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
Blessed Are the Doubters

If, as they say, belief is a gift, I didn't get much.

Fortunately, I'm a pagan, so it doesn't matter.

Of course, there are believing pagans out there. Well, better an honest believer than a dishonest unbeliever.

But I suspect that most of us straddle that hedge, with one foot in belief and the other in doubt. And that I can respect.

I reached the crisis of faith early on in my pagan career. I loved the Old Gods passionately, but I realized that I couldn't be intellectually honest with myself and say that I actually believed in them.

I was working as a night watchman that summer, so I had many opportunities for dark nights of the soul. Finally, one night, the hag came down and we wrestled.

All night we wrestled.

In the morning, the Sun came up. Out of that struggle, I had won myself a realization.

Belief is moot.

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  • Mark Green
    Mark Green says #

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Stones That Soothe and Heal

If you suffer from stress-induced symptoms, try these calming crystals: Lapis lazuli has been used to treat headaches for millennia. My dear friend Abby suffers from migraines and cluster headaches. I gave Abby some earrings with lovely blue lapis settings to help her with this chronic condition, and she has reported great success. These headaches can have many causes and triggers; my beloved amber essence oil was one until we figured that out! The main causes are stress, anxiety, and various food triggers. Oddly enough, amber in crystal form alleviated Abby’s heinous headaches, seemingly absorbing the negative energy. Amethyst and turquoise are also good for this. Several stones are good for stomach illness; citrine and moonstone create calm. There is certainly no shortage of stress out there in the world so do yourself a favor and pick up these soothing stones to have at the ready. These crystals are a vital part of your sacred self-care.

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Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race

[Image from]

This is Part 2 of my three-part series on race in Paganism

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Church, Inquisition Actually Protected 'Witches,' Says Hutton

Goddess bless Ronald Hutton.

We all know the stereotypes: the Catholic Church, with its enforcer the Inquisition, burned witches, right?

Turns out that the Inquisition actually protected many people accused of witchcraft.

For some 300 years, between the 15th and 17th centuries, Christian Europe, both North and South, went wild with a massive witch-panic. One puzzling aspect of the Great European Witch-Hunt, however, has always been the huge disproportion between northern and southern Europe when it comes to executions.

The vast majority of people executed as witches in Europe during this period were executed in Northern—Protestant—Europe. Far, far fewer people were put to death as witches in the Catholic South.

In 1588, a teenaged girl brought before the Spanish Inquisition confessed to having had sex with the Devil. The previous year, a Sicilian woman confessed to having flown through the air on a billy-goat to a sabbat at which (interestingly) she worshiped a King and Queen who presided over a feast and an orgy (Hutton 200-1).

In England, such confessions would likely have merited the noose; in Germany, the stake. But the girl from Valencia, after receiving a beating, was sentenced to undergo religious instruction, and the goat-riding Siciliana was acquitted.


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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    When it comes to the distinction between mythic history and historic history--surely we need both--I'm strictly a Weatherwaxite:
  • Murphy Pizza
    Murphy Pizza says #
    Well said!! (And a fantastic metaphor). And to think there are still folks in our community who believe he "destroyed" Paganism..

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Ocher and Earth

 Ocher and earth: that's what I want.

Like the ancestors, ocher and earth.

When the time comes, dig me a hole

and lay me in it. Lay me on my side,

limbs folded, like a baby in the womb.

By my head, set the little earthenware goddess

that stands in the garden in summer.

(In winter, check the big cupboard in the pantry.)

Sprinkle me with ocher, head to foot.

(Be heavy-handed.)

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Iron oxide is one of the most common minerals on the planet, found practically everywhere. No wonder we've been using it forever.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember seeing a show on PBS abut the Red Paint People in New England and the Maritime Provence's. Apparently the same culture
  • Rod Thorn
    Rod Thorn says #



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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Sacred Summertime: Outdoor Altars

Outdoor altars are usually of a temporary nature and are all the more lovely for it. The beach is a wonderful place to set up a one-day altar on driftwood with seaweed and shells. There, unless the beach is too crowded, you can commune with the water deities and seek your deepest reaches of spirit. Forest, farm, and meadow offer earth and sky and the sanctity of our mother earth upon which to build your altar. As you do so, reflect upon your connection to the ancients, We follow in their footsteps.


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