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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 1 blog entry contributed to teamblogs
Everything Is Not Under Your Control: Making Sense of the Senseless

My circle sister, Donna got hit by a car while she was taking a walk down a residential street with her husband.  She died on Wednesday, February 5th.  How do I make sense of that?  How does Donna taking a walk with her husband + Jason Lutz not paying attention for a moment = we will never see Donna again?

I don’t know.

If we perform magic, shouldn’t we know?  Shouldn’t my circle have been able to save Donna?  What is the point of this if we could not have saved Donna? I think it’s very easy when things are going well to say that if you are alert enough, canny enough, good enough at magic that you can lessen the pain of all situations.

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  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    So sorry to hear about your friend. The loss of my baby brother when I was 13 (and a Christian) led me to doubt that any such loss
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    I feel your pain, too. There doesn't seem to be any religion, whether mainstream or far out, that can keep its practitioners from
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    I am sorry for your loss too. I hear your anger and confusion; I felt the same when my husband was in a horrible, life-threatenin

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

It seems to me that the Witches Ladder is one of those unique and valuable, yet greatly under-appreciated bits of craft lore that has fallen to the wayside of contemporary Witchcraft. If you're not familiar with the term, there's a good article you can read here on Wikipedia that will give you the background and basic gist on the ladder. And if you Google it (images) you'll find a wide variety of ladders, made in many different ways and used for many different types of craftwork. Like much of modern day Witchcraft, people have taken an old idea and done something new it, and so have I.

But there are certain challenges that arise from this type of new growth within the Craft. There are so many of us taking old bits like the Witches Ladder, reclaiming it, remodeling it or recreating it. But we're not renaming it. As a result, all these neat new and original creations like prayer beads are being labeled  as "Witches Ladders" and sold on Etsy. Make no mistake, I'm not criticizing the idea of "Witch Ladder Prayer Beads," in fact, I love the idea. I am however, trying to point out the confusion this form of appropriation and re-association can create.

For this reason, among others, we call our Witches Ladder a "Scala," which is Latin for ladder or staircase. We have several different kinds of Scala in our tradition, and today I'd like to share with you the Rota Scala or the "Wheel [of the year] Ladder." Much like the traditional Witches Ladder, the Rota Scala is a length of rope or cord. We prefer twisted manila rope, it's made from an organic fiber and usually consists of three strands woven together. While organic over synthetic is a common Pagan preference, there is a special significance to the three strand braid within our tradition. It represents Tela, the inherent spiritual interconnection between all things. Like an umbilical cord, Tela is our connection to the world and all things therein contained. This interconnection forms a "web," the very definition of the Latin word, Tela.

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Every religious tradition stands in some tension with its society, legitimizing some things in terms of a larger eternal context, but in the process challenging others, sometimes deeply.  As NeoPagan religions increase in America this same pattern is developing. This essay explores how the logic of Pagan religion leads us to question the legitimacy of some important contemporary institutions, particularly the joint stock corporation, and with this questioning, the way our society views the world. 

More deeply than most religions, NeoPagans legitimize and honor the goodness of this world, the sacred immanence that shines through all things.  Consequently, from a Pagan perspective living well in our world requires observing appropriate ethical and moral relationships.  This insight cannot help but lead us to criticize attitudes treating this world as noting but a means for human ends.

Our society’s institutional and legal core views the world as without value beyond its use to us.  A mountain or forest has no more intrinsic value than a crumpled wad of paper.  Our economic system in particular is only able to relate to the world on these terms. Its signature institution, the joint stock corporation, is created so treat everything it encounters as either a resource for attaining its goal of making money, a threat to that goal, or irrelevant. By understanding what is defective about a corporation we can better appreciate what Pagan insights add to our world.

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  • Henry Buchy
    Henry Buchy says #
    'Tapa is innocent, study is harmless, the ordinance of the Vedas prescribed for all the tribes are harmless, the acquisition of we
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Since I did not use the term 'socialist' and indeed included a strong criticism of sate socialism, I see your ability to read and
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    No, pagan is not a socialist political agenda no matter how many silly assertions you make about corporations and economics.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_heart_shaped_full_moon.jpgYour playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. ~ Marianne Williamson

 If you’ve been anticipating that lovely, romantic Full Moon on Valentine’s Day, you might want to reconsider your approach. Instead of dreaming of moonlit skies and stardust, dust off your altar and pull out your journal and your magical tools, because you’re going to want to work to shift the energy of this Full Moon into some positive results. As with most difficult charts, there is power here, but you need to put a bridle on that horse, or you’ll likely get thrown.

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Ahhh. I love an invitation to rethink things.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Neo-Nazi. Neo-Confederate. Neo-Conservative.

Or, to choose some less loaded examples: Neo-Classical. Neo-Romantic. Neo-Primitive.

Whoever it was that decided to call people like us “neo-pagans” (there are several contenders for the dubious distinction), he was certainly no poet.

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  • Lance Moore
    Lance Moore says #
    The phrase 'neo-pagan' originally came with pride. Back in the '80s when most of us were first finding we weren't alone, forming g
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    I like both the points that Steven made and the points that Chris made; each is right according to the orientation from whence his
  • Chris B
    Chris B says #
    I do not think we ought to be "neo-pagan", but I am afraid that most of us are in fact "neo-pagan". Neo does not only imply "new"

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