paganSquare

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 1 blog entry contributed to teamblogs

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

At the time of writing, several friends of mine are engaged in formal initiation proceedings, leading me to consider my own experiences with initiations.  It was easy to pinpoint those formal initiations such as being initiated into the National Honor Society, or being initiated into a co-ed social group at my college that I can only explain as being modeled on the Merry Pranksters.  But the experience that first came to mind when thinking of initiatory experiences was working the Twelve Steps.

Anyone who has a desire to stop using can become a member of a Twelve Step group.  You do not have to work the Twelve Steps.  However, the process of working the Twelve Steps is the manner in which one draws closer to the program or becomes truly initiated.  It is how we begin to view fellowship as family.  Since we work the Twelve Steps with a sponsor, we are forced to reach our hand out and ask for help.  No longer are we able to sit in the back of the room, not talking to anyone.  We must make connections in order to move forward.  As we reveal ourselves to our sponsor, we learn how to become open and more vulnerable.  We become open to taking suggestions, and learn about humility.  These are essential elements for being part of a society instead of being a party of one.  Not only does the process of the Twelve Steps change us into better people, but we also learn how to be with people as we work the steps.

The many tales of underworld descents provide a poetic structure through which to understand a program of recovery. Much of what we do is painful, and involves spelunking around in some of the darker neighborhoods of our psyche.  If we persist, at the end of the experience we are reborn.  As in the Sumerian tale of Inanna’s descent, there are seven gates (steps) we must pass through in the Recovery version of the Underworld, and at each of them we must turn over some part of ourselves just as Inanna was required to turn over a symbol of her power and wealth.  In Step One, we hand over our attachment to the idea that we shall ever be able to exercise any power over our drinking or drugging.  In Step Two, we give up the specter of self-sufficiency.  In step Three, we turn over our will and our lives.  We hand over denial and self-delusion in Step Four, and in Step Five we part ways with our pride.  In Step six we relinquish our attachment to our character defects, and then in Step Seven we actually ask for them to be removed. As Inanna became stripped of the symbols of her holy priestesshood, so too do we become more naked and vulnerable as we go along.  When we question, as Inanna did, why we have to do this or that, our sponsors or old-timer’s might snap at us as the Chief Gatekeeper, Neti, snapped at Inanna, “Quiet Inanna, the ways of the Underworld are perfect.  They may not be questioned.” We’ve all met the Big Book thumpers who talk like this!

...
Last modified on
1

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Uni is the supreme goddess of the Etruscan pantheon.  She is part of a ruling triad together with her husband, Tinia, and the goddess Menrva.  The Etruscans were distinct culture that occupied a region north of Rome.  They were most likely an aboriginal people conquered by a Near Eastern culture which was then influenced by Greek traders (as I understand it any way).  Originally they overshadowed their Roman neighbors who took on a lot of the Etruscan culture, especially religiously.   Eventually the Etruscans became subordinate to the Romans and essentially disappeared into the Roman Empire.

Last modified on
1

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I spent a bit of time in my garden yesterday, and one emotion overwhelmed me more than any other: despair, and yearning.

Well, that’s a bit dramatic. But I’ve been doing a fair amount of thinking about the Wheel and how it relates to my practice, and the seasons too, and this season is definitely my least favourite. For me, the seasons are intrinsically connected to my practice, which is indeed earth-centred and intimately connected with the land. Working with, and not against, the land can be a challenge at times. Especially when the seasons turn harsh and the spiritual struggles that accompany, particularly the sense of ‘waiting’ can be the bane of the more impatient amongst us!

Last modified on
0
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Sorry for the sloppy communication, Lee; in my case, at least, I was referring to ME as the whiner - not you. As I was here in th
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Yes, Greybeard, as a Phoenician I was thinking the same thing. My wife and I have lived here for 30 years - and yes, Lee, I unders
  • Lee Pike
    Lee Pike says #
    As much as this post is a 'whine', it has been confirmed the hottest summer on record for Perth, Australia, including the hottest

As Pagans, we're more used to being discriminated against than to discriminating against others.  Those of us who run businesses or sell our wares are, especially in these economic times, generally only too happy to get a new customer.  And so we're usually quite happy to read Tarot, even for the devout Christian who slips off to see us behind her pastor's back, or to perform a computer upgrade even for the atheist who thinks that devotion to any deity is a sign of mental illness.  After all, we're pretty much a live-and-let live group.  We're not out to convert others to our ways and we generally don't presume to determine what religion is best for anyone else.  (Heck, I can think of a number of people whom I hope don't become Pagan.)  Honest pay for honest work or honest wares is generally all we ask. 

Our main concern with laws (such as the one that was recently vetoed in Arizona) that would allow businesses to discriminate based upon "religious convictions" has been the impact those laws could have on QLTBG, etc. people.  Of course, those laws could have been used to discriminate against even those of us who are "straight but not narrow," as well.  Wear a pentacle around your neck when you take your child to the farmers' market and the lady selling apples could refuse to sell your child an apple because her religion teaches her that you "shall not suffer a Witch to live," and selling apples helps you to live.  If the sleeve on your jacket slips, the nurse at the 24-hour medical center could see your tattoo and refuse to sew up the cut that you got doing woodwork because he says that your pentagram offends his religious sensibilities.  You finally grab a cab late at night in a sketchy part of town only to be told that the cab driver doesn't believe that women should be out, unescorted and won't give you a ride.  If you get mugged a few minutes later, well, that just proves his point.

It's easy to imagine that the next step is some method that will allow the discriminating religious to easily determine whether the potential renter, car buyer, or restaurant patron meets all of the necessary requirements.  (Why stop at refusing to sell a cake to a same-sex couple?  What about a couple that includes a previously-divorced person or a couple not willing to specify that they are entering a "covenant marriage" where the man will "exercise headship."  (Don't blame me; that's the way they talk!)  What about selling nursery furniture to prospective parents who won't agree that sparing the rod spoils the child or selling a house to people who won't commit to attending your church every Sunday?  To voting Rapeublican since they are generally more favorable to rightwing Christians?)

...
Last modified on
10
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    One of the problems with laws is that they apply to everyone. Suppose a gay couple is running a bakery and the Westboro Baptist c
  • Stifyn Emrys
    Stifyn Emrys says #
    I think it's ironic that a group formerly subject to oppression (see the Decian persecution) now seeks to impose its beliefs on ot
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    So is it now illegal to refuse to purchase GMO food because you believe it is harmful? I can see why big corporations would oppos

Common Sense tea

The Common Sense Spell Book

By Debbie Dawson

...
Last modified on
0
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mistress Polly, Thanks for clueing us in about another fascinating bit of Kiwiana! I hope it sells well. You write from long ex
  • J'Karrah
    J'Karrah says #
    Bought the Kindle version! I'm always on the lookout for new material to add to my website's suggested reading list and always ha

Additional information