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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Two Priestesses

It seems that N's high priestess was at a festival, going to the evening ritual in a simple white robe.

En route, she runs into—I'm quoting my friend here—a “Laurie Cabot clone,” hair done to the max, made-up to the nines, gown by Elvira, clanking with the weight of all her occult silver. Clearly this woman has worked for hours to make herself look like this.

“Oh honey,” she says to my friend's high priestess, “Aren't you going down to the big ritual tonight?”

“Sure, I'm going there now.”

Not-Laurie looks at her, dismayed. “Oh honey,” she says, “Dressed like that? Don't you want to make yourself beautiful for the Goddess?”

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  • A M
    A M says #
    I can understand appreciating the second priestess' approach and disapproving of any mean implications from 'N'. However, it also
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    At this remove it's impossible to say what degree (if any) of meanness there was to the initial exchange. N's priestess was either
  • A M
    A M says #
    I have to say that if someone were making what comes across as a judgement on my (inoffensive) clothing choice for a spiritual exp
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I agree, but there's certainly something to be said for style. Let me add that what I find so appealing about the second woman's
  • Nimue Brown
    Nimue Brown says #
    I've always felt what's on the inside of a person counts for a lot more than the packaging.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

One of my workshops at Pantheacon 2015 was called Restoring Sovereign Order. Since there were no class notes for the event, I promised I would post information on the working for those who wanted to continue with it, as I suggested repeating the ritual for forty days straight while holding a stone, and then placing that stone out into the world with the virtue generated from the forty day working. Below is a short article I wrote when I first shared this working with the ministers of the Temple of Witchcraft.  I had no plans of really sharing it beyond that group, but when meditating on Pantheacon, got a clear distinct message this was the lesson to base a workshop on, so I did. 

I ran into someone earlier in the convention who asked me about the workshop, saying she hadn't planned on attending as it sounded like a ritual to “invoke fascism.” I can understand that, as concept of Sacred Sovereignty in a global context are not popular in modern metaphysics today, and it was a throw back to an older world occultism. I tried to explain the concept in the few moments I had, but I'm not sure if I was successful. Hard to sum up an hour in a few seconds when there is already misunderstanding. Thankfully an impromptu meeting with T. Thorn Coyle as she was waiting for the room for her own panel, turned it into a funny moment as she has a great talent to disarm serious topics with good humor. I had previously attended R.J. Stewarts workshop on the Sacred Kings and Queens with great interest, and he was very supportive of my own presentation, taking the train of thought in a different, but hopefully complimentary direction. 

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  • Harita Meenee
    Harita Meenee says #
    Thank you so much!
  • Harita Meenee
    Harita Meenee says #
    Thank you, Bruno, for reading my article! Yes, may we always remember the great poet from Lesbos.
  • Bruno
    Bruno says #
    ...and shared
  • Bruno
    Bruno says #
    Thank you Charita, may Sapfo always be remembered

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

As winter has firmly wrapped around us here (at least as much as it ever does in the South), I’d been planning to write about the beautiful Mexican Riviera, a crystal coastline dotted with ancient temples and pulsing with power and healing. However, when I sat down to my trusty computer this morning, it wouldn’t turn on…and all the pictures from all my trips are safely locked in the hard drive. I’ve got my fingers crossed that it will be an easy fix, once my hubby or I venture out to a computer store, but right now, with another round of snow covering the roads, technology repair has suddenly fallen to the bottom of my priorities list.


Winter tends to rearrange things for me, and whenever I don’t take the necessary time for rest and healing that the season affords, I’ve discovered that the Goddess has a way of enforcing quiet down time for me, forcing me to slow down and just breathe.

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  • Debra May Macleod
    Debra May Macleod says #
    As a follower of Vesta / Hesita, I absolutely loved this beautiful article! Very well-written, and so so true Come visit me at
  • Jen McConnel
    Jen McConnel says #
    Thanks, Debra! I'm so glad this resonated with you! Have liked your page, too
  • J'Karrah
    J'Karrah says #
    We found the house in the depths of another southern winter, after a month and a half of searching, and even on a February afterno
  • Jen McConnel
    Jen McConnel says #
    Victoria sounds absolutely lovely. It's amazing how tangible the sense of self is, isn't it?! I think it's especially true of old

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Woman at the Window

A recurrent iconographic motif of Phoenician art during the early 1st millenium BCE is the “Woman at the Window.” Sometimes called by researchers “Astarte at the Window,” the motif occurs with such frequency—known examples number in the thousands—and in so many different mediums (ivory, stone, wood, bone), that it is well worth asking what it may have meant to the ancestors.

Although minor variations occur, the type is surprisingly consistent. A woman's face peers out from a window. The window itself is generally back-set in a triple recess; she looks out over a balustrade supported by four (occasionally three) elaborately-carved columns. The woman is characterized by an elaborate ringlet coiffure—perhaps a wig—bekohled eyes, and prominent ears.

Early researchers associated the motif with a cult of sacred prostitution, but contemporary scholars have laid this sacred cow of Biblical research to rest. No evidence exists for such an institution in any ancient Semitic culture; such claims in antiquity have proved to be at second- and third- hand, and are invariably attributed to other people. Whoever the Woman at the Window may be, she is no “hierodule.”

The monumental architecture of the window clearly indicates that this is a very special woman indeed; the window is an elaborate frame for what seems most likely to be a divine epiphany. Although no known examples are inscribed, it is not unreasonable to think that we may here be gazing upon the face of a goddess, and although the cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean coast knew numerous goddesses, we may well suspect that this may be the goddess known variously as Astarte, Ashtárt, Ashtéret, and Ashtarót.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Love this. In my play, "Stories Seldom Told: A feminist retelling of some familiar and not so familiar Biblical stories" one of t
  • Bruno
    Bruno says #
    I don´t know her Phoenician name, but was posibly Astarte, since in the myth she and Zeus fathered Asterion (the famed Minotaur),
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Ah, right, I'd forgotten: the Phoenician princess with the surprising Greek name. (I wonder what her Phoenician name was?) A tanta
  • Bruno
    Bruno says #
    Thank you! Very interesting reading and connections. Perhaps this has to do with Europa ("Wide-Eyed") who was kidnnaped by Zeus fr

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Get to Work

I don't know if it is the insistent trudging of February, my time of life or the world of the world but I am weary of words. Your words. My words. All the words.  The Pagan community is arguably one of the most educated in the country and we have so much to discuss as the religious movement changes and grows. We parse language, we foment revolution, we whine, we rejoice.

But we do rather a lot of arguing. About all sorts of things large and small.

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Thank you both for your thoughtful responses. Leandra, how can we encourage and support the kind of leadership you've outlined? Co
  • Leandra Witchwood
    Leandra Witchwood says #
    I am also tired of the “internet pissing contests”. There is far more bickering and judging going around compared to good solid co
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    I get emails when several W&P blogs are published. It always amuses me how I can tell which ones are yours before I even open the

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