Pagan Studies


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Studies Blogs

Advanced and/or academic Pagan subjects such as history, ethics, sociology, etc.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Patience & Fury, Part 3

 

This is the third of a series of blog posts on how to move more gracefully through the turbulence of current events in the world. Each post can stand alone, and the order does not matter, but I suggest reading the whole series as they support each other. I am calling this series “patience and fury” though other words are just as applicable. This is the last in this series so let’s add “pertinacity and indolence”,“action and reaction” and “focused and frazzled”.

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6 Fantastic Ways your Imagination can turn Possibilities into Reality

When you think of the imagination, do you think of it as as a sacred magical expression of your true self, or do you treat it as a childish fancy, something to be boxed away and forgotten? For many people, the answer unfortunately is the latter...they treat it as a childish fancy and as a result ignore its power, to their detriment. For even when you treat your imagination as a childish fancy you are still applying it to your life, but not in a way that truly empowers you. Your imagination is a double-edged sword and if you don't learn how to work with it as a sacred magical expression you'll miss out on applying one of the most potent magical tools you have that can help you transform possibility into reality and align fortune in your favor.

So how does imagination turn possibility into reality?

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An Open Letter to the City of Philadelphia and the Mummers

 

(Author’s note: For those of you unfamiliar with this particular Philadelphia tradition, you can find information about it here: http://www.phillymummers.com). Because mumming is a tradition that arose out of European Pagan folk practices beginning with the Swedes and Finns who first settled in the area, I felt an especial need to address this years’ parade.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you for this column - 2015 was indeed been a year of seeing the realities of homophobia, transphobia, racism, and misogyny -
  • Helena
    Helena says #
    Oh I sure hope so!

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
When Long Shadows Fall.... Artists Get to Work!

When long shadows fall and dwarf the trees at evening 
When white winter light burnishes the streams 
The I will bring you a coat of soft lamb's wool 

To keep your back from the keen northern wind

When snow shames the sheep that huddles to the leawood
When snow drops peep form darkness unfurled
Then I will bring you boots with fur linings
To keep your feet dry as you walk o'er the world

When home becomes a prison and snow drifts lock the door
When February fill dyke drenches the moor
When black rain freezes and whips at your hand
Then I will bring a carriage with wheels of wind
To take you away from this barren land
 
~ From "Winter: Long Shadows" by Maddy Prior

 

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Ubuntu: My African Journey

I spent fifteen days walking the sands of another continent this year. Fifteen days eating the fruits of another land, looking into the eyes of people I had never met, and marveling at the infinite beauty and potential of the human spirit. The cultural immersion trip I participated in was sponsored by my school, Iliff School of Theology, and led by two of my professors who are originally from Harare Zimbabwe. 

During the course of those fifteen days we interfaced with universities, non-profit organizations, orphanages, climbed the rocks of Great Zimbabwe, witnessed the power of Victoria Falls, toured the Apartheid museum, and walked the halls of the prison on Robben Island. The trip was simultaneously amazing, exciting, and excruciating. In other words I will never forget it.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Patience & Fury, Part 2

 

This is the second of a series of blog posts on how to move more gracefully through the turbulence of current events in the world. Each post can stand alone, and the order does not matter, but I suggest reading the whole series as they support each other. I am calling this series “patience and fury” though I could just as well call it “empathy and apathy”, “mercy and punishment”, or “hope and despair”.

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4 Reasons to work with Villains in Pop Culture Magic

Sometimes, with pop culture magic, you want to work with the bad guy, the villain, or the monster. The reasons why can vary from person to person, but I think one reason that stands out to me is that the villain is a character people relate to. S/he is flawed and shows those flaws more readily than the hero might. At the same time, there villain rarely thinks of him/herself as an actual villain. S/he has reasons for taking action and those reasons are sometimes quite valid. The problem is that the action is what makes the character villainous because it isn't the right action (at least according to the mores of society). Working with a villain can be very effective because the villain isn't bound to societal standards and may come up with some creative solutions (as Emily Carlin shares in a post she wrote on the same topic).

Recently Vincent Piazza wrote a post about horror magic, where he explores the history of horror film. One point he makes is that horror films show the ills of society and what happens if we don't learn to work with the shadow within us. That's wise advice and the second reason to work with villains because sometimes what we learn from them is something about ourselves and how to avoid making the mistakes the villain has made. Of course, if we do choose to work with a villain or a monster, some caution is warranted in how we work with them, but in all honesty the same cautions apply to working with any pop culture character.

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