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
Is It Ethical to Mine the Moon?

According to the mysterious Artemis Accords now being drafted by the US government, the US claims the “right” to “extract resources” from the Moon.

Does the US have this right?

Let me frame the question more broadly: Is it ethical to mine the Moon?

To some, this may seem an odd question, but to New Pagans, as to traditional peoples everywhere, this question is profoundly religious in nature. The answer to this question, in fact, lies at the very heart of the Old Ways, both New and Old alike, and—interestingly—the answer is surprisingly uniform across traditions.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, We'll just have to agree to disagree about this matter. The REEs (Rare Earth Elements) are so economically and strate
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    We've already seen the damage that unsacred exploitation of resources can do here on Earth; gods forbid that we should take it els
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, I think it would be unethical to not mine the Moon. So many people crave the First World lifestyle, and will do whatev

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Visit to St. Cornely's

...if you'll please just step this way, we come to one of the highlights of our tour of St. Cornely's: a Roman Era bas-relief depicting St. Cornely himself, dating to roughly A.D. 425. Though worn, note the quality of the sculpture.

Horns? Rather surprising things to find on the head of a saint, no? Although of course, Moses frequently wears them as well in medieval art, as you know. Well, no, those aren't actually horns per se...the name Cornely derives from the Latin clan name, Cornelius. While the name's ultimate origin is unclear, it's thought to derive from Latin cornu, “horn.” So the horns are, in effect, a visual pun identifying the saint, alluding to his name.

Ah, yes indeed, the saint's nudity: visitors always comment. Surprising, is it not? Although not, of course, unparalleled in Christian art. This alludes to the manner of his death: stripped naked and thrown into the arena to be trampled by wild bulls.

But, of course, he's not entirely naked, is he? Does anyone know the name of the kind of neck-ring that he's wearing? Yes, that's right, a torc: a type of jewelry associated with ancient Celtic nobility. This particular torc is one of the mysteries of St. Cornely's. The reason for its inclusion here is unclear: there's no mention of it in the legend of St. Cornely. Perhaps this sculpture was commissioned by a noble Celtic family: this part of England was once, as you know, the territory of a Celtic tribe called the Dobunni. Perhaps the torc is by way of making a claim of local ancestry for the saint, though of course such a claim would be highly unlikely, historically speaking. As it is, we simply don't know.

Note the bull here to Cornely's right—not looking particularly wild, I must say—with the saint's hand raised in blessing over its head. This alludes to the manner of the saint's death which, according to the rather gruesome logic of canonization, makes St. Cornely the patron saint of cattle and cattle-herding. In fact, the Dobunni were known far and wide for their fine herds, so the choice of this particular saint as patron for this particular parish makes a great deal of sense.

As it happens, Cornely is rather unusual among saints in having two feast days each year, both of which, interestingly, correspond with major events in the cattle-herder's year. The annual Blessing of the Herds falls in late April, just before the cattle would have been driven to the summer pastures, and the other in early November, just after All Saints' Day, at the time of the annual slaughter. Intriguing, no?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    In fact, there actually is a Roman Era bas-relief of a Horned God in a little parish church up north somewhere (Yorkshire?). (Good
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    No, but you've read my rune: he's the fiction that tells the truth.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    So, the local version of the horned god continued onward wearing St. Cornely as a mask. Is this St. Cornely found in Lives of the

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Cailleach Lingers

In northern New England we’re used to long winters and lots of snow, but on May 9th? Perhaps the Cailleach has not gone away.

Known in Scotland as Cailleach Bheur, she was the personification of winter and ruled the weather from Samhain to Beltane. One of her tricks was to pound the earth with her long wooden staff to make the ground too hard for plants to grow. She especially liked snow, but by the beginning of February her store of wood ran low which meant that it was time to collect fallen tree branches. If the day was bright and sunny she would gather wood and be all set for more cold weather; but if the weather were cloudy and wet she would stay home and work her magic to bring winter to an end. Where grass doesn’t grow under a holly tree, it was said to be the spot where she threw her staff when spring arrived.  

To protect your garden, walk around it three times as you say three times: “Cailleach, great crone of winter; mother of darkness whose stories are told. Bless these plants, keep safe my garden; protect us through the storms and cold.”  

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Motherless

Who you callin' 'cowan'?”

 

In Marvin Kaye and Parke Godwin's “Masters of Solitude” novels*, the Witches—they call themselves “Coven” or “Circle”—have a derisory term for cowans/non-pagans: they call them Motherless.

(Quickie alternate-historical recap: the Chinese invade the US; the US collapses; then, for reasons never made clear, the Chinese withdraw. The East Coast, which has become a single sprawling megalopolis, literally walls itself off in incestuous techno-isolation and lets the Interior stew in its own atavistic juices. Out of this cauldron of ferment arises Circle, a tribal Witch culture that has bred for psychic/telepathic ability.)

Now, this makes sense. As pagans, we're the Mother's People, the First People. We've continued to love and to honor Her all along, even when others have forgotten Her.

Hence “Motherless.” It's a brilliant example of how things look from Inside. The term has a whole passel of implications, all of them apt. Those without a mother have no one to care for them. Those without a mother have no one to teach them the right ways of doing things. Those without a mother can grow up emotionally stunted and uncaring. (Just or not, those are the stereotypes.)

Not all non-pagans are Motherless, of course. The Goddess loves all Her children, even those who have turned their backs on Her. In Her mighty ruth (the old Hwicce/Witch word for mercy; tellingly, the term survives mostly in its opposite, ruthless), She shows Herself to them in ways that they too can understand. Hindus have goddesses; Buddhists too, though they may or may not call them that. Not all Christians are Motherless: consider Mary, Goddess of the Christians. (Let them play their semantic shell-games if they wish; pagans know a goddess when we see one.)

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Scorpio Full Moon Oracle Reading

This is my first shot at creating a YouTube oracle reading for my New/Full Moon Museletter but I think it works! Enjoy a guided meditation, 3 card reading and sparkly blessings for the May 7, Scorpio Full Moon at 3:45 AM Pacific Time.

This is a time where we are seeking an even deeper connection and this Scorpio Full Moon helped push me to share myself and my intuitive guidance more than ever before. Scorpio LOVES this deep bond we are creating right now so go within, find that deep place of calm and enjoy the video. Be prepared with a quiet space and about 15 minutes so that you can fully enjoy the guided mediation and oracle wisdom within.

Watch Video

Sparkly Blessings!
Kathy Crabbe
Artist, Astrologer, Soul Reader

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Witchy Wellness for Working at Home

No matter what kind of work you do, there are moments where you need to take a momentary break, regroup and refresh yourself. This comforting and calming potion will do just that. Keep this in your desk drawer where you can access this homemade helpmate anytime you need it. The subtle combination of almond, coconut, lavender and vanilla is deeply comforting and uplifting. In a mere ten minutes, you can whip up a spa retreat in lotion form. This is so quick and easy, you will doubtless add this to your list of calming crafts. 

Gather together:

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Three Fish

Have you been having weird dreams since this all began, dreams that seem somehow more mythic, more weighted, more charged with meaning, than usual? Me too.

Here's today's.

 

Every year my grandfather would drive up north to a particular lake in Canada.

When he got there, he would lay down on the shore of the lake, and his soul would leave his body through his mouth. For three days and nights it would fly, while his body lay unmoving on the lakeshore.

Where it flew off to he would never say, but this much I can say: when he awoke, there would always be three fish lined up on the ground beside him.

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