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
Compassion With Claws

Mother said be good,/ Father said be nice,/ That was always their advice./ So be nice, Cinderella,/ Good, Cinderella,/ Nice good good nice-/ What's the good of being good/If everyone is blind/ Always leaving you behind?/ Never mind, Cinderella,/ Kind Cinderella-/ Nice good nice kind good nice-

Everything Zen (I Don't Think So)

When I was creating my Red Tent/ Mary M ritual, I wanted to chose the words that could be selected for each sister's root of power very carefully.  Somehow, the idea of selecting words to describe magic that was already there was more frightening than selection words to describe what was to come.  I wanted the words to be powerful and rich, not just throw away positive-affirmation-cakes.  I wanted each word to potentially describe the root of my power in a way that would be meaningful as well as the rest of the sisters.  Still, I felt compelled to carefully type the word compassion on my list.  I kept making a face and deleting it and then putting it back.  Compassion.  What a bullshit place for your power to come from.  But I thought of my sisters and figured someone would benefit from it.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Speaking to the Stars

 

One of the very first magical lessons I received was when I was about 16. One of my crazy mother’s crazy friends told me “when you want something, tell it to the Cosmos. You’ll always get what you need.” At first I thought this was just hippy-dippy wishful thinking, not at all grounded in reality. But, as someone who is (mostly) willing to try everything at least once, I remember tentatively trying to give my needs, wants, and desires over to the stars, to “tell it to the Cosmos.”  Throughout the years I’ve had mixed results, but they’ve been mostly positive.

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Ahimsa Grove: Is Veganism “Extreme?”

 

Hello again, and thanks for reading. Occasionally, though not always, I hear from my Pagan peers that veganism is extreme, or more to the point, extremely uncomfortable to talk about in omnivorous company. In general, I believe that the discomfort comes from simple lack of familiarity. I came across this quote today, shared by “The Thinking Vegan” (http://thethinkingvegan.com), and it helped me to find my way into this topic. First, the quote:

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Of Gates and Veils

At certain times of the year—especially around Samhain—you hear that “the Veil between the Worlds grows thin.”

This language speaks to something that many of us, I suspect, have ourselves experienced: those times when our Known World becomes an Otherness to us, often with such intensity—perhaps in response to that same Otherness within ourselves—that it seems we could step through and enter into the Interiority of things. In the lore this sense is frequently associated with the temporally and spatially liminal ( <Latin limen, “threshold”), the times and places of the In-Between.

As a quick web-search will demonstrate, the notion of the Veil Between Worlds comes to the Craft from Spiritualism; mediums are said to “part the Veil” to enable contact with the dead now in the Other World. Most likely Spiritualism derives the metaphor of the Veil (probably via Freemasonry) from the Veil of the Jerusalem temple, the curtain (Hebrew parókhet) that separated the “nave” of the temple from the Holy of Holies.

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Size Matters

The Pagan Unity Festival was about ten days ago and I had the honor and the pleasure to teach some classes there this year. I've taught at this festival for several years and the people who attend the workshops are attentive and curious--what teacher could ask for more?  I taught a class on Basic Practical Magic, another on Healing Magic and a late night session on banework.

Before we went out to the CCC-built state park that houses the festival, my friend Star and I went to the Parthenon.  I'd been there a couple of times before and always enjoy the thrill of it all--the Parthenon in Nashville. It's also fun to watch the other visitors' reactions to the Grey-Eyed Protector of ancient Athens.

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Pentecost and the Underworld

Exactly three years after a Pentecost service helped me see that I was a Pagan, I descend into the underworld. I spent last weekend in ritual with a group of Witches, most of them oblivious to the fact that it was Pentecost in the Christian tradition. Pentecost, the day when the Holy Spirit fell upon the followers of Jesus, tongues of fire upon their heads. They were filled with courage and started preaching, they spoke in languages they didn’t know, sang in the tongues of angels, and prophesied. Pentecost is usually seen as the birthday of the Christian church.

 

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Have Pagans Failed at Environmental Activism?

Many Pagans define themselves as "Earth-centered," and yet, so many of us fail to actually live in harmony with the earth. I've written before on the Pagan Activist blog about environmentalism. And I admit that--in my frustration--I've written a few harsh and perhaps even incendiary posts on the topic. I don't know that those have done anything to change anyone's mind.

However, environmentalism is a part of Pagan leadership and community building, which is why I'm writing about it here.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Leslie J Linder
    Leslie J Linder says #
    Thank you for your thoughtful blog! I am an Eclectic Vegan Pagan, and I signed the statement. I had given the authors some info fr
  • Rick
    Rick says #
    Shauna, yours is one of the better posts on the subject. In terms of what can be done and what should be done, the entire race, n
  • Rick
    Rick says #
    And that doesn't even address my pet peeve of over-population!
  • Richard Wachenheim
    Richard Wachenheim says #
    Hello, I consider myself as a reasonable environmentalist pagan. That said, I have been close to the earth for many years and wa
  • Soli
    Soli says #
    I'm one of those people who ended up not signing the pledge, and the "small actions" post I did on Pagan Activist in early April i

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