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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
ONE TERM prezzy-DENT

There are three things I've learned never to discuss with people:

religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.
(Linus von Pelt)

 

You may remember the chant from the demos following the last presidential election here in the States:

 

NOT MY presi-DENT!

(clap-clap clap-clap-clap)

NOT MY presi-DENT!

(clap-clap clap-clap-clap)

 

As chants go, it's really pretty good: focused, succinct, a nice alternation of verbal and non-verbal, words and percussion. And it certainly beats Hey hey! Ho ho! — — has got to go!

Unfortunately, they were wrong. If you're an American, the Troll-in-Chief is your president.

But it doesn't have to stay that way.

So I'm choosing to look on that chant, not as a statement of fact, but as a prediction which we know—and may it be sooner rather than later—will eventually come true.

So, riffing off the old chant, here's the new one that I'll be chanting:

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Crystal Cures: How Your Wand Can Be a Meditation Tool

One of the most powerful benefits  you game from having a wand of your own is that is can focus and direct energy. And there are times when we all need that! I often experience “monkey mind” when my thoughts race around and this seems increasingly common, based on what I hear from friends and clients. For that reason, I have been creating more rituals and meditations to counteract a wandering mind, one of the woes if our overbusy world.

 

...
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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Dog Named Yahweh

Back in the 80s, a friend was getting a new dog. She planned to name him Yahweh.

People, of course, name their pets for gods all the time. (Whether or not this is a good idea lies outside the parameters of this post.) Still, naming your dog Yahweh seems a little...well, let me at least say that I wouldn't do it. Do you really want to use someone that you love to even a score?

For this was the Reagan Era, and the Age of the Culture Wars. The danger of a full-blown theocracy in the US seemed like a very real possibility at the time. (The Religious Reich certainly seemed to think so.) So you did what you could to strike a blow—even a symbolic one—against the theocrats and their triumphalist ways.

One can, of course, readily appreciate the idea's humorous potential.

"Yahweh bit me!"

“Bad Yahweh! Bad boy!”

“Yahweh really stinks; I'm afraid he needs another bath.”

“Oh no, Yahweh peed on the carpet again.”

Still, when it comes to Yahwehs, one has to admit that surely one—even one that doesn't exist—is bad enough.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember the 80's too well. Ronald Reagan Antichrist, Nancy Reagan the Scarlet Woman, Milton Freedman the False Prophet. I had
Lovingkindness Meditation: Conjuring Contentment

If you had a rough day at work, your inner critic was overactive or are just feeling a little down, try this as lovingkindness meditation.. It can be difficult cultivate self-love but it is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. The very peacefulness you create with this ritual, you can also send to another,  Begin by sitting quietly, taking relaxed, slow, deep breaths and wishing yourself happiness. After sitting quietly begin to speak this mantra aloud::

May I be happy.

...
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“The Only God Worth Worshiping is the Great Mother, Source of All Life”

You know the feeling: the words leap up off the page and seize you with such force that you know you're never going to forget them.

Years ago, I was reading an article about German Expressionist painter Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876-1907).

“The only god worth worshiping is the Great Mother, Source of all Life,” she was quoted as saying.

(I should mention that I've since tried to track down this quotation, so far unsuccessfully; but since her words smote themselves into my heart at the time, I'm willing to trust my memory on this one.)

To look at her paintings, you could certainly believe that she would say such a thing. Her secular madonnas, many of them self-portraits, radiate a serene and luminous sanctity of their own.

***

The wand beeps over my breastbone. With a jerk of his head, the TSA guy indicates: Show.

By her chain, I pull the little silver goddess up out of my shirt.

“Who's that?” he asks, surprised.

(Interesting: not "what?" but "who?")

“The Great Mother, Source of All Life,” I tell him. Then I hear myself adding: “I have it on good authority that She's the only god worth worshiping.”

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Procession of the Equinoxes, or: Some of Our Best Rituals Are Processions

For far too long now, contemporary pagan ritual has been imprisoned in the magic circle. There's more, far more, to liturgy than Summoning, Stirring, and Pointing Knives At.

Consider, for example, the common Procession.

When I'm teaching the Art of Ritual, I generally draw on the Procession as an example of a successful ritual-form that doesn't require a magic circle.

As a ritual, a Procession has a lot going for it.

  • It's something that we do together.
  • It's self-explanatory.
  • Everyone already knows what to do without having to be told: the ritual itself leads us (literally) in the direction that we need to go.
  • It has a single focus and a clear goal.
  • It felicitously combines formality and informality.
  • Without words, it says: Something non-ordinary, something significant, is happening here.
  • In it, we engage our environment in a sacred way.

(Note that these same criteria characterize virtually all good ritual, not just Processions.)

I often cite the Procession as an example of ritual that can't go wrong. But at one workshop a woman spoke up, a priestess well-known in her area.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    If I'm remembering my archeology correctly both Stonehenge and Woodhenge had processionals to walk on before getting to the circle
  • Chris Sherbak
    Chris Sherbak says #
    I love processing. The ADF Core Order has a procession and I normally include it in our Grove rites. Coming from LA, where you had
Eco Mindfulness: A Simple Grounding Ritual

Grounding is the technique for centering you within your being, getting into your body and out of your head. Grounding is how we reconnect and rebalance ourselves though the power of the element of earth. This is the simplest of rituals; one you can do every day of your life. As you walk, take the time to really see what is in your path. For example, my friend Louise takes a bag with her and picks up every piece of garbage in her path. She inspired me to do the same  She does this as an act of love for the Earth. During the ten years she has practiced this ritual, she has probably turned a mountain of garbage into recycled glass, paper, and plastic. Eileen is very grounded. She is also a happy person who exudes and shares joy to all in her path.

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