Culture Blogs


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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs

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Let It Bloom

I was a professional barista in my past life.*  My job was more than just an after school or part-time college gig, and I was far more competent than those who steam milk into huge soap suds, who pull watery and weak shots of espresso, and who pump drinks full of syrup and sugar.  I was bona fide.   I had been trained by the best, award winning baristas in the area.  I read all of the latest coffee trade news and gossip.  I worked 40+ hours a week.  My cappuccinos were crafted to such perfection that all of the Italians in town would come flocking to the shop, bringing with them their friends and family visiting from Europe.  “The best cappuccino in town,” they’d say, as I poured the perfect micro-foam in the shape of delicate hearts, tulips, swans, or rosettas.  I went to trade shows, conferences, and competitions.  I had a job with benefits.  I was a professional.

But those days are far, far behind me.  I’m proud of my barista skills and training, but I am relieved that I no longer have to bust my butt for rude customers, demanding management, and lazy coworkers.  I don’t smell like milk or coffee grounds, and my arms aren’t dotted with burns or rashes from constant exposure to scalding hot machines or water.  It’s been years since I’ve slung espresso.  Much to my consternation, however, when I’m feeling particularly anxious or dealing with an especially troubling conundrum, my unconscious and dreaming mind often returns me to coffee shops and cafes.  In my dream worlds, coffee has become a literal manifestation of my anxiety.

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The Moon by Day

I ran into the goddess yesterday. At the farmers' market, no less.

You know how it feels when you suddenly see the face of a friend in an unexpected place? The surprise, the delight?

That's just what it was like.

Heading back to the car with my bags of baby beets, new peas, and the season's first daikons, I looked up and lo! there she was, low in the southwestern sky.

The Moon, approaching her setting, now in the 21st day of her lunation: sun-washed and pale as a cloud.

But no cloud she. Oh no.

The Moon surprises us. We think of her as Lady of Night, but the night cannot contain her. She wanders at will wheresoever she please, ruled by her own inner life. The all-seeing Sun sees what is done by day, but the wandering Moon knows the secrets of both day and night.

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Right to Gay Life

Human fetus (male), 12 weeks

Already fantasizing about other male fetuses

 

Queerness begins at the moment of conception.

 

Support the right to love.

 

Happy Pride!

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    They say that the day they discover the "gay gene" is the day pro-lifers start voting pro-choice.
Discovering Your Animals of the Heart

Animals of the Heart are the animals who want to share their lives with you. Offering their friendship, these animals want to be a part of you. I prefer calling animals who bond with you as “Animals of the Heart.” For me, the terms of “totem,” “power,” and “familiar” are specific to their religious traditions. I know that people use these words interchangeably to mean the same thing. “Animals of the Heart” is a general term that I use to denote the type of animal that people feel a deep connection with.

Animals of the Heart come in all forms. Some of them have been with you since childhood. I have met people who have been happy with Goldfish as their Animal of the Heart because they had them as pets. Meanwhile, other people have been fascinated by unicorns or dragons as children. As adults, they look to these mythical animals for wisdom.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you - a lovely and helpful post. I appreciate your acknowledgment of how often wider culture appropriates spiritual traditi

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Master-in-Green

They say that he's god of women, and the artists show him naked amid the women's pulsing dance.

Verdelet, the witches named him: the Master-in-Green.

He's green.

(They say that in the old days they greened him with copper and ground malachite.)

There's a shaggy crown of leaves bound round his head, and leafy ruffs at his wrists and ankles as well. He rustles when he moves. He's the Green.

Green lord of chlorophyll, twin to the blood lord of beasts: like his brother, both wild and tame. Of the two, he's the rooted, the calm one, the peaceful, the thinker of long thoughts.

Don't be fooled.

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  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Moving and beautiful! Thanks.
Earth and Her Two Husbands: A Folk-Tale of the Latter-Day Hwicce

Well now, Earth had a dilemma on her hands, and no mistake.

Two she loved, and how to choose between them?

Sun: so beautiful, so steady, him of the piercing insight.

And Thunder: so passionate and irascible, so wild and unpredictable.

And how to choose between the two?

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An it harm none

An it harm none do what you will at first glance seems to be an invitation for any kind of behavior.  However, this founding concept for most nature based religions is not as simplistic as it first appears. Paganism has two leading ethical principles, the Wiccan Rede and the law of return.  According to Marion Green in A Witch Alone “An it harm none, do what ye will. None in this case implies everyone and everything! An in old English means In order that and will is your soul’s own true will, not the whim of the moment.” (pg 41)  In other words - In order that no harm comes to anything or anyone do what your soul’s own true desires.  The law of return basically means that whatever energy you put out it will come back to you, three, ten or a hundred fold depending on what path you follow.  As with other religions, this is interpreted in a variety of ways.  The law of return, which is a western version of karma expounds personal responsibility.  According to Rabinovitch and MacDonald in An Ye Harm None there are two central concepts on morality “1) that there are causes for and reasons why something happens and 2) that every action you take will have effects.” (page 5)  In its simplest form the rede is the guide for making life choices. The law of return is the penalty or prize for any action taken.  

In any discussion concerning Pagan morality and justice it is difficult to pin down the one overriding belief the entire community has.  Paganism, Witchcraft, and the other nature-based belief systems are very individualistic, which is part of their appeal.  This means that those practicing these systems have to determine their own ethical and moral beliefs based on the minimal guidance found in whatever path they choose to follow.

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