Culture Blogs

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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs
Body of Spiritual Imperialist to Lie in State at US Capitol

Why is the body of unofficial "preacher to the presidents" Billy Graham to lie in honor at the US Capitol?

It's a slap in the face of every non-Christian in America.

Back in the Bad Old Days, when the United States could still pretend to be a Protestant country, Billy Graham had the ear of the White House for decades on end: a battering of separation which, frankly, can only be described as a national disgrace.

This homophobic anti-Semite had one sole agenda: to capture souls for his greedy god.

That the body of such a man should receive one of the highest honors available to any American—last accorded Rosa Parks, one of the preeminent heroes of the struggle for Civil Rights—is utterly reprehensible.

For Graham, to put it baldly, was no hero. Graham was nothing short of a spiritual imperialist.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Caroline Kenner
    Caroline Kenner says #
    Thank you, Steven. Many of our local community members are really angry about this. And why yes, we *are* on the job here in DC
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    P.S. Keep up the Washington witching. Gods know we need it!
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks and a tip of the black pointy hat, Caroline. I've updated the post accordingly. May the finger of shame be pointed at them
  • Caroline Kenner
    Caroline Kenner says #
    This is not "Washington's" fault. This is the fault of our overlords, the GOP. Many Washingtonians are deeply offended for exa

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On the Mechanics of 'Idolatry'

This is a statue, not a river.

This is not the Mississippi. It is a statue of the Mississippi.

Yet, everyone will agree, in some mysterious way, this statue makes the Mississippi present.

The mechanics of just how this making-present occur are, to be sure, a matter of perennial debate among the wise. The question of agency is a particularly interesting one.

But that it actually happens, we can all agree.

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Allosaurus: Be Fierce

One of the best known dinosaurs, Allosaurus is often featured in science fiction movies. Usually a group of hapless scientists go back in prehistory to explore early life. They end up being stalked and eaten by this dinosaur. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle started this particular trope by featuring Allosaurus in his novel, “The Lost World (1912).”

As one of the earliest dinosaurs to be discovered in the American West, Allosaurus was a part of the “Bone Wars” (1877-95) between Othniel C. Marsh and Edward D. Cope. Since the fossils of this dinosaur were readily found, various sets of his bones were regarded as either a new Allosaurus species or were the bones of other dinosaurs. Even today, paleontologists are still sorting out who is an Allosaurus and who is not. The one species that is universally recognized is A. fragilis, because of his many bone fractures.

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Golden Bough

In 2006, Italian anthropologist Augusto Cacopardo went to NW Pakistan to study the Winter Solstice festivities of the Kalasha, the last remaining polytheists of the Hindu Kush.

Of all the Indo-European-speaking peoples, the Kalasha are the only ones whose religion has never been either stamped out, or subsumed into one of the Big Name religions. They are as close as we will ever get to the living paganism of the European ancestors.

After the purifications, the sacrifices, the sacred dances, the torch-race, and the traditional (and well-omened) sexual banter ("Your scrotum is so hairy you could weave a pair of leggings from the wool!"), came the most sacred part of the entire month-long Winter Solstice celebration. Cacopardo was permitted to witness, but not to record, it. He could see, but not hear, what was happening.

This is what he saw. A very old man, the custodian of the ghach, the festival's secret and most sacred prayer, known only to a very few, covered his head and face with his mantle and recited the sacred formula. As he did so, he held in his hand a plant which, in the dark, Cacopardo could not see clearly.

"What's the plant that he's holding?" he asked the man standing next to him.

The man explained that it was zaróri, a very sacred and pure plant that had to be brought from another valley because it did not grow locally. It would also be used, he added, in the holiday's closing ceremony the next day.

At the ritual the following day, Cacopardo managed to get a good look at the zaróri.

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Learning Hunger

Among the many things that I learned from my family, there's one that I didn't.

How to be hungry.

I grew up in a time and place—O rarity of human history—where there was always enough food. So I never learned how to be hungry. I never had to.

Instead, I've had to teach myself.

Sometimes hunger is a matter of necessity: there's just no food. That's involuntary hunger.

But the longer that I walk the Old Ways, the more convinced I become that sometimes—for our own spiritual health—we need to take on voluntary hunger as well.

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American Faerie Story

A man and a woman once moved into a house near a bridge.

A few days later, there was an automobile accident on the bridge.

The next week, there was another.

The week after that, yet another.

Finally, the man climbed down under the bridge.

“Look,” he yelled. “I don't know who you are or why you're doing this, but my wife is a witch, and if you don't stop, she's going to come down here and give you what for.”

Then he climbed back up and went home.

After that, there were no more accidents.

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Tea Magick – Going Within

Tea is as old as plants and water. Humans seem to always have known the valuable properties tea can offer; From alleviating symptoms of the common cold to lowering cholesterol, to stimulating the sex drive… and so much more. Tea has been around for centuries and has been used by many cultures in a variety of ways; including Magick!

I have been a practicing Witch for well over 2 decades. I have been a certified Master Herbalist for well over 15 years, and one thing I feel is missing from the Magickal world is tea. Rarely do you hear about tea being used in ritual and Magick. Of course, we have all heard of the Japanese Tea Ceremony, but this is a limited view of how tea is used in a meaningful way. 

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