Culture Blogs


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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs
Children's Song Preserves Early American Hymn to Goddess of Witches, Says Academic

AP: Boston

Was the common American children's song She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain originally a hymn to the Moon Goddess of the Witches?

A new study by historian and ethnomusicologist Stefano Pozzo, current chair of ethnomusicology at Massachusetts' prestigious Miskatonic University, suggests that this may indeed be the case.

“It's one of the great mysteries of American paidomusicology [the study of children's music],” says Pozzo. “Who is this mysterious and powerful female driving six white horses? I think that we can now say confidently that we know exactly who she is.”

In the current issue of Ethnomusicology Today, Pozzo examines the earliest surviving texts of the song to present his case.

She'll be coming' round the mountain when she comes,” he writes, “Could one ask for a clearer image of moonrise?”

According to Pozzo, when 17th century British witches fled to the New World to escape religious persecution, they brought their immemorial devotion to the Moon along with them.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • K
    K says #
    I wonder if they have an original copy of this song in the Orne Library?
  • Althea
    Althea says #
    Miskatonic University, huh?
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Wikipedia has "red" pajamas, but I like "silk" much better. And sleeping with Grandma fits right in: it's funny and mythic both.
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    I've heard red pyjamas too. The added line with sleep with grandma is "move over." With chicken n dumplins it's "yum yum." etc.
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    Oh and the Mountain Mother is one of the most common images of the Goddess in places where there are visible mountains.
GILA MONSTER: Discerning Fact from Fiction

A striking sight with her beaded skin of pink and black, Gila Monster blends well into her desert home in Arizona. This sluggish-seeming lizard intently flicks her tongue to detect a tasty mouse. At other times, She adroitly climbs the cactus with her sharp claws to hunt for perching birds. Tasting the air with her forked tongue, Gila Monster finds Desert Rat, and quickly chomps down with her vice-like jaws. Then She swallows her paralyzed victim whole and head first.

Gila Monster with her Brother – Mexican Beaded Lizard – are the only venomous lizards (Helodermatidae) in the world. Because of their venom and forked tongues, Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum) and her Brother (Heloderma horridum ) are distant relatives of snakes. These two lizards are also close relatives to monitor lizards (Varanidae), who possess poisonous saliva, and could be ancestors of snakes. These two beaded lizards have an ancient ancestry, extending back to the mid-Cretaceous.

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Emotional Literacy: New Moon in Cancer

"Teachers need to be comfortable talking about feelings. This is part of teaching emotional literacy – a set of skills we can all develop, including the ability to read, understand, and respond appropriately to one’s own emotions and the emotions of others."—Daniel Goleman

This New Moon in Cancer brings a chart of deep emotion, with a strong undercurrent of power being used effectively in the material world. True power, like a sun, radiates outward from an inner core. Control that is seized or imposed is not power, though it is often mistaken for such. Control ties you to what you are controlling. Power lets you take action in freedom and create what you will.

 

We’ll see a lot of attempts at grabbing power this month, but hopefully we will also see people of wisdom stepping into their own power and making changes in the world. Like you, perhaps.

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Death in the Summer

Summertime, and the young are dying all around us.

Like other predators, witches are territorial beings. As I patrol my own home ground in these days after the sunstead, I find dead bodies, more than at any other time of year.

Mostly they're the young.

This spring's squirrel kits have reached adult size. They're learning to negotiate the invisible paths in the sky that link branch to branch and tree to tree.

They don't always make it.

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We are Fireworks

July 4th, 2016 marks the 7th anniversary of my ordination.  I had almost forgotten the personal importance of this day until I saw a blog post from another Pagan writer where she wrote about the anniversary of her own ordination.

For a long time ordinations were not something I took very seriously.  They reeked of organized, mainstream religion.  As a typical, angry, pseudo-anarchist young person, I had zero time for those types of distractions.  Ordinations seemed to be something that Christians had to earn after years of brainwashing seminary, or something that was handed to them by a congregation hungry for “the word.” 

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As the fourth of July rapidly approaches there will be flags all over the place and politicians will talk endlessly of patriotism.  Here in Sebastopol a guy often drives around town with American flag flapping over his pick up truck bed.  Once a week people who claim the “support out troops” stand on a busy corner and solicit honks from others while across the intersection people dressed in black stand as silent witnesses for peace. They support our troops as well, but differently.  All if asked probably think of themselves as patriots. But they are thinking of different things.

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New Moon in Cancer: Sweet Honey in the Rock

In this uncontainable night,

be the mystery in the crossroads of your being,

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