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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Primal Fire

There's no true religion without fire.”

Robert Cochrane

 

A horn calls: the Voice of Thunder, speaking the Primal Word.

 

A young man runs in, bare-chested. He's carrying a torch. The flame streams behind him as he runs, like the tail of a comet.

He rings the clearing once, then darts to the center and lights the laid and willing wood.

And so we begin.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Watchtowers

Q: What's the difference between a Jehovah's Witness and a Wiccan?

A: Three Watchtowers.

These days witches' circles are often cast complete with invocations to the guardians of the Watchtowers, one in each cardinal direction.

According to researcher John Michael Greer, the Watchtowers most likely entered the Craft from the Golden Dawn, which in turn derived them from John Dee's Enochian magic. During the original Enochian workings, during the 1580s, scryer Edward Kelly had a vision of four great towers at the quarters of the earth, the seats of guardian archangels (Greer 581).

Down the years, the Watchtowers and their guardians have acquired a deal of lore, little of which has anything to do with the original metaphor. But rising above the amassed archangels, elements, and Enochian tablets stands a simple, clear image: an image with implications.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Piper
    Piper says #
    Well, maybe the bible, but I share 2 lodges (Blue and SRICF or SRIA)with these three guys: Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers Willia
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I thought the watchtowers thing was taken from the freemasons, and that the masons in turn got it from the Bible. I can never rem
Facilitating an Effective Feedback Session: Part 2

 

This is part of a longer series on feedback. The links to the previous posts are at the bottom.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Rick
    Rick says #
    This is great stuff - almost straight out of management textbooks. However many times we have a different issue - that being if y
  • Shauna Aura Knight
    Shauna Aura Knight says #
    Indeed; I have a background doing graphic design and user experience design as a consultant, and this particular feedback method i
  • Rick
    Rick says #
    True many won't bother, particularly if they didn't enjoy the experience, but the ritualists are there to serve the participants,
Facilitating an Effective Feedback Session: Part 3

 

This is part of a longer series on feedback. The links to the previous posts are at the bottom.

Hearing Feedback

There can sometimes be an emotional difference between getting feedback from an event participant directly, or via email, and getting feedback sitting in a group of your peers and mentors. Whether you're getting feedback on an event, on ritual facilitation, on your volunteering work or on teaching a class, hearing feedback can sometimes be difficult. I try to be very sensitive when offering feedback, particularly to new volunteers and ritualists. By far, the most common feedback I offer to facilitators is, "I had a hard time hearing you." That's a good, concrete feedback that they can work with, and I can help them to learn to project.

I'm not going to give a new facilitator deeply nuanced or nitpicky feedback about their engagement of the group, their body language, or their word choices in facilitating a trance journey. Of course a new facilitator will have nervous body language, of course they will stumble over some words, of course they'll have a harder time making eye contact, and a dozen other rookie mistakes. I'm going to bring those up slowly over time as the facilitator gains the confidence to know that they can do this. Some of those mistakes will shake out naturally as the facilitator learns and gains confidence.

There are times when I may have to offer specific feedback on something like chanting, drumming, or trancing. Sometimes someone will be so eager to step in as a ritual drummer, and then it becomes clear during the ritual that they have no sense of pacing their drumming to the energy of the group--they are used to setting the pace. Some people want to lead the chant, and they have difficulty keeping the chant's rhythm, or they forget the words, or they are singing off key. Or someone steps into leading trancework and they are so quiet, so tentative, that they aren't audible at all. Or they're talking too fast, or their voice isn't pitched low and rhythmic for trancework, which makes it hard for the group to get into a trance state.

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Pagan Events, Trash, and Environmentalism Part 2

 

 

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Riding the Rainbow with the Sacred Feminine

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b2ap3_thumbnail_twitterphoto.jpgFull Moons always set the stage for the next couple of weeks, and in upcoming Full Moon chart (June 2, 12:20 PM ET) Mercury, the planet of the Trickster God, rules from a throne sitting right at the top of the chart cast for Washington DC (predictive for the entire US) Yes, Mercury is retrograde, too, making the Trickster even trickier to handle, bringing out his sense of slapstick humor (we don’t always find it funny) and offering us some clever puzzles to work on in the first half of June.

Looking Within

The first puzzle that we are presented with is the enigma of ego. As individual nodes of creative life force currently functioning from the home base of a body, we develop an ego as part of the maturation process. We identify with something we call me, myself or I. It’s a necessary and — if properly nurtured and balanced — healthy part of the human psyche. But many religions and spiritual philosophies tell us to renounce, or at least keep a tight rein on our egos — and their definitions of just what the ego is vary.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    ...like a bird that flew. Tangled up in blue. You are very welcome. And I thought of you when I was writing the astrology paragra
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    And so we keep on keeping on....thanks, dear one!

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