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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs


b2ap3_thumbnail_castle-in-the-air.jpgThe New Moon in Pisces is an eclipse this year, which means that this chart will be in effect for a period of between 6 months and a year. (The influences of these charts are more like waves — rising and then ebbing with the tide — than a spigot that is turned on and off). It occurs on Tuesday, March 8, at 8:57 pm EST.
It’s a powerful chart that floods us with a tsunami of watery Pisces energy. The sensible response to a tsunami is to head for higher ground, but some people will try to control it. Nit-picking bureaucrats, bombastic preachers, media manipulators and other small minds with limited perspectives will be out in force, trying to divert or direct this emotional, spiritual deluge, but it will not be contained. 
It will severely challenge our ideas of what is and is not spiritual. We’ll be asked to understand that everything, every atom of our reality, is created from and a part of the greater reality of All That Is. This means not only every beautiful sunrise, pristine forest and happy ending, but also every cigarette butt in the road, every shantytown, every mass shooting situation, every leaking nuclear plant — it’s all spiritual.
The driving forces behind the Universe are creativity and love. Love demands that we have free will, and free will means we get to create some pretty unpleasant stuff, both individually and en masse. So we are challenged to create more consciously, and work in tandem to create with more awareness and compassion.
Finding the sacred, finding what we want to bring into being, finding what we love, is our job. We are individual creative forces, and each one of our choices matter. Even if we don’t know quite how to fix what is wrong and we find ourselves surrounded by the results of many negative choices — our own and others’ — knowing where we want to be, envisioning the reality that we desire, that we choose, is profoundly important.
It’s like voting. Voting is a magical act. Proportionately, your vote may seem insignificant given that well over a hundred million people vote in a USA election, but it is not. Voting strengthens the energetic, telepathic, magical connection between you and others whose dreams are at least partially in alignment with your own. That is true for everyone, but as a magical practitioner, you can consciously strengthen the connection, and so strengthen the dream when you record your ballot.
Just remember that you vote every day of your life. You vote by how you live your life, how you approach and deal with others, how you act and think in every minute of every day.
There is tremendous freedom and power in aligning our will and our actions, in making sure the practical details of our lives are in resonance with our mystical insights and personal values. Live your life on that level, and you can surf the tsunami. But if you let unintegrated, unconscious forces drive you, you’ll get tossed around like a piece of driftwood.
Yes, this is a powerful eclipse. You will be challenged to step into a more evolved, aware, and influential version of yourself. There is a potential for miracles as well. This quote from the last chapter of Thoreau’s “Walden” is good advice for these next few months.:
"I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."

Back In The U.S.A.

When the eclipse chart is cast for Washington, DC, it is predictive for the country. This is not an easy chart. A friend of mine used to describe certain experiences as A FOG — Another F&*%ing Opportunity for Growth, and I think we will all have plenty of opportunities for growth over the next few months. The point to remember is that they *are* opportunities, and it is often true — particularly when Saturn and Jupiter are involved, as they are in this chart — that the harder the challenge, the greater the opportunity, and the more room there is for growth and eventual beneficial outcomes.
(A couple of paragraphs for astrology students: Find the chart here. Yes, I know there are two powerful trines, but recall that trines simply mean an easy flow of energy. They are not necessarily beneficial, or at least, beneficial to us in a way we can currently appreciate, especially when the social and transpersonal planets are involved. Nor is Jupiter invariably a bringer of good news — the only thing Jupiter can really promise is expansion and growth, but it will often help us expand lemons into lemonade.
An individual can take the powerful energy in this chart and run with it, turn it into growth and opportunities realized. But on a national stage, we are more likely to see problematic manifestations, especially with the Uranus-Pluto square still within 2 degrees, and the tight T-square from Saturn to the Jupiter-New Moon opposition. Note also Jupiter’s influence on this chart — it co-rules Pisces and rules Sagittarius, and so it is the ultimate dispositor of every planet in this chart — except Neptune, Pisces co-ruler, and Mercury. It’s in mutual reception with Mercury and both planets are in the signs of their detriment. The Jupiter-Saturn interaction is also highly influential — Sagittarian issues will loom large in the upcoming months, Also notice that only Uranus and Pluto are not in mutable signs. Then, of course, you’ll want to look at the rulerships of the angles, and the 5th house focus, as well as Mars still square to Mercury.)
There are several major wake up calls indicated. More than one will be in areas ruled by the fifth house; children, schools, stock markets, sports and entertainment, creativity, royalty (read: political/business leaders and celebrities) and so-called “high-society” (read: extremely wealthy people whose wealth and privilege turn their b2ap3_thumbnail_shenanigans.jpgshenanigans into news)
Pisces is a sign that brings together, coalesces, merges, reminds us that we are all inextricably connected — to each other, to the planet and its web of life, and to the universe. We will be inescapably — and probably forcibly — reminded of these deep connections in many fifth house areas, all of which naturally tend towards individuation, not merging.
This combination could get interesting, and will doubtlessly play out clearly in the political arena through release of previously secret material, scandals and conflicts between authoritarian ideas and democratic ideals.  I expect emotional upheavals relating to political figures, with religion and spirituality being dragged into the mix in a big way. This election season will clearly illustrate that if we wish to manifest our ideas and ideals we must understand and work with the power of the emotions and the collective unconscious. We are challenged to expand out of our comfort zones, learn to listen to each other, and seek out points of agreement as a foundation for a cooperative, democratic society.
There will be environmental wake up calls as well, both in the form of geological upheavals (earthquakes, underground explosions, severe storms) and pollution, particularly water pollution. (This will be global, not just the USA) The Flint water crisis will continue to unfold, other problems with water will be exposed, and public health issues will be of increasing concern. Whatever your personal wake up calls may be over the next few months, make careful, informed choices, because they will have long-term consequences.
Fear (Saturn) is strong in this chart, and when fear sends its tendrils into the collective unconscious (Neptune, Pisces) the reaction is often mindless destruction. (I highly recommend this article on authoritarian ideation and fear, and how that is playing into Trump’s popularity and the current political climate in general.)
Like anger, fear has its uses. It helps us react appropriately to dangerous situations. But — also like anger —  when we cling to it, we have a large and deadly tiger by the tail. Learning to release our fears, to live our lives with courage and commitment, is the work of a lifetime. We get lots of opportunities for practice over the next 6 months or so. 
Most spiritual traditions offer a way to understand the world that gives those who follow its ways a sense of underlying safety. But I believe it is the mystical and experiential paths that give us a truly solid sense of security, of belonging, of how our individuality is cherished within the entirety of All That Is, and how we can use that as a source of courage and power in our lives. These next few months will be an excellent time to drag your fears into the light of your spiritual beliefs and experiences as well as your reasoning mind, and release those that do not serve you, but simply constrict your life force and your magic.
If you’d like to learn more about the personal wake up calls that are in store for you, contact me for a consultation


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  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    There will be, Anthony, and I'm glad to know you are taking some action!
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I've signed several online petitions to stop water privatization schemes by the world bank in Africa and India. I suspect there w

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
American Faerie Story

According to Cal State folklorist Sabina Magliocco, author of Witching Culture, fairy belief is alive and well among American pagans.

In a recent talk at the University of Minnesota, she told numerous tales of first-hand 21st-century encounters between modern pagans and the inhabitants of what Robert Kirk called the “Secret Commonwealth.”

Of them all, the following was my favorite. It bears all the hallmarks of classic fairy narrative.

Including the ambivalence.

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YOWIE (Australia's Bigfoot): Tenacity

When the Europeans first arrived in Australia, they encountered “the hairy man,” of Aboriginal myth. According to the Aboriginal Australians, humans share this continent with apemen. These Yowies (“hairy men”), as they were called, had inhabited Australia before the coming of any humans.

 Amongst the Aboriginal Australians, the “hairy men” were called many names and possessed different attributes. “Yowie,” the name They are called today comes from “Yuwi” as referred to by the Yuwaalaraay People of New South Wales. To them, Yowie is a spirit from Dreamtime. Meanwhile, the “Yaroma” of the Blue Mountains was a cannibal. According to the Gundungurra People, the Yaroma sharpened their long fangs on rocks. A human could escape from this cannibal by jumping into a waterhole, since the Yaroma could not get their feet wet. Other myths describe Yowies to be gigantic “hairy men,” with muscular bodies and powerful arms.

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13 Things I Learned from "The Wizard of Oz"

1.  Being a Christian can get in the way of saying things that really need to be said.

2.  Even if you do manage to make it back home before the twister hits, they still might not be able to help you.

3.  Watch out for falling farmhouses.

4.  Only bad witches are ugly.

5.  Possession is 12/13ths of the law.

6.  Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    And if you really want to succeed, you need to befriend Animal (Lion), Vegetable (Scarecrow), and Mineral (Tin Man). And if that'
  • Anne Forrester
    Anne Forrester says #
    And if the Scarecrow is "TO KNOW", the Tin Man is "TO WILL", and the Cowardly Lion is "TO DARE"; they all need to work together wi
Most Good, Least Harm: Pondering the Sentience of Plants and Animals


            Are these turkeys more sentient than the plants they are eating? This is one subject of today's blog. When we are trying to contemplate our diet, harmlessness is clearly impossible. So do our choices matter one way or the other?

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  • Stephanie
    Stephanie says #
    Love this topic! Usually people are just being goading when they ask "but what about plants?!" but it's a legit question. I totall

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Twilight People

Who are They, the Twilight Kindreds, the Neighbors, those other peoples in the land?

Called by many names, more felt than seen, once known by everyone everywhere: who are they?

They are the Interiority, the Inwardness of things, the Inside looking Out.

Environmental? Yes. In them, environment looks back at us.

Truly, the kingdom of Faerie lies within.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks for the balancing voice, Chloe. Myself, I was always more of a Jenny Greenteeth kid than a Tinkerbelle one, but maybe that'
  • Chloe
    Chloe says #
    On the other hand, the Victorian depiction of faeries as children with butterfly wings (ala Cicely Mary Barker) appeals more to ch
  • Paul B. Rucker
    Paul B. Rucker says #
    Yes, part of the practicum is exactly what you have described. My only caveat at the moment is to distinguish the spiritual and
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    The boustiers and butterfly wings of so much contemporary "fairy" "culture" are indeed symptomatic of our problematic relationship
  • Paul B. Rucker
    Paul B. Rucker says #
    Quite apt. And if the fae are in the inwardness of environment, place, Nature looking back out at us again, then the manner in w
How Do You Store, Display, and Enjoy All Your Crystals?

Last week I asked you for your questions, and this was one of the really good ones. Good friend and fellow crystal lover, Melinda, said, “How do you store, display, and enjoy all of your crystals? Do you have them on tables, shelves, in divided containers (cosmetic)? I have seen that some people keep stones in a divided tool upright container (for workshop nuts and bolts and stuff), but this won’t work for me. I love having them all out to enjoy, but I really don’t have the surface space to enjoy all of them. I don’t like them in any drawers or tucked away. My dining room table is no longer a place for us, it is only for my crystal friends (not complaining, just can’t think of creative ways to display and enjoy). Any suggestions you may have will be helpful. Hoping not to have to buy a bigger home for all of my friends! :-)"

So, like I said, that's a great question! It will vary tremendously from person to person, and depending on space requirements and personal preference. I decided that the old adage "a picture's worth a 1000 words" fit nicely into this description, so this blog post will be more of a show and tell.

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