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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Aunts and Uncles

Uncle Gerald. Aunt Doreen. Even (gods help us) Uncle Al.

I don't know about where you live, but around here I not infrequently hear people talking about our forebears in the Craft as "aunts" and "uncles."

I.e. as family.

Not, mind you, as "lords" and "ladies"; nothing so pretentious, so distancing. Aunts and uncles: not immediate family, but family nonetheless. These are titles, not of rank, but rather of relation, of familiarity, of fondness.

Aunts and uncles stand in a special place. Since with your aunts and uncles there's simultaneously a connection but also a certain distance, you can learn things from them that you can't easily learn from your parents.

In my family, in which the women tend to outlive the men, the aunts are a power to be reckoned with, and they carry the collective memory and experience of the family.

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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, August 4

Marine biologists find something at the bottom of the sea they can't quite explain. Orangutans provide insights into the possible origins of language. And a dead star still proves full of surprises in the depths of space. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment about science and Earth-related news! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, May 25

We think about the unique challenges Pagans with disabilities face. The meaning of the Gaulish word "iexta" is considered. And "occult" strategies of political resistance are advocated at Gods & Radicals. It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment on news about the Pagan community! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs


Halloween. First part sounds like hallow, which preserves the original sense of the festival, derived from Old English hælig, “holy thing or person, saint.”

This is how I grew up pronouncing the word in Western Pennsylvania, and how I still pronounce it.

Which means, of course, that this is the correct pronunciation.

Helloween. Feast of the Goddess of Death and the Underworld (= Hell), observed only by the bluest of British blue-bloods. Raw-tha.

Hilloween. Southern hemisphere festival observed in New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. Named for the Hill o' Ween, where Australia's first Bealtaine bonfire was lighted in 1794.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
What can we know about Linear A?

It’s terribly frustrating trying to figure out what the ancient Minoans did in terms of religion – what they believed, how they practiced – because we can’t read anything they wrote. They were a literate culture, to be sure. They had both a hieroglyphic script and a syllabary. But we can’t read either one of them. There are clues, though.

The Cretan syllabary is commonly known as Linear A. It was used to write the native language of the ancient Minoans, which probably died out with the collapse of Minoan civilization in the second millennium BCE. However, there is a possibility that Eteocretan, which is attested as late as the 3rd century BCE, is either the native Minoan language or a direct descendant of it.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Wouldn't it be ironic if "from the East" was originally "too the East" and the Minoan Linear A turns out to be a variant of Basque
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    Stranger things have happened! However, DNA testing on the human remains from several of the Minoan cemeteries shows that they are

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Taking a Slitch

You know the song I mean. The one that begins:

Let the joyous news be spread....

Just to refresh your memory: first, the house begins to pitch. Then the kitchen takes a slitch, and lands on the wicked witch. In the middle of a ditch, no less. How humiliating.

It had been raining off and on for a week before we got to the festival site, and there were mud slicks everywhere. A friend of ours came limping into camp, clearly a little the worse for wear.

"What happened to you?" someone asked.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Yan Tan Tethera: 1-20 in Witch

 Yan tan tethera pethera pimp

 sethera methera hovera covera dik

 yan-a-dik tan-a-dik tethera-dik pethera-dik bumfits

 yan-a-bumfits tan-a-bunfits tethera-bumfits pethera-bumfits figgits

 And figgits have a notch

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