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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs
The Left-Hand Lord of Hvalsey: A Tale for Up-Helly-Aa

There was a man in Orkney named Erik Red Hand, generally well-thought-of, though said by some to be over-ruthless.

A dispute arose between this Erik and a man named Ketil Asmundsson over which of them was the rightful owner of the island of Hvalsey.

The dispute went back and forth until finally they reached an agreement. At sunrise on the last day of Yule they would both set sail from Torshavn ("Thor's Harbor") Bay to Hvalsey. Whoever reached the island first would become its rightful lord.

Next morning they set off at the appointed time. It soon became clear that Ketil's ship was the faster of the two and would be first to land.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_hangingcandle1.jpgNot everyone finds it easy to communicate with the gods, and even when we talk to them, they don’t always answer. And that is perhaps for the best. Being too god-touched makes being in the embodied world difficult. Driving for example demands one be present in one’s body. Raven Kaldera describes different ways of being god-ridden, and one involves being “locked in the trunk.” Raven has a human driver to make sure he gets from place to place, and I’m sure that’s a very good thing for other people on the road.

Our ancestors understand the requirements of embodiment. They’ve been there, and while most of them will never have driven a car – it is, after all, a fairly recent invention – they have used sharp tools, and had to get away from danger. And they want us to succeed. An Ancestor practice is one of the best and dare I say, safest, ways for an inexperienced beginning Pagan to connect with the non-embodied world. This is true because our beloved dead care about us in a most personal way.

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'For Frith and Year': The Story of Grandfather Sheaf

Listen well, now, for this is the story of Grandfather Sheaf.

Long ago our people lived on the shores of the Northern Sea, and we knew neither bread nor beer, neither brewing nor baking. We hunted and fished and gathered, as our people had always done, since the time of the Great Ice and before.

One day in spring, with the ice newly broken, a ship came slowly to shore: a long ship, with a high, antlered prow. The strange thing was that this ship was completely empty. But going down to meet it, we saw that indeed the ship was not empty, for in it lay a babe, a man-child asleep and naked, and cradled in a shield, and under his head a barley sheaf.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    It's my understanding that even though Hiawatha is an Iroquois folk hero Longfellow borrowed from an ethnographer who was writing
  • Paul B. Rucker
    Paul B. Rucker says #
    I will definitely keep this image in mind. I have a few others that have been incubating, or will be. Is this story Baltic or Nord
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Germanic all the way: Norse and Old English. The story of Shield (OE Scyld) opens Beowulf, in fact.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I think there is a story in Longfellow's Hiawatha were Hiawatha meets a young man in green feathers who wrestles with him. The yo
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    A religious connection to our food sources sure does pop up in tradition after tradition. Where Longfellow might have got his stor
Dear Neighbor Who Is Leaving Me Chick Tracts

In response to the letter pictured above:

Dear neighbor who is leaving me chick tracts,

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DIGGING QUARTZ CRYSTAL IN ARKANSAS 4 of 6: What To Bring

Last time we talked about when the best time is for digging crystal in Arkansas, and covered a little bit about new tailings versus old tailings, dry weather versus wet. Whichever area and whatever weather, crystal digging is a dirty process. Even when it's not wet, the red clay permanently discolors your clothes. In this post we'll talk about what to bring, what type of clothes to wear and what tools are handy to have.

Wear something old that you don't mind getting stained. It is ideal if you have a pair of coveralls or overalls. When you are ready to pack it in and go home, you can strip off your dirty outer layer and ride home in relatively clean, dry clothes. Of course, there are bathrooms at some (not all) of the mines, so you can change before you go home. I find that I am usually too tired to change my clothes, and my truck is testament to this fact. You might want to put old towels or sheets over your seats if you are persnickety and don't want your vehicle to get all dirty, dusty and stained.

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DIGGING QUARTZ CRYSTAL IN ARKANSAS 3 of 6: When To Go

Last time we discussed a general overview of digging quartz crystal in Arkansas. This week we'll cover when is the best time to dig.

Cool weather is the ideal time to go digging. In Arkansas, the most reliably cool weather occurs in the Spring or Fall. Of course, there are days during the winter that are mild and enjoyable and sometimes you might luck into a cool day in the summer.

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New Moon in Capricorn: Treasure in the Dark Earth

The Sun's transit through fiery, jovial Sagittarius occurs as we are preparing to celebrate the Winter Solstice. Ruled by Jupiter, the Great Benefic, Sagittarius embodies the Jovian qualities of generosity and festivity that are so present during the holidays. We spend too much, eat too much, go out and party too much. It is a time of festivity and merry-making, and all of us are encouraged to join in, sometimes even pressured or ridiculed for not getting into the spirit.

At the Winter Solstice, the Sun moves into Capricorn. Ruled by Saturn, Capricorn is the contraction that happens after the rapid expansion of Sagittarius Once the merry-making of the holiday season winds down, after the elation of the Solstice and New Years, Capricorn can feel like a return to grim reality. During Sagittarius we charge things up on the credit card, we overindulge in food and drinks. During Capricorn, the bills come due, we might have to tighten our belts to accommodate the holiday's excess, we start diets to get rid of the weight we gained.

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