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 Silver Beaker: An American Faerie Story

Up around Westby, they say, there was a wedding one day, and the bride, she steps out for a breath of air, being a touch winded from the dancing and all.

Out she goes in her finery and her wedding crown and, it being a fair day, she walks a bit, and doesn't she hear more music, coming from over the fields, so she walks on over, and sees that it's coming from a little green hill.

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New Moon in Aries-Guided by Magic: Raven Oracle (April 5)

Here at PaganSquare I’m sharing a spirit animal painting and message from my Elfin Ally Oracle Deck picked especially for the New Moon. Enjoy!

Raven Keyword: Wise
Meaning: Although saddened by the times your will is true and guided by magick.
Reversed: A dark omen portends gloom, so stay inside!

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The Aries New Moon — coming, as it does, on or within a few weeks of the March Equinox — inevitably brings a noticeable shift in the ambient energy. This year, Aries is (as always) urging us to move ahead, to “boldly go”, to break new ground. But this New Moon’s natural exuberance is being severely challenged by an ongoing, difficult aspect in the sign of Capricorn , and we are likely to find ourselves required to clean up any messes we’ve been ignoring before we can move ahead.

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Born to Be Wild: Lupercalia, the Rising Spring and the Sacred Wild
Come away, O human child!
                                                                                                                          To the waters and the wild…
                                                                                                                          For the world’s more full of weeping 
                                                                                                                          than you can understand.
                    As part of my devotion to the God Pan, I usually make special offerings to Him in mid February, when the Lupercalia would have been celebrated in ancient Rome. On this holy day of misrule, youths dressed in goatskins would run through the city, carrying leather straps they would use to whip married women, thereby increasing their fertility. While I don’t get that ‘authentic’ in my own devotional practice, I was thinking about the wild revel as the beer, honey cakes and barley were laid out on his plinth.  Shivering in the cold, with snow threatening in the white air, it was sometimes possible to sniff out the pulse of the coming Spring.
                    This year that whiff of the changing season took a while to make itself known.
                    This year, as the Winter lingered, I felt the wildness in me shrivel up.  Nature-deprived—no camping or hiking for over a year, limited time outside of inhabited places—I was limping around half-starved without realizing it.  Spring’s slow arrival—only now are the trees getting knobbly with buds, only now are the first bulbs pushing forward, and the willows fanning out their catkins—has reminded me how much my wildness has eroded. Cooped up for the Winter, the flame of the wild in my soul was flickering low.
                    Worse, I was watching a wholesale war on the wild parts of the planet unfolding in front of me.  The state of the world’s oceans, with elevated salinization levels and the infiltration of plastic into every level of the marine environment; the collapse of insect populations; the extinction of species after species; the eradication of wild places and indigenous people by newly emerging right-wing governments (such as Bolsonaro in Brazil)—all of these are individual calamities that compound the effects of climate change, and chip away bit by bit at the fragile state of our planet’s health.
                    The loss of habitat and species, the despoiling of shared resources such as water, air,and food ,and the ideology that excuses that kind of degradation as ‘progress’ are threats to our collective survival. They have the additional distinction of being as harmful to the human soul as to our physical health. We may feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of calamities, and feel unable to effect any positive change, but there is good news as well.  There are spots where the coral reef is recovering. There are species thought to be extinct that are suddenly re-appearing for the first time in decades. There are new species we never dreamed of finding, being discovered in some of the harshest environments on earth. All of these point to a struggle to bring the planet and its living systems back into balance.
                    And for us, the longing for the wild doesn’t really go away, no matter how much we may bury or repress that longing, no matter how much we may try to sublimate our urges, or talk ourselves out of what we want. There is a violence we do to ourselves when we deny our wild nature, when we refuse to indulge the joyful, messy, scary pleasures of our essential selves. 
                    As the Spring advances, and the whole world comes to life, tap into that soft, wild, inarticulate piece of your soul. In the rising light of Spring, allow that soft animal self to run into the meadow and sniff out the blessings of this season, holy and wild.


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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Moon is a Mirror

Our temple Goddess wears a crown of Three Moons, and the disc in the center is a mirror.

Many are its meanings, but this foremost: that the Moon is Herself a mirror.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Title: The Shaman Speaks

Publisher: Middle Creek Publishing

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
How Not to Rename a Lake

“Then turn right when you get to....”

The clerk pauses in her direction-giving. A year ago, she would have said “...when you get to Lake Calhoun.” But last summer the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) decided to change the official name of Minneapolis' largest lake back to its original name.

“...Bde Maka Ska,” I say. She nods, gratefully, and continues with her directions.

Really, you can't blame her not being able to remember the “new” name. She doesn't speak Dakota. Most people don't.

I applaud the DNR's decision to shed the imposed triumphalist name, and to call the Lake formerly known as Calhoun what those who originally dwelt on its shores called it.

But I think that they've gone about it wrong.

It's a little much to expect most English speakers to wrap their tongues around a word that begins with bd-. (When's the last time that you used the word bdellium in a sentence?) To most non-Dakota speakers, Bde Maká Ska reads as gibberish: hard to pronounce, hard to remember.

So they end up calling the lake “Calhoun” anyway, which rather defeats the purpose of the change.

Here's what I think that the DNR should have done. The Dakota-speakers who lived on the southern shores of the lake named it Bde Maká Ska, “White Earth Lake,” for the deposits of white clay found on its banks.

White Earth Lake”: that's the new/old name that the DNR should have chosen.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Greetings fellow Twin Citizen, and thanks: blessed are they that do their research. Luck to the work of language preservation: the
  • Mary Lanham
    Mary Lanham says #
    Fellow Twin Cities pagan here! My initial reaction to the name change was also that the English translation would have been more e

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