Culture Blogs


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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs
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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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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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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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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A Group Tarot Healing Ceremony

I want to share an experience that I had with my tarot group recently.

We meet once a month to play with the cards, learn from each other and share readings.  Last month, one of our members arrived with her usual supply of books, notebooks, tarot cards and snacks to share, and something else.

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Assessing Visions: A Field Guide

So: someone you know has Seen or Heard Someone.

We have it from the ancestors that these things do indeed happen from time to time. Maybe they've happened to you. (I've had my share of visionary experiences over the years.) When it comes to trustworthiness, though, we're clearly talking case-by-case basis. How do you tell the real from the...um, not-real?

Forthwith, some pointers to help guide the way along the thorny path of personal revelation.

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Communing with Nature Wherever, Whenever

One of the things I love about being a real estate agent (leasing agent specifically) is the freedom I have. I can set my own hours, I can go on vacation whenever I want, and I can tell people "no" without fear of repercussions. I find I work way past my normal availability and during the summer like it is now, I easily put in 75 hours a week - oftentimes 90. I actually force myself to stay out of my home office on Sundays, which is my self-designated day off, because otherwise I'd work every day of the week. I also take a "day off" in the middle of the week as well, but that's only a day I choose to not do showings. Instead, I schedule for other days and get caught up on paperwork. And lately, those showings have piled up so much I've been all but have been living out of my car.

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