Culture Blogs


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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs
An Older, Realer Paganism: The Life and Times of a Saami Shaman-Poet

 the guests had one month fewer

they do not speak the language of nature

 

We take ancient gods and goddesses, revive them, and think that that's paganism.

But that's not paganism; it's a cartoon, a caricature, of paganism.

For an older, realer paganism, read the work of Saami poet Nils-Alsak Valkeapää (1943-2001).

Here there's a life lived so thoroughly among the old gods—the Sun our father, Earth mother of life, the Moon, the Winds, the Lake, the Mountain, the Reindeer—that there's no space between: a living relationship with a living world.

Listen to his shaman's song:

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The Danger of Thinking in Pagan

the guests had one month fewer

they do not speak the language of nature

(Saami poet Nils-Alsak Valkeapää)

 

Och, maybe I've just gone too far into the mists.

Cowans just don't make sense any more.

I find that I can't even bring myself to write (or say) “God”—with a capital G, like a name—as cowans do, without the quotations. The way that they use the word is wholly a misuse, a misconstrual, of an old word, a fine word, our word, which never meant, nor means, nor can mean what they mean by it.

That's the problem of thinking in Pagan. Once you start to do it, it makes so much sense that, in time, nothing else does.

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  • M.T. Noah
    M.T. Noah says #
    i can't say i'm a decades long person in this fold. but i can't say i'm not. the 1/2 trained grandchild of someone who also cann
Crystal Talismans for Power and Protection

A talisman is an object that has been imbued with power. It can also provide protection and has magical properties. A talisman can be any article or symbol that you believe has mystical qualities. As we know, many gems and crystals have special innate powers. With a talisman, the special powers can be naturally present or instilled during a ritual. People often confuse amulets with talismans, but they differ in this significant way: Amulets positively protect the wearer from harm, evil, and negativity. Talismans actively transform the wearer to have certain powers. For example, the supernatural sword Excalibur, imbued with supremacy by the Lady of the Lake, gave King Arthur magical powers.

Grimoires offer instruction on making talismans. The reasons for using talismans are many—for love, for wealth, for luck with gambling, for the gift of a silver tongue, for a good memory, for the prevention of death. Whatever you can think of, there is probably a talisman for that exact purpose!

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Series Title: The Frost Arcana

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Nutting Day and the Magic of Something Small

For centuries in England, September 14th marked an occasion called Nutting Day, which was a family outing to the woods to gather nuts. Sometimes, entire villages would go nutting together accompanied by musicians making it a festive and noisy event. By contrast, September 21st was called Devil’s Nutting Day and people were warned to stay out of the woods because that was when devil took his share. 

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EGYPTIAN COBRA: Power and Protection

The most venomous of the naja cobras, the Egyptian cobra (Naja haje) is not afraid of people.  She enters their houses and gardens at will.  Hunting at night, the Egyptian cobra looks for a tasty rat or toad for her meal.

One of the largest cobras in Africa, the Egyptian cobra has a wide hood and a full-bodied build. Unlike other cobras, She has neither the distinctive eye spots nor does She spit. Said to be relatively docile, the Egyptian cobra is often the choice of snake charmers and pet owners.

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In Praise of Tribalism

Among the chattering classes on both the Left and the Right, it's become fashionable to decry what they call “Tribalism,” meaning solipsistic hyper-partisanship.

You'll notice that none of those doing the decrying actually belong to a tribe.

Those of us who do know that, in fact, they're wrong.

Tribalism is not the problem. Tribalism is the answer.

It's the lack of true tribe that is the problem.

Human beings are tribal animals. We're born with a need to belong: to be part of the life of an ongoing people, a group larger than a family but smaller than a nation. This provides us with a sense of belonging that nothing else can satisfy.

Since the longing to belong is inherent, when we don't have it, we seek it out. The tribe-substitutes that we end up with instead are all too often either something destructive—like a gang, or the Party—or something ephemeral and utterly trivial, like the Game, or the Concert.

Pagans, I would contend, are an emergent tribe, at least in potentia. Thou mayst not be a pagan alone. All pagan religions are tribal religions: they come with an inherent affiliation to a particular people. A paganism without a people is an incomplete paganism.

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