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
The Time of the Mother

We call it Lammas or Lunasa, and think of it as marking the commencement of the grain harvest.

And so indeed it does. In Western Minnesota, they're beginning the cutting of the “small grains” even as you read this.

But here in the New World, this was a festival long before the ships from Europe arrived with their sacks of seed wheat and barley.

“Green Corn,” they called it, and among many peoples, it was the greatest feasting of the year.

Maize cultivation came into Northern America from Mexico about 2000 years ago, and spread up along the river valleys. In the Upper Mississippi Valley, where I live, they've kept Green Corn for almost 1000 years now.

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Strength may be the most misunderstood of the Goddess’ virtues.  She advises us to be strong, but the tricky part is what exactly is strength, and how can it be used appropriately instead of abusively?

“There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is by pushing down, the other is pulling up.”

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Polytheistically Speaking

I didn't realize that I was speaking polytheistically until I'd already said it.

“How it is out there?” asked the clerk, as she rang up my bottle of water and bag of ice.

I shook my head. “They say it's going to get worse.”

Conversations of this banality this go on between strangers in the Midwest every day, especially when it's hot and muggy.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Thorny Devil: Problem Solving

Known by many names, Thorny Devil (Moloch horridus) is more than an ordinary lizard. With her spiky body and crown of thorns, She resembles a walking nightmare. Her other names – Moloch, Horny Devil, and Thorny Dragon – emphasize her “hellish” nature. The scientist who named Her, Dr. John Grey certainly thought that. He recalled an ancient demon from John Milton’s Paradise Lost, when he gave Thorny Devil, her scientific name. Dr. Grey also cited the Canaanite God Moloch from the Old Testament, who received sacrificed children.

Looks can be deceiving. The only animal that Thorny Devil terrorizes is Ant. She spends her day wandering in the Australian Outback, searching for their nests. When Thorny Devil finds one, She parks Herself next to its edge. Catching one ant at a time with her sticky tongue, She consumes 45 ants a minute (2,500 in an hour). Thorny Devil is the walking nightmare for ants.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

My book Faultlines argued our country is going through on of the most divisive periods in Western history, at three progressively deeper levels. First is the cultural split rooted in the divergent paths the North and South took over slavery, a split reignited with the Civil Rights movement and the Republican Party’s “Southern Strategy.” 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    "A free society depends on recognizing people will disagree politically and NOT BE ENEMIES." So your answer is to label people wi
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. diZerega, I am conflicted about Trump's candidacy. I dislike him. But if he wins, it will be the last hurrah for his politica
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Trump is a man with a long record of fraud against those weaker than himself. In his speeches he urged violence against demonstrat

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Solace

In our fast paced society, stress and distress can occur over seemingly small occurrences, in addition to the large stressful life events like death, divorce or accidents.  Seeking solace to relieve any or all stress is a common practice.  Comfort can be found within the family unit, rocking a child or in the arms of a lover.  Stress can be relieved by escaping into a good book, movie or taking a long quiet bubble bath.  Exercise, good food, time alone or with good friends can offer comfort and a release from stress and chaos.  Solace, to find comfort, is one of the most common reason people to turn to religion.  During difficult times most people, even those who are not religious, turn towards the divine to receive some type of comfort and release. Pagans, Witches, and Wiccans often find this solace by turning to one of a multitude of Gods or Goddesses and to nature.

Paganism offers a multitude of divine beings to aid in this process. From the compassion of Kwan Yin to the vengeance of Kali, most of the pantheons have a representative of home, compassion, and the underworld, all of whom can provide solace or comfort at any time.  The crones and sages of paganism remind us that each phase leads to the next.  As a popular crone goddess Hecate will drag you kicking and screaming to the next phase.  She can be the “tough love” goddess who reminds that first you let go and then you begin the new or next phase.  

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Wearing the Hat

Now where is that Witch-English dictionary? I know I left it here somewhere.

Copintank, n. A sugar-loaf hat.

On the off chance that you've ever wondered what the technical name for a witch's hat is, well: now you know.

I'll take Witch Words for a thousand, Alex.

Also known (mostly by cowans) as a “steeple hat” (!), the copintank has been associated with English witches since some of the earliest woodcuts of them were made during the 16th and 17th centuries. Not surprisingly, this was also the period during which the copintank was considered fashionable. We witches have always been dressers.

Don't ask etymology; even the experts don't agree. It seems likely that the first syllable reflects the archaic word cop, “head” (= German kopf), but the rest is a mystery. One thing we can be sure of: it has nothing to do with either vats or vehicles. That word comes from the Subcontinent, and didn't enter English until centuries after witches were already sporting our signature headgear with its distinctive name.

If ever you've wondered why we wear them (no, Virginia, it doesn't have anything to do with the cone of power), well: let me tell you a story.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    During the Yule baking last year, I ended up grating a block of old dry brown sugar. I guess there's something to be said for maki
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Over at colonial Williamsburg they sell sugar cones and tell the tourists that that is the way sugar was sold in colonial times.

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