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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The Stangmen

They call them the Stangmen.

They also call them the Witchmen, though generally out of earshot.

A bunch of grizzled old farmers that look just like anyone else, though everyone knows who they are.

Everyone knows that at the Old Times they go up to the Hill—the one that everyone still calls Old Baldie, though the trees grew back long since—and there they do their work.

Back before the trees grew back, you could see every field and pasture in the district from up there.

They call them the Stangmen because they keep the four old stangs, handed down since no one knows when.

Different stangs for different times and different purposes: Ram, Bull, Stag, Goat.

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“Mother, mother
There’s too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today”
Marvin Gaye

A friend of mine went on a rant on Facebook the other day. She’s a lovely woman whose posts are usually filled with warm tales of family, nature, and reflections on her Pagan spiritual life. She doesn’t often get angry, but now she was angry. Angry with the violence and hatred that was happening all around us, angry at the inability of our society to respond appropriately to the environmental crisis we are in the midst of, angry at the way people were treating each other. She detailed, in bullet points, about half a dozen of the things she had read about or seen that had brought her to this state, ending each point with “WHAT THE F**K” in big capital letters.

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Mythic Animals: Magic

What is a mythic animal? Traditionally considered a product of people’s imaginations, they are animals that do not exist on the physical plane. In fact, many mythical animals are a combination of several real animals. (They usually have the characteristics of both animals.) But mythic animals are real to those who dream.

Mythic animals live on the edges of our minds. Moreover, they live in our world, in places where everything is a little wild and primitive. Furthermore, we may encounter them, when we least expect it. For example, on a foggy day or a moonlit night, you may glimpse one. I have seen dragons sunning themselves on mountains as I traveled a busy highway. Dragons have also appeared briefly in raging snowstorms in my local area.

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Samhain in September

My gods. It just gets earlier every year.

Oh, not the stores. I gave up on those years ago. Samhain stuff going up? Must be September.

What's next? Jack o' lanterns at Lunasa?

Oh, well. In its own way, commerce helps turn the Wheel.

But at home? Folks, we're not even out of the Harvest thirtnight yet. Isn't it a little early for orange lights and skeletons?

Don't get me wrong; I love Samhain as much as the next guy.

But then—let's remember—comes Winter.

And for that, quite frankly, I can wait.

A while back the youth of Zuñi pueblo put together a traveling show of traditional dances. Before they hit the road, they danced for the elders, to get their blessing.

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Title: What Is an Altar? (Pagan Children Learning Series Book Four)

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Stands-In-the-Sky

In the old language of the Witches, frith means “peace.”

They say that it's also the name of the Goddess of the Rainbow.

Why? Not difficult.

Daughter of Sun and Thunder, contentious couple that they are, she is child of their reconciliation.

Last new moon I set out for our coven meeting just before sunset. Although the day had been gray and rainy throughout, suddenly the clouds parted and everything began to glow with a long, red equinox light.

And there in the east She stood in the sky with Her twin sister, vast and shining.

I live in a gritty urban neighborhood where it's sound practice to be a little chary of people you pass on the street.

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Care of Souls

"Michael, what's wrong?"

Standing in the doorway, my friend grimaces.

"I realized today that I don't believe in the existence of god any more," he says.

The god that he means is the god of Abraham. I'd come to the same conclusion myself years before, but for Michael, who'd gone to seminary, nearly become a priest, and later considered conversion to Judaism, this was huge.

I pondered my response. Souls need careful handling.

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