Culture Blogs


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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs
Proselytizing and the Limits of Hospitality

 Q: What's the difference between a Jehovah's Witness and a Wiccan?

A: Three Watchtowers.

 

The Jehovah's Witness stood at the door, holding up a copy of The Watchtower. My mouth literally fell open when I saw the title.

 

Isis Is Still Being Worshiped.

In this very room, as a matter of fact, I thought.

“I don't have time to talk, and I can't give you any money,” I told her, “but I'll be happy to take a look at your literature if you leave it here.”

Turned out to be an anti-Catholic tirade. Boy, was I ever disappointed.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I'm sorry to hear that door-to-door religion-peddling isn't just an urban problem. Personally, I try to be as polite and as brief
  • Jenn
    Jenn says #
    I was stalked by JWs in my area for several months. We live very rurally, but they get out to us somehow. I handled it similarly t
  • beth steptoe
    beth steptoe says #
    i live deep in the 'bible belt' and they stop by every 8 to 12 months to make sure i'm still here i guess. They are never invited
  • Michele
    Michele says #
    I actually find them kind of creepy. They walk around in pairs, two young men in white shirts and black pants, nametags, and a bla
  • Holli Emore
    Holli Emore says #
    I agree with you, Anne. I took Steven's reference to be about Pagans who like to get into long arguments with, e.g., evangelical C

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Casting Love Spells: A Cautionary Tale

This post also appears at www.tarotbyhilary.com.

 

Once upon a time, a young foolish teenager cast a spell.

She cast a spell at one of the many power sites in the world, where all the elements meet in one place. Air, water, fire, and earth ... where the land meets the ocean. She found a pure white stone, and asked the Gods to bring to her a true love. She was tired of waiting, so she sought out a way to bring him to her. She held the stone in her left hand, and cast the love spell in the way that she was taught to cast it: without envisioning a specific person and without being unduly specific, because magic follows the path of least resistance, and magic often does not work in ways that humans understand or can anticipate. She held the stone firmly, and when she felt ready, she threw the stone out into the ocean, into the crest of a huge wave, and determined that the waves of the oceans constantly coming into shore would eventually bring love into her life.

It took three years and many relationships and coincidences for him to arrive.

How did she know that he was the one she asked the sea to bring to her?

His name means "from the sea."


 

I wrote this little “fairy tale” story back in 2007, when I still was with the person in question whose name meant “from the sea.” Yes, that young foolish teenager that cast the love spell was me, and yes, the story above (though flowery in language) really happened. Why am I writing about it now? That spell taught me very valuable lessons in how spell-casting really works.

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Consent Culture at Coph Nia | High Praise!

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This year I was invited to present my work, Priest of the Goddess at the 2015 Coph Nia festival. To quote their website Coph Nia is, “a 5 day outdoor alternative spirituality festival for gay, bi, queer and questioning men. Held at an interfaith sanctuary in Artemas, PA, Coph Nia is open to long-time practitioners and new seekers of a wide range of spiritual paths including Wicca, Paganism, Heathenry, Druidism, Shamanism, Thelema, Ceremonial Magick and more. Sponsored by the Ordo Aeternus Vovin, an initiatory Thelemic order for gay and bisexual men, Coph Nia features vendors, concerts, rituals, workshops, nightly bonfires, dancing, drumming, chanting, signing and many social events including our annual Masked Ball & Sensual Feast.”

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The Holy, the Wye, and the Rumanian Treasure: Being a Brief (but Deep) Excursion through the Ancestral Mind

In colloquial English we tend to think of holy and sacred as being vaguely synonymous, but to the ancestors they were two distinct, if related, forms of being.

The original meaning of holy—Old English hâlig—emerges when we examine its sister-words deriving from the same Old Germanic root: hale, healthy, whole, hail, wholesome, hallow. Holy denotes an intrinsic state of being characterized by radical completeness in self: wholeness, entirety, unbrokenness.

The first observation to make about sacred, on the other hand, is that it derives from Latin rather than Old English. Possibly Latin sacer replaced Old English wîh (or wêoh) because of the latter's pagan associations. If so, they don't seem to have had this problem on the Continent, where the old Germanic word still survives in the Modern German name for Christmas Eve: Weihnacht, “holy night.” (It's worth noting that modern German-speaking pagans refer to Yule as Weihenacht, an archaic form of the same word.)

But in fact both the Latin and Old English words refer to the same concept. What is sacer or wîh is something that belongs to a god. Hence, to sacrifice (literally, “make sacer”) something is to give it to a god. Sacrilege is the theft of something that belongs to a god: in the eyes of the ancestors, one of the most terrible of crimes.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
RAINBOWS - Hope and Optimism

Continuing on with our discussion of the different named configurations in quartz crystals, Rainbows in crystals is the topic this week.

Rainbows may be present inside a crystal due to fractures or on the internal wall of two connected crystals. Some of the fractures are what I call Mirror Fractures; they look like mirrors and sometimes are called Wall crystals. I did a whole blog post on Mirror Fractures and Fairy Frost (both of which are often accompanied by Rainbows). (Click this link to revisit the blog post on Mirror Fractures and Fairy Frost. ) Following is a paraphrased portion of that blog post, describing Mirror Fractures.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The American Sabbat

Around the Fourth of July, I began to write this essay. I was inspired by the ways in which the Fourth is celebrated: by families and neighborhoods, with fireworks and games and picnics and all-day, Summery leisure. I watched movies about the American Revolution, and I thought at length about the Fourth, as a civic celebration, as an iconic moment of childhood, as an inspiration for the immigrants who come here, for artists and writers aspiring to greater depth of talent and expression. For anyone longing for liberation, this celebration of independence and freedom seems full of promise, full of encouragement to go boldly in the direction of one's heart's desire. This is an American narrative of liberty and opportunity, the one we teach school children, the one that inspires numerous people to immigrate despite hardship and challenge (not to mention a less than warm welcome once they arrive). It is based on a shared history that is inspiring and ennobling, as well as horrifically violent and racist.

The Fourth's observance, with its emotion and spectacle, is truly an American Sabbat, a day of remembrance and revelry. Its arrival soon after the beginning of Summer marks its as a time of play and pleasure. It's also a time to recall our civic Ancestors: not merely the Founding Fathers or members of the military, but everyone who died in pursuit of freedom and liberty, not all of whom were warriors. I always feel that part of this Sabbat is marking the sacrifices others have made in building this country, and how far we are from coming into our country's fullest promise of liberty and security.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_Lion-love.png"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.~ Thomas Merton

The August New Moon, in fun-loving, generous, heart- (and sometimes self-) centered Leo, forms a threesome with Venus, planet of relationships. This configuration tends to turn astrologer’s minds to hearts and flowers and “Love Is in the Air” . But a closer look at the chart reveals that you won’t be able to get away with a saccharine and shallow approach to relationships this month. (Though by all means, feel free to drag out the disco music. Someday I’ll do an astrological study of the disco scene in the 70s and will, I have no doubt, find a prominent Leo signature in the charts).

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