 2015 Coph Nia festival. To quote their website Coph Nia is, “a 5 day outdoor alternative spirituality festival for gay, bi, queer and questioning men. Held at an interfaith sanctuary in Artemas, PA, Coph Nia is open to long-time practitioners and new seekers of a wide range of spiritual paths including Wicca, Paganism, Heathenry, Druidism, Shamanism, Thelema, Ceremonial Magick and more. Sponsored by the Ordo Aeternus Vovin, an initiatory Thelemic order for gay and bisexual men, Coph Nia features vendors, concerts, rituals, workshops, nightly bonfires, dancing, drumming, chanting, signing and many social events including our annual Masked Ball & Sensual Feast.”

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The Holy, the Wye, and the Rumanian Treasure: Being a Brief (but Deep) Excursion through the Ancestral Mind

In colloquial English we tend to think of holy and sacred as being vaguely synonymous, but to the ancestors they were two distinct, if related, forms of being.

The original meaning of holy—Old English hâlig—emerges when we examine its sister-words deriving from the same Old Germanic root: hale, healthy, whole, hail, wholesome, hallow. Holy denotes an intrinsic state of being characterized by radical completeness in self: wholeness, entirety, unbrokenness.

The first observation to make about sacred, on the other hand, is that it derives from Latin rather than Old English. Possibly Latin sacer replaced Old English wîh (or wêoh) because of the latter's pagan associations. If so, they don't seem to have had this problem on the Continent, where the old Germanic word still survives in the Modern German name for Christmas Eve: Weihnacht, “holy night.” (It's worth noting that modern German-speaking pagans refer to Yule as Weihenacht, an archaic form of the same word.)

But in fact both the Latin and Old English words refer to the same concept. What is sacer or wîh is something that belongs to a god. Hence, to sacrifice (literally, “make sacer”) something is to give it to a god. Sacrilege is the theft of something that belongs to a god: in the eyes of the ancestors, one of the most terrible of crimes.

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