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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Of Magic and Mardi Gras

Journeying With Tarot

In my second delightful interview with High Priestess, Author, and Activist Phyllis Curott, we dove deeper into her new tarot deck, The Witches' Wisdom Tarot. She shared how she and artist Danielle Barlow journeyed to discover the true meanings of the cards and they developed them together organically. I intimated that I treated myself to the tarot as a gift for the holiday season and have been doing some journeying of my own with them. To be sure, this is no ordinary deck, but a re-envisioned working of the tarot deck concept, with a focus on nature, the Goddess, and an "as above/so below" theme which is much more aligned with the belief system of Witches, Wiccans, and Pagans. Each card is meant to be meditated on—there are lessons to be learned as well as overall themes and takeaways. Additionally, Phyllis has included a bit of magic you can perform incorporating the card into your spellwork. Intriguingly, drawing just one card a day while familiarizing myself with them has been telling the story of what's going on in my life in the here and now. The cards beautifully echo what is in already in the framework and help me focus on next steps for my goals. I can also tune into areas or relationships that might need more of my attention. Listen to one woman's journey with the cards described in detail in our latest "Women Who Howl at the Moon" podcast interview.

 Podcasting and Patreon

Phyllis also had some exciting news in the way of a trilogy of new books she's working on! Speaking of things exciting and new, I'm launching a Patreon page where listeners can lend support for my "Women Who Howl at the Moon" podcast. There are opportunities for giveaways, gift bags, and personally crafted spells for you, so please do check it out. It's also a chance to hear extended versions of the witchy good interviews I'll be conducting–many are so fascinating I'm reluctant to edit them down, so this is a win-win for me, as well! To hear more details, I will have the extended interview with Phyllis available for Patreon patrons.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

Your words to me are as the milk of your breasts.

 

In many Wiccan circles, as—on the Goddess's behalf—the priestess recites The Charge of the Great Mother, it's customary for her to stand in the Star or Goddess position, with legs and arms spread wide. It's a posture of revelation and self-offering.

Well and good. But there's another liturgical possibility here, a very ancient one.

In Russian painter and mystic Nicholas Roerich's 1910 Idols (Pagan Russia), shown above, we see a depiction of a pre-Christian Slavic sanctuary featuring standing wooden images of various gods, surrounded by a temenos wall.

Let me call your attention to the second figure to the right. Clothed in a checkered skirt, the goddess here depicted cups her hands beneath her breasts.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

Image result for lightning striking capitol

 

How do you say “damn” in Pagan?

It's always best to swear by one's own gods, which can leave pagans at a decided disadvantage when it comes to the Profanity Olympics.

Unlike some, pagans don't believe in eternal damnation, and pagan gods don't damn. So what's a poor pagan to say instead?

For my money, I'll take “blast.”

Though not immediately obvious as such, “blast” is actually a prayer, the invocation of a very specific pagan deity.

“Blast it!” you cry. You're calling on Thunder, bidding him destroy something (or someone) by lightning-strike. Not eternal damnation, perhaps, but still pretty nasty.

As a pagan curse word, “blast” (or its derivative adjectival form, “blasted”) has a lot of advantages.

  • It's pan-pagan: just about everyone honors the Thunderer.
  • While not exactly common in English swearing, it's not sufficiently uncommon to call undue attention to itself.
  • You've really got to admire the concision of a one-word prayer.

In sum, “blast” fits nicely with the way that pagans see the world. Wishing sudden destruction by violent divine intervention on someone (or something) is bad, but with us, it's as far as things go.

For pagans, death pays all debts.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, Little Stewie from "Family Guy" wasn't wrong. "Blast!" is a great curse word. The HBO TV series, "Rome" also had som
  • Katie
    Katie says #
    So more it be!

 

 

At the end of the Yuledays, we take down the greenery that has gladdened our darkest nights, and we burn it.

Why?

(In the old days, of course, it wasn't just Yule that was bedecked with seasonal greenery, but all the holidays. Think of Harvest Home's leaves and sheaves, for example.)

The greenery that bedecks a holiday partakes of the sacredness of the holy tide, and you don't just throw away something sacred. What is sacred needs to be disposed of in a sacred way.

In Received Tradition, there are three means of sacred disposal:

By Earth: i.e. by burial.

By Water: i.e. by deposition in a river or body of water.

By Fire: i.e. by burning.

(Those familiar with the Threefold Cosmology of the ancients will readily see the analogues here.)

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

A question that can come up when students first learn that heathens in historical times had divorce and that the wife was the key holder in most times in heathen history (with some notable exceptions) is: what happened after that? If the woman was the property owner did the man lose his status after divorce?

That's a good question, and the answer is sometimes, but not usually. Social status in the ancient world depended on a lot more besides being landed or not. A man would only lose status when he left his wife's property if the man's status was tied to the estate, which was not always the case. That had to do with how much property was involved in the marriage, which was more an issue with the upper classes, and whether there were any noble titles involved, also only an issue for the upper classes, and only in some time periods.

An example would be if the property on which they lived were exclusively her inheritance and getting divorced meant he had to stop being a land holding lord and go join some other lord's house carls. But that would have been a really small percentage of people. It would not affect most people.

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Image result for washington dc capitol building night 

AP: Washington DC

Why the Republican cowardice?

On the eve of the vote which will, in all likelihood, end with Senate Republicans once again shamefully failing to impeach disgraced ex-president Ronald Rump for crimes of which he is transparently guilty, many Americans will be wondering: why do Republican members of Congress so often seem to lack even the slightest amount of courage or moral conviction? In fact, there's a very good reason.

None of them have spines.

In 1989, a little-known statute was passed by Republican leadership that requires all incoming Congressional Republicans to undergo surgical removal of their spines before their term of service begins.

“It's a relatively simple procedure,” says Dr. Mark McKinney, a DC surgeon who, over the course of almost four decades, has performed the operation on more than 150 Republican Senators- and Representatives-elect, “and we fit them for the brace that enables them to stand upright at the same time.”

He adds that some also choose to have optional lobotomies performed at the same time.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

As a little gay witch kid growing up in a time and place when it wasn't safe to be either, I learned early on: Let them think what they want to. In my own heart, I can be free.

Not having to follow someone else's rules is freedom from one kind of slavery.

(I might add that I've spent the rest of my life working to make it so that no one else ever has to live like that again. We're certainly not there yet—maybe we never will be—but we're well on the way.)

A friend of mine prides herself on never following recipes. To her mind, this makes her free. Maybe so. To my mind, though, this makes her just as much as a slave as someone who slavishly has to follow every last detail of every last recipe. It isn't following the rules or not following the rules that frees; it's the choice to follow, or not to follow, in any given case. The choosing frees, and in this sense we free ourselves every day, with every action that we take.

Not having to follow your own rules is freedom from another kind of slavery.

Ye shall be free from slavery, the Lady of Witches promises her people. It's quite a promise. But hear how she goes on: ...and as a sign that ye be truly free, ye shall be naked in your rites.

There's physical bondage and there's mental bondage, and it's clearly the latter that she's talking about here. That's her promise to her people: that social norms that constrain others will simply not be binding on us.

Here's the kicker: what she does not mean here is that all of our rituals have to be skyclad rituals. That in itself would be a form of enslavement, enslavement to the Goddess herself. What she wants for us—what she expects of us—is that we not be slaves, not even to her. The essence of freedom is in the choosing.

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