Pagan Studies


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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Gods My People Swear By

I think it was Judy Harrow that told me this story. If not, apologies to my actual informant, whoever you are. As my father is fond of saying, “Age spares us nothing.”

Dateline: Chicago, 1993: the World Parliament of Religions. (This was the event at which the archbishop of Chicago used his political muscle to get the pagans a permit to do a ritual in a public park. Now that's what I call ecumenism.) It's the main event: religious leaders from all over the world are lined up on stage. The place is packed so full that they have to set up TV screens outside to accommodate everyone that wants to see. The pagans are all outside, watching. (There are, of course, none on stage.)

Some grandee gets up to talk. “Let us all be as one,” he says. “After all, we all worship the same god.” Nods, smiles, and knowing applause from the entire line-up on stage, including (shame on them) the Hindus. The audience eats it up.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Power to Forgive

I had so many things to be angry about.  So many people had wronged me, from my biological father who molested me, to my beloved grandmother who’d bailed him out of jail and brought him home to live with me after he shot my mother in the head, to my mother who taught me that I was worthless and unlovable, to the so-called friends who had used and betrayed me over and over.

They wronged me.  They hurt me.  They deserved to suffer for what they did to me.  How could I possibly forgive them, especially if they were not even pretending to be sorry?

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PaganNewsBeagle Earthy Thursday August 21

It's Earthy Thursday, full of stories that emphasize our connection with Mama Gaia. We've got a giant volcano stirring, tiny altars, drawing strength from Nature, cleaning up after gatherings, fossilized forest fires, and indigenous farmers meeting to plan for climate change. Have a great Thursday!

What's an Earthy Thursday without a report of a huge volcano in Iceland threatening to erupt? Well, if you haven't heard of (Anglicized spelling) Bardarbunga yet, check out the story here. (Includes two great slideshows of previous Icelandic eruptions.)

Why we should have little altars everywhere. (Hint, its to connect with both inner peace and Mother Earth.)

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  • Tara Miller
    Tara Miller says #
    Thanks, Ann, for mentioning my article "Drawing Strength from Nature" at the Staff of Asclepius. There will be two more articles s

I.

And I am a writer, writer of fictions / I am the heart that you call home / And I've written pages upon pages / Trying to rid you from my bones / My bones/ My bones / And if you don't love me let me go / And if you don't love me let me go

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What Z Budapest's ordination of a man means for the rest of us.

I have to admit, in my world the mere mention of Szuszanna Budapest is often followed by a heavy sigh and an eye-roll. I haven't taken her seriously since the whole pantheacon debacle a few years back. Like many contemporary pagans I feel that she has been less of an ally the past few years and more like the crazy aunt at the party we all try to avoid. She is famous for her stance against anything Y chromosome related and has on several occasions been verbally abusive to members in the trans-community. I had grown almost comfortable with my distaste of all things Z Budapest, after all each time she opened her mouth she only reaffirms my opinion. Then she goes and ordains a man.

 

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  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Budapest's early writing acknowledges the place of Kouretes in the Dianic tradition, and it's unfortunate she never followed this
  • Jason Leslie Rogers
    Jason Leslie Rogers says #
    Devin, I turned my back on organized religion quite a few years ago, and news like this, however much of a step toward progress i

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Golden God

I hear that if you go into a supermarket in Latvia and take a box of cereal off the shelf, you'll find that it's marked with the sign of the Grain God: Jumis.

I say God of Grain, but Jumis (you-miss) is much more than that. His name means “double” or “twin” (it's the same as Sanskrit jama, “twin,” or Latin Gemini, for that matter), and doubled things are his: twins, double fruits and nuts, eggs with two yolks. Abundance, fertility, marriage, all the good things: these are his gifts. His sign, shown above, represents two crossed grain stalks, heavy heads hanging: it is, one might say, shorthand for “sheaf.” (The motif has been used continuously in Latvian art since the Bronze Age.) He is the Baltic John Barleycorn, the Latvian Frey, the merry big-dicked god of bread and beer and other good things.

The harvest is, of course, his special feast, and lots of hymns to him survive. Many of them, like harvest songs everywhere, tend towards the bawdy. A stanza from one of my favorites:

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
May You Be As Resilient As Fleas!

I’d like to blame it all on human caused climate change.  The ongoing drought in California, and the slightly higher temperatures, mean they never really had an interruption in their natural reproductive cycles.  But the truth is I’d also been pretty lax in vacuuming the carpets through the winter and spring.  One of the consequences of depression (part of the wiring of my brain) and other health issues I deal with, is that when I’m tired, simple tasks become overwhelming.  Adding a new, albeit wonderful, commitment to my work in November of 2013, put me just at the edge of tired more often than not.  So the new breeding cycles (now our regional norm) were happening inside my home ecosystem as well as outside.

 

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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Dear Lizann - If you haven't yet read this caring post by Tania Kindersley, I think it will give you some comfort. http://taniakin
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you Ted.

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