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
Of Salmon and Arm-Rings

Every word's a story.

Anyone who has ever tried to plow through Beowulf in the original Old English knows the word béag: “ring, circle.” It seems to occur on practically every page, so important was it to Anglo-Saxon culture.

The béag was the most important form of jewelry: not so much a ring for the finger, as an arm-ring, a neck-ring, a torc, a crown. Conferring wealth and status, it was also a basic form of currency. One's lord was preeminently a béag-gifa, a “ring-giver”: the lord as generous giver of gifts to his dright. Think of the Horned Drighten, his antlers hung with neck-rings.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I love the way that ancestral foods connect us to...well, the ancestors. The land. the sea. And they've all got their own stories.
  • susan
    susan says #
    I read this with some interest being of Swedish ancestry. Gravlax is a prepared salmon often found on a smorasborg. While entertai

Recently I've been feeling pretty low in terms of vitality. I'm not sick. I'm not depressed. I honestly thought I was just taking a bit of a break. Since I began my more public career, I've had folks telling me to slow down and rest more, and like a typical Sun sign Taurus, when in motion, I tend to stay in motion, and when I took some time out to rest, I feel like I'm now stuck in rest mode. Though rest for me, I realize, is still pretty busy compared to most people I know. The main difference for me is that I don't feel enthusiastically “on fire” about any of my current projects. I keep up with administration, but that spark wasn't there. I think I'm roughly paraphrasing the amazing author Nema as she teaches “the condition of the priesthood is to be aflame with love.” I often feel that love, that connection, that enthusiasm for all of my vocation like a fire and the fire's been dim. 

I got a message from a trusted source that made it clear it was time to kick my ass a bit and get into gear, so I am. I've been tackling exercise, diet and various health supplements and it triggered a teaching from one of my old crystal healing and reiki instructors, overlaid with what I now know about alchemy. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Three Witches

I was catching up with two old friends after the big Beltane.

X was talking. Her husband this, her daughter that. Family, family, blah blah blah.

Gods, I thought, X has really turned into a family bore.

Then it was Y's turn. Her dog this, canine rescue that. Dogs, dogs, blah blah blah.

Gods, I thought, Y has really turned into a dog bore.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    "And you...and you...and you were there!"
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    I can see it. I can hear it. It's like I was there. xo
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    I can see this, I can hear it, it's like I'm there.
GENERATOR or MERLIN CRYSTAL - For Precise, Direct, Focused Energy

Today we'll be discussing Generator crystals. This is a configuration which falls under the categories of shape and terminations. Generator crystals are also sometimes called Merlin crystals.

Generator crystals have six equally sized faces and a centrally located tip. It is very unusual to find such a precise configuration. You may find a point with the energetic qualities of a Generator, but the physical description may not be textbook perfect (the tip may be centrally located but all the faces may not be equally sized and each might not reach the tip). We discussed in an earlier blog post that crystals are commonly polished into Generator points. Remember the energy might not be as focused as a naturally occurring Generator because the internal structure is different. Here are some Generator crystals with equally sized faces which each reach the termination:

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It's been a long time since I've gotten swept up in ritual planning. A really long time. Usually by the time my turn comes around to Priestess for my Dianic Coven, I'm like, 'Iron Pentacle, it is!'. When I was on vacation, I finally got to read The Red Goddess which Gordon told me to read like a year and a half ago but. . . listen.  You know me by now, right?  I'm very easily distrac--

Anyway.  As usual, Gordon was annoyingly right as he generally is (but I'm still holding onto reality television with my claws for the moment) and it's not like any other magic book I've read (which is a huge plus because I like maybe ten books total).  It's just full of beauty and glamour.  It's not a direct "how to" in terms of tips 'n tricks that some of you still stubbornly cling to, but it is a "how to" insofar as if you can't use it to open your heart, soul and junk to beauty and being present in physical experience, then . . .you're not there yet and that's okay too.  I really liked that Peter expresses that there needs to be a place for the mythic past that never was.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Natasha Kostich
    Natasha Kostich says #
    Thank you for this luscious post!! Wonderful ritual ideas!! I have also felt very drawn to Her story! If you haven't already read

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Spilling Seed

Well gentlemen, it's that time of year again: time to spill that seed on the ground.

Call it a religious obligation. Good old paganism.

Making love in the fields at the sowing to make the crops grow has probably been around for as long as we've been agricultural animals. It's sympathetic magic of the most basic kind, no explanation needed. I sure do hope that there are places in the world where they still do it. According to folklorist Vance Randolph, they did in the Ozarks during the 1950s.

I'm reminded of a scene from the jaw-dropping BBC series Rome. The newly-ennobled Senator Lucius Vorenus has acquired a new country property. To take official legal possession, he and his wife process out to a newly-plowed field along with a priest and their tenant farmers. After the priest makes offerings, Vorenus and Niobe go out into the field. She lays down, and he lays on top of her.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Lurker on the Threshold

Thresholds—doorsteps—are sacred. Neither inside nor out, both inside and out, the threshold is, like all other betwixt-and-between places (and times), a major locus of sanctity in any building.

In Old Craft lore, the Horned, preeminently god of the In-Between, is said to be seated on every threshold. Every passage through that doorway is (or at least has the potential to be) thereby a rite, an encounter with a god.

For this reason, they say, it's best not to tread directly onto a threshold; one should step over it instead. (It's old woodsman's lore never to step on anything you can step over.)

This is really a pretty subversive idea. Every building contains within its very fabric a place inherently sacred to Old Hornie: your house, the supermarket, the mall. Every building makes a place for Him. So there's a place sacred to the god of the witches in every synagogue, church, and mosque on the planet. Now that is subversive.

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