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
Of Gates and Veils

At certain times of the year—especially around Samhain—you hear that “the Veil between the Worlds grows thin.”

This language speaks to something that many of us, I suspect, have ourselves experienced: those times when our Known World becomes an Otherness to us, often with such intensity—perhaps in response to that same Otherness within ourselves—that it seems we could step through and enter into the Interiority of things. In the lore this sense is frequently associated with the temporally and spatially liminal ( <Latin limen, “threshold”), the times and places of the In-Between.

As a quick web-search will demonstrate, the notion of the Veil Between Worlds comes to the Craft from Spiritualism; mediums are said to “part the Veil” to enable contact with the dead now in the Other World. Most likely Spiritualism derives the metaphor of the Veil (probably via Freemasonry) from the Veil of the Jerusalem temple, the curtain (Hebrew parókhet) that separated the “nave” of the temple from the Holy of Holies.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Size Matters

The Pagan Unity Festival was about ten days ago and I had the honor and the pleasure to teach some classes there this year. I've taught at this festival for several years and the people who attend the workshops are attentive and curious--what teacher could ask for more?  I taught a class on Basic Practical Magic, another on Healing Magic and a late night session on banework.

Before we went out to the CCC-built state park that houses the festival, my friend Star and I went to the Parthenon.  I'd been there a couple of times before and always enjoy the thrill of it all--the Parthenon in Nashville. It's also fun to watch the other visitors' reactions to the Grey-Eyed Protector of ancient Athens.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Have you seen it, Elizabeth? If you're ever in the area, I highly recommend it. Obviously.
  • Elizabeth Kleine
    Elizabeth Kleine says #
    I could not possibly agree more.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Pentecost and the Underworld

Exactly three years after a Pentecost service helped me see that I was a Pagan, I descend into the underworld. I spent last weekend in ritual with a group of Witches, most of them oblivious to the fact that it was Pentecost in the Christian tradition. Pentecost, the day when the Holy Spirit fell upon the followers of Jesus, tongues of fire upon their heads. They were filled with courage and started preaching, they spoke in languages they didn’t know, sang in the tongues of angels, and prophesied. Pentecost is usually seen as the birthday of the Christian church.

 

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Have Pagans Failed at Environmental Activism?

Many Pagans define themselves as "Earth-centered," and yet, so many of us fail to actually live in harmony with the earth. I've written before on the Pagan Activist blog about environmentalism. And I admit that--in my frustration--I've written a few harsh and perhaps even incendiary posts on the topic. I don't know that those have done anything to change anyone's mind.

However, environmentalism is a part of Pagan leadership and community building, which is why I'm writing about it here.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Leslie J Linder
    Leslie J Linder says #
    Thank you for your thoughtful blog! I am an Eclectic Vegan Pagan, and I signed the statement. I had given the authors some info fr
  • Rick
    Rick says #
    Shauna, yours is one of the better posts on the subject. In terms of what can be done and what should be done, the entire race, n
  • Rick
    Rick says #
    And that doesn't even address my pet peeve of over-population!
  • Richard Wachenheim
    Richard Wachenheim says #
    Hello, I consider myself as a reasonable environmentalist pagan. That said, I have been close to the earth for many years and wa
  • Soli
    Soli says #
    I'm one of those people who ended up not signing the pledge, and the "small actions" post I did on Pagan Activist in early April i

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
An Altar Should Be How High?

“So how high is the altar?” I ask.

I'm talking long-distance with the director of our regional pagan land sanctuary, planning the upcoming Midwest Grand Sabbat. I've never been there, but I know that there's a standing altar in the grove.

At Old Style sabbats, the altar is a throne, where the Horned sits to receive His people. So it needs to be of at least a certain height.

The answer was readily forthcoming.

“It's high enough so that someone laying on the altar can have sex with the priest standing in front of it,” he tells me.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I once heard a rabbi call the Exodus description of the Mishkan (tent-shrine) and its furniture as the "most boring Torah portion.
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Exodus, right. Lest anyone cavil, scholars are pretty much agreed that the architecture, furniture, cultus, and vocabulary of the
  • Ian Phanes
    Ian Phanes says #
    FYI, you're right that all discussions of altars being cubes and cubits are derived from Torah (via the Golden Dawn and their desc
GOLDEN HEALER QUARTZ CRYSTAL - For Use In Healing Applications

This week we're going to discuss Golden Healer quartz crystals.

They are quartz crystals that are partially or totally covered with a transparent golden-yellow mineral. The coating ranges from iridescent yellow to rusty dark orange, from total coverage to skippy, partial coverage. This coating doesn't come off in an acid bath. Often the lightly coated Golden Healers will have rainbow iridescence on the outer layer (like rainbows you see on oil slicks, also called "natural rainbow aura"). These points emit an especially high energy.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_buchanancover.jpg

Back in 2013, I wrote a column on self-publishing. In the year and a half since, I have read quite a few more self-published and small press books. And, I am happy announce, I just released my first story collection, A Witch Among Wolves and Other Pagan Tales, through Asphodel Press. Based on my own experience, I have a few more suggestions. 

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