Culture Blogs


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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs
Intimations of Emergence: When Pottery Speaks

The clay bowl on the coffee table could be in a museum, but it isn't.

What the potter in what is now Ukraine who, some 5500 years ago, painted the swirling designs on its surface, meant by them, we do do know. Possibly, nothing at all.

But when you look closely at the patterns, that's hard to believe.

This evocative bowl is an artifact of a remarkable culture known after the “type site” as Trypillian. (Named for the Ukrainian village nearest the original digging site, the word—appropriately enough—means “Three Fields.”) This is one of those glittering Old European cultures made famous in the English-speaking world by Lithuanian archaeologist (and feminist ideologue) Marija Gimbutas.

During the course of her career, Gimbutas handled thousands upon thousands of painted ceramics like this little bowl. She was convinced that the designs not only bore meaning to their makers, but that we can—to some degree, at least—read them today.

Hold this little clay bowl in your hands. Look closely. What do you see? Yonis? Buds? Antlers? Paired chrysalises? A butterfly? A woman, arms upraised?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Game of Doubles

A few times a month I get an e-mail from an on-line vanity company that tracks names mentioned in academic periodicals. For a mere $95 a month, I too could get specifics every time Steven Posch is mentioned in a scholarly paper.

Well, gee, thanks, I think I'll give it a pass. Still, it's nice to know that academics are noticing. (If you're reading this, Hi!) I happen to think that at least some of what I say is worth paying attention to, and it's gratifying to know that at least some other (presumably thoughtful) people feel the same.

Of course, one can't assume that every Steven Posch mentioned in every academic paper is me. There's more than one Steven Posch out there, for certain: Steven Posch the tennis pro, for example. One wonders what Steven Posch, tennis pro, thinks of his pagan double, assuming he knows he exists. Hey, I've got as much gay narcissism as the next guy.

Even so, I was pretty mystified to find out last week that, in a recent publication, “a member of the Mechanical Engineering department at Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Piraeus mentions the name 'Steven Posch.'”

Mechanical Engineering? Technological Institute? Piraeus? (Presumably, the one in Greece, yes?) I rather doubt that the Steven Posch mentioned in this particular paper is either Steven Posch the tennis pro or Steven Posch the pagan storyteller.

In this world of doubles it would, admittedly, be amusing to know what the others out there are up to these days.

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Surprise! Leo Super Full Moon Vibes Jan. 20-22

Mama Moon enters the Fixed, Fire sign of Leo on Jan. 20 at 7:54 pm Pacific Time until Jan. 22. She is a Super Moon at Perigee at 9:16 pm on Jan. 20 which means she’s as close as she can be to Earth and Full. She is also ECLIPSED by the Sun at 6:36 pm on Jan. 20. So, what does it all mean?

Pick a card to find out. Also, take a peek at your natal birth chart to see if the Sun which is currently at 0º Leo conjuncts or opposes a natal planet or angle.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Is Paganism an -Ism?

Hey, Pagan Pride: I've got a suggestion.

A web-search for Twin Cities Pagan Pride turned up (in more than one location) the following lead sentence.


"Pagan Pride is a free fall event, open to the public, that offers education about Paganism to the larger community."

With all due praise to the local Pride committee—who work their butts off every year to offer to pagan and cowan alike a beautiful event in a sacred place, an event that we can truly be proud of—I'd like to suggest a gentle rewrite.

Whether or not such a thing as a unified “Paganism” ever existed anywhere but in the minds of those who hated the Old Ways, I very much doubt. It didn't exist then, it doesn't exist now, and (thank gods), it never will exist. This fact is encoded, genetic: the very nature of the “pagan” religions, new and old alike, militates against such a unity.

“Paganism” isn't an “-ism.” “Pagan” is a descriptor, an identity perhaps: a way of talking about something that already exists, not a thing in and of itself.

So here's my suggestion for an opening that's truer to lived Pagan reality:

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Mark Green
    Mark Green says #
    Macha, did you see this post of mine? It's about exactly your topic. https://atheopaganism.wordpress.com/2019/01/08/talking-pagan
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    I agree completely with Murph, Ian, and Mark's comments. We are weakened by divisiveness and strengthened by solidarity. In the
  • Murphy Pizza
    Murphy Pizza says #
    Thanks for feedback all - and no offense taken, Virginia. And as an Italian American girl myself, I can totally get on board wi
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Diversity is healthy. Diversity is sustainable. Diversity is inevitable.
  • Mark Green
    Mark Green says #
    I talk of Paganism as "a constellation of religious paths", the sole true commonality of which is self-identification as Pagan. Th

Hello all! I realize I have been rather quiet as of late. In an effort to get more happening here, I have invited a guest contributor, a Canadian astrologer I've known online for a few years, to offer monthly astrological profiles and some rough sun sign horoscopes. I found his Pisces one to be accurate. January is almost over, but I'm including January's horoscopes anyway to give you a taste of what's to come. February's will appear at the beginning of the month. I hope you enjoy!

Horoscope for January 2019

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REORIENTATION Time: Cancer Moon Vibes Jan. 18-20

Mama Moon enters the Cardinal, Water sign of Cancer the Crab on Jan. 18 at 7:44 pm Pacific time until Jan. 20. During this time Papa Sun enters the Fixed, Air sign of freedom loving Aquarius.

Call upon your imagination (or the Elfin Ally Spirit Animal for this Moon) to help you hear the call of your inner voice. This is a good Moon-Time to withdraw and REORIENT yourself in preparation for the blast of Full Moon Eclipse energy coming on Jan. 20 in Leo.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Let's Build a Wheel-Cairn

You know that cairn that we've been talking about building? The one where people can depose the ashes of the dead?

Well, here's an idea: let's build it in the shape of a Wheel.

Check out this wheel-cairn from Sälle in Fröjel on the island of Gotland (Sweden). (It's about 2000 years old.) Let's build one like this, oriented East-West, big. I'd see the spokes and rim as maybe a foot high, the Hub- and Quarter-cairns higher.

It's a Sun Wheel, of course. That makes it a prayer. As the dead go West with the Sun, so too may they be reborn with him in the East.

And it's the Wheel of Time, the Wheel of the Year. As time, as the year, move in a circle, so may those who were be reborn to the People.

The Wheel, of course, is also the Journey. The dead have a journey to make. As our people have followed the Sun, traveling from East to West, so do the dead continue their journey.

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