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
Every Shrine Needs a Keeper

Every shrine needs a keeper.

Shrines are busy places. Someone needs to sweep away the ash, compost the wilted flowers, remove the food offerings before they go bad.

In a timely manner, mind you, but not too soon. Part of the joy of shrines—part of the encounter that takes place there—is the evidence of the worship of others.

Another part of the keeper's job is to decide. Not all offerings are, shall we say, worthy.

The plastic, the cutesy, the distracting: they've served their purpose. (The worth of the offering is in the making.) Off with them to the favissa. (The Romans had a name for everything.)

After all, they've been given: they belong to a god now. Worthy or not, they still need to be treated with respect.

That's why there's a special pit for sacred garbage.

You can be a shrine-keeper, too.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_gtstar.jpg“Some people see things as they are and say ‘Why?’ I dream of things that never were and say ‘Why not?’”
~ George Bernard Shaw

In the Tarot, The Star is the card of hope, healing, wholeness, and inspiration. In this card from the Gaian Tarot, the stars reflecting in the water show us how far we can dream, show us what’s possible in the vast expanse of the universe if we will only look. Cupped in our hands, dreams become light and manifest in the world. But we must actively seek them first. We must go to the sacred spring, connect with a larger reality, with possibility, with joy, with recognition of and gratitude for the extraordinary adventure that is life. Then we can tuck the light of our visions into our hearts, and carry them back to a world much in need. This is the essential message of this month’s Gemini New Moon.

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When the Wights Are Angry, Everyone Suffers: Mythologizing Climate Change

Imagine that we were to discover an ancient Keltic tribe living in three isolated valleys up in the Alps.

Imagine that, through all the intervening centuries of the Great Interruption, they had, nonetheless, somehow managed to hold on to their Old Religion.

Amazingly enough—specifics aside—this not an imaginary scenario.

As the Indo-European-speaking peoples first entered the Indian subcontinent, groups broke off the main migration and settled along the way.

That's how the Kalasha, the last surviving pagans of the Hindu Kush, came to live in three isolated mountain valleys in what is now NW Pakistan.

Their religion, practiced continuously since antiquity, strongly resembles the religion of the Rig Veda, modern Hinduism's oldest scripture; some of the gods are even the same.

Alone among the Indo-European peoples, the religion of the Kalasha has never been subsumed by one of the Big Name religions. This small tribe of 4000-some people is as close as we will ever come to touching the old paganisms of the European ancestors.

As such, they have much to teach us.

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The (witch's) Apprentice

I was a magician’s apprentice once.  True story!  I worked in a small metaphysical shop where I was employed as a personal assistant/store clerk/apprentice.  It was a fun and useful job in some ways, and terrible in many others.  I don’t want to get into too many personal details, but I can say that a few years later and after some valuable and hard lessons, I’m thankful for the overall experienced but so relieved that those years, that place, and those people, are far behind me.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Coven in Question II

So, you've had a sennight to mull over your own answers to these questions.

Here are mine.

 

What's the minimum number needed for a coven?

Traditionally, three.

It takes three witches to make a coven; two witches is just an argument” (Terry Pratchett).

This seems reasonable to me.

 

Is there a maximum number?

Yes.

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Why Did We Lose in the First Place?

Once everyone was pagan.

Today we're not.

So: if paganism was so great in the first place, why did we lose out?

It's a question that every thoughtful contemporary pagan wrestles with. Most often, our answers present us as having been victims, of coercion or of out-maneuvering.

These are stories of agency from without.

The Kalasha—the last remaining pagans of the Hindu Kush—tell a different story.

A story of broken taboos and failed leadership.

A story from within.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, You are totally correct about the sweeping generalizations and oversimplification. I was very tired. I still believe
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks, Jamie. We've both made some pretty big generalizations here, and vastly oversimplified a complex situation. Realistically,
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, Honestly, I think that most people generally give less thought to spiritual matters than they give to more pressing da
Warm-Blooded Ones: Friendship and Nourishment

Warm-blooded Ones live on the land, fly in the air, and swim in the sea. What makes these animals unique is that they have a constant body temperature. This enables them to live in cold, hot, and temperate areas. Warm-blooded Ones also give birth to live young (except for the platypus and echidna, who lay eggs). However, all Warm-blooded Ones nourish their children with milk. Their other defining characteristic is that they have hair; even whales sport one or two hairs.

Of all the animal groups, most people feel the closest to the Warm-blooded Ones. People have a natural kinship with these animals, since as humans, we are fellow mammals. Warm-blooded Ones live invited in people’s homes as companions and members of the family. They are raised by people for food, clothing, and shelter. People have been nourished by their friendship with Warm-blooded Ones for ages.

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