Culture Blogs


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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_Hiawatha_M._L._Kirk_-_1910.jpgThe people of standing rock North Dakota won a victory this week. The Army Corps of Engineers denied access to the Dakota pipeline. The pipeline, which is already 90% built, will be rerouted. Although exactly where it will be rerouted is still open to question. The pipeline route now being protested does not go through the current boundaries of the reservation, but the old reservation boundaries. And of course that change of boundary has also been contested, and rightfully so.

What is it like to have the land that was declared to be yours seized out from under you? People who have been affected by eminent domain could give you some answer to that. Although they could not speak to the cultural destruction that has been experienced by Native Americans.

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In “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” J.K. Rowling presents the familiar wizarding world she originated with Harry Potter, but turns it on its head.  Instead of Britain, the film takes place in the United States.  Different laws apply to the witches and wizards of America, a fact which becomes a source of both humor and tension.  Our main characters are not children, but adults.  Instead of spending multiple installments worldbuilding and introducing a magical system, the new series is able to jump us right into a fully fleshed out world where we all know the rules, allowing more focus on storytelling.

But more importantly, our new hero is very different.  Newt Scamander is nothing like the Boy Who Lived.  Where Harry knows from the day he enters Hogwarts that he is marked out as the savior of the wizarding world, Scamander is really nothing more than a dedicated animal lover who seeks only to rescue and preserve the world’s most misunderstood creatures.  He’s a conservationist, not a warrior.

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5 Overlooked Tarot Decks (That Deserve Closer Attention)

With on-demand publishing leveling the playing field for deck creators, we are now in a Golden Age of Tarot. No longer must authors, artists and visionaries submit their work to Tarot’s Old Guard, hoping and praying that their unusual deck will past muster and snag them a publishing contract. (If it’s any consolation, many decks don’t get an advance—and sole creators earn about $1-$2 per deck…less, if split with collaborators).

Purists would argue that anybody with crayons, paper and a scanner could conceivable publish a Tarot deck—and that the glut of decks now available dilutes the sacred tradition of the Holy 78.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Wendy WIlson
    Wendy WIlson says #
    The images chosen work really well as illustrations for the ideas of the given card.
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    Yes, they do.
  • Wendy WIlson
    Wendy WIlson says #
    Thanks, I have over 500 decks, but none of these, so thanks so much for this list. I like an obscure deck: https://www.thegamecra
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    You're very welcome, Wendy! Thanks for sharing your pick with us. I see that the deck you mention uses open-source imagery; for m

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Sun Stands Still

Solstice: literally, “the Sun stands [still].”

The Sun is a god of constant motion. Every day of the year, he rises from a different place on the horizon.

But at the solstices, summer and winter, his movement slows. For several days in sequence, he seems to rise from the same place.

Sun stands still.

And while the Sun stands, the world waits.

The 2nd century Protoevangelium of James tells a strange story.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
On the Bridge

For more than 30 years now, we've gathered on this bridge on the morning of the winter solstice to watch the newborn Sun rise out of the Mississippi Valley.

They say that every bridge takes a life in the building. This bridge took the life of a poet. Surely a bridge dyed with the blood of a poet will stand for long and long.

People have been watching the Midwinter Sun rise here for long and long as well. As we turn our faces to the southeast on Yule morning, we will face the site of one of the oldest and largest Winter Villages on the Upper Mississippi. Here families that dispersed during the summer to gather, hunt, and farm, would come together to overwinter. At one time, as many as 20,000 people may have lived here: as many, in fact, as live here now.

On the east bank, the living. Here Big Village was located. On the west bank, the dead. Here a row of eleven mounds once stood, where, since perhaps 700 CE, bone bundles were ceremoniously deposited.

Life and death, and the bridge between. Summer and winter, east and west. Here we stand, between, as we have always stood.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Carol of the Swallow

In English, it's called Carol of the Bells, and has become a regular part of the December soundscape.

But the Ukrainian original—like folk carols all over Europe—although sung at Christmas, doesn't have anything to do with Christmas.

Or bells.

Instead, it's about spring.

And fertility.

And sex.

Which is to say: it's thoroughly pagan, through and through. Because to pagans, Yule isn't just a self-referential blaze that sits in its own golden halo at the end of the year; it's the first spark of what comes next, a collective turning towards spring, and the growing season to come.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Black Friday Shopping

I’m sorry to say I went black Friday shopping.  My daughter wanted to go and she dragged me along.  I didn’t mind the craft stores but the others were too much.  Winter is a time to go within and reflect on what’s needed.  Black Friday shopping is definitely not anywhere near an internal reflective state.

While one of my daughters was home for Thanksgiving we went and did things almost non-stop.  We ran errands, cooked food, went to a movie.  It was go go go from the time she got home.  It made me cranky. 

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