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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Red Beads: A Tale of the Kalasha

Lore-master Kazi Khosnawas sits under an old walnut tree and tells a story.

Eight generations ago, before the time of Shuragali, Kalasha women wore black beads from Peshawar, but now they favor red beads. Here is why.

Shuragali was staying in the bashali, the Women's House, because she was just about to give birth, but Tiliwari lurked outside, seeking to devour her. (Tiliwari, a cruel being in the shape of a man covered with hair, his mouth red with blood, preys upon pregnant and parturant women.) Shrewd Shuragali enticed him into the bashali and pushed him into the fire, where he burned to death. Ever since then Kalasha women have worn red beads in tribute to her courage and resourcefulness.

This is a local story, says lore-master Kazi Khosnawas. That's how we know it's true.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Blessed Darkness....Soothe now my Burned Soul,
In the Cooling Blanket of Your Blackness,
Alleviate my Blistered Heart....

Twice a year, my Coven takes Dark Time. We do not meet or lead rituals. I do not email our broader community. These two time periods take place Yule-Imbolc and Lughnasadh-Mabon. We are a very public, hard-working group and these two breaks are indelibly helpful to our work. I still assign Craft homework during this period, and this period's assignment was to treat this time as more than a few more free Saturdays on our calendars. Each of us would need to surrender something in our lives and actively use the newly gained time to pursue individual rest.

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  • Molly
    Molly says #
    Really appreciated this and the link to the "delegate" article as well.
Pagan Shops of Western Canada: White Lioness Metaphysics, Penticton, BC

Recently I had an opportunity to visit all kinds of fascinating Pagan shops throughout Western Canada when I was on a book tour, so I'm writing about them to share them with others.

White Lioness Metaphysics InsidePenticton, BC is a small city in the southern Okanagan Valley; but still a weird combination of retirement community and bohemian hipster haven (don't get me wrong, I love it.) White Lioness Metaphysics, which is located in the heart of Penticton's downtown, is a collective that’s only been around for a few months, organized by the indomitable Jennifer Innes and a team of dedicated and clever women (and a handful of men) offering a variety of metaphysical services and products.  If you go on a Saturday you will also be able to enjoy Penticton’s fantastic Farmer’s Market, where you can spend the whole day tasting local wine and eating exotic vegan food while you tour art galleries and shop for handmade treasures.  Yes, White Lioness keeps a booth there as well and they offer deals on psychic and Tarot readings every Saturday.

It's a lovely little storefront with a clean, clear layout, usually dominated by a couple of different crystal grids in the middle of the brightly-lit shelves.  What's available for sale doesn't differ significantly from other metaphysical stores and there's a strong focus on crystals, so if that's not part of your practice, your primary attraction will be the original artwork with Pagan themes.  Many Pagans will find the New Agey atmosphere a little cloying, but others will love it.  Their prices are reasonable and tend to be on par, or even a little less, than what is typical for the Okanagan Valley; which is neat because they do not buy any stock and all of their stock is on consignment by members of the collective. (Full disclosure: I've got a small amount of leftover stock from when I owned a metaphysical store on consignment there as well.)

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Preconceived ideas, we all have them and rely on them.  Certain words or names evoke a response in everyone.  Generally these are negative emotions. 

Witch is a word that does this for Pagans.  Since I consider myself an eclectic witch who is seeking, it was a title I hesitated taking on as I traveled my path through paganism. 

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Posted by on in Pagan News Beagle
Airy Monday January 5, 2015

It's the first Airy Monday of the year, and today's Beagle post concentrates on that most "Airy" of realms -- space! A guide to skywatching; 2015 space exploration events; life on Mars?; the search for E.T.s; Mercury Retrograde.

The editors at IFL Science have thoughtfully created this guide to skywatching for 2015. Get out your home telescope or binoculars, and look up!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Hearsay Mode

So the missionaries want to translate the Bible into Inupiaq.

In Inupiaq, every verb conjugates in one of two modes: what we may call Eyewitness mode and Hearsay mode.

Eyewitness mode conveys highly trustworthy information, because it means that the speaker has witnessed the event herself and can personally vouch for it as a matter of honor, of personal integrity.

Hearsay mode bears much less credibility. This is what I've heard, but I didn't see it myself and so can't personally vouch for its accuracy. It might be true, but it might not.

So the missionaries want to translate the Bible into Inupiaq.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Well-Dressed Warlock

What will the well-dressed warlock be wearing in 2015?

My sources say: classic look, hoof to horn. 

Hats. The well-dressed man-in-black wouldn't dream of leaving the covenstead without one, and better it be if it's got a crow's feather tucked into the band. Any style will do, although the classic hood is a perennial favorite. Why hats, you ask? Simple: they hide the horns. 

Eelskin waistcoats. They say Old Hornie's a gentleman and, as everyone knows, gentlemen wear waistcoats. Scots warlocks made the eelskin jacket de rigueur centuries ago, and the fecket, as it's known, richly deserves its classic status. Admittedly, feckets can be difficult to find these days, especially with the EU's current environmental regulations, but trust me, it's well worth the effort. (You can find anything on the internet.) Why eelskin, you ask? Mythological reason: it links us to (and, in effect, identifies us with) the Earmengand, the Old World-Serpent “whose coils contain the ocean.” Practical reason: it makes us slippery and hard to catch. Plus an added perk: eelskin sheds bullets, even silver ones. What's not to like?

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  • Danielle Blackwood
    Danielle Blackwood says #
    This is just great! I love it Steven!

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