Culture Blogs


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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs
Song for a Cold Winter’s Night in the Belly of the Beast

I know.  It’s after Solstice.  The sun is returning blahblahblah.  That is only in theory in New Jersey at this point until April.  We still have many grey days with little sunlight to speak of to get through first.

A few weeks ago, April1 and I went to our favorite Korean Spa.  It’s near Mitsuwa which is an amazing Japanese market with ramen, taiyaki  and katsu stands that serve food on real plates like civilized people and the seating overlooks the NYC skyline.  We go to the spa, then go to Mitsuwa, eat too much and then wander the aisles to look for delicious treats to bring home.

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I’m going to my first public Pagan (or Wiccan) ritual, but I’ve never been to a ritual before. What should I wear? What should I bring? What should I expect in the ritual? What should I make sure to do (or not do) so I don’t accidentally insult someone or embarrass myself?

Public rituals are a good way to get your feet wet if you’re new to Wicca or Paganism. You can meet others who share your interests, and you can begin to learn about how rituals work and feel by participating in them. Public rituals usually feel a lot different from smaller, private ones, though, so if it’s possible, I recommend you try both kinds. I’ll cover private rituals in a later post.

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Pagan savings challenge, week fifty-two:  big finish!

I am proud to say that I have now officially saved $1,378 dollars, fulfilling my pledge as part of the Pagan savings challenge.  Yes, I am proud, and I am also amazed that I actually pulled it off!  The fact that it has become more difficult in recent weeks tells me I found the right savings point for my own situation.  Did you find yours?

One thing -- well, two in concert, really -- that will complicate my release of this pent-up energy (by spending it on a fireplace insert, readers may recall) are these darned small bills.  I opted for using the smallest bills possible because it makes a bigger visual impact for each weekly post about my savings journey, but no one is going to be thrilled with me plunking down over a thousand bucks in ones and twos to buy anything, legal tender or not.  Most people would bring them to the bank to change, but nope, can't do that!  These bills are all marked and entered in the Where's George? site, which means that depositing them in the bank is a no-no.

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It's kind of neat when you read things that matter to you and you know all the people involved. This wonderful article about a commitment to environmentalism and one of the most important such issues that affects my country at the moment was written by my friend Dodie, about my friends Sparrow and MoJo, who are the hosts of the Wigglian Way podcast. THIS is what Pagan leadership should look like. Bless you, Sparrow and MoJo, for your wonderful work; and bless you, Dodie, for telling the world about it.

Earth Warriors Vs. Kinder Morgan

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Cowan Yule

The single best defense against Christmas is a good Yule.

I sometimes worry that I live too much in the pagan ghetto. Most of my friends are pagan; I live in a pagan home, immersed from day to day and from season to season in pagan culture. I know that there's a wide world of non-pagans out there. But after all these years, I also know who my people are, where my home is, and what my work is.

Midwinter's Eve our job is to bring the Sun up out of the Dark. We sing the Sun down, we light the fire; we dance, we sing, we keep the fire-watch through all the long night. 7:47 a. m. Midwinter's Day will find us out on the east pedestrian walkway of the Washington Avenue bridge, singing the Sun up out of the Mississippi Valley. December is on average the cloudiest month of our Minnesota year, when Earth and Sun hide themselves in their mysteries. But in those years when we actually see the Sun rise out of the river valley, with light and color flooding back into the world, well...that's Yule in little, and the joy of it continues for a full thirtnight of days, a year in miniature. Because we are who we are, we're part of something much larger than ourselves, something that would happen whether we were here to see it or not. It's something that we're privileged to take part in, and so long as we continue to do so, our people will continue to be. It's a joyous responsibility.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks Cristina. Here in the US at least, Christmas is so massive that it can sometimes seem like a force of nature. I think it's
  • Cristina Potmesil
    Cristina Potmesil says #
    This comment, "Christmas is a human construct. If no one celebrated it, Christmas would cease to exist." is amazing. Thank you.

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The Magic of Christmas

In the weeks leading up to December 24, my 8-year-old kept asking the same question. She asked it in as many different ways as she could, trying to tease out the information she was convinced I was withholding. She asked it after her choir's holiday concert, she asked it when she and her sister came shopping with me for gifts. She asked it as we made cookies, as we planned menus, even as we drove up to Boulder for a children's Solstice celebration. However she put it, the question remained the same:

“Mom, is Santa Claus real?”

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Boxing Day

It's also St Stephen's Day, which reminds me of that song--St Stephen's Day Murders.

For decades now, Boxing Day has been a sacred retreat day, which sounds pretty fancy until I tell you that I stay in my pajamas all day and write thank-you notes and switch over all the data into my new calendar. I eat leftovers--or I eat cake all day--and I read a book or watch a movie.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    He might indeed. He is not a fan of shenanigans other than his own.
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Of course, Puka might have his own ideas about shenanigans

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