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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 1 blog entry contributed to teamblogs

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Witches (along with many other denominations of Paganism) view sex as sacred. 

The Charge of the Goddess says that all acts of love and pleasure are rituals of the Goddess, and not only do I believe that to be true, it's one of the things that drew me to this religion.  In many ways, we're more open about sex (some of us say that we're more "sex positive") than the members of many/most other religions.  Similarly, we're more likely to be quite accepting of QLTBG, etc. sex/sexuality/identity, polyamory, public nudity, and various less-than-mainstream forms of sexual expression than the members of many other religions.  Our on-line discussions and our festivals and conferences often reflect this reality. 

I consider those to be some of our strengths.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Max Dashu
    Max Dashu says #
    I read your post perfectly well the first time. Feminazi is an offensive slur that is used to insult women on the regular. Your us
  • Hec
    Hec says #
    Max, The sentence says: "Third, I'd like to suggest that we all consider that those who want to discuss ways to make Pagan even
  • Max Dashu
    Max Dashu says #
    "Feminazis," really??? No remedy for child abuse or battering, because He said, she said, just like in the courts. I'm disgusted.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
High-Tech Tarot

Okay, well, maybe it is not particularly high-tech to some of you, but for an old crone like me who seems to have an aversion to modern electronics, it seems that way. I don't pay for my apps, I hardly know how to use my smartphone, but this is something that I discovered awhile ago, and now would not be without. 

Yes, I still like the feel of the cards and yes, I still adore my Tarot of the Cloisters deck, but with the Galaxy Tarot app on my phone, if I have my phone, I have my Tarot. What's more, I can do readings, and email the screenshot right to my client. I can share specific cards, I can add my own notes, I can refer to the different aspects of the symbolism or different correlations; in short, there's not a lot I can't do with this. 

I'm not one to go all gaga over an app, but this one--along with the sister app, Galaxy Runes -- are the only two for which I've actually paid. At $4 a throw they're excellent value for money. 

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    Galaxy Tone is a great app on Kindle Fire! Wish they had a better deck selection, though. (Btw, was gifted a Cloisters Tarot last
Hunab Ku: 77 Sacred Symbols for Balancing Body and Spirit

"In Hunab Ku, you'll find seventy-seven images of home-multiple ways to view or earth and ourselves. These images, like the Hunab Ku itself, measure and move us and encourage us to embark upon our own sacred journey. The Hunab Ku lies at the very center of these images, reminding us to balance our intentions, to center our understandings, and to become more conscious of what ancient wisdom continues to teach all of us today." -- From Hunab Ku: 77 Sacred Symbols for Balancing Body and Spirit

b2ap3_thumbnail_hunab-2-300.pngHunab Ku is an ancient Mayan symbol that represents the joining of opposites. Hunab means "one state of being" and Ku means "God". Masculine and feminine, analytical and intuitive, objective and subjective, yang and yin, conscious and unconscious, external and internal-the Hunab Ku speaks to the abyss between opposing forces and, in fact, serves as a bridge between them. The archetype of the Hunab Ku is the "space between" that reflects oneness with God and the unity of all things.

The Mayans constructed several detailed calendars and these calendars reflected cycles of the Earth and humanity itself. After each cycle of 5,125 years, the "universe takes a deep breath and begins again", and according to the Maya Long Count Calendar, humanity is posed on the edge of a great unfolding of balance and understanding. Many have called this the Age of Aquarius, but the Mayans called it the Age of Itza-Age of Consciousness. Some interpretations have set the winter solstice of 2012 as the time marking a gateway to the galaxies where Hunab Ku-the great mover-will pulse and fill us all with intelligent energy.

b2ap3_thumbnail_hunab-1-300.pngAuthors Karen Speerstra and Joel Speerstra have presented 77 sacred symbols that create an interactive system for learning, healing, and meditation. These 77 symbols are archetypes that are universal, arising from the collective unconscious. As visual metaphors, the symbols reflect, like mirrors, the patterns that are deeply embedded in each one of us. These archetypes bypass the rational mind, arrive on the wings of synchronicity, and invite us to journey inward. Archetypal symbols like those presented in Hunab Ku can explode us into different dimensions of understanding, restoring balance, energizing creativity, and promoting healing if we but allow them entrance.

In the book, the 77 archetypal images are organized into groups of seven color palettes, each reflecting the seven chakras. Eleven archetypal symbols are associated with each chakra, depicting the energetic pattern of the image as it relates to the seven energy vortices and their corresponding issues, gifts, and challenges. The lower chakras--represented by red, orange, and yellow-connect to the physical side of life. The upper chakras-represented by blue, indigo, and violet-connect us to the spiritual side of life. In the center likes a field of green which connects to both the heart chakra and the Hunab Ku. This area marks our central union with one another and joins the images of the body and the spirit.

There are several ways Hunab Ku can be read:

* Conventionally, from beginning to end, as a mini ancient art history tour
* One color group of eleven images at a time
* As an oracle where you ask a powerful open-ended question and then turn to a random page
* Roll dice and generate random numbers for different types of intuitive readings
* Use a pendulum to dowse the Hunab Ku symbol for numbers/images that speak to your questions

Hunab Ku is an unconventional book that serves as a spiraling labyrinth of archetypal consciousness. The physical images span from Red 1 Great Bear (Solitude) to Green 39 Hunab Ku (Lover). The spiritual images span from Green 39 Hunab Ku (Relationships) to Violet 1 Unicorn (Unity). So one could move down a path towards the center (39) and then move back out towards the world again by passing through numbers 38 through 1.

b2ap3_thumbnail_hunab-3-300.pngHere are a few symbols from the book:

RED

Scorpion (Conflict)
Womb (Gestation)
Ouroboros (Unconsciousness)

ORANGE

Mother (Intuition)
Water (Movement)
Giant (Control)

YELLOW

Star (Inspiration)
Twins (Androgyny)
Wheel (Change)

GREEN

Dolphin (Addiction)
Healer (Wholeness)
Phoenix (Hope)

b2ap3_thumbnail_hunab-4-300.pngBLUE

Teacher (Knowledge)
Sound (Vibration)
Magician (Journey)

INDIGO

Moon (Dreams)
Wise Old One (Rest)
Chalice (Quest)

VIOLET

Scarab (Manifestation)
Double Spiral (Infinity)
Crown (Reward)

For each symbol there is a re-drawn color plate of a petroglyph, artifact, figurine, carving, wall mural, etc. These archetypes are from diverse areas such as the Americas, Africa, British Isles, Babylon, India and beyond. For example, Under Mystic (Violet 8), there is a picture of a stone labyrinth (1200 CE) from Chartres, France. For the Serpent (Red 7), there is a picture of the Great Serpent Mound (c. 1000 BCE) from Ohio, U.S.A.

b2ap3_thumbnail_hunab-5-300.pngFor me, one of the most fascinating elements of this 330-page book is the symbol readings in the back. Each of these readings is comprehensive, combining a series of archetypes for an incredibly accurate and insightful reading. There's an Insight Reading, Work Reading, Rainbow Reading, Courage Reading, and The Bard: Telling Your Story. The authors provide easy to read charts if you want to generate numbers by throwing dice or by assigning number values to the letters of your name, for example.

Frankly, I am amazed at the depth of this book. It "speaks" profoundly on so many levels. 

If you're fascinated by the world of symbols and archetypes-as well as chakras, energy, mythology, art, sacred geometry, oracles, anthropology, and spiritual evolution-this beautifully illustrated and exhaustively researched book will take you on an amazing journey through both outer and inner worlds. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

What's the best way to leave food offerings?

Libations are simple: one pours directly onto the ground.

Food offerings, though, are a little more difficult. If there's a sacred fire present, one can burn them, but what if there isn't? It seems rude to lay them directly on the ground. (If I offered you a sandwich and set it on the floor in front of you, how would you feel?) To set out food offerings in non-bio-degradable containers pollutes both physically and spiritually. What to do?

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  • Grant
    Grant says #
    This has been something which has been on my mind for some time as well, still now and in the past, I have always layed my food of
  • Linette
    Linette says #
    I live in the wilderness, and I have some stones I lay my offerings on. They are always well received by the local wildlife who le
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Writer Paul Tuiteann (reborn to the people) once told me, "Circles and house wards are all fine and good, but if you really want t

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

For the witch, the seat of magic is the mind.

Animals know. Human beings know that we know. The wise know that we know that we know: we can observe our own thought processes. And the witch is the one who can consciously and with intent aforethought manipulate her own thought processes. (Terry Pratchett, that not un-astute observer of witchdom, calls this “having third thoughts.”) The witch knows that it's not good enough to think: Oh well, that's how I think, so that's that. The witch thinks: Hmm, that's how I think; how do I think myself into thinking differently?

And that's the heart and pulse of all our magic.

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