Culture Blogs


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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs

Gerhard Hauptmann, The Island of the Great Mother (German Edition: Die Insel der grossen Mutter) (1925)

A boatload of women, but no men, are shipwrecked on a tropical island paradise. Together they create a flourishing women's civilization. One by one, by some mysterious property of the island itself, the women begin to become pregnant. Catch: half the children are girls, half boys. What to do with the boys?

A troubling, insightful, and prophetic novel.

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Is Jesus abusive?

In my post “What I used to miss about Christianity” I mentioned the article How Playing a Good Christian Wife Almost Killed Me by Vyckie Garrison. The reason I mentioned Vyckie Garrison’s article was the parallel she drew between literalist biblical theology and the power & control wheel, a tool used for understanding abuse. For her, Christianity and abuse go hand in hand. Garrison opens her story by saying

 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Brilliant as usual. Thank you. I was on the edge of leaving Christianity in the 1990s because of my abhorrence to substitutionar
  • Ari M. Blunt
    Ari M. Blunt says #
    Thank you for writing this, as well as your previous post. For years, I have tried to put into words my own reasons for leaving C

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Old Worship

The morning after our first Grand Sabbat, a friend approached, a little hesitantly.

“That was you in the horns and the paint up on the altar last night?”

I pause, then smile and nod.

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This question turns up in my inbox regularly. Sometimes when you’re searching for something, and particularly when you’ve been searching for a long time, a part of you wishes someone could just give you the answer so you can move on to the next step. I get it—really, I do. But the truth is the only person who can and should be answering this question for you is you.

One of the coolest things about Wicca, in my opinion, is that it makes you ask the hard questions and decide things for yourself. If you decide to pursue Wicca as your spirituality, you’re embarking on a path that’s not in the mainstream and doesn’t have a centralized leadership, structure, sacred text, or set of teachings. Exploring Wicca means jumping into the deep end without many of the usual societal supports. Nobody can truly tell you how to do it, although helpful people might be able to provide some guidance on the way. I realize that’s very uncomfortable sometimes, but nobody ever said spiritual growth (or any other kind of growth) is comfortable. If we’re too comfortable, we’re not likely to create change.

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Pagan savings challenge, week thirty-nine:  size doesn't matter

Astute readers will note that my stack of saved bills is significantly smaller than in past weeks.  That's because I was changing money at a local business expo, so I couldn't commit my small bills to Poseidon's care.  I've been using smaller bills precisely because the growing pile conveys a visual message of growing wealth, but this week's twenties represent more wealth than last week's singles and twos.  What now?

Readers probably think this is obvious, but there's an important lesson here.  Our senses can mislead us as to value, as to power, as to worth.  The value of a bill is caused by our society collectively imbuing it with that value.  It's much the same as how an object is charged for magical use or sanctified for religious purpose:  the physical substance does not always correlate with what's within.

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Resource Review: Patricia Monaghan's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF GODDESSESS AND HEROINES

My initial entry to the goddess path began with a deep intellectual bent; I soaked up myths and studied archetypes like crazy, waiting until the day when I was ready to talk to goddesses on a more tangible, personal level. Because I’ve always been a bit of a myth junkie, and because I’m a scholar at heart, I jumped at the chance to read the late Patricia Monaghan’s revised and re-released Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines, published by New World Library. The book didn’t disappoint my thirst for information.

This large tome differs from Monaghan’s out of print title The New Book of Goddesses & Heroines in both its structure and its scope. Echoing Merlin Stone’s Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood, the Encyclopedia is arranged by continental region, with sections on Africa, Eastern Mediterranean, Asia and Oceania, Europe, and the Americas. Each section begins with a brief overview of cultural and historical information about the region in question, and as can be imagined, the regional sections are subdivided for clarity (and to offer more specific information about, say the Egyptian tradition within the African context).

In addition to the cultural context, Monaghan provides an extensive bibliography, plus a detailed description of how and why she chose to include the sources she did. Despite acknowledging the cultural limitations, Monaghan opted to draw her information only from works available in English, but the bibliography includes information about translations for the serious goddess scholar to track down on her own.

Chock full of information about both goddesses and heroines (historical female figures, or those with supernatural powers that don’t quite elevate them to goddess status), this is an excellent resource for anyone with an interest in goddess lore and the divine feminine. Scholars and casual browsers will both find something to appeal to them, since, as Monaghan notes in her introduction, the faces of goddesses around the globe are incredibly diverse; they “can appear as young nymphs, self-reliant workers, aged sages. They can be athletes or huntresses, dancers or acrobats, herbalists or midwives. We find goddesses as teachers, inventors, bartenders, potters, surfers, magicians, warriors, and queens. Virtually any social role women have played or are capable of playing appears in a goddess myth.” The vastness of goddesses, and, in truth, women, is represented in this volume, and it’s a resource I’m sure I’ll return to again and again.

Image retrieved from New World Library, http://www.newworldlibrary.com/BooksProducts/ProductDetails/tabid/64/SKU/82171/Default.aspx#

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The Magic of the Labyrinth

I recently began building my own labyrinth in the back yard of our RV long-term parking spot in the mobile home village where we currently live.  It is my way of creating my own sacred space. The photo above shows it now currently under construction.  I am making the construction an act of meditation, as I find an add stones two or three at a  time.  I think when it is complete, it will likely be time to move!

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