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
Why Are You Pagan?

I'll be speaking to the local Theosophists this coming January on Why I Am a Pagan.

So let me ask: why are you pagan?

Why are so many of us pagans?

You might think that in the Marketplace of Religions the paganisms lost out long ago.

Yet today, world Pagandom is estimated to number somewhere between 7 and 10 million people.

That's a lot of pagans.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lisa Jean Fleming Philpot
    Lisa Jean Fleming Philpot says #
    Why am I pagan? Because as a child in a world where woman are (even in this day) told to sit down shut up and just listen while "t
  • Lisa Jean Fleming Philpot
    Lisa Jean Fleming Philpot says #
    take the you out of "church service you up leaves"... i hate being dyslexic
  • Kile Martz
    Kile Martz says #
    I am currently pondering my attraction to pagan beliefs with intensity. Why is it making sense to me at this point in my life? Fo
Water Ones: Moving through fluid realms, with intuition

About five hundred million years ago, fish were the first vertebrates to appear on earth. Since that time, they have evolved into one of the most diverse and successful of animal groups. The "lobe-finned" fish, such as the lungfish, can live for brief periods on land. Sharks and rays have no bones, only cartilage, while the bony fish range from sturgeon to trout to seahorses. Eels, the snakes of the water, can slip in and out of small spaces.

The other animals, who live in water, are the anemones, cephalopods, clams, crustaceans, echinoderms (starfish), and jellyfish. Crustaceans live in freshwater, deep oceans, and tidal pools. Their claws and hard shells serve to protect them from predators. The cephalopods, with their tentacles, are known for their inky defenses. Jellyfish float from North Pole to South Pole, seeking food. Anemones have tentacles traps to prey on unsuspecting shrimp. Clams will quickly burrow in the tidal flats with their tube feet. Sea cucumbers put out sticky tentacles to catch food particles that drift by.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Thinking in Circles

Thinking in circles.

Imagine: some people think that's a bad thing.

6000 years ago, the Mother Language had a word: *serk-. It meant “make restitution, compensate.”

It also meant “make a circle, complete.”

Restitution is an important cultural value. When you screw up, you need to make up for it. People are going to hurt one another, and restitution helps heal the wound.

So what does restitution have to do with circles?

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember an article in Science News that said reciprocity is the basis for all moral and economic activities.
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    And what goes around comes around, also a circle. Do unto others, as the saying goes, (And be sure it is what you would like done

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
How Witches Think

Witches don't need to meditate, do yoga, or practice mindfulness.

Witches are already mindful.

Witches pay attention.

Witches notice.

Witches watch.

Witches listen.

Witches consider.

Witches remember.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Red Ocher People

They say it's Earth's moon-blood, from which we're all born.

We've been painting ourselves and our dead with it since before we were sapiens.

Red ocher.

FeO2: iron oxide. Hematite (from Greek hêma, “blood”). It's found practically everywhere, and practically everywhere our people make use of it for purposes both religious and practical.

Rubbed on the skin, it acts as sunscreen, and keeps off bugs.

Sprinkled on the dead, it hastens rebirth.

We used to joke that if we were a Wiccan tradition, it would have to be Cro-Magnon Wicca. Really, once you start using red ocher in ritual, you'll never stop. There's nothing, nothing, nothing more authentic.

Here in the Upper Midwest, we've been using it since the end of the last Ice Age. (Before that, there were no people here, only ice.) There's even an archaeological horizon known as the Red Ocher People.

Be warned: this stuff is pretty damn close to permanent. Some years ago, I was privileged to see the original Willendorf Mother at an exhibit of Ice Age art. Even at 40,000 years, you could still see the red ocher in her hair.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I've read a little about the red ocher people in Northern Europe, apparently they were very similar to the red paint people in New
Church Decides to Return Sacred Boulder to Lakota

In traditional Lakota lore, it is well-known that powerful spirit beings—what some contemporary pagans would call wights—reside in certain large stones.

One such sacred stone—called in Lakota Eyá Shau, “Red Rock”—is located in the town of Newport, about 10 miles south of the city of “St.” Paul, on the grounds of the Newport United Methodist Church.

And thereby hangs a tale.

Red Rock is a granite glacial erratic boulder measuring about 2 x 3 feet, weighing roughly a ton. In this sedimentary landscape of sandstone and limestone, its unusual composition marks it out as mysterious and powerful.

For centuries, traveling Lakota would stop at Red Rock, then located near the banks of the Mississippi, to make offerings and pray; the rock was named for the custom of ruddling the rock with red ocher.

In time-honored Christian tradition, Methodist missionary to the Lakota Benjamin Kavanaugh set up shop beside the Red Rock in 1839. (Religions come and go, but holy places tend to stay the same.) The town that grew up around this mission—later renamed Newport—was in fact originally called Red Rock. In later years, the church that Kavanaugh had founded changed location several times. Interestingly, with each subsequent relocation, they took Red Rock along with them.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Fairy Folks Are in Old Oaks

It's well-known in Iceland that elves make their homes in certain boulders.

Some years ago, a certain farmer near Reykjavik resolved to blow up a particular boulder in order to make room for a new henhouse. With this in mind, he went out and bought some dynamite.

From that day, his hens began to lay fewer and fewer eggs.

Every day there were fewer eggs, until finally there were none.

The farmer called in the vet. The vet examined the chickens. The chickens were in fine health; nothing was wrong with their feed. There was no organic reason why the hens should not be laying.

The farmer decided not to blow up the boulder after all. He gave the dynamite away.

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