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
Gidden

On the off chance that there's still anyone left out there who would contend that there has been an ongoing tradition of Goddess-worship in the English-speaking world since antiquity, I have some bad news for you: the word “goddess” itself proves that you're wrong.

But this very fact opens the door to an exciting possibility.

Compare the words for “goddess” in Modern English and its sister Germanic languages:

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  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Thank you! Gidden bless you as well!
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    According to Cleasby-Vigfusson, gyðja is the feminine form of both goð, "god" and goði, "'priest'", and so means both "goddess" (a
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Gidden. I like it. I like words. gyðja isn't a word for goddess, though. Gythia is the feminine form of godhi, meaning priest or
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks Gwion, stay tuned: more tomorrow.
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Oh Stephen! How I do love the word Gidden. I just used it yesterday in a multi-traditional Pagan gathering and saw a few quizzical

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
New Moon in Aries

The Sun moves into Aries, the first sign of the Zodiac, on the Spring Equinox. All the qualities of Aries—action, initiation, new beginnings and emergence—are present as the Spring begins, and we can drink in those qualities every day. Aries brings us to our core selves, to our identity, to a pure expression of who we are. Emerging into Springtime, we are called upon to leave the Winter behind, and often that means letting go of the comforts, distractions and defenses that shored us up over the long dark night. In Spring, we long to throw open the windows and clear stuff out, and that goes for both our interior and exterior spaces. Aries helps bring its fiery clarity to this task.

Aries makes us question: Who am I, as a magician/witch/priestess? What are my deepest values? What are my skills and talents? How can I best express them, and deploy them to their highest, best use? What is my Work? What do I feel passionate about? Where do I expend my day's energy, and is this in line with my values? This is the perfect time to ask these questions.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

A few days ago, I learned that one of the devotional anthologies published by Bibliotheca Alexandrina had been pirated. Digital copies of Guardian of the Road: A Devotional Anthology in Honor Hermes were being offered -- without BA's consent or knowledge -- through an occult website in exchange for a "donation." The proprietor of the site boasted that he legally purchased the books from Amazon, then converted them into .pdfs to give to anyone who wanted them. And he was open to suggestions as to other books which should be made available through his "catalog."

I immediately emailed the proprietor, identified myself as the editor-in-chief of BA, and ordered him to cease and desist, and remove Guardian of the Road from his site. He responded relatively quickly with a note that the book had been taken down. He then followed that up with a rude demand that I prove that I was, in fact, who I said I was. I put on my Snark Hat, asked if he would prefer my birth certificate or my social security card, and then advised him to take down the entire site immediately, as word of his illegal actions were spreading quickly through the Pagan community. (Us Pagan and polytheist and magickal authors? Yeah, we talk to each other.)

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  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    For once, Gus and I agree wholeheartedly on something. Well done indeed.
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Well done.
  • Soli
    Soli says #
    I suspect there may be a certain type of gallows humor for someone stealing something created in honor of a patron of thieves.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Earth Day 2015: a Pagan take

 

Earth day symbolizes Americans’, some of us anyway, beginning to experience this land as our home rather than a real estate investment, crash pad, or monument to our ego.  It is a place we love and within which we find renewal and meaning.  And we feel blessed to live here and want to take care of it, and to give back some of what we have received.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Vocabulary of Witchcraft

"English is the sacred language of the Witches." (Stephen Warlowe)

Every word's a story.

The vocabulary of modern Wicca, like the religion itself, is late and composite.

Wicca < Old English wicca, “magic-worker [male]” That the word retains its Anglo-Saxon form and has been both redefined and re-pronounced (OE pronunciation: witch-ah) shows that this is a modern, not a continuous, usage.

Athame < Med. French atamer, “to cut”

Skyclad < Loan-translation (19th c.) of Sanskrit digambara, "dressed in air"

Coven < Latin

Sabbat < Latin < Hebrew. Murray's frolicsome s'esbattre derivation is non-historical. The term is a wholesale and hostile borrowing from Jewish vocabulary; compare yet another Trial Era name for the witch-meeting, the “synagogue of Satan.”

These two last are both clearly "words from without." What, one wonders, would be our "words from within"?

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Yes, sabbat and sabbath both stem from Hebrew shabbat. Sabbat reflects Latin sabbatum; Latin didn't have a way to spell sh. Of co
  • m
    m says #
    Sabbat Hebrew. Murray's frolicsome s'esbattre derivation is non-historical. The term is a wholesale and hostile borrowing from Je
  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    And the most common word for lords, both heavenly and earthly is 'hlaford' which incorporates the word for loaf, thus the one who
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Old English sure did have a lot of words for "lord," as you imply; I can think of 4 just off the top, and I'm virtually certain th
  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    Actually 'wicce' the female form of the word is pronounced 'witch-uh' but the male form is pronounced 'wick-uh, because of the bac
Magical Mood Mastery (Or Why Happy Doesn't Equal Good)

Have you ever been in the midst of an almost frenetic happiness, only to have lonely, uneasy feelings creep up on you as if out of nowhere? I have: plenty of times. Just a few nights ago it happened, actually. And while in decades past I would have reacted with resistance, worry, or even panic, it struck me that these days, I react totally differently, and it makes all the difference. Let me explain.

First of all, can we just face it? Our culture is weird about mood. In countless ways, we clearly receive the message that happy=good, sad=bad. Not only does this oversimplify the nuances of our emotions and moods, it also makes it all too easy to think, "Oh no, I'm having "negative" feelings, what's wrong with me?" Of course, it doesn't help that television ads reinforce the belief that something is indeed wrong with you if you're not completely happy all the time. And have you heard of "New Age guilt"? It's when you feel guilty for feeling bad: you must not be saying enough affirmations or something...I mean, seriously, can't we cut ourselves a break?

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5 Awesome Beltane Celebration Ideas for Solitaries

5 Awesome Beltane Celebration Ideas for Solitaries

Beltane is a time for fun, mythology, food, and happy indulgence. It is great to spend the day in the sun with those you admire. Group outings and coven experiences are wonderful this time of year.

BUT….

Groups and covens are not the only ones allowed to have all the fun. I have been a solitary for MANY years and I have yet to miss a Beltane celebration. Why should I? There are so many fun and inexpensive things to do. With or without a coven or group, you can have a blast.

The best part of going at it alone is, you don’t have to clear or coordinate your plans with anyone! Why? You call the shots!  There are no misunderstandings about when and where to meet. You don’t have to hear anyone complain about this that, and any other issue than may pop up. The only winer in the group is you, so if you can tolerate yourself you’re in business. *chuckle*

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  • DeborahMarchant
    DeborahMarchant says #
    Please excuse me. Many people are not aware of what I am about to post. Therefore it is understandable that burning a fire is sug

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