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
A Story in Five Pictures

Dating from more than 40,000 years ago, the Lion “Man” of Hohlenstein Stadel is the oldest uncontested zoomorphic figure that we know of. Carved from mammoth ivory, and standing about a foot high, the bipedal image combines feline and human characteristics. Since the lions of prehistoric Europe had no manes and there is no clear indication of sex, we cannot say for certain whether the figure is intended as female or male. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    It's such a rich image. Hereabouts, he would be the Cougar Man. After years of "reported sightings," a few years back a surveillan
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Way back in the 80's I dreamed of a soap stone sculpture of a seated man with the head of a mountain lion wearing a feather bonnet
EMPATHIC CRYSTALS - Bring out compassionate feelings

This week we’ll be discussing Empathic crystals which actually is more about what has happened to a crystal's overall shape rather than what kind of shape in which it has grown. They may be any configuration at all.

Empathic crystals are crystals which are chipped or damaged in some way. Usually they are damaged in the mining process. However sometimes, even though they may survive the mining process without injury, they get dropped (for example in our homes) and subsequently are chipped, dinged or damaged.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Secret of the Sacred Garden

Part 1

From Aphrodite’s Vulva to the Resurrection

What possible connection could there be between the sacred gardens of Aphrodite and the resurrection of Jesus?

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Effective Feedback: Giving and Receiving (Part 2)

Any leader or rituallist is going to get feedback. In Part 1, I addressed some methods to discern what feedback is useful and what isn't. It's also important to learn how to give good feedback, which is what I'll go into here.

While I love hearing, "That ritual was great!" what this primarily tells me is that this person (or the people telling me this) had a good time. It’s not, however, specific. “I loved the chanting!” or, "I've never experienced a ritual like that, I was able to connect to my ancestors in a way I couldn't ever before," is more specific and thus, more useful. 

I've facilitated rituals where I had an equal number of people tell me, "The energy in that ritual was great!" and, "The energy tonight really kind of sucked." So what makes good feedback?

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Effective Feedback: Giving and Receiving (Part 1)

Just weeks ago I had the honor of leading the main ritual at Paganicon, a Pagan conference in its fifth year taking place in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I felt the main ritual went really well, and over the course of the weekend I received a lot of positive feedback from people who had a deep, transformative experience during the ritual. I also heard from the convention staffers that fully a third of the feedback forms positively mentioned the ritual or one of my other workshops. 

As a teacher and ritual leader, it's always really exciting to hear that my work has had a positive impact!

However, after I returned from the event, I was directed to a blog post from another presenter at Paganicon who really disliked the ritual I facilitated. In fact, this presenter also had some problems with my presence on at east one of the three panels I spoke on. And it made me think a lot about feedback and leadership.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Annika Mongan
    Annika Mongan says #
    This is super helpful, thank you for being so open and sharing this!
  • Shauna Aura Knight
    Shauna Aura Knight says #
    You are most welcome! The issue of feedback is, I think, a crucial one. So often folks go into the knee-jerk place. They're either
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    Good article. You and I have a lot in common; similar issues for similar reasons, including our ego issues and their source; and
  • Shauna Aura Knight
    Shauna Aura Knight says #
    Glad the article is of use. I just posted part 2, and I'm thinking of writing another just on how to run a useful feedback session
  • Shauna Aura Knight
    Shauna Aura Knight says #
    Oh, the ball dropping. People have such cool projects and I want to support them...and then I look at my to do list and I weep.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Western Waters

Sometimes, I can't sense a particular goddess's energy in the places I travel, even when they are palpably sacred. And sometimes, no matter how much I yearn for the feminine energy, the locations pulse with masculinity that can't be ignored. One particular place that sticks in my mind is Lake Coeur d'Alene in Idaho, where I've had the good fortune to spend snatches of summers here and there with my husband (a west coaster by birth). Since I'm feeling a bit nostalgic today, I thought I'd share a poem with you that I wrote years ago, upon my first experience at that magical lake.

 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Eilidh nic Sidheag
    Eilidh nic Sidheag says #
    So it's one of those "I know it when I see (feel) it" sort of things? I think that's basically how it is for me, too, but I'm cons
  • Jen McConnel
    Jen McConnel says #
    Fair point! However, I'm okay with that, since I feel like any understanding I have of an entity/force of the universe falls woefu
  • Eilidh nic Sidheag
    Eilidh nic Sidheag says #
    I'm curious - how do you determine whether any given energies are masculine or feminine? I've been wondering about this myself lat
  • Jen McConnel
    Jen McConnel says #
    That's actually a really great question. For me, I usually trust my instincts/knowledge of a place, but then again, I'm predispose

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Etruscan Dawn

If the Old Gods exist—I would contend that they do—one would expect them to show themselves differently to different peoples in different times and places.

And that, in fact, is exactly what we find.

Forthwith, in this season of Dawn, a tantalizing glimpse of a non-Indo-European Dawn.

In their well-favored land by the Tyrrhenian (“Etruscan”) Sea, the ancient Tuscans called her Thesan, a goddess whose sister-selves include Vedic Ushas, Greek Eos, Latin Aurora, and English Easter.

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