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 Holding hands with your partner can help ease their pain | Daily Mail Online


Taking “articulate action” as a thumbnail definition of ritual, let us consider the wedding.

Two people enter separately and leave together.

That says something.


Say “wedding,” and I strongly suspect that most of us envision the standard “church” model: The bride is the star. Groom and assembly wait in place, bride enters in procession. Rites are enacted. Couple leaves together. I've seen the same trope in synagogue weddings, too.

This form marks a union of individuals.

But what if we consider weddings in the older sense: not just as the union of two individuals, but as the union of two families?

What if we rethink the wedding tribally?


Here's what I would envision, then: two—let's keep to two, for now, for simplicity's sake—groups of people converging from opposite directions, one clustered around the bride, the other clustered around the groom.

(For clarity's sake, I'll say “bride” and “groom” here, but the same would pertain for two grooms or two brides.)

They meet in the middle, the rites are enacted, and the party begins.

Let the two be one.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 Fossekallen 12C27 – Helle Knives

When America's witches gather...who will live, and who will die?


August 1997.

In Paris, Princess Di, newly divorced from the heir to the British throne, is killed in a tragic auto accident.

Meanwhile, in Paganistan...


The Festival

...the local pagan community hosts the annual gathering of the nation's largest organization of Witches and Wiccans. But tensions run high...


The Ritual the Ritual Committee plans a national first: a daring, and shocking, central ritual, the Dance of the Stags.

Two Stags clash in what appears to be a battle for dominance, but ends in a Great Rite. The Three Veils bless the Union as the Stags chase each other off into the words, naked and dripping cream.


The Players

The local council's First Officer, furious that, as she sees it, her beloved Goddess is being sidelined at her own festival, vows not to attend the ritual, while...

the First Stag finds himself increasingly unsure where ritual ends and reality begins, and...

the Young Stag struggles with an unexpected passion, as...

his Partner wrestles with anger at what she herself has helped to create.


Merrymeet 1997. Who will live...and who will die?


...hottest ritual ever.” (Bruner Soderberg)

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 Awakened Queen on Twitter:

Hi, Hain's the name: Sam Hain.

You don't remember me, do you? We've met before; oh yes, we have.

That's it: Dread Lord, Dark Lord, Master of the Underworld. Didn't recognize me without my antlers, did you?

That's OK, lots of people don't. You gotta remember what time of year it is. Oh, April: sweet, sweet April. Yeah, I dropped the first one back in late February, the other one...March 5th, I think it was.

Not to worry, though...there's a new pair on the way. Here, if you feel the pedicels, right here, and here, you can feel the new ones coming already.

Yes, of course I miss them. Does make doorways easier to negotiate, though.

Nice party, eh? Oh, hey, Belle, come here a second, would you? I want you to meet my friend.

You know my wife-consort, don't you? My sweet Lady of Summer.

Here, this is my Belle: Belle Tain. Yeah, I know, Hain and Tain. Can't beat it, hunh? I tell you, a match made in the Summerland. Here, Belle, I want you to meet...

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"It's just a sprinkling for the May Queen."


Well, I never did manage to find that Horned God Sex Cult that I've been looking for all these years. Presumably, it doesn't exist. If it ever did, I can read you this oracle: it didn't last long before it managed to blow itself up.

(There was supposed to have been a local sex coven back in the early days of Paganistan. No, it didn't last: they just gave each other various STDs, and then broke up.)

Probably that's just as well. As any historian of religion can tell you, your average sex cult doesn't have a very long shelf life: not terribly surprising, when you think about it. “Volatile” would be the operative word here.

Doesn't mean they're not fun to fantasize about, though.


Beltane's coming—now there's a phrase for you—and the sap is flowing.

Me, I'm a writer: it's Spring, and the green fires burn. Naturally, I've been writing pornography.

Pagan porn, of course: the convergence of obsessions. Talk about a niche market.

Well, why shouldn't there be holy pornography? Sacred pornography? Now there's a pagan literary genre, if ever there was one. Think of the Kama Sutra. Whoever decided that religion and sex don't mix? Whoever he was, he was no pagan, I can tell you that much.

I don't know about yours, but the Witch religion is an eros-driven religion. Gardner got that one absolutely bang-on right. Our gods have genitals, and they know how to use them.

That's where everything comes from, they say: “the force that through the green fuse drives the flower.”


Interestingly, much of what I've been writing is not terribly, as they say, explicit.

In my experience (such as it is) the indirect and figurative is way hotter than getting slapped in the face with it. I learned this from, of all people, Mary Renault. Her novels have some incredibly hot male-male sex in them, but if you weren't reading carefully, you'd probably miss it.

Sex, after all, isn't something one person does to another: it's what we do together.

Gods: gay pagan pornography for smart people. Talk about the niche of a niche of a niche of a niche.


No, you won't be seeing any of my holy porn any time soon; not around here, anyway. Once I get my Substack up and running, just possibly (and selectively). For now, it circulates privately among friends: those who understand both what it means, and what it doesn't.

Not that you, of all people, need it, of course. After all, you've got a wild pagan imagination of your own.

Like every other organ, imaginations need exercise.

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