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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs
The Three of Swords, Readings, and a Ritual for Release: A True Story

Last weekend I was in New York City giving readings at a two-day private party.  I gave readings from 11 am to 6 pm. Then, at 7, I was scheduled to lead a ritual of gratitude, manifestation and release for a group of twenty women, many of whom had sat with me for a reading during the day.

No matter how much planning I put into ritual, I find that the people and the spirit present at the moment will always co-create the ceremony. Never had this been more true than on Saturday evening.

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Between the Stones

The boy froze when he saw the god.

Behind him in the woods, the rite had already begun. The path up from the circle wound through the trees. That's why he didn't see him until he was nearly upon him.

There, seated on the ground between the two tall stones that mark the head of the path.

Waiting. Watching.

His antlers seemed to touch the trees.

Brown eyes meet green.

The boy wanted to turn and run. He also wanted to stroke the velvet of that muzzle.

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Sturgeon: Be Responsible

Sturgeon are ancient fish who swam in the waters when the dinosaurs first emerged on the earth. Today, these living fossils are considered to be the most primitive of the bony fish. Sturgeon belongs to the Acipenseridae family which has twenty-seven species. Native to the lakes, rivers, and coastlines of Eurasia and North America, these giant fish resemble armored torpedoes. Their distinctive bony plates (hard scutes) stud their back and sides.

One thing that Sturgeons are well-known for are their dramatic leaping out of the water. In his poem, The Song of Hiawatha, Longfellow described this – “saw the sturgeon, Nahma leaping, scattering drops like beads of wampum.” As the largest fish in freshwater, a massive Sturgeon can kill or break the bones of unwary boaters. As to why They leap, nobody knows. Theories range from communicating in their group to Sturgeon simply enjoying doing it.

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Thunder in the Tall Grass: Full Moon in August

When the Sun transits into Leo, the Summer is at its fullest, the Sun returns to its sovereign sign, the lush abundance of the Summer's growth is at its peak. But the Summer is past its tipping point: the Oak bows to the Holly, the Stallion bows to the Boar. The transition is subtle but distinct: the Oak King and his powers of expansion, of movement forward, of exploration, have given way to the Holly King, older, wiser, more cagey,with his powers of protection, of preservation, and of steadfastness.

Under the Full Moon of August—a hot rosy-colored moon, a hot wind riffles through the tall grass and there's thunder in the distance—the Leo Sun dances with the Moon in Aquarius, tempering the intensity of Leo’s expressiveness and passion, with a wider perspective. Sun in Leo is eminently powerful, and imbues us all with the leonine qualities of confidence, creativity and playfulness. We feel ourselves to be sovereign in our lives, our work and our art flourishes because our connection to source is open and we are empowered to receive. This power within ourselves is available as long as we allow ourselves access, we need to believe we are worthy, we need to believe in our contribution and our talent. But Aquarius further empowers to see that our passions and our actions do more than entertain and enrich us. The appropriate role of any conscious soul at this time is to bring our talents and our contributions out of our studios, out of our homes, and offer them up for the benefit of others. The Aquarius moon reminds us that our talents and dreams might be incredibly personal and vulnerable, but they also transcend our small personal lives to touch others, to have an impact on the world we share.

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Were Wiccans Originally "Wakers of the Dead"?

Well, didn't see that one coming.

According to philologist Calvert Watkins, the word Wicca is actually related to wake.

And Wiccans were originally necromancers, “wakers of the dead.”

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I am a hard polytheist. I believe "the gods" are really real, that They are discarnate beings with whom we can interact. They may be fractured pieces of one extraordinary energy form and so may we. That knowledge is unimportant to me so we needn't argue about it.

If you believe something other than that, that's cool with me. Ah, let me add the tiny caveat---that's cool with me... as long as you are not all up in my face telling me how to be a polytheist.

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Can a Pagan Woman, in Good Conscience, Go to Uluru?

Uluru: the Great Red Rock, Australia's most iconic holy place.

Held sacred by local First Nations peoples, it is considered by them to be a men's shrine, and hence forbidden to women.

So, can a pagan woman, in good conscience, go there?

Well, different peoples, different ways. I can't rightly expect you to act in accordance with my people's ways, nor you me.

Still, it's always best practice to be respectful of other people's stuff, especially their religious stuff. In the old Witch language, there are two words for "peace." Frith is peace within a community. Grith is peace between communities, and maintaining grith is a cultural value of great (although not overriding) importance.

And when it comes to religious rules, peoples vary. So what to do when your people do things one way, and mine another?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    Frith and grith come from Old Norse, not some "old witch language."
  • Anne Forrester
    Anne Forrester says #
    The response of Bekah Evie Bel did not strike me as extreme at all, but very respectful. This is obviously a topic that needs car
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks for the link, Anne; it's a thoughtful piece, well worth the read. The conversation about the proper relation between "immig
  • Bekah Evie Bel
    Bekah Evie Bel says #
    If that was my conclusion then I have to agree, it would indeed be extreme and absurd. It wasn't my intent to give that conclusio
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks for the clarification, Bekah; as I spent more time thinking about your post, it became clear to me that I had far overgener

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