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
The Bride of Light

In Sweden, she comes on Old Solstice Day

But elsewhere in Witchdom, she comes in early February.

The Bride of Light.

Singing she comes. Crowned with candles and greenery she comes. Gowned and veiled in white she comes.

Before the Sun, she wakes us.

We rise, dress, and follow to where she leads us.

To breakfast.

And to sunrise.

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Sacrificing Perfection for Excellence

 

Some of us are haunted by the idea of perfection. It holds us back from our creative work; from any of our important work, for that matter. We fear we won't be able to do justice to the idea in our head. We've tried writing or painting or dancing, and somehow the brilliance of what we envision becomes corrupted as soon as we try to make it manifest. And there's that nagging voice in the back of our heads telling us what we have always known...that we're not good enough. That we will never have the skill to create what we dream of. That if it's not perfect, they'll deride us, they'll tease us. They'll reject us. Nobody will like us.

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In the season of Imbolc, change can be scary. Especially since it's Women in Horror Month!

As we move past the Sabbat of Imbolc, we feel its energy of new beginnings. As we have learned from the recent events on the American political and social landscape, change can be both a wondrous and a terrifying thing. In either case, it galvanizes our sense of purpose and moves us down the path of our chosen desires. Whether we are promoting a change or resisting it, the energy of Imbolc calls us to action.

The bat is a wonderful totem for initiation and transformation. When these little Goth mascots come flitting out of their night time sanctuaries, they symbolize rebirth. Again, they symbolize both the beautiful and the frightening within the archetype of transformation. They tend to be stigmatized due to their habitat and their nocturnal ways. Since we associate them with creepy haunted houses and dreary caves, we see them as symbols of death. In reality, bats are important pollinators. Their control of insects like mosquitoes also protects us from disease. I will go into the bat in more detail in an upcoming issue (probably issue 92) of SageWoman. For now, let's suffice it to say that the bat is a really good representation of the scary side of change.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Time, Tarot and Magick

Have you ever noticed that none of us perceive time in a consistent way? An hour at the dentist seems to take forever, while an hour-long massage seems to slip by in an instant.

 For me, the past few months have flown by. Since my last post I was excited to be a headliner at Florida Pagan Gathering Samhain 2016, and to be named “Tarosophist of the Year” for 2016 by the Tarosophy Tarot Association.

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New Moon in Aquarius: Stellar Ascent and Aid

I am usually visiting family over the New Year. Not being at home during the 'calendar flip' can make those first few days of the year similar to the “intercalary days” of ancient times. The first few days of the year take on this otherworldly tinge. Ungrounded in the mundane work and routine of every-day, but loaded with cultural baggage, including the pressure to set a template for the coming year, the first few days of the year have their own magick, they are both malleable and prophetic.

Beginning in the middle of the Sun's transit through Capricorn, the first days of the New Year are a clean slate, in every sense of the word. As a Cardinal sign, Capricorn signals the beginning of the Winter season, and as an Earth sign, ruled by practical, austere Saturn, Capricorn's focus is on managing resources most effectively. Its mantra is “discipline is remembering what you want,” emphasizing that desire and emotion are best served when ruled by will.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Hugging Your Introvert


There used to be a time when identifying as an introvert might be akin to admitting you had a social disease. Since there is such a thing as geeky-cool now, and others fly their nerd flags high and proud, there is no shame in freely admitting that some of us recharge our batteries best solo, rather than surrounded by others. The world can be overwhelming, with non-stop cell phone tunes and Twitter tweets closing in on all sides. For one's mental and emotional health (which eventually effects the physical by the by), give yourself permission to turn off and drop out once in awhile. This is especially essential, if giving sidelong glares to strangers who sit too close on public transport is becoming the norm. And why is it in an otherwise deserted cafe, chatty Cathy always plops down right next you? Here are some kind suggestions to deal:

Learn to say, "no." It's been a crazy week and you've worked your last day of it. All you want to do is curl up with your latest SK tome or a good movie, under the covers, preferably with a mug of cocoa or tea. But your buddy who you haven't seen in many moons sends you a cheery text. "Having a last-minute party! Are you in?" Let me answer for you, fellow introvert. No. No you are not. You are not there in that frame of mind, and you will not get there, just because you force yourself to go. If all you want to do is hide from the planet, the last thing you want to do is plant yourself in an over-stimulating party scene. Likewise, cramming into an over-crowded bar to see a band is a bad idea. Because if you go, you will be resentful. You will be uncomfortable. Even if you are able to distract yourself for awhile, ultimately you are going to be wishing you were snug at home with your original plans. So that is your plan. When people invite you out, you say you have them already. It isn't necessary to go into great detail as to what they are. Take a raincheck and meet your friend for a one-on-one coffee chat, where you can really catch up the following week.

Unplug. Turn off the computer. Shut off the phone. Stop scrolling! The world won't stop spinning, I promise. There used to be a time when if you weren't immediately available, people would patiently wait for you to get back to them. Remember that? When you wanted to know how someone else was doing in your life, you would ask them in person when you saw them. Doing this for 24-48 hours can be sheer heaven. Lose yourself in a project that you've been putting off. Take a long walk. If you're camping, you sure the heck better do this, or I will come after you and scold you.

Listen to the sounds of silence. Taking a retreat where you observe an internal mute button can be therapeutic, as well. Sometimes it's good to give your vocal chords a rest. This can be done in an actual retreat center where silence is observed after dinner, or perhaps an imposed one on your own. If you live with someone, they've got to respect it, though. Check yourself into a reasonably-priced hotel if necessary. The interesting side effect here, is that thoughts will come to you – often with clear insight and clarity. Clear the cobwebs and have a revelation. Write it down in a journal, if you don't want to forget. See, being on your lonesome isn't so bad now, is it? Happy Imbolc, introvert.

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Epicycles

What does Winter dream of?

In observational astronomy, there's a phenomenon called an "epicycle," a cycle within a cycle.

If you watch a particular planet from night to night—Venus, say—you'll see her move along her regular path. Then she stops and goes backwards. She makes a widdershins loop in the sky, then resumes her regular course.

Of course it's all a matter of perspective and bodies in simultaneous motion. But what it looks like is time in reverse.

The Year is Earth's story. From youth she waxes into ripe maturity and wanes away into age.

And now the serpent catches its tail in its mouth, time runs backwards, and old woman becomes young girl.

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