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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Steel for Steel

There is a local Asatru kindred in my area which has a custom about steel weapons that has a parallel among the Theodish. Theodish magical theory holds that it is bad luck to give a gift of living steel. Living steel is a steel weapon that has energy and perhaps personality. Among the Theodish, living steel can only be bought, even if it's bought for a token amount. 

On Yule 2014, Tom and I attended sumbel with a local heathen kindred that is associated with a Renaissance Faire guild. Its leader has made some historical re-enactment weapons intended for combat sports. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Rampion, Rampion (Let Down Your Hair)

The Germans call it Rapunzel.

Rampion. Campanula rapunculus: an old European cultigen with a beautiful, star-shaped purple flower, whose leaves can be cooked or eaten raw like spinach; its parsnip-like white roots are likewise cooked or served in salads.

You know the story. The couple long for a child; finally she gets pregnant, but craves a salad made from the beautiful rampion that grows in the garden of the witch next door. (What is it about witches and gardens?)

Twice the husband manages to steal rampion undetected, but the third time the witch catches him. In the end, she lets him off with all the rampion he wants, but on one condition: she gets the child.

In due course, the longed-for daughter is born. They name her—of course—Rampion.

And once she's weaned, she goes to the witch.

No one seems to wonder why the witch wants the child. (A weanling is too big and tough to eat.) But the reason seems clear enough. The witch has no daughter of her own. What she's looking for is an apprentice, a successor.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Mercedes Lackey does a wonderful retelling of the story in "From a High Tower". I don't remember seeing rampion in the seed catal

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Hope After the 2016 Presidential Election

If you happened across my public posts on Facebook, you'd know that I was very anti-Trump during this election cycle (no need to rehash why). However, I think it's hypocritical of Hillary supporters/Dems to take to the streets in protest, hang effigies of Trump (WTF?) and vandalize businesses.

This is the same kind of destructive and whiny energy that many demonized Trump for. And, after demonizing anti-Obama folks for saying #NotMyPresident for 8 years, it seems pretty hypocritical to now do the same to Trump. The fact is, Trump IS our President-elect. And, Hillary has called on us to have an open mind and to give him a chance to lead. As President Obama said, Trump's success is OUR success.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Three-fold Nature of Tantra

Tantra, as is often said, is a difficult path.  

I liken it to being in the military, riding a frightening fun park ride, and hugging a eucalyptus-drunk koala bear all at the same time. Try as you might to practice under the auspices of Tantra and disentangle these elements, and you will fail. You will ultimately fall short of your goals and aspirations because these core qualities of what it means to practice Tantra exist in a dance much in the way the gunas—those fundamental components of prakriti, or essential nature—move in graceful combinations to give rise to the whole of what we experience as reality.

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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, November 10

Iceland preps for a new renewable energy project. A look at how "green roofs" are taking over the world's cities. And just how big is the newly discovered planet orbiting our nearest stellar neighbor? It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment on science and Earth-related news. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Permission to Fail

“You cannot win,” says the villain.

“No, but I can keep on losing forever,” says the hero.


This exchange from the movie Dr. Strange gave me a thrill of recognition, since failure--avoiding it, experiencing it, wrestling with it--has loomed large in my life. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    This is great, Archer - I love it! By the way, my friend's Buddhist teacher told her that she shouldn't do her practice until she
  • Archer
    Archer says #
    It really is a privilege to sit in a space where our natural messy minds are accepted and seen for what they are, and our relation

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Animal Relationships: Predator and Prey

Among the animal relationships, the one that bothers people is predator and prey. In understanding that all animals must eat to survive, people can accept the dynamic between predators and their prey. One aspect of this relationship is that they keep each other in check. For example, prairie dogs would breed uncontrollably unless black-footed ferrets hunted them. Crudely speaking, the number of prairie dogs determine the number of ferrets. The predator and prey relationship is the “ying and yang” of nature.

From a prey’s point of view, predators teach defense skills. When confronted with danger, prairie dogs will bark a warning, and hide in their burrows. Meanwhile, manatees will swim away, and sloths will hide in plain sight. A hedgehog will roll into a ball that a fox cannot open up. The grey kangaroo will stand her ground and kick the dingo to death.

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