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
When the New Gods Fail

The 1860s in Sweden saw a disastrous series of failed harvests.

The good farmers of Tisselskog, Dalsland repeatedly went to church and pleaded for divine assistance, but none, apparently, was forthcoming. Each subsequent harvest was worse than the one before.

What do you do when the new gods fail you?

Of course, you turn to the old.


Tisselskog is home to one of west Sweden's richest collections of Bronze Age rock art. More than 50 rock panels are covered with thousands of carvings of footprints, warriors, Sun wheels, and ships. Common also is the cupmark, known rather more poetically in Swedish as an älvkvarn, an “elf-quern” or “elf-mill.” Those who wished, in the skald Sighvatr Þórðarson's words, to “offer to the elves” would place their offerings—milk, a coin, a little smeared fat—in one of these elf-querns.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Icicle Music

Just exactly what Coyote did to get Bear so riled up, I don't know.

Knowing Coyote, I'd say he probably seduced his daughter, or his son. Or maybe not. It was Wolf Moon, after all, cold enough to freeze the nose off your face, and early for Bear to be up and about.

He's always grouchy when he first wakes up in the spring—low blood sugar, probably—and, let's face it, Coyote's pretty irritating at the best of times.

So, anyway, Bear had been chasing Coyote through the snow and Coyote had skedaddled his mangy ass up a skinny old jack pine. He had to climb all the way up to the top where the branches were too small to support Bear's weight. Then he waited.

Well, Bear grumbled around the foot of the tree for a few days, but finally he gave up and went away to find something to eat.

Here's the problem. Going up, Coyote had adrenaline to help him up the tree, but after three days he was stiff with cold and weak with hunger, and he knew he wasn't going to be able to climb down out of that tree without falling and cracking his skull.

So, what did he do? What would you do in that situation?

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Black Dog: Elfin Ally Oracle for the Sagittarius Moon Feb. 25-27

Here on the blog, I’ll be sharing a spirit animal painting and message from my Elfin Ally Oracle Deck picked especially for the zodiac sign that Mama Moon is currently transiting. Enjoy!

Black Dog Keyword: Together-ness
Meaning: This is the best of times!
Reversed: You cannot see what’s right in front of you.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
And Your Shaggy Dog Too

In what has been called the Glorious Autumn of '79, author-priestess Margot Adler (1946-2014) set out on a coast-to-coast tour promoting her newly-released book, the instant classic Drawing Down the Moon.

On November 13, she was scheduled to speak in an occult bookstore in one of the two small cities that span the Red River on the Minnesota-North Dakota border.

As she arrived at the bookstore, she was met on the sidewalk by a group of irate fundie protestors. One angry nazz threw a stone that struck Adler in the forehead, wounding her superficially.

Nothing daunted, Adler, blood streaming down her face, turned towards the crowd and raised her arms. The chanting Christians immediately fell silent.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    100% fictional. I'll do anything for a Spoonerism.
  • Murphy Pizza
    Murphy Pizza says #
    Christian hypocrisy drives me nuts. That is quite a story...

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The State of the Rite

To judge from my own experience and what I've heard from others, the state of pagan ritual is not particularly strong right now.

That's hardly to be wondered at. Ritual is an art, and—as with any art-form—to gain mastery takes time, especially when you mostly have to start from the ground up and teach yourself as you go.

The quality of pagan ritual is decidedly not improved by the custom—I'm almost tempted to call it a recreational sport—of ritual-shredding. How many times have I sat around a campfire after the evening ritual listening to a vicious vivisection of every single thing that went wrong in circle that night?

Enjoyable as it may be at the time, ritual-shredding is a self-indulgence which we cannot permit ourselves. It's pointless to tear down what someone else has built if we ourselves have nothing to put in its place.

For this reason, here in Paganistan the thew (custom) has arisen that No ritual may be criticized until the next day.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    My sentiments exactly. In the past I've taken the time and trouble to articulate what is successful and what failed in a large pu

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Dream of a Common Language

In the dream, I'm part of a delegation of New Pagans from the West that has gone to the Kalasha valleys to attend a grand convocation of contemporary pagans, both old and new.

(The Kalasha are the only Indo-European-speaking people who have continuously practiced their ancestral religion since ancient times. About 4000 of them live in three remote valleys in what is now northwestern Pakistan. They are known for their polytheistic religion, their wine-drinking, and for the freedom—and beauty—of their women.)

A Kalasha spokeswoman stands up to welcome everyone to Kalashastan. A few sentences into her speech, everyone begins to laugh in appreciative surprise.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Indeed! Very few of my dreams strike me as being profound, but I think that this one qualifies. Me, I'm going to hold out for a m
  • Dragon Dancer
    Dragon Dancer says #
    Awesome dream! If only, right?
Monkey Business: Elfin Ally Oracle for the Libra Moon

Enjoy the spirit animal painting and message from my Elfin Ally Oracle Deck picked especially for the zodiac sign that Mama Moon is currently transiting. Enjoy!

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