Culture Blogs


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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
Cabalistic Cross, Corrected

Now, I'm neither a Cabalist nor a Ceremonial Magician, but I do speak Hebrew, and I can tell you this much: the Cabalistic Cross, as it has come down from the Golden Dawn, was clearly put together by someone with only the most superficial knowledge of the language. In fact, it's just plain wrong.

Ateh Malkuth ve-Geburah ve-Gedulah, le-Olahm. Amen.

This is supposed to mean (it's the tag-line of the "Our Father" prayer): "For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, forever. Amen."

But it doesn't.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
We Are Charleston

Often it is painful for me to attend a ceremony in a Christian church. I don't feel safe most of the time and rarely feel included. Certainly there are some notable exceptions to this, but it is too often true. Today at noon, at the AME church in downtown Asheville, there was a service to honor the people who were killed at "Mother" Emanuel AME in Charleston.

I told myself this morning that my attendance--my considered presence--at the noon service was something I needed and representing them was something my community needed. So I sat with an extraordinary group of colleagues in the choir pews at St James AME, Episcopalians, UUs, Baptists. And I looked out over the anguished faces of friends who had brought their grief and fear to this service, to sit with others in the pain and wonder of what had happened.

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Summer Solstice-Yoga-Kirtan Party


Summer Solstice is traditionally one of the most festive of the Pagan/Wiccan Sabbats of the year. What better way to celebrate than with some Sun Salutations and joyous chants? Depending on whether you have your most energy at sunrise or sunset, plan your party according to your own natural rhythm. Invite your fitness-buff friends. Have everyone bring a yoga mat, lounge-worthy apparel and a healthy snack to share. Lead them through a series of easy postures, including Prayer Pose and Raised Arm Pose. There are some good ideas and tips courtesy of
http://www.artofliving.org/yoga/health-and-wellness/sun-salutation-for-beginners

If you are able to do these outside in your backyard, all the better. If nothing else, open all the windows and let the sunshine in. Be sure to keep you and your guests hydrated with some Sun Tea. If having a morning party, prepare the tea the day before. If holding at sunset, you can start your tea the day of! And the recipe is:

(Adapted from Chef Garlic, food.com)
Serves 16
4 family-size tea bags (I know some people prefer one brand over the other, so you can decide which you prefer)
1 1⁄4 cups sugar or sugar substitute to taste
water, to fill container
lemon wedge, for garnish
1 gallon container or jug, with a screw on lid.
     About 9 a.m., fill your pitcher with the water, and tea bags.
(The reason for the screw on top, is so that ants don't get to the tea.) Let the tea sit in the sun for most of the day, a prime full sun location is best. In the summer, the heat from outside can be enough to dissolve the sugar later.
     When done heating, combine the sugar, tea, and more water to make one gallon.
     Serve with thick 1 1/2" wedges of lemon. It usually takes 4-6 hours of being in the sun in order to steep. You can eyeball the tea and bring it in, after the tea looks dark enough.
     Since the tea is best served cold, put it in the fridge right away. It does not last as long as boiled tea for some reason, and I usually leave the tea bags in the jug until the tea is gone. Then, I take the tea bags and sprinkle them in my flower garden, or over my roses.

A rousingly energetic series of Kirtan chants can be shared on the wah! Loops N Grooves recording. A sampling of this inspiring music can be found at http://www.wahmusic.com/music_loopsngrooves.php

Typically Kirtan is a call/response effort, but with this recording you could sing along, dance, or do whatever moves you. When everyone has reached a sufficient state of bliss, sit down and feast! Blessed be and namaste.

For a list of common Kirtan chant lyrics that you could print out copies of:
http://www.kirtancommunity.com/html/kirtan_chant_lyrics.html
For more info about Kirtan:
http://newworldkirtan.com/what-is-kirtan/
Photo by ponsuwan at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net



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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Pouring to Thunder

Yikes! Pagan Spirit Gathering 2015 canceled in mid-run due to flooding and rainstorms past and predicted.

What's a pagan response? On the immemorial principle of do ut des, a gift for a gift, perhaps we need to begin our outdoor gatherings with an offering to the god concerned.

Well, you know gods. The answer may still be “no.”

But it never hurts to ask.

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It must be done carefully, delicately.  Too much and you'll tip your hand that you're an imposer.  Too little and you are clearly just a poseur.  There are always places that are forbidden to you - the velvet rope, the back room, the after party, the inner circle.

And I say f**k that.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Wicked Witching

So, one day the Interfaith Council asks the witch the deliver the opening prayer.

(By the way, this actually happened. My long-time friend and colleague Macha Nightmare has been active in Interfaith for years.)

She stands up.

“Witches dance to pray,” she says. “So I'm going to teach you one of our oldest, most sacred dances. It's called the Spiral Dance.”

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I should add that after the Never-ending Spiral Dance of Death, I heard at least one suggestion that the SD actually dates from th
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Och, the tales of Spiral Dances Gone Bad. The broken legs, the sprains, the dislocated shoulders, the spiral that broke in the mid
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Good for Macha. Just wondering. How many people does it take to do a spiral dance? More than 2, certainly. More than 10 perhap
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    I would say the optimal number, for me, would be 15-40, at least in terms of intimacy. Small coven ones with eight or nine can wo

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Other Great Hinge

 

 I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.
A Midsummer Night's Dream, 2. 1

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Thank you for this. Love the photos, too. And now, if you'll excuse me, I must go seek some dewdrops here And hang a pearl in eve
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Of course you must.

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