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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The sad events on Orlando where at least 50 people were slaughtered by a person impelled by murderous hatred at least reinforced by religious zeal will be used by many people, especially on the political right, as more evidence that Muslim Americans cannot be trusted to be peaceable citizens.  Unmentioned by these same people will be the similar, if smaller scale, killings in Colorado Springs last November by a Christian who said his deeds were in service to his God.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Christopher Blackwell
    Christopher Blackwell says #
    I don't waste my time hating anyone. Hate is dangerous to the hater. In this case he was the fiftieth victim of his hate. If he ha
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Part II will begin getting into that. I share a lot with Plato as I understand him, but I am far from an expert there, and am far
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. DiZerega, I'll be interested to see how you develop this line of argument. I have my own beliefs about monotheistic religions
Where There's a Hedge, There's a Witch

Hedges mark boundaries. Hedges divide this from that.

That's why where there's a hedge, there's a witch.

Wherever there's a distinction, there's a hedge. The world is filled with hedges: the hedge between in and out, the hedge between living and dead, the hedge between day and night.

The mind is filled with hedges: the hedge between black and white, the hedge between here and there, the hedge between us and them.

That's why we need our witches, those unholy straddlers with one foot on either side: participating in both, but wholly belonging to neither.

In a polarized world, people hunker immovably behind their mental hedges.

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Fire in Water

Midsummer's Eve 1940, German-occupied Denmark.

For the first time in perhaps 3000 years, no Midsummer bonfires burn in Denmark.

The Nazis have forbidden them.

Throughout Scandinavia and the Baltics, Midsummer's Eve is the greatest summer feasting of the year. Bonfires burn on every hilltop. In the countryside, one can see them literally from horizon to horizon.

In Denmark, a nation of islands and coastline, it is long-standing custom to build these solstice fires on the beach, where, in their reflections, one may behold the mythic fire that burns in water.

But a surprise awaits the occupiers.

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Rhymes with Blithe

Midwinter is to Midsummer as Yule is to —?

If you answered Litha, well...you're mostly right.

Midwinter and Midsummer are ancient. Cognate names survive in every living Germanic language, so they must have been known back in Common Germanic times, more than 2500 years ago.

Both holidays have by-names as well. The Hwicce—the Anglo-Saxon tribe ancestral (some say) to today's witches—also knew Midwinter as Géol and Midsummer as Líða.

Down the centuries Géol morphed into Yule. Líða didn't survive the passage of time, but during the 80s pagans rediscovered the word and gave it a new lease on life.

It's unclear what either word originally meant. Some have suggested that “Yule” may be kin either to gel—because it marks the coming of winter—or to yell, because “crying Yule” is a fine old midwinter's custom. In northern England, after Christmas services, people used to join hands and dance through the church shouting “Yule! Yule! Yule!”

I'll bet the vicar just loved that.

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GORILLA: Calmness and Strength

When people were first introduced to Gorillas, they believed that these primates were fiercesome monsters. King Kong symbolized people’s fear of this mammal. Since Gorillas live in the most inaccessible regions of the forests and mountains of Africa, They were the last members of the Great Ape Family to be found. Therefore, ordinary people had no ideas about what real Gorillas were like.

The largest and most powerful of all living Primates, Gorilla is actually peaceful and sociable. His easy-going nature has made it possible for several groups of Gorillas to coexist peacefully in the same region. When a strange Gorilla appears, the eldest Gorilla (Silverback) hoots excitedly, building up to an ear splitting roar. Silverback Gorilla will charge but stops short of touching the intruder. This will usually frighten the other Gorilla away.

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The People of the Wheel

The Witch's Wheel isn't just a calendar.

It's a Great Rite.

Most would think of the Wheel, with its quarters and cross-quarters, as an image of the year.

In this sense, it is an icon of Time, sacred Time.

But of course the Wheel is also an icon of Space, sacred Space: the compass rose, with its eight directions, not to mention the magic circle.

So together it's an icon of Time-Space.

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Ahimsa Grove: Vegan Foods for the Picnic and Grill

 

 

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