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 Swastika and the Flag

 

Some  Southern Pagans, have criticized  comments I made elsewhere on W&P and on Patheos supporting removing the Confederacy’s battle flag from all public displays in the South.  They thought I unfairly maligned Southern culture by saying it was inextricable from racism.  Some thought I must not know anything about the South. For the record I was born in Southwest Virginia, raised in the half-Southern state of Kansas with relatives whose views ranged from a relatively benign racism to endorsing Southern slavery.  For much of my life I frequently visited my Virginia and Arkansas relatives. I am not a Southerner, but I have fairly substantial experience with Southern culture, usually in a positive context. That experience plus their defense of the Confederacy's battle flag as a symbol of Southern culture has led to this post, dedicated to Southern Pagans.

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  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Thank you Heather. I don't know how important they are within their community because I am not a Heathen and rarely attend their d
  • Heather Freysdottir
    Heather Freysdottir says #
    As a Southerner who also whole heartedly approves of the removal of the confederate flag from public spaces, I very much appreciat

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Obsession X

Oh gods. Yet another ex-Christian wants to tell me who Jesus really was.

(There's no mistaking them. Oh, they may call themselves something else now, but their first and foremost identity is Ex, with a capital X: the Jesus obsession gives them away every time.)

I've seen the scholarship. (It's hard for anyone in the field of religion to avoid seeing it.) The scholars agree on virtually nothing. Over the years, I've drawn three conclusions of my own.

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Body Painting in the Wild by Gerhard Lipold.  Courtesy http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/.The Pagan Festing season generally runs from May until October and usually takes place in campgrounds that are reserved for this purpose for anywhere from a weekend to a week. In Ontario, notable campgrounds that host Pagan Festivals include Raven's Knoll,Mythwood, and Whispering Pines.

Some of these Festivals feature Clothing Optional areas so that people have the option to be naked if they so wish. This is because some Pagans like to cast-off their wrappers and be caressed by the sun and the wind, while others consider their nudity to be part of their sacred relationship with the Gods and a Pagan event is a place where they can feel comfortable enough to explore that relationship.

However, because not everyone is comfortable with that, Clothing Optional areas can be restricted to certain areas, including:

  • campsites
  • the beach
  • the firepit area after 10pm

The important word in "Clothing Optional" is the term "Optional". A Clothing Optional area is not zoned as a Strip Club. You have the option to be as naked, clothed, or a variety of both as you wish and it's nobody else's business.

I cannot believe I must state this so blatantly, but this is also means that no one has the right to pressure you to be clothed or naked. No one has the right to tell you how naked or dressed you must be based on other people's decisions to be naked or dressed. No one has the right to express opinions about your character, your values, or your sexual identity. No one. No exceptions.

Now I know that sometimes people can unintentionally cross this line. In their minds, they want you to know that you are beautiful and valued and they want you to know that they are not judging you for any reason, so if you want to strip down, they are ready to support you in this decision. The problem is that it's very difficult to express this idea without it sounding like they are pressuring you into coming to this conclusion.

A person's state of nudity is NEVER an invitation for people to touch, stare, or make sexual references about. EVER. A person's nudity can be an expression of their relationship with the Gods, but it is not meant to be a show for other people to ogle or make snide remarks upon. However, if you want to quietly appreciate the beauty of the human body, that can be okay, but you need to be subtle in your appreciation.

Unwanted, unwarranted, unasked, uninvited contact with a person in a state of undress can constitute assault or sexual assault. The fact that the person is naked does not justify anyone's actions without EXPLICIT permission being given. It also does not give you the right to pressure anyone into being more naked or less naked, for any reason, even in jest. If you think you have accidentally crossed this line, take the person aside (probably better when they are dressed), apologize sincerely, and then learn from it.

Whether it is intentional or unintentional, here are some statements you should NEVER make to someone about their state of dress or undress:

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  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    "this is also means that no one has the right to pressure you to be clothed or naked" Does that actually happen? It sounds uber-c

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Month for Loki Idea

"Come to me in whatever form You want, and share with me whatever You choose."

It's almost July for Loki again, and because He is a Man of many faces, my kindred is talking about doing a ritual to ask Loki to show us a new face or facet of Himself - or Herself, as Lady Loki* has been the subject of much discussion lately. The main point, however, is to learn more about Loki. Lore is great and all, but people grow and change, and so do our Gods.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Afternoon of a Gay Faun

Reader discretion advised. Contains material of a sexual nature.

In October 2001 I was privileged to see Joffrey Ballet's Domingo Rubio in the title role of the reconstructed Nijinsky-choreography Après-Midi d'un Faun. It was an unforgettable performance: the queerest faun ever.

You know the story. (You can see it here, danced by Rudy Nureyev.) A faun wakes up in mid-afternoon, after, presumably, sleeping off the night before. (You know fauns.) Enter a group of nymphs, come for an afternoon bathe in the river. The faun shows himself. The nymphs are frightened. He singles out one and dances with her, flirtatious. Finally she runs off with her girlfriends, but in her panicked flight she drops part of her outfit. The faun rushes over, picks up the wrap, and cradles it in his arms, kissing it. Then he spreads it out lovingly on the ground and slowly lowers himself onto it. With a single convulsive thrust of the pelvis, he ejaculates all over the fallen shawl. You can practically smell the squirting semen.

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  • Arthur Freeheart
    Arthur Freeheart says #
    Encore, encore!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Lavender Story

The days are long and hot.  The bees, butterflies, and fireflies are claiming the horizons.  Mornings are hazy and afternoons are bright.  Local rivers and streams are slow and gentle, and fruits and vegetables from the farmer’s market are succulent and juicy. Summer is fully here, and it’s lavender season in North Carolina. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Midsummer Madness

Och: my sleep is all messed up. Too. Much. Light.

6:11 a. m. as I write this, and the Sun's already up. When I woke at 4:30, the cardinals were singing their dawn songs. (Like roosters, they have special receptors in their brains that register even the slightest increase in light.) CST: Cardinal Standard Time. Whtt whtt whtt: cheerio! Yeah, and the broom you rode in on, too.

When I went to bed at 11 last night, there was still light in the western sky. Where I live, it's about 8 hours from sundown to sunrise at the summer sunstead, but as any Northron can tell you, just because the Sun's below the horizon doesn't mean it's dark. In Shetland they call it the simmer dim: the long, slow twilights of summer's solstice-tide.

Nor am I the only one. Here and now we're all walking around in a collective state of chronic sleep deprivation. Add heat and voilà: the proverbial Midsummer Madness. Small wonder I've heard more sirens and seen more car crashes during the past two weeks than in the previous two months put together.

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