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
How Many Tines on That God?

I am a stag of seven tines.

(Song of Amairgin)

The Paris Cernunnos has four.

The "sorcerer" of Les Trois Frères, apparently, seven.

For all his youthful appearance, the Gundestrup Antlered sports a lordly fourteen.

Tines.

Antlers are a miracle. They're the fastest-growing bone on the planet. By Samhain, they're actually dead. Dead horns on a living buck: small wonder that the Antlered is reckoned lord of the dead.

Novelist Rosemary Sutcliff, in Mark of the Horse Lord, describes a cave-painting of the Lord of Herds and the Hunting Trail: "towering into the upper gloom, gaunt and grotesque but magnificent, the figure of a man with the head of a twelve-point stag."

Trophy-hunters value number of points: more is better. The more points, the older (and presumably wiser) the stag.

One wonders just what the meaning of different numbers of tines might be in representations of the Horned God. Having posed the question, the answers readily present themselves.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
When Names Bore Meaning

Once our names bore meaning.

We worshiped in the Old Way then.

Ælf-win, “elf-friend.”

Os-gar, “god-spear.”

Æthel-ræd, “noble counsel.”

New Ways came, but still we held to our old and meaningful names.

Then came Billy the Bastard with his Franks, and soon our names were outland names, empty names with stories, but meaning nothing at all.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Dance of the Green Men

Called by the drums, we gather to the fire.

The chant begins.

Green God, Maple God,

living god of the forest:

hey ho hey ho

come to us.

It is the chant of calling. Biome by biome we call, back and forth: wetlands, prairies, tundra, orchards, gardens, fields, vineyards.

Hoo-hoo-hoo.

One from each quarter, the Green Men burst into our midst from behind, hooting. They rush in to the fire and turn, eyes bright.

Four there are: green, naked, rustling with leaves at head and wrist and ankle.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Hospitality

Friday afternoon it began to snow, and over 24 hours, dumped 10 inches or more right on top of gardens that were blooming and trees that were leafing out. While my friends on social media were posting pictures of flowers, of nymphs and fauns cavorting in green woods, of fey beings at play in moonlit fields, I was stirring up soup while inches of fat, sticky white clumps fell outside the window. This is perfectly normal for around here, that right around the beginning of May we get hit with heavy snowfall. It was not normal that this snowfall came after an abnormally dry, warm late Winter. March and April saw barely any rain or snow, so the snowfall is welcome, even if it does mean this weekend's vibe is not particularly Walpurgisnacht-y.

I'm also happy about this snowfall, because in a few short weeks, I will attending a four-day Pagan gathering in the beautiful Black Forest of Colorado, and snow would really spoil the fun.

...
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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Minnesota May Song

42º and a winter weather advisory. Must be May Eve in Minnesota.

 

The Minnesota May Song

 

The cuckoo comes in April,

she sings her song in May;

in June she changes tune,

in July she flies away.

 

For it is the First of May-O,

it is the First of May.

Remember, Minnesota:

it is the First of May.

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  • Miles Gerhardson
    Miles Gerhardson says #
    I was born/raised in Minnesota......THIS little ditty....brought out an audible laugh while reading... Clever.....and sadly, SPOT
The Scene Is Never What It Used to Be: A Retrospect on Glamour and Steampunk

Can I make some old/femme/goth/steampunk/the-scene-is-never-what-it-used-to-be noises? Back in my day, a hundred years ago when I was the con head for SalonCon, Steampunk was still being defined. Like, to the point that I needed to make my assistant (The Baby) explain what exactly it was, many times. I was interested in Neo-Victoria for many reasons but I also became interested in The Past that Never Was (Steampunk) for many reasons coming from an intersectional feminist standpoint.  Mostly, we became involved in Steampunk because The Baby was interested in it and we couldn't afford to pay her and it was a reasonably easy way to compensate her for all her time and energy.  We wanted her to have a space to enjoy herself as a thank you for her hard work.

This was . . .ten years ago.

...
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Is Beltane 'Bright Fire' or 'Bel's Fire'?

Is the festival Beltane named for an Irish god Bel?

Short answer: probably not.

The Keltic peoples of the Continent knew of a god Belenos (attested in various spellings) who, during the Roman period, was identified with Apollo.

Belenos clearly = *bel-, “shining, bright” + infixed -n-, (denotes lordship, mastery, or preeminence) + -os, (masculine singular ending). The “mastery infix,” interestingly, features in the names of a number of Keltic deities: among them Cernunnos, “Horned Lord” or “Preeminently Horned” and Epona, “Lady Horse” or “Preeminent Horse.” So Belenos is “Bright Lord” or “the Preeminently Bright.”

Did the Keltic-speaking peoples of Britain know such a god?

If so, the evidence is minimal, and there's none whatsoever that the Irish knew him. ('Beltane' is an Irish word in origin.) We cannot assume that the Insular Kelts worshiped every god that their Continental kin did.

So alas, Beltane is probably not “Bel's fire.”

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