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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
Prayers for Imbolc: Beloved Brigid

 

In preparation for Imbolc, I pored through the Carmichael material in the Carmina Gadelica and adapted some prayers for the season.  Here they are--

Brigid Dark and Bright

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Now, that's an idea...in my copious free time. Thanks, Diotima.
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    You should probably just re-write the whole damned C.G. from a goddess centered perspective and be done with it. Yours is a big im
  • Christopher Blackwell
    Christopher Blackwell says #
    The Druid author Morgan Daimler already has done that in her book By Land, Sea and Sky. http://tinyurl.com/mjykmk4 I have intervi

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Are We Really a "Nature" Religion?

The organizers of Pagan political causes keep writing to me, asking (nay -- demanding) that I lend my support to various environmental protests, demonstrations, and campaigns -- on the grounds that we Pagans are supposed to be ‘stewards’ or ‘caretakers’ of Mother Earth -- and, as such, we have a religious duty to ‘walk the talk’ and engage fully in ecological activism.

Sez who?

More to the point -- who was the first to say so? And what was the process by which these beliefs (and demands) became the water in which today’s Pagans are swimming?

IMO, and FWIW, the people who rallied, with me, around the ribbon-bedecked May Pole of modern Pagan Witchcraft in the early 1960s were primarily hedonists. Many of us, it's true, were interested in ecology and environmentalism. But all were there, I believe, to fuel the fires of a religiosity that claimed 'all acts of love and pleasure' as its sacraments.

Over the following 15-plus years, considerable thought went into the development of an ethical system in support of this effort. A new system, now called the Expressive Ethical Style, evolved to replace obedience or self-interest as the motivations for human behavior with an ethic of impulse ('follow your feelings'), self-expression ('let it all hang out'), and situational appropriateness ('go with the flow'; 'different strokes for different folks').

Replacing the goal of self-preservation with self-awareness, this new ethical style encouraged relaxed non-analytical attention to the present situation ('be here now'), in order to meet the newly reified obligations of universal love and mutual non-injury.

But then the 80s began. And some writers, new to the field, began making rather strident announcements to the contrary. First, if this was a religion that worshiped Goddesses, and if all Goddesses must therefore be one Goddess, then this one Goddess must be the Goddess of Nature. Veneration of the Maiden (romance) and the Crone (wisdom) was scorned in favor of a kind of feminist monotheism -- worship of the Mother -- Mother Nature.

Next, it was declared that all historical Goddesses (those about which something was actually known, and from whose myths ethical insights might be gained) were hopelessly tainted by 'the patriarchy', and that only those (imaginary Goddesses of pre-literate civilizations were worthy of worship.

Established Pagan ethical ideals (esp 'harm none') were acknowledged in passing, but deemed naive and insufficient. We were not to burden ourselves with such considerations, especially if they prevented us from enacting the emergency measures necessary to protect the (now sacred) environment from those who disagreed with our visions for its preservation.

And as for 'all acts of love and pleasure', well you can just forget about them. In this instance, 'harm none' was extended, and radically so, to disallow any behavior that had ever caused harm, or was believed even theoretically capable of causing harm -- especially to members of a new 'victimhood elite' -- those capable of concocting fictive (or, as Chas Clifton once put it, 'cheerfully ahistorical') narratives of past oppression.

From this point onward, there'd be no wine in that chalice. Nor would any wand or athame be welcome there either. So there!

I object. I have only the greatest reverence for the Goddess as Mother -- but as part of a polytheistic constellation in which Maiden & Crone are included. I have no argument with the sacral nature of Nature -- that Nature is imbued with the divine -- as long as no one insists that Nature (esp as 'the environment') IS the divine.

I want to see a return to our original Pagan spirituality, in which the genuine Pagan deities of the past are studied with reverence and care -- hopefully to provide us with insight into the polytheistic worldviews that predated the Abrahamic religions. And I’d like to encourage study of the concocted deities of the past couple of decades in order to better understand the inner nature of the political, spiritual, and psychological environment that produced them.

I propose a return to our roots. Those who wish to pursue environmentalism (or feminism, etc) are welcome, now as then. But they could just as easily find a home -- quite a comfortable spiritual niche -- in any number of mainstream religions. IMO, what makes Paganism unique, what distinguishes it from these other established religious paths, is its enthusiastic embracing of a sybaritic worldview -- along with the focus and energy to continue (or resume) work on an ethical system (see above) that would support such a way of spiritual life.

Anybody interested?

Raise your hand and shake your bells.

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  • Naya Aerodiode
    Naya Aerodiode says #
    This article, right here, is why I've stopped reading Pagan blogs for the most part. I'm really done with people attempting to def
  • Fritz Muntean
    Fritz Muntean says #
    I couldn't agree more, Lupus. (but where DO you kids get these NAMES -- haven't any of you read 'Lady Pixie Moondrip'?) Literacy
  • Fritz Muntean
    Fritz Muntean says #
    Good point, Sindra. I should have discriminated more carefully/clearly between Modern (aka 'Contemporary') Paganism -- a New Relig
Pagans (mostly) like the idea of credit unions

As 2013 was winding down, I put out a call for indebted Pagans who would be willing to be interviewed as I began exploring our relationship with debt.  One brave Heathen, Melanie Swaim, was willing to do so, and the post I wrote after we talked blew the doors off the Witches and Pagans Facebook page, garnering (at last count) 1,137 likes and 162 comments.  I'm told it was, to date, the most liked post on the page for this site.  That deserves some serious unpacking.

First things first:  I took one idea from the many which came out of my conversation with Ms Swaim, and ran with it:  that she had to seek out guidance and support for her financial challenges in a religious community other than her own, because hers does not have that type of infrastructure.  To be clear, I interpreted this is simply an observable fact, not an incrimination of Heathens in any way.  Most, if not all, Pagan religions have a fierce independent streak running through them.  Anecdotally, it seems that individual responsibility is a more important value across Paganism than even community. 

Developing institutions in Paganism, financial or otherwise, is going to run into conflict with these dearly-held values.  Add to that the very small number of people in Paganism as a whole (and the smaller numbers practicing any particular faith in the community), and it's not surprising that the organizational maturity isn't quite there to develop safety nets for each other yet.

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  • Kveldrefr
    Kveldrefr says #
    I would think that part of the issue regarding credit unions in particular is that many Pagans make a virtue of poverty, taking pr
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    I've heard of virtuous poverty (but not the term, did you coin it, Kveldrefr?) so often that it feels like it must be true, but I
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Credit unions belong to the depositors, a.k.a. members. Allowing Christian depositors allows them to vote for the Board of Direct

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

AP: Geneva, Switzerland

In a surprise ruling Thursday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gave its unanimous approval to Paganistan’s petition that its athletes be permitted to participate naked. “This ruling will no doubt be highly unpopular in some circles,” said Bruner Soderberg, IOC chair pro tem. “But the IOC charter is quite clear on the matter. If some countries can require their athletes to compete with limbs fully covered—not to mention with headscarves—then the athletes of Paganistan have an equivalent right to their own national traditions.”

Paganistani sprinter and 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Aspen Moore said: “It’s something to celebrate, a return to the original Olympic ideal. Any runner can tell you that clothing constricts your movement and slows you down.” As expected, the ruling has created a stir among certain socially conservative countries. North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Iran have lodged protests with the IOC, but have yet to threaten withdrawal from the 2020 Games.

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  • Christopher Blackwell
    Christopher Blackwell says #
    Not only that but it would increase viewership, eve n of people who did not give a damn about sports. I am gad to see we have adva

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Pythagorean Numerology Conversion Table

In the Pythagorean system of numerology, each letter of the alphabet is assigned a number 1 through 9. The numerology grid of the Pythagorean system is pictured above.

All double digits are combined into single digits, except for the Master Numbers 11, 22, and 33. So if I were to calculate my name, Janet, the result would be:
 
J=1
A=1
N=5
E=5
T=2
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14
 
1+4=5
 
Thus, the name Janet would be a 5 name in the Pythagorean system of numerology. 
 
Here's the vibrational correlations between numbers and letters according to the Pythagorean Grid: 
 
Number 1: A,J,S
Number 2: B,K,T
Number 3: C,L,U
Number 4: D,M,V
Number 5: E,N,W
Number 6: F,O,X
Number 7: G,P,Y
Number 8: H,Q,Z
Number 9: I,R
 
There are various elements to numerology with regards to names. For example, the numerical value of the consonants of your name is known as your Persona Number. This is the “face” you show to the word…your presentation. The Personal Number is akin to the Ascendant in Astrology. 
 
The numeric value of the vowels of your name is known as your Soul Number. This number describes your inner being—aspirations, yearnings, goals, and motivations. This number is akin to the Sun sign in Astrology.
 
In future posts, I'll cover what each number value means. 
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  • Virginia Fair Richards-Taylor
    Virginia Fair Richards-Taylor says #
    Oh yes, the Chaldean numerology is used pretty much the same as the Pythagorean form.You can find charts all over the internet, an
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    So sorry for the delay getting back to you, Virginia! Oh, that makes sense (about 9). I appreciate the info!
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    Hi Virginia! Does the Chaledean system assign numbers to letters, as well, which then determines certain name "vibrations"? I'd lo

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