Culture Blogs


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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs

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Them Summer Days, Those Summer Days

Summertime is a strange, liminal time. 

I've never really had a “regular” summer schedule (whatever “regular” means.)  As a child and adolescent my life, like the life of most others, was determined by the start and stop of the school year.  I took summer classes in college, and after graduation and marriage I moved to a college town.  Those of you who live in similar cities know that the university schedule often determines whether or not the Locals dare to venture downtown, go to parks, drink at bars, or eat at the popular cafes.  (Because of crowds of annoying freshman or big-headed seniors, certain parts of my town are pretty much off-limits during certain times of the year.)  For a long time I worked on a college campus, and I'd spend the time from May to August sitting back, reading dozens of novels, and drinking delicious, blended beverages.  Then I went to graduate school, and after I graduated my first summer of unemployment extended into an autumn of unemployment, a winter, a spring, and now another summer of the same.

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PHANTOMS, CONTINUED: Gas Phantoms and Reverse Phantoms

Last week we talked about how Phantoms are formed in Quartz crystals . This week we are going to discuss two variations of Phantoms found in Arkansas. These are: 1. Gas Phantoms and 2. Reverse Phantoms (also called Overcoat Quartz and Snow Quartz). We'll start with Gas Phantoms.

GAS PHANTOMS

Initially, I was introduced to these beautiful crystals as "Titanium Gas Phantoms". There is a lot of controversy as to what creates them and if titanium is even involved. I choose to call them simply Gas Phantoms. The mine where they were found in Arkansas is now closed, and, as far as I know, they don't plan to re-open it.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Yesterday Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party dropped the writ to announce the beginning of an eleven-week election campaign.  It will be one of the longest campaigns in Canadian history.  Without getting into a very long litany of what I believe to be the sins of the Canadian federal Conservative Party, I will say that for the first time in my life, I am working as a volunteer in a political campaign.  I have given my support to the party most likely to defeat the Conservative party in my riding.  I have volunteered to cold-call people on the phone; something I have to work up considerable courage to do.  I have volunteered to write press releases.  I have folded little paper fans as promotional materials.  I am doing this because I am angry and because I believe that supporting the party I've chosen to is our best chance for change.

In the meantime, I have also pleaded with Athena for the victory of my chosen party, and I am lending my magickal skills to the task.

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Hearken to the Witches' Runes

We can be virtually certain that the Hwicce, the Anglo-Saxon tribe said (by some) to have given its name and lore to historic witchcraft, knew and used the runes.

They, of course, would have named them in the Mercian dialect of Old English, the language that they spoke every day. It is worth asking what those names might have become had the runes remained in continuous use into our day.

Certainly they would have modernized along with the rest of the language; many of the Anglo-Saxon rune-names have remained part of the living language and are entirely recognizable today. We would expect the names to have retained a certain amount of archaic vocabulary, and also to reflect a certain degree of semantic and phonetic “drift” as well: i.e. to include words whose meanings have changed over the centuries, and whose pronunciations no longer reflect those of Old English.

Since some of my family come from the old Hwiccan tribal territories, I figure I have as much right to the runes as anybody. My entirely personal decision to base this version on the Elder, rather than the Anglo-Saxon, furthorc may offend some rune purists. Oh, well. In my experience (I wrestle with it myself), purism is usually its own punishment.

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30 Days of Frey: Sacrifice

noun

An act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to God or to a divine or supernatural figure: they offer sacrifices to the spirits the ancient laws of animal sacrifice

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Renouncing Baptism

 “In Latgalia [a region of Latvia] they say, 'Oh, as soon as the missionaries left, we all just jumped in the river and washed it off, anyway.'” (Sean McLaughlin)

It's the first of the traditional Three Questions asked by the Horned at an initiation (and later repeated during the Renewal of Vows):

Do you renounce the waters of baptism?

Old Craft initiations are very different from Wiccan ones. They're not secret at all. Those who wish to take the Oath must first know the Oath. How can you swear to something that you haven't had the chance to think through thoroughly? You need to know what you're letting yourself in for. One cannot join the Tribe of Witches all unwitting.

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The Teachings of the Lion (for Cecil)

Known as the King of the Jungle, Lion actually lives on the open African grasslands. Originally, He ranged from the Mediterranean Sea to Asia and south to Africa. Hunted by Romans for their Games, Lion first disappeared from Europe and Asia Minor. As Lion hunting increased, his range shrank to where now Lion lives only in Africa.

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