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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Breaking the Wheel

At Paganicon in several weeks' time, we'll be doing something profoundly non-pagan: anti-pagan, even.

We'll be singing seasonal songs out of season.

The pagan's work is to Turn the Wheel: to make sure (inter alia) that the Sun comes up in the morning. (Whether to read this literally or symbolically is up to you.) The greatest pagan sin is to try to stop the Wheel or (worse) to break it.

It's our conviction that to sing the right songs in the right season helps to Turn the Wheel. So to sing the songs of other seasons now in this season raises some deeply theological problems.

Well, the pagan world is a place of gradation. What needs to be done, you do in the best possible way that you can.

For my upcoming workshop All Around the Wheel: Sacred Songs and Dances from the Midwest's Oldest Coven, we'll be singing songs from all the firedays, not just the current one. That's the point of the entire endeavor: to teach songs for the whole year.

So here's what we're going to do to make it magically palatable.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Danced Religion

Paganism is sung religion.

Paganism is danced religion.

Without the songs and dances, our paganism is incomplete, a mere shadow of what it could be.

For 40 years now, one group in Minnesota has been gathering the Songs and the Dances of the Old Ways.

Now we're going to teach them to you.

 

All Around the Wheel: Sacred Song and Dance with the Midwest's Oldest Coven

Steven Posch, with Prodea

 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

9-10:15 a.m. Room F

Paganicon 2020

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Meet the Minoan Deities: Korydallos

One of the tricky bits about revivalist Pagan religion is that lots of information gets lost over time, either because oral traditions die out or because written sources are destroyed - or both. That means there are deities we may not even realize exist until we stumble across them in our research. So today I'm introducing a new god who's also a very old god. This is the section I've written about him as I revise and update Labrys and Horns for the new second edition that will be released in June:

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This enigmatic god comes to us via the fascinating field of dance ethnography. The Red Champion still exists in folk dances around the Mediterranean today. A shamanic spirit warrior of a sort, he is the son of an ancient goddess figure. He may very well predate the Minoans, possibly going back as far as the beginning of farming in the Neolithic, given the content of the dances he appears in. But our experience with him in MMP links him with Therasia, so that’s how he fits into our pantheon: he is her son.

He’s one of the three Young Gods, each one a son of one of our mother goddesses. In that role, he acts as an intermediary between the people and the Mothers. Like his brothers, he’s forever young: youthful, energetic, exuberant. But of course, he’s also old, as old as the gods themselves. So he’s wise but also playful, which can be a nice change sometimes.

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The Magical Spectrum: Candle Colors in Your Spellwork

Candle magic is a mainstay of witchcraft. I burn candles every night and take them with me when traveling, too. For their magic to work, simply apply the basic percepts of color magic: have a clear intention of your desired outcome, and choose the appropriate color candle from the following list. On the corresponding day begin burning the candle on your altar. Repeat this ritual for seven consecutive days with the same color candle. If you’re a traveling, choose a spot to consecrate as an altar using the prosperity altar incantation at the beginning of this chapter.

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
ASSIGNED MEANINGS of CRYSTALS

I sometimes get emails from people who disagree with the assigned meanings of certain crystal configurations listed in the blog and elsewhere. Recently I had someone write about Eight-Sided Face crystals. He wanted to know why I focused on particular assigned meanings and not others. I am sharing my take on this great question.

THE QUESTION:

Mandala Eight-Sided Face - Genn John"I read with interest your write up on Eight-Sided Face crystals. You seem to focus on this crystal as one that is essentially used for STOP, FOCUS and GROUND action, in another words it is a grounding stone.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Jesus with a Boner

Check out Peter Paul Rubens' 1615 (?) painting Christ Risen.

Note the prominent morning boner.

The Renaissance was the time when Pagan Antiquity saved the Christian West from itself. (Even dead and buried, those old pagans still have the power to impart new life.) Inspired by the nude gods of the Ancient World, Christian art suddenly took on a fleshy quality that it had never theretofore known.

(Some critics would see a betrayal of Christian message in the implied eroticism of this artistic en-flesh-ment. Since embodiment—incarnation—lies at the very heart of the Christian story, to this sympathetic pagan at least this would seem an invalid critique; but perhaps the inherent contradiction lies in Christianity itself.)

Since the Resurrection is never narrated in the gospels, it took a long time for it to be depicted in art; before the Middle Ages, artists tended to treat the Resurrection by allusion rather than direct depiction.

As an artistic problem, it's an interesting one. How do you show a dead person coming back to life?

What Rubens has done here—logically enough, really—is to show it as a waking from sleep. Still wrapped in his grave sheet, Jesus is just sitting up in bed. As for the morning boner, well, that's just male physiology, and kudos to Rubens for having the testicular fortitude to show it.

But, of course, the waking erection is more than that. It implies a virility more appropriate, one might think, to the fertility gods of antiquity, to the Green Men of the world (in whose honor we speak of “wood”) than to the “pale Galilean” of so much Christian theology.

Rubens was not the first to depict Jesus with an erection; the motif occurs earlier in Flemish and German art—notably in the paintings of Van Heemskerck—as a daring articulation of the implications of Incarnation in, not just human, but in male human form (109).

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Rubens was a prolific guy.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I majored in art history back in college. I don't remember this particular work by Rubens being mentioned at all.

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