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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 1 blog entry contributed to teamblogs

I'll take my magic without the K, please.

Ah yes, magic-with-a-K: that pretentious archaism that supposedly differentiates the genuine article from illusionism. The new magical realism at its most twee.

Why, Posch, why?

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Maybe 10 years back a coven-sib and I spoke to the local Unitarian Pagan chapter about our group. Afterwards, someone came up and
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    I'm glad to know that the post was not meant to be scornful. But when you say that magick is a "pretentious archaism" you imply th
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Far from it. Gods help me, Diotima, I care very deeply about our people--so old and so young, so wise and so foolish, so courageou

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Loki the Horned God

Today I'd like to present some meta thoughts on Loki’s depiction, spurred by an interesting conversation on my FB about Loki being likened to a Satanic figure in the Norse pantheon, and me mulling over how this is actually a backhanded compliment. I could rant on how Lu/Satan is unjustly vilified, but that’s a rant that is probably better handled by an actual Luciferian. I am not an expert on Lucifer, but the vilification of horned depictions of Gods is relevant to my interests.


Horned!Loki on the Kirkby Stone.

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  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    Aside from the problematical identification of those images to either side of his head on the stone as horns (they are both too lo

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_crossroads-in-woods.jpgI shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

 Astrologers are all abuzz these days about the upcoming “Cardinal Cross” in April, which involves the ongoing Uranus-Pluto square I have mentioned so frequently. Those two planets are now being joined by Jupiter in Cancer and Mars retrograde in Libra to form an equal-armed cross – the cross of manifestation. They all line up closest with each other — and with the Sun of the USA’s chart — right around April 22. In addition to this, there are two eclipses coming up in the month of April. Right now though, let’s take a look at the New Moon in Aries on March 30th, which is predictive for the month ahead. The chart I am working with is cast for Washington, DC, and so is predictive for the entire USA.

Why, yes — as you may have already heard if you keep up with astrology, it *is* a rather intense chart. Mars — retrograde, in its detriment, and tucked away in the 3rd house in the WDC chart — rules the New Moon. Passive-aggressive describes this placement pretty well, and given Mars’ rulership of the foreign policy, higher education, philosophy and religion 9th house, we are likely to see veiled hostility, avoidance of confrontation, underhanded actions, and knife-in-the-back behavior in any of those areas, because when Mars ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Ditto for 3rd house areas of media, communication networks, transportation, early education.And, yes — the Cardinal Cross kicks ass, and Mars is part of that. But you can avoid a lot of the pain and aggravation if you get off of the aforementioned fundament and put it in gear.

You can’t escape change, especially if you have key planetary placements in the Cardinal signs. In fact, many of you are right in the middle of a period of profound change. The Cardinal Cross can give you a lot of power to change your life for the better, but you’ll need to participate enthusiastically in releasing the old to make room for the new. The choices you make now are exceptionally important. You’ll want to have goals in mind, and a clear focus. I can’t emphasize enough how much this chart requires flexibility, focus, and a willingness to act with empathy and in line with your core values.

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  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Interesting about an alignment of larger planets. Some recent physics papers suggest that planetary alignments cause tides on the

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

There's been a some buzz about the Sacred Space conference here in the magical Mid-Atlantic and the series of rituals/workshops that focused on Appalachian magic. I was lucky to get to go to a number of these and blogged about them over at

While it wasn't identified as part of the Appalachian thread, there was another workshop/ritual that focused on the Goddess Columbia (for whom the District of Columbia is named) as an American Athena. Along with the Appalachian sessions, it served to ground the conference in this specific landbase:  America, the East Coast, the Potomac River watershed. That's a development that I believe is hugely important and I am convinced that the magic that came out of this year's Sacred Space was a sum greater than the whole of its parts.

Prior to the Columbia workshop/ritual, I was chatting with one of the Priestesses about political magic that we've done in Columbia's District. She mentioned dropping charged stones around certain government buildings, often right in front of guards. I described workings where my circle had charged birdseed and then I'd gone off to play the harmless old woman, feeding the pigeons -- right outside the Supreme Court building. We both had a good cackle about doing magic in plain sight.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Wiccan on Wiccanate Privilege

There's been a lot of talk since PantheaCon in the blogsphere recently about Wiccanate privilege.  I was not at PantheaCon, but to the best of my ability to determine, it is a general sense of being marginalized in the Pagan community that exists among a variety of Pagans who do not follow a path that resembles (at least superficially) Wicca.  They feel that most "Pagan" rituals and gatherings are Wiccan-normative, and they would prefer that this assumption is not made in pan-Pagan ritual, conversations and gatherings.  There have been some excellent articles on the topic; here's one at the Wild Hunt; here's one at Finnchuill's Mast; here's one by T. Thorn Coyle in regards to a controversial "Wiccanate" prayer she gave at the gathering; here's one at Of Thespiae (a Hellenic Reconstructionist blog); here's a couple by fellow PaganSquare writers Stifyn Emrys and Taylor Ellwood; here's a couple by fellow Patheos writers Yvonne Aburrow, Niki Whiting, Julian Betkowski, John Halstead and Jason Mankey at Raise the Horns; and P. Sufenas Virius Lupus, writer of "Queer I Stand" at Patheos, has commented about it extensively around the internet though I couldn't find a specific blog post on the topic in my search (though e was at the conference).  If you read all of these, you'll probably get a good handle on the many different sides of the issue and what various people's take on it is: and if you read the comments, it will be more informative still.  If you haven't done so yet, do it; then come back here in an hour or three if you still want to hear my opinion.  Don't worry, I'll wait . . .

Here's my thoughts as someone who identifies as a Wiccan: I think that those who are advocating for this are right!  I think that most people, within and without the Pagan community, do assume that "Wiccanate" paths are the norm.  And I do think we need to be more inclusive and accommodating in our language and form.  No question about it!  Our community is still small enough that I don't think we can afford to alienate each other.  Let's try to get along in a climate of mutual respect.

I think it might help to have an idea of where the problem came from.  Back in the early 90s, when we were all using bulletin boards and Yahoogroups to open these conversations in a collective way that wasn't in-person at festivals, most of the books out there were indeed about essential solitary "Outer Court" Wicca.  Most people came to Paganism through these books.  Most of us still do.  So I (being one of those sorts) got on a bunch of different Pagan groups to chat and learn about stuff, and identified myself as a "solitary Wiccan".  I suppose the reactions I got were fairly indicative of what was typical: some initiated British Traditional Wiccans (who, don't get me wrong, are justifiably proud of their accomplishments because it takes a lot of work to earn those degrees) told me that because Wicca was a special initiatory mystery tradition descending from either the unbroken line of the Craft back to Neolithic days, or Gerald Gardner, I could not be Wiccan because I was not an initiate.  I imagine that my reaction was very similar to that of others like me; I found the term "Pagan" or "Neo-pagan" (which both Oberon Zell and Isaac Bonewits have claimed to have coined; I wasn't there so I don't know) and began calling myself an "eclectic Pagan" instead.

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  • Samuel Wagar
    Samuel Wagar says #
    I guess "Pagans for Peace" is a derivative of Reclaiming in some way, although we haven't done Reclaiming style stuff forever. Wel
  • Christine Kraemer
    Christine Kraemer says #
    Sorry to ignore most of your article in favor of a minor point. Speaking as someone initiated into both Feri and Alexandrian Wic
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    Thanks Christine for clarifying! I must admit that to me as an outsider who comes from Wiccan and "Wiccanate" roots, Feri does lo

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