Culture Blogs


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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs
Coffee Tarot - Blending Common Symbols with the Tarot

Over three years ago, I made a post here called The Evolution and Re-Interpretation of Symbols (or, The Coffee Tarot Leaves Me Cold). Click here to read that  post. 

You may recall that someone said to me:

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Archaic Smile

Back when I was trying to figure out my tastes, I would compare pictures of men.

OK, which one do you find more attractive?

Then the harder question.

Why?

One of the things that I learned about myself is that I really like guys that smile.

One of the things that I learned about Americans while traveling abroad was that Americans smile a lot. As a people, that says something about us.

I smile a lot myself. Hey, I've waited tables; my waiter's smile has had miles of practice. When you read to others as different—and when you look at me, you tend to think “gay” right away—a smile is a useful tool.

Call me a Philistine if you like (see if I care), but when it comes to ancient Greek art, I've always prefered Archaic to Classical. Classical art I admire; Archaic art I love.

Some of it is a matter of relationality, to be sure. Perfection is cold. But stylization, the schematic, simultaneously creates a distance and bridges that distance. Beholding it—by which I mean participatory seeing—you sense essence.

And then, of course, there's that mysterious smile—it's even known as the Archaic Smile—that plays about the lips of Archaic figures like a flickering flame. What are they smiling about? you want to ask. What do they know that I don't?

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, "O happy people, children of happy gods." And that made me smile.
  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Brand Spanking New

Brand spanking new.

A curious expression, certainly: what does one have to do with the other?

In fact, it's birth imagery. Birth imagery? you might think.

Ah, but this was birth the cowan way.

Back in the Bad Old Days of the Cowan Era (CE), it was customary to hold newborn babies upside-down by their feet and give them a good, solid swat on the behind. Supposedly, this was to get the newborn to take its first breath.

In fact, of course, most newborns breathe automatically, and for those that don't, there are much less violent methods available.

But for cowans, the gesture held deep meaning. At the very moment of birth, it subjected the newly-born to the life of indignity, violence, and subjugation that most people then could expect to live.

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  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    I delivered all three of my boys at home with a midwife, and believe me, there was no spanking involved! It hadn't occurred to me
  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    Unfortunately, Steven, it hasn't. Not if you enter a typical maternity ward rather than a birth center. I deeply appreciate your a
Firefly (Lightning Bug) Family: Recapture the Wonder

World-wide, people have marveled at the flashing lights of fireflies on warm nights. These beetles are called many names: blinkies, glowworms, moon bugs, and lightning bugs. All these names reflect the quality of fireflies’ bioluminescence to communicate.

These remarkable insects have the most efficient light in the world. Their “cold light” consists of the luciferase enzyme which acts on the luciferin in the presence of magnesium, ATP, and oxygen. The adults flash to speak with each other and to find mates. Even firefly eggs and larvae glow, as a warning to predators. They tell predators that they taste lousy.

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The Burning Times and the “War on Terror”

[Image from http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2017/01/25/a_q_a_with_the_muslim_woman_whose_face_has_become_a_symbol_of_trump_resistance.html]

 

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  • Ariel Aron
    Ariel Aron says #
    I am so glad that you said this. I agree with you totally, and thank for the book recommendation. I am always speaking out on my s
  • Cairril Adaire
    Cairril Adaire says #
    Thank you, Ariel, for your thoughtful words. I agree that we have to connect the dots. Feel free to share the post! Blessings.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Witch's Teats

Hey you: witch.

How many nipples do you have?

Back in the Bad Old Days, the received wisdom was that witches have more than two. That's so we can suckle our imps.

Those of us with a Classical education, of course, think immediately of Diana of Ephesus, goddess of witches, with her ample endowments (polymasteia: the state of having many breasts). Of course, Many-breasted Earth feeds us all to this very day.

But I highly doubt that that's what the witch-finders had in mind. Humans have two nipples, animals have many. It's a comment on the witch's intrinsically bestial nature.

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  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Giggle, giggle!
grab your wallet: how vegans exemplify consumer advocacy

 b2ap3_thumbnail_Gandhi-greatness_of_nations.jpg

In today's political climate, I've noticed more and more folks talking about consumer campaigns around "grabbing your wallet" when you disapprove of certain individual or industrial practices. I think this is great. It reminds me of the activist magic at work behind veganism. Every single one of us votes with our consumer dollars in one way or another. Veganism is one example of a "boycott," in the sense that we are grabbing our wallet and refusing to pay for certain practices. The concept was popularized (though not invented) by Gandhi as non-cooperation with an oppressive group or practice.

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