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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 Suspicious packages: 9 signs of potential danger on your doorstep - ABC13  Houston

So, you're a witch, are you? I know, I know: you only came for the spells.

Well, let me tell you something about witching: it's a package deal.

Like every other tribe, we have our own religion. It's your religion now, whether you practice it or not.

Like every other tribe, we have our own gods. They're your gods now, whether you worship them or not.

Like every other tribe, we have our own ways. They're your ways now, whether you keep them or not.

You're a witch now, are you? Well, welcome to the tribe.

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 History of Jack-O'-Lanterns | Merriam-Webster

 Nine Schools of Thought

 

When is Samhain?

As one would expect, authorities disagree.

 

Stuffy (also: Traditionalist) School

Samhain begins at sundown on October 31, the First of the Three Nights of Samhain.

Hey: if the Gregorian calendar was good enough for the ancestors, it's good enough for me.

 

Old School

Old Samhain comes on 11-12 November.

Hey, if the Julian calendar was good enough for the ancestors, it's good enough for me.

I suppose you're one of those neo-pagans?

 

Old Craft

Do you maybe mean All Hallows? Or, better, All Saints?

Protective coloration, dude. It's all about protective coloration.

 

Slapdash School

It's Samhain whenever the coven has time to get together.

Usually this means the Saturday closest to Halloween, but if it's December 3 instead, tough.

What the f*ck is the “Three Nights of Samhain”?

 

Purist (also: Astronomical) School

Samhain falls at the precise midpoint between astronomical Autumn Equinox and astronomical Winter Solstice.

Hey: if astronomical precision was good enough for the ancestors, it's good enough for me.

“Three Nights of Samhain”? Did you perhaps by any chance mean the Trinox Samoni?

 

American Trendy School

Samhain = Halloween (or, as true Trendies would insist, Hallowe'en). Samhain begins at midnight on October 30, and ends at midnight on October 31.

That means that the Eve of Samhain is actually October 30.

Well, that's what they say.

 

American Commercial School

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Quiet Mind Meditation

Try this before you go to bed when you are stressed or have a big day planned so you are calm and ready for anything! The great psychic and healer Edgar Cayce used this blue beauty for achieving remarkable meditative states during which he had astoundingly accurate visions and prophetic dreams. Indeed, azurite helps achieve a high state of mental clarity and powers of concentration. If you can’t find the answer to a problem in the here and now, try looking for solutions on the astral plane. Write the problem down on paper and place it under a small azurite overnight on a windowsill so it collects moonlight.

At 11:11 a.m., lie comfortably in a quiet and darkened room with the azurite stone placed over your third eye on your forehead. Clear your mind of everything for eleven minutes and meditate. Sit up and listen for the first thing that comes into your mind—it should be the answer or a message regarding the issue at hand. Write down the words you receive. The rest of the day you will be in a state of grace and higher mind during which you will hear information and answers to help guide you in many aspects of your life. If you, like me, enjoy this meditation, you may want to do it every day at 11:11 a.m. and every night at 11:11 p.m. I strongly suggest that you keep a journal of these “azurite answers.” You may receive information that you won’t understand until many years have passed, making the journal an invaluable resource and key to your very special life.

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 The Marvel Movies Debrief: Iron Man Recap, Legacy and MCU Connections | Den  of Geek

They sure don't make superheroes like they used to.

Consider Morvan son of Tegid, named in an anonymous 10th century Welsh poem as one of the warriors of Arthur's warband. So ugly was Morvan that no weapon would harm him.

Or consider his companion, Sandde Angel-Face, so beautiful that no weapon would harm him. These powers brought them both unscathed, even through the Battle of Camlan, where Arthur fell.

Today's superheroes seem a lesser breed by comparison. Beside such superpowers, what good are retractable metal claws, or the ability to shrink to the size of an ant?

Of what use is a superpower without practical applications?

 

Iron Man

(To the tune of: “Spiderman”)

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Dyspeptic right-wing alarmists like Rod Dreher notwithstanding, Christianity isn't really dying in the West.

Changing, yes. Losing market share, yes.

Dying, no.

But, to a not-unsympathetic outside observer such as myself, the slow ebb of its unquestioned spiritual monopoly here in the West offers an opportunity to understand an outstanding problem of human religious history: how did the old paganisms of Europe manage to die off so quickly?

Again and again, in region after region, the pattern emerges: within a few generations of conversion, cultic paganism has all but disappeared, leaving behind it little but a tide-wrack of half-remembered lore and behaviors. Where once religion was, only folklore remains.

Nor was this pattern unique to the West. The last bastion of Indo-European-speaking paganism was in the Hindu Kush mountains, the northeastern region of Afghanistan then called Kafiristan, “land of unbelievers.” Here the ancient ways persisted into the 1890s.

The emir of Kabul's jihad against the infidels changed all that. A decade of fire and sword, genocide and forced conversion, later, the land of unbelievers came to be known (as it is today) as Nuristan, “land of light.” 100 years on, sociologists have found that contemporary Nuristanis remember virtually nothing about the old ways of their great-grandparents: a few old god-names, perhaps, but little more.

All too often, historians have viewed this pattern, in effect, through spiritual Darwinist spectacles: as the product of some inherent qualitative superiority of the new ways over the old. That this is simply not so is proven by the emergence of the same pattern, but reversed, in our own day.

(Fueled by the inherent spiritual inadequacies of Abrahamic worldviews, the same reemergence of the Old Ways that here in the West we call “paganism” is simultaneously taking place among peoples all over the world.)

From our own experience, we can easily see how, and how quickly, such culture-loss can happen. Despite the cultural omnipresence of the various Christianities in contemporary America, the children of pagans, or of the non-religious, grow up knowing very little about Jesus, the Bible, or the Church. Once the chain is broken, the Forgetting sets in quickly. One generation is all it takes.

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A Good Night’s Sleep Herbal Ritual

The sweet scent of petals and herbs can bring deep rest when you cast this spell. Make this craft and you’ll feel more rested every morning.

Gather together:

...
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I've already been on the road for half an hour when, not without some inner grousing, I turn the car around and prepare to retrace my trail. That's the nature of sudden epiphany.

I finally know what to do with the rest of Sparky's ashes.

 

Singer-songwriter Sparky T. Rabbit died in 2014.

A third of his ashes we sent down the Mississippi.

A third have remained with his husband.

The rest I've kept since his death in the urn that will hold my own ashes some day, with no clear idea of what to do with them.

Sudenly, urgently, I know.

 

Through all the days of our Grand Sabbat, the urn, glazed with swirling patterns of transformation and rebirth, stands at the foot of our camp stang.

Now, on the final morning of the gathering, I carry it down to the circle where the sacred Fire burns: where, the night before, we had reddened the altar with the blood of a god. Having made our final offerings to the Fire, and extinguished it with wine, we follow the Horned up and out of the woods, his rippling flanks dappled with sunlight as he walks.

He waits for us at the edge of the meadow, its long grasses starred with Queen Anne's lace and chicory. I present the urn and he takes it tenderly. It nestles like a baby in the crook of his arm.

One final wave, and he turns and walks up the hill. Meadowlarks sing as he reaches the skyline and slowly sinks down into the earth: calves, thighs, buttocks, back, head, tine-tips.

Or maybe he just walks off into the sky.

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