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

Hubble Beholds a Big, Beautiful Blue Galaxy | NASA 

Is an electron one, or many?

Is an atom one, or many?

Is a cell one, or many?

Is a body one, or many?

Is a flock one, or many?

Is a coven one, or many?

Is a tribe one, or many?

Is a people one, or many?

Is a land one, or many?

Is a planet one, or many?

Is a solar system one, or many?

Is a galaxy one, or many?

Is what is, one or many?

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 River, Stream, Movement, Turbulent, Stormy, Flow, Turbulence, Commotion,  Water, Wave, Aquatic | PixCove

A Thought Experiment

 

I believe in the peoplehood of pagans.

Here's my contention: that, collectively, pagans constitute—in effect—a transnational and transethnic people.

I would contend, in fact, that pagans are, essentially, an emergent ethnic group.

 

So: a pagan and a non-pagan fall into a river. You can only save one. Which one do you save?

In reality, of course, moral decisions are rarely so clear-cut. But ask yourself: under these circumstances, which one would it be?

The pagan moral universe is one of graded responsibility. (Yes, there may be a few heroic souls out there who have managed to transcend such petty restrictions and truly love everyone equally. Well, good on them. I'm talking here about the rest of us poor unwashed unenlightened.) I have more responsibility to immediate family than to more distant relatives. I have more responsibility to distant kin than to non-kin. I have more responsibility to non-kin members of my tribe than to those not of my tribe. And so on, expanding outwards from self.

That said, would I save the pagan, or the non-pagan?

Usually, of course, a question of this sort implies some sort of moral weighting. I'd be more likely to save someone that I knew over someone that I didn't know, the one that I liked better, the one that I perceived as less able to help themselves.

(In the funniest set of pre-flight instructions that I've ever heard, the way-gay air steward mugged: "If you're traveling with a child, please see to your own needs first. If you're traveling with two children, please see to the needs of the most promising child first.")

All that being equal, though, Posch, which one would you save?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

It's a byword in New Crete, Robert Graves' Goddess-worshiping utopia of the future: “Nothing without the hand of love.” Love is the culture's central value.

In New Crete, love's opposite is not hatred, but unlove: self-interest disregarding of others. “How utterly unloving!” say the New Cretans of such actions, shuddering.

In 1961, W. Holman Keith—protegé of Gleb Botkin, founder of the Long Island Church of Aphrodite—observed in his ground-breaking Divinity as the Eternal Feminine that any Goddess-based religion must necessarily adopt love as its central principle.

Doreen Valiente would seem to have felt the same when, in the late 1950s, she drafted her well-loved prose “Charge of the Goddess”, in which the Lady of Witches tells her people: “My law is love unto all beings.”

Doubtless this intriguing dictum restates the Thelemic principle “Love is the law, love under will”, but let us ask: What does the Lady's Law of Love mean? What are its implications for the actions of Her People?

Does she mean that we should love viruses and flatworms? Does she mean that we should all become vegan? Does she mean that we should love the deer as we shoot it? If the latter, what does it mean to love what you kill?

In a sense, the statement is a commonsense observation about all living things that reproduce sexually.

More broadly, though, I think that she's talking about a general approach to life. Taking love as your central principle and prime motivator will change the way that you think about what you do. Next time you make a decision, ask yourself: What is the loving thing to do here?

The Lady's Law of Love governs not only our behavior toward others of our own kind, but those not of our kind as well: other humans that we perceive as not being like us, as well as our larger family of kin, animals, plants, and ultimately the entire “non-living” world.

Lest you think the concept of a Love Culture redolent of hippie-dom or naiveté, let me cite another proverb of New Crete:

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I think it was in an issue of Natural History magazine that I read an article about St. Hubertus. It mentioned that traditionally

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tips 'n' Tricks: A Muse-ical Wand

If your passion is making art or music, throwing pots, or growing an artful garden, you are an imaginative person, and you need to stay in touch with your muse. Call her to you anytime you are feeling blocked or uninspired. You can make a very special tool that will draw your muse to you with sweet-smelling smoke. 

You’ll want to keep a pot of the hardy and sun-loving herb sage on your windowsill so it is handy at all times. Here is a simple way to use this herb to create a wand for instant inspiration: Combine a long stalk of fennel with a twisted bundle of sage and long sticks of your favorite incense, such as cinnamon or nag champ (my personal favorite). Braid the materials tightly together into a wand using purple (for power) and gold (for money) string or thread. Before any artistic endeavor or meditation, light one end of the wand with a candle and wave it around to clear your environment, allowing the smoke to clear your mind in the process.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 1500+ Sky Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash

 

How do you join yourself to a people?

In the dream, I am leaving home, going to fight in Ukraine. In dedication, I carve a piece of flesh from my right calf, about the length and volume of a finger.

I vow to Tue, old Sky Father, lord of battles, to make this people my people, and this fight my fight.

I take the all-seeing Sun, guarantor of agreements, to be my witness.

 

***

In waking life, of course, I do nothing of the sort. Instead, from the safety of another continent—from the middle of the continent, no less—I sit and write, torn in spirit, shaken by a war in which I have no part.

 

***

In the Old North, war was a religious affair.

Before a campaign, a departing army would first gather for the hosting-sacrifice. Sprinkled—literally, blessed—with the blood of the sacrificial victim, they would bind themselves with a hold-oath to fight as one, laying aside all other feuds and grievances for the duration.

 

***

I once lost a friend to victimhood.

He had embraced victimhood as an identity. There were no oppressed in whom he could not see himself. “I wonder which oppressed group Tom has decided to identify with this week,” a mutual friend once commented archly.

In the end, weary of being cast as eternal oppressor to his eternal victim, I walked away from the friendship.

In sorrow, I walked away.

 

***

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The Language of Jewelry: Bracelets

I love bracelets and am wearing an aventurine cuff right now. The wrists are perfect pulse points. Organic gems, such as coral and abalone, are very helpful for energy low and release. Turquoise is great for stabilizing and calming you physically. 

Ancient cultures loved to wear armbands and cuffs, and those have gone out of style except among the most dramatic of fashionistas. Perhaps we should try to bring this style back because gem and crystal armbands are very good for body and soul.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 Castlenalacht, Stone Row / Alignment - Megalithic Mysteries

 A Visit to Pagan Island

 

A row of standing stones runs along the spine of the long, narrow river island.

In the dream, I'm in Wales, visiting the old Selene farm in Carmarthenshire, which during the 70s and early 80s was home to the Pagan Movement in Britain and Ireland. It was from these good folks that I learned ritual and how to think in Pagan. It was in this soil that my pagan roots first grew deep.

The river in the dream, though, is clearly the Mississippi, along whose banks I now live. In the logic of dreams, the meaning is clear enough.

When we finally manage to get out to the island—did we swim? boat? teleport?—we discover something very interesting indeed. The long row of standing stones that line the island's ridge are not raised stones. These stones are a part of the island itself, living rock rearing to the sky, grown here like the trees themselves.

In the dream, I think of the immemorial sanctity of river islands. I remember the self-manifest lingams of India, most sacred of all lingams. These are self-manifest standing stones, most powerful of all.

We link hands and begin to dance. Down along the full row we dance, weaving in and out of the standing stones as we go.

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