Culture Blogs


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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs
The Mighty Dead: Toola, the Sea Otter

There are individual animals who have had a profound effect on humans and on animals. Toola the Southern Sea Otter is one of them.

Toola, the first sea otter ever to foster stranded pups, is one of the Mighty Dead. She persevered, in spite of her daily seizures, to pioneer the rehabilitation of sea otters back into the wild. Moreover, Toola inspired important legislation for sea otter conservation. Most importantly, she fostered thirteen stranded pups who now have successfully raised families on their own in the wild. Toola is considered, by many, to be the otter who saved the southern sea otters from extinction in the wild.

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Prince William Initiated Into Coven

AP: London

Palace sources confirmed today that Prince William, eventual heir to the British throne, was recently initiated into a local Windsor coven.

“The Duke of Cambridge's interest in the Old Ways is of both a long-standing and a deeply personal nature,” a spokesman said, while requesting that the prince's “spiritual privacy” be respected.

According to Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, this initiation in no way conflicts with the prince's likely future standing as “Defender of the [Anglican] Faith.”

“He would certainly not be the first King of England to maintain the Old Faith along with the New,” he said on Friday.

Smiling, he added: “Haven't you ever heard of the 'King of the Witches'?”

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How Many Tines on That God?

I am a stag of seven tines.

(Song of Amairgin)

The Paris Cernunnos has four.

The "sorcerer" of Les Trois Frères, apparently, seven.

For all his youthful appearance, the Gundestrup Antlered sports a lordly fourteen.

Tines.

Antlers are a miracle. They're the fastest-growing bone on the planet. By Samhain, they're actually dead. Dead horns on a living buck: small wonder that the Antlered is reckoned lord of the dead.

Novelist Rosemary Sutcliff, in Mark of the Horse Lord, describes a cave-painting of the Lord of Herds and the Hunting Trail: "towering into the upper gloom, gaunt and grotesque but magnificent, the figure of a man with the head of a twelve-point stag."

Trophy-hunters value number of points: more is better. The more points, the older (and presumably wiser) the stag.

One wonders just what the meaning of different numbers of tines might be in representations of the Horned God. Having posed the question, the answers readily present themselves.

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When Names Bore Meaning

Once our names bore meaning.

We worshiped in the Old Way then.

Ælf-win, “elf-friend.”

Os-gar, “god-spear.”

Æthel-ræd, “noble counsel.”

New Ways came, but still we held to our old and meaningful names.

Then came Billy the Bastard with his Franks, and soon our names were outland names, empty names with stories, but meaning nothing at all.

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The Dance of the Green Men

Called by the drums, we gather to the fire.

The chant begins.

Green God, Maple God,

living god of the forest:

hey ho hey ho

come to us.

It is the chant of calling. Biome by biome we call, back and forth: wetlands, prairies, tundra, orchards, gardens, fields, vineyards.

Hoo-hoo-hoo.

One from each quarter, the Green Men burst into our midst from behind, hooting. They rush in to the fire and turn, eyes bright.

Four there are: green, naked, rustling with leaves at head and wrist and ankle.

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Hospitality

Friday afternoon it began to snow, and over 24 hours, dumped 10 inches or more right on top of gardens that were blooming and trees that were leafing out. While my friends on social media were posting pictures of flowers, of nymphs and fauns cavorting in green woods, of fey beings at play in moonlit fields, I was stirring up soup while inches of fat, sticky white clumps fell outside the window. This is perfectly normal for around here, that right around the beginning of May we get hit with heavy snowfall. It was not normal that this snowfall came after an abnormally dry, warm late Winter. March and April saw barely any rain or snow, so the snowfall is welcome, even if it does mean this weekend's vibe is not particularly Walpurgisnacht-y.

I'm also happy about this snowfall, because in a few short weeks, I will attending a four-day Pagan gathering in the beautiful Black Forest of Colorado, and snow would really spoil the fun.

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The Minnesota May Song

42º and a winter weather advisory. Must be May Eve in Minnesota.

 

The Minnesota May Song

 

The cuckoo comes in April,

she sings her song in May;

in June she changes tune,

in July she flies away.

 

For it is the First of May-O,

it is the First of May.

Remember, Minnesota:

it is the First of May.

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  • Miles Gerhardson
    Miles Gerhardson says #
    I was born/raised in Minnesota......THIS little ditty....brought out an audible laugh while reading... Clever.....and sadly, SPOT

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