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
Lighting the Way

My daughter and I love watching BBC / PBS shows.  Victoria is the most recent one we are watching.  As I watched how people lived in the 1800s, I considered what it would be like to only have my life lighted by candles and sunlight.  It would certainly make the dark part of the year different.

By 4:00 or so at night, flickering candlelight would be my only illumination.  This reduces my scope of environment drastically.  Right now, if it’s dark I flip a switch and illumination of my surroundings occurs.  But what if I only had dripping smelly candles to light my way?  What would it feel like to be surrounded by darkness?  Would fear well?  Would loneliness envelop? 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ann Edwards
    Ann Edwards says #
    I think what the writer is doing is imagining her own modern and urban life - candle lit. I live on a remote farm at 1,000 feet in
  • Eileen Troemel
    Eileen Troemel says #
    The rural life is never as ideal as it can be made out to be. I grew up on a farm and remember the difficulties year round. Wint

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Candlemas Carol

At first glance, Steve Ashley's Candlemas Carol might seem something of a downer.

Don't be fooled.

On Candlemas beware, old man,

the wind, gale, and the storm;

and if you think that Winter's dead,

it's barely being born.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

The new film Hidden Figures tells the story of three black women (among many) who helped to save the American Space Program.  In segregated Virginia, these women battled both racism and misogyny, deftly fended off micro- and macro-aggressions against both race and sex, and figured out the very mathematics necessary to launch Americans into orbit and bring them back safely.  Ultimately, their work helped to win the Cold War.

Source: Educationworld.com

Their stories have been largely untold until now.  Their lives were mostly unknown by the general population.  Sadly, despite their incalculable service to their country, despite the fact that they fought against all odds and proved their value and their capabilities, the same fights are still being waged.  Racism is alive and well; misogyny is on its way to taking power in the White House.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Her Hidden Children

If some Da'ish thug put a gun to your temple and hissed in your ear, Convert or die: what would you do?

Pagans have faced this choice ever since non-pagan religions gained political power. In our own day, alas, some pagans still face this hideous choice.

Which is better, to be true and die, or to hide and live?

The martyrs get all the hero-tales, it's true.

And indeed, I praise the sacrifice of those who kept (and keep) faith at the cost of their lives.

But ever, they say, the Craft must survive.

So I also praise the sacrifice of those who wrap themselves in the cloak of the conqueror, but keep the Old Ways in secret.

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  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    This is wonderful! So important to remember. I'm gonna link it to Macha's FB page.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A lot can happen in a year!

Since the last time I posted here almost a year ago, I had mentioned I was going through a metamorphosis. I did a lot of soul-searching and reflection on it over several weeks, and I made the move. Before I do anything else, I need to extend a great deal of gratitude to everyone who's helped and supported me, especially my husband. Everyone needs a rock to lean on, and I'm very lucky to have one. Because of so many people being there for me, I've crawled my way out of the swampy water, shed my old skin and have spread my wings. Ain't they purty? Allow me to tell you all about their iridescent facets!

It was around the same time last year when I left the agency I began my real estate career four years earlier. The one I chose was a much larger one yet still a local independent - from three people (including myself) in my old office to nearly 500! It was a frightening experience for sure, but the change paid off in more ways than one. Not only did all of the landlords I regularly worked with follow me over, which I am still touched by that, but I gained quite a few new clients throughout the year! Since then, I had also earned my broker license, which I know is something that would not have happened if I stayed where I was. And, because I have that, I now have many more opportunities available to me, such as rental property management and sales. My managing broker feels I would be a natural at property management, and for the right client, I would cheerfully offer that service!

b2ap3_thumbnail_sookeh-real-estate.jpg
This was one of my doodles while I was studying. I tend to remember things not only by writing them down, but also by matching stuff to pop culture references.

Money-wise, yes, I closed the books on 2016, and I earned more money with Kale Realty than I did with my past brokerage, and I earned that only with commissions. At the other place, I was also their office manager, so a good portion of what I earned was income for administrative work. Now, the only stuff like that I do is for myself, and it's a lot more fun! One of the reasons I chose these guys is because they truly allow me to be independent - so I was able to design my own business cards, door hangers, signs, banners and holiday cards (which those, I was able to design them for my friends and family and not just for clients and prospects - I mailed hundreds!). Creating a sign for my retail storefronts - that was a huge achievement for me - the first time I officially got to use my broker license over being a leasing agent.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Kale-Sign-Me.jpg

[Putting on my Realtor hat] This vintage Logan Square corner storefront rental with commercial zoning has tin ceilings, exposed brick and a full basement! Priced right!

In 2016, I passed quite a few checkpoints and crossed off bucket list items, all thanks to that big change! One of the first things that happened was I won a set of tickets from the office to the White Sox opening game. Oh, and these weren't bleacher seats, either. We were right behind home plate, and the tickets also came with premium parking and access to the VIP area - fancy bar, restaurant with carving station and fancy bathrooms! What, you don't believe me? Well let me show you!

b2ap3_thumbnail_sox-2016.jpg

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
What is the Symbol of Earth?

In Baltic lore, each of the Old Gods has his or her own sign.

For the Sun, it's the Sun Wheel. For the Moon, the Crescent.

Fire is the Fire Cross, the swastika, Thunder, the Thunder Cross, or compound swastika.

The Winds, since there are four of them, have the Cross, Heaven the Mountain. (How else would you draw a picture of the sky?)

But what about Earth?

My teacher, Tony Kelly, of the Pagan Movement in Britain and Ireland, used to say, “If we know anything at all about Earth, we know that she's Mother.”

At the time, as a good, doctrinaire second wave feminist, I found this statement reductionist and objectionable.

Since then, I've changed my mind.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I'm no historian of feminism and certainly can't speak for second wave feminism generally, but (in effect) yes. The feeling was th
  • Taffy Dugan
    Taffy Dugan says #
    Why would thinking of the Earth as a Mother be reductionist and objectionable? Was the 2nd wave of feminism putting down mothers?

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Do Gods Have Halos?

It's something of a problem in contemporary pagan iconography.

Do gods have halos?

Halo: a disk of light surrounding the head, in art the conventional indicator of holiness. (In Greek, halo means “threshing floor”; threshing floors were clean, shining disks of ground.)

To Western eyes, halos may have something of a Christian look to them. For some, that's a problem.

But look East and you'll see that buddhas wear halos too, and so do Hindu gods.

In fact, there was a time when use of the halo was forbidden to Christian artists. Sorry, Crispus, halos are for pagans.

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