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Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, August 17

The occult makes its way into the art world. Wiccans participate in a multifaith prayer circle. And A look at how to teach Heathenry to children. It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment on news about the Pagan community from around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Postmaster Announces New Pagan Holiday Stamps

AP: Washington, DC

The Postmaster General announced today the upcoming release of a series of stamps commemorating the eight holidays celebrated by the vast majority of contemporary pagans.

"Pagans have been an integral part of this nation since its founding and before," said Postmaster Tamar Penrose, acting head of the US Postal Service. "It's time and high time for such a public acknowledgement."

The stamps will be released later this year on November 1, the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain, celebrated by many contemporary pagans as their New Year.

The release coincides with the opening of the Smithsonian's new exhibit, "Pagan America: The First 400 Years." The exhibit will include the unveiling of the original prototypes for the stamps.

The prototypes were created by the Minneapolis Collective of Pagan Artists (MCPA) which, since its founding in 2013, has spearheaded the mainstreaming of pagan art and culture into American consciousness. It was the MCPA that first vetted the idea to the Postal Service.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Mike Denning
    Mike Denning says #
    A real stamp though. http://www.collectgbstamps.co.uk/explore/years/?year=1981 By the way did the American readers really miss t
  • Dawn Love
    Dawn Love says #
    I believe a lot of us just got so excited by the headline of the post we didn't look closely at the picture until the obvious (and
  • Lokisgodhi
    Lokisgodhi says #
    Steven Posch, I must protest! It's just sick and wrong to ever apologize for duping feeble minded morons who were taken in by a g
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    First, my thanks to everyone who took the time to read and comment. Clearly, I need to get out of the Broomstick Ghetto more (but
  • Dawn Love
    Dawn Love says #
    The "joke" is funnier when everyone is in on it. Using a reference so obscure that newer Pagans possibly won't understand it is ex
Reassembling Osiris, or: Flowers for Mona Lisa

I am because you are.

(Louis Alemayehu)

 

In the spring of 1974, Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa—arguably the most famous painting in the world—visited Japan.

There she was welcomed in a manner quite quintessentially Japanese.

People sent flowers.

At the time, I can remember thinking, Of course: that's absolutely right. That's exactly what you do to honor such a powerful...well, kami.

It's an action quintessentially Shinto.

And quintessentially pagan.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    The side-shadows make me envision a standing "herm" carved on each side, facing all four directions. I suppose there would be an o
  • Ali Art
    Ali Art says #
    Lovely!
  • Paul B. Rucker
    Paul B. Rucker says #
    I love the way this was lit: I told Larry-- the Vine Arts Center member who did the lighting-- as much. He did a masterful job all
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I see that mine aren't the only floral offerings. Better and better. Gods, I didn't notice the shadows at the opening last night.
  • Michele
    Michele says #
    What a beautiful work of art!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Measuring Worth

A great meeting of the gods was called for a certain day. As the various statues of the gods arrived from all over the world, the gatekeeper directed them.

Gold statues in rows 1 to 3, silver statues rows 4 and 5. Bronze statues in rows 6 through 10; marble statues, rows 11-20. Wooden statues in rows 21 to 40.

Now it so happened that Socrates was in attendance that day. He approached the gatekeeper.

Come, come, my friend, he chided him. A work of art cannot be judged merely on the basis of what it is made from. Some of these bronze and marble statues—even some of the wooden ones—are great masterpieces, made by the finest artists of their day. By any reasonable standard, we must hold them to be of greater value than statues of lesser craftsmanship that merely happen to be made from gold and silver.

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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 Culture Blogs
Killing the God

To the best of my knowledge, in the entire 3000-year span of its existence, not once in ancient Egyptian art do we see the death of Osiris at the hands of his brother Set.

If true (and my knowledge of the field is nowhere near exhaustive), this is a remarkable fact, and makes some profound suggestions about the thought-life of the ancients.

What is shown endures. What is shown is empowered. What is shown is made real.

So that the death of a god, the Great Sacrifice, while—terribly so—a necessity, can never in itself be an inherent good.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Indeed. The midnight Resurrection service is one of humanity's great liturgical masterpieces. Until you've been to Orthodox Easter
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    When I was taking my history of western Art class back in the early 80's I remember the teacher mentioning that art in the Eastern
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    It's a powerful, shocking image, to be sure. As an outsider looking in, it's hard not to see the crucifix as an image that glorif
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Many of us who identify as Christian are also horrified at the fixation on the Crucifixion and how that fixation has twisted and o

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Grinnygog

Did you know that there's a specific name for a statue of the Horned God?

Neither did I, until I read Dorothy Edward's 1981 children's novel, The Witches and the Grinnygog.

Back during the Troubles, goes the story (the Witch Troubles, not the Irish ones), the three appointed Keepers of the most sacred image of the Master just barely manage to escape (on brooms) with their lives and the Lord. They hide Him away in a safe place, and go into a deep, deep sleep until such a time as they shall be needed again.

That time is our day. Where's the best place to hide a Grinnygog? Well, of course, precisely where no one would ever think to look for Him: among the carvings of the local church.

But now the historic church is being dismantled stone by stone, preparatory to being moved to a new location, and the Lord is once more in danger. (Or is He?) His guardians awake, and their magic along with them.

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