Culture Blogs


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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs

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Three things stand out in my memory from my trip to the ancient city of Ephesus, City of the Moon.

The first, quite frankly, was the public toilet. Astoundingly, the row of side-by-side toilet seats—the ancestors were social people—looked exactly—exactly—like modern toilet seats.

But these were hand-carved from marble. Wow.

The second was the civic amphitheater. Here Saul of Tarsus—later known as “saint” Paul—was nearly lynched by an angry mob for blaspheming the city's patron goddess, the famously many-breasted Artemis (Diana) of Ephesus. Megálê hê Ártemis tôn Efesíôn! they chanted: Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!

According to the New Testament book of Acts, the mob was led by a guild of souvenir-manufacturers, cynically worried about loss of revenue. (Why do non-pagans find it so difficult to believe that we, too, might love our gods?) Unfortunately, in the end a conscientious city official intervened to save “Paul's” life.

During my visit to the theater, I had the pleasure of standing in the middle of the stage and chanting, in modern pronunciation, the chant of the ancients: Megháli i Ártemis tôn Efesíôn!

Indeed, as reputed, the acoustics were wonderful.

My third memory from the day is much more humble, but—in many ways—the most telling of all.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, That story is awesome. Praise be to Artemis, Goddess of the forest and the swamplands, of the Moon and the wild plac

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Magic Metals: Brass

Brass is the result of combining copper and zinc. You may be surprised to learn that brass has been used successfully to treat hair loss! Healers favor it as a detoxifier and cleanser for people who have too much metal in their bloodstreams. Brass is also a strengthening alloy for the body and supports gems and crystals in their energies and abilities to interact in a positive way with your body. The iron content in the brass is what makes it a real stabilizer. The healing and protective powers of brass are enhanced if it is worn as a brooch in the shape of a dog, falcon, or snake. 

Brass is a wealth attractor and has often been used as a shiny substitute for the much more costly gold. The ancients loved placing their gems in brass for the way it made the beautiful colors really stand out.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

“The Witches' Almanac," a priestess that I know once remarked, sadly, "never fails to disappoint.”

Somehow, I've always felt the same way about the novels of Canadian author Charles de Lint.

On the face of it, this seems odd. Fantasy novels situating Old World lore in the New World...you'd think that I would be all over it. But no. Elves, Green Men, and Moon Goddesses are all very well, but in de Lint, somehow they're all just so much window dressing. The depths, the wisdom, just aren't there.

I find this to be even more specifically true (alas) of Greenmantle, his 1988 book about the Horned God. It's something of an hommage to Lord Dunsany's stunning 1928 fantasy The Blessing of Pan: a lyrical and deeply sad novel about a rural English village being slowly won over to the Wild. The contrast between the two novels, unfortunately, illustrates my point in the starkest of ways. Dunsany's book has both substance and magic. De Lint, instead, tells you how magical things are, but somehow never quite manages to make you feel the magic.

Well, but. Even a stopped clock tells truth twice a day. When you're writing about Himself, every now and then, something is bound to sing. Sure enough, in Greenmantle de Lint nails it:

[The Horned] becomes what you bring to him. If you approach him with fear, he fills you with panic....If you approach him with lust, he becomes a lecherous satyr. If you approach him with reverence, he becomes a majestic figure. If you approach him with evil, he appears as a demonic figure [181].

Transcribing this passage makes me wonder if perhaps part of my unhappiness with de Lint's writing may not stem from the unrelentingly pedestrian quality of his prose. Unlike Dunsany, who was both, de Lint is storyteller, but not poet.

Still, though his language may leave something to be desired, what it says offers deep insight into the nature of this particular god, skin-strong shape-shifter that He is. In Him, you will see preeminently—as de Lint so rightly says—whatever you yourself bring to the encounter.

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Tips 'n' Tricks: Written in Stone

Gems and crystals can give us messages and warnings or powers of persuasion and perception. Here are a few examples:

  • A fossil or gem containing a fossil, such as amber, will lengthen your life span
  • Jasper carved into the shape of an arrow will be a magnet for good luck.
  • If your malachite jewelry chips or breaks, beware! It is warning you of danger. Malachite gives great success to salespeople. Keep a malachite crystal in the cash register and wear it during trade shows, presentations, and meetings.
  • Moonstone is the dieter's power stone and helps maintain youthful appearances and attitudes.
  • Serpentine worn around a new mother's neck helps her flow of milk.
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 Taking Time To Be Thankful: Surviving A Wild Turkey Attack | by Carie  Fisher | Mission.org | Medium

Well, next time you come to Paganistan, you won't have any trouble picking out the Witch houses.

Just look for the turkey out front.

A few weeks ago, I got an email from my neighbor next-door titled “Visitor.” Curious, I opened it, only to find a photo of a turkey standing in my front yard.

This is strange. Though I've lived here for more than 30 years, I've never seen any turkeys around here before: unsurprisingly, since I live in a densely urban neighborhood with no nearby wild spaces. Even the River is more than a mile away.

I made a point of bringing it up to the coven at our May Eve get-together because my covensib Z has had a guardian turkey at her place for over a year now. (In fact, we were meeting at her house that night.) Sometime last Spring, a male turkey decided that her front yard was his territory, and he's been there more or less ever since. Her husband has befriended the turkey, and feeds him regularly. Otherwise, though, the turkey is very protective of his territory—we call him the Attack Turkey—and has been known (on more than one occasion) to chase off Amazon deliverymen. (I presume that this represents territorial defense rather than commercial preference, though with turkeys, it's hard to say.)

After I'd told the tale, my covensib A laughed. Turns out, a turkey had just shown up in her yard for the first time a few days previous. This would ordinarily be a little less surprising than in Z's instance, or mine, since she lives in a wooded area backing on a lake. Still, though she's lived there for more than two years, she's never seen a turkey there before.

Well, you know witches: hedge-straddlers all, one foot in the Tame and one in the Wild. Somehow, I can't help but think of the Temple of Juno in Rome with its protective flock of guardian geese, which managed to raise the alarm during a Celtic raid on the city and so save the temple treasure.

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Magic Metals: Copper

“This is the metal most consciously worn as a healer, as evidenced by the many copper bracelets you see on wrists. If worn on the left side of the body, copper is thought to have the power to actually prevent sickness. The latest fad I’ve noticed has golfers embracing copper to help strengthen their wrists to improve their swings. Healers place their faith in copper’s power to heal the body and mind based on its power as a conductor. Copper supports and reinforces the mineral content of gems and crystals so they interact better with your body. One school of thought propounds the belief that a crystal wand wound with copper is super-powered. You will notice that some of the healing rocks discussed in this book have copper as a trace element, which greatly amps up their power. Some of these copper-ore gemstones are azurite, chrysocolla, malachite, and turquoise. Copper reacts best with stones containing a lot of metal and reacts very little with stones that lack metal ore in their makeup. Tiger’s-eye, aventurine, rhodonite, and mica are metal-rich stones whose energies combine beautifully with copper. Do not place most crystalline stones in copper; the same holds true with pearls and coral. Amethyst is one of the only crystalline stones that will work well with copper. Copper also cooperates with gold and silver, and a multi-metal bracelet with the right stone is a powerful piece for healing! 

Copper is found around the world and has been utilized since ancient times for tools, for decoration, and for jewelry. It has played a significant role in the cultures of the Greeks and Romans, Native Americans, Egyptians, and peoples in India, China, and Japan. Copper, which is ruled by Venus, was believed to be able to protect against evil and is said to attract love, especially if set with emeralds. The Egyptians relied upon copper for the ritual of burying the dead. Copper is deeply ingrained in our human history for its use as sacred knives, candleholders in early churches, Asian prayer diagrams, purification vessels, and countless other holy instruments. 

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