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
Warlockries

Yeah, I'm a warlock.

You got a problem with that?

“Witch,” though a gender-neutral term, is female first. So it's convenient to have a term that specifies: male of the species.

Warlock.

Interestingly, it's a Scots word in origin. (In Sassenach they say warlowe.) Maybe they had more problems with male witches North of the Border.

That's not surprising. Throughout the Norse culture sphere, the majority of witches have always been men. Most executed witches in Scandinavia were male.

No, I'm not a wizard, but that's a class difference. Wizards are gentry. Warlockry is for us yeomen.

Some Wiccans are allergic to the term. Since the number of men in Wicca has been waning away for years, maybe it's moot. But in Old Craft—where men still constitute a numerical majority—most of us are fine with “warlock.”

And no one denies that it's a word of power.

Some object on the grounds that it means “oath-breaker.”

Well, they're wrong.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Mike W
    Mike W says #
    I agree with you Steve that the Witches/Warlocks were outsiders to the majority religions as sanctioned by society or the state.
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    My contention would be that even back in pagan days, the witches and our ways were already outsiders, and that our worships didn't
  • Mike W
    Mike W says #
    Yes, I think that warlock is a great word for a male witch. For the view of a Feri Trad elder on this use see http://faerywolf.co
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Mab, you've made my day. I'm delighted to hear about the gender imbalance in your neck of the woods. (Around here, it's still the
  • Mab Nahash
    Mab Nahash says #
    I get that the meaning has changed in general parlance, but for those of us who take oaths as part of our practice of witchcraft,

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Pancake Moon

Consider the immemorial pancake.

Child of Earth, Sun, and Thunder, one of humanity's most ancient and sacred foods.

Every pancake is a charm, as round and golden as the Sun. Every one you eat brings Spring just a little closer. That's why this is pancake time, the arc of the year between the February cross-quarter and Spring Evenday.

The pancake incarnates differently in every cuisine, but in my opinion it reaches its apotheosis in the yeasted buckwheat pancakes of Russia, blini. They say that when you start the sponge for blini, you should take it out to the woods so that the full Moon can shine on it.

You can judge their antiquity by the name. Blini comes from the same ancient root that gave us mill, meal, and molar. From the same root also comes mallet, malleus (as in Malleus Maleficarum, “hammer of the 'witches'”), and Mjöllnir, the name of Þórr's thunder hammer: “crusher.” Really, there should be a shrine to Thunder in every flour-mill in the world.

Blini are one of the great sacred foods of the North. You serve them at sacred times: births, weddings, deaths.

And now: that final, axial arc of the year between winter and spring.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_retrotopia.jpg

Title: Retrotopia

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_cafe-wha.jpg“There was music in the cafes at night, And revolution in the air.”
~ Bob Dylan

There’s a challenging solar eclipse happening on February 26, and the chart for this one will be in effect for at least 6 months to a year. Revolution is in the air, and so are illusion, deception, inchoate fears — as well as enchantment, inspiration, and the highest and best reaches of spirituality and compassion.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Animal Relationships: Symbiosis

When two animals team up, they may form a beneficial partnership called symbiosis. In symbiosis, the two animals provide something, which the other cannot, for each other. It could be food, protection or eliminating parasites. In many cases, neither can survive without the other. This other animal is in a special relationship with your animal teacher. Therefore that animal is also one of your animal teachers.

For example, oxpeckers ride on a rhino’s back. For allowing the oxpecker to eat insects off his back, the rhino gets and early warning system. These two disparate species work together to help each other. They are a unit to be studied as one animal teacher.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Got Corpse-Breeches?

By far the most popular exhibit at the Iceland Museum of Witchcraft and Sorcery in Skáholt is its pair of nábrók, literally “corpse-breeches”: the whole, flayed skin of the lower half of a man’s body.

Looking something like the lower half of a bog body, they are, to all appearances, the whole preserved skin of a man’s feet, legs, thighs, and buttocks, complete with genitals and pubic hair. (Presumably those on display—oddly dubbed “necropants”—are mock-ups rather than the genuine item.)

Here's how to get your own pair.

First you make a deal with a living man to take his skin after death. (You can't take someone’s skin without prior permission because this would lay you open to retribution from the outraged dead.) After his death and burial, you dig up his coffin and flay the skin off his body, in one piece, from the waist down.

Then you don the corpse-breeches yourself (presumably after having tanned them in some fashion), and wear them 24/7. According to some authorities, the breeches eventually meld to your skin, although not everyone agrees on this point.

Next you steal a coin from a poor widow on Christmas, Easter, or Whitsunday. (You could translate this into Pagan as Yule, Ostara, or Midsummer, if you like). Place this coin, along with a particular runic sigil (see above) scribed on a piece of parchment, in the “purse” (i.e. scrotum) of the corpse-breeches.

Having done so, you will now never lack for cash, because there will always be plenty to be found in the magical pouch of your corpse-breeches.

Here's the catch.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Elements of Incense

This is the first entry in Carl Neal's new blog, "Incense Magick." Entries for "Circle of One" can still be found in the archives of Carl Neal's writing on PaganSquare.

I started making incense in 1995. Since then I have taught thousands of people to make incense in various workshops and classes and tens of thousands through my books, web sites, and You Tube channel. I obsessively research incense and read every book I can find on the topic. Over the years of speaking with various practitioners and students, as well as reading many “magick 101” books, I have learned that most people regard incense as representative of the element of either fire or air (or occasionally both). For decades now I have respectfully disagreed.

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  • John Zelasko
    John Zelasko says #
    Hello Carl! I joined the website just this evening and was delighted to see there was another incense fanatic like myself. My fasc

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