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
Wicked Witching

So, one day the Interfaith Council asks the witch the deliver the opening prayer.

(By the way, this actually happened. My long-time friend and colleague Macha Nightmare has been active in Interfaith for years.)

She stands up.

“Witches dance to pray,” she says. “So I'm going to teach you one of our oldest, most sacred dances. It's called the Spiral Dance.”

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I should add that after the Never-ending Spiral Dance of Death, I heard at least one suggestion that the SD actually dates from th
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Och, the tales of Spiral Dances Gone Bad. The broken legs, the sprains, the dislocated shoulders, the spiral that broke in the mid
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Good for Macha. Just wondering. How many people does it take to do a spiral dance? More than 2, certainly. More than 10 perhap
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    I would say the optimal number, for me, would be 15-40, at least in terms of intimacy. Small coven ones with eight or nine can wo

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Other Great Hinge

 

 I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.
A Midsummer Night's Dream, 2. 1

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Thank you for this. Love the photos, too. And now, if you'll excuse me, I must go seek some dewdrops here And hang a pearl in eve
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Of course you must.
INCLUSIONS - Minerals Trapped Within Quartz During Growth

This week we're going to talk about Inclusions in crystal, sometimes called Included quartz or Included crystals. This basically occurs when crystal is forming, and there are other substances present in the solution. These substances might be air bubbles or other minerals. They become trapped within the crystal during its growth. Air and moisture inclusions fall into the category of Fairy Frost, a non-mineral inclusion which we discussed a few weeks ago.

I have some pictures of Included quartz which I have adopted out through Arkansas Crystal Works, some of them from Arkansas, some from the Cascade Mountains in Washington. Crystal may be included with any number of minerals, some are more commonly found paired with quartz than others. The pictures I am going to share represent just a tiny percentage of the possible pairings. The inclusions may also appear in different forms, such as blobs, spots, specks, phantoms, whole minerals, needles, Rutile, etc. Here is a picture of Chlorite needles in quartz, (these crystals came from the Cascade Mountains in Washington State.)

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Sacred Skinnydip

Me, when I hear “Midsummer's,” I tend to think "Bonfire."

But of course, that's not the whole story.

Because on Midsummer's Eve there's not just a blessing on the Fire. There's also a blessing on the Waters.

They say that on this night the Sun and the Moon come down to bathe in the waters. For Christian folk it's John the Baptist's night, and what does “baptize” mean in Greek but “dunk” in plain old English? People may have different reasons, but they all agree on what you're supposed to do.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I’m new to Wicca/Paganism, and I’ve been going to some public events to try to meet people and learn more. The problem is people at the events all seem to know each other, and they barely notice me. Should I try something different, or give up?

First of all, it’s awesome that you’re putting yourself out there and trying to get to know people in your area. That’s a scary thing to do for many people, so give yourself props for taking the initiative. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_lioness-confronting-dog.jpg"Our truth is an ancient one: that love endures and overcomes; that hatred destroys; that what is obtained by love is retained, but what is obtained by hatred proves a burden. This truth, fundamental to the position which rejects reliance on the method of war, is ultimately a religious perception, a belief that stands outside of history.”
From “Speak Truth to Power” by the American Friends Service Committee, 1955

The chart of the Gemini New Moon offers us many wonderful chances to communicate clearly with each other, and to speak our personal truths to whoever needs to hear them, but people aren’t going to be pulling their punches this month, so be ready to hear the truth as well. People will be expressing their thoughts with passion and intensity. It’s a great time to set intentions and do magical work around communication, and also to look closely at any beliefs and ideas that might be holding you back. It’s also worth taking a close look at what triggers anger in you, and why.

For astrology students: Sun, Moon and Mars are in a huddle in Mercury’s sign of Gemini, and Mercury is hanging out a little apart, having just turned direct a few days ago, at a pinnacle of strength in its own sign, staring down Saturn in Scorpio and challenging Neptune, also in its own sign of Pisces. This is a powerful combination. I’ve written in more detail about the effects of the Mercury-Neptune aspect here. Now let’s look at how it plays out with Saturn having moved back into Scorpio (in mutual reception and a tight semi-square with Pluto), and Uranus, Venus and Jupiter playing together enthusiastically in a Fire trine.

We have our work cut out for us — how do we communicate clearly, speak forcefully enough to initiate change without driving others back into the defensive emotional postures of Saturn in Scorpio or into Neptune’s realm of escapist fantasy? We will likely be faced with powerful, repressed ideas and emotions that get blurted out in often painful ways.  We’ll see this in ourselves, in our relationships, and in the world around us. Reacting with compassion to social blunders, verbal faux pas, and unintentional insults will be a challenging but necessary response to Mercury and Saturn’s game of truth and consequences.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Honestly, I think you are trying to run before you can walk with astrology. :-) It's rather more complicated than I can explain he
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Moon in America's natal chart is in Aquarius. But Moon in any mundane chart (meaning a chart for an event like a New Moon, that is
  • m
    m says #
    So are you doing a Mundane Chart on America? What is the Moon sign on the Mundane Chart?
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Yes. Definitely.
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    As always, a profound and yet understandable guide to the path ahead. Let's both hold a place for new leadership to arise.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Summer's Oldest Song

It's the oldest song in a European vernacular language to which both words and tune survive, dating from circa 1250.* You can hear it here.

The original Irish Samhradh, Samhradh (“Summer, Summer”) references Bealtaine—it refers to the traditional gathering and bearing-back of wild greens with which to deck the home—but around here we sing it at Midsummer's, the Bealtaine of the North.

I initially learned the song from my friend singer-songwriter (and Dianic priestess) Ruth Barrett; it was released, with original Midsummer verses, on her 1994 album, The Heart is the Only Nation.

I love Ruth's new verses, but thought I'd try my hand at rendering the original Irish words into singable English. Here they are, just as we'll be singing them on Midsummer's Eve on the highest hill in Paganistan, a-conjuring Summer in.

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