Culture Blogs


PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs

 Tom Riddle | Harry Potter Wiki | Fandom

 

It's got to be one of the lesser ironies of the current war in Ukraine that both its hero and its villain (I'll leave you to decide which is which) share the same name.

Russian Vladímir, Ukrainian Volodýmyr: two equivalent Slavic names, both with their roots in Norse.

(This is unsurprising, since the Slavic state was first founded by east-faring Viking traders-cum-mercenaries; the classic Slavic woman's name Olga, for example, derives from Norse Helga “[female] holy [one].”)

Indo-European languages have long favored two-element names—e.g. Beowulf, “Bee-wolf”—and the Norse name Valdimar is of the same sort. One could translate it “power-fame” or “powerful fame.” Its first part is kin to the English word wield. (We still speak, tautologically, of “wielding power.”) Compare, also, the Yiddish expression oi gevalt, literally “O Power!” (i.e. “O 'God'!”). Gods being, by definition, powerful, one could perhaps render the name “divine fame” or “godly fame.”

Drawing, no doubt, on the name's “foreign” feel, J. K. Rowling recasts it as a Norman French charactonym for the main antagonist of the Harry Potter-verse: Voldemort, which one could parse as “death-willing.” (Cp. deus vult, “'God' wills [it]”.] That, a thousand years after the Noman invasion, the good guys of Rowling's series tend to have Anglo-Saxon names (Potter) while the bad guys have French ones (Malfoy) probably tells you quite a bit about the enduring nature of the English class system.

Still, Voldemort Putin.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    The statistic I've heard is that to this day, 90% of the land in England is owned by 10% of the population. I suspect that that's
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, It would also not surprise me one bit, if the titled descendants of the Norman victors at Hastings in 1066 still held

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Language of Jewelry: Belts

Waist jewelry has recently made a big comeback. People are going beyond belts and wearing belly chains and lariats. Gemstone belts and buckles can really enhance your joie de vivre and give you greater physical strength and health. Turquoise stones are grounding, and agates raise the energy level. For healing power, try bloodstone. For keeping life on an even keel, the organic-gem family—shells, corals, and abalone—is optimal. For impetus and motivation, wear carnelian. To boost your health and well-being, wear red coral for the lungs, bloodstone for the heart, and moonstone during pregnancy.

Last modified on
Tips 'n' Tricks: Pearls for Patience

In this fast-paced world, we are so accustomed to instant gratification—high-speed internet connection, same-day delivery. We are multitasking ourselves to death. Slow down and enjoy your life. It is worth it, I assure you. Here is a quick way to simply relax and enjoy the little things of life: Wear a pearl. Pearl earrings and necklaces are the best, as they calm and clear the mind.

Last modified on

 Hares 'dying' from mystery illness warns conservation expert - BBC News

 

Which is better, Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny? That's the first elementary school theological argument that I can remember getting into.

(Both figures, of course, represent a kind of temporary children's autonomy. For both, you're up early, before anyone else, and in full control of the house; not only that, but you get rewarded for it.)

For most of the other kids, the answer to this question was a no-brainer, but I can remember—characteristically enough—holding out for the minority position.

Santa just brings you clothes and socks and stuff that you don't want anyway, went my argument.

(In rather poignant hindsight, I can rephrase this as: Santa brings you things that you would want if you were who they thought you were, or rather, if you were who they wanted you to be. Thus, Santa and his gifts paradoxically embody a kind of existential parental rejection.)

The Bunny, on the other hand, brings you bad stuff.

Really: what other day of the year do you get to gorge on candy before breakfast?

On top of which, he makes you work for it.

(In retrospect, I can see here also the stirrings of an early proto-pagan instinct: Santa : culture :: Easter Bunny : nature.)

Sorry, folks: more than 50 years on, I stick with my original position.

The Bunny is way better.

 

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I drove past an egg tree in someone's front yard the other day: its exuberant colors against the dull early Spring Minnesota lands
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Growing up I enjoyed them both with enthusiasm each in his own time. Nowadays the people who lived in the house before I moved in

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

One Ocean Summit: an international summit to take action together | Campus  France

 

Many pagan rituals begin with the purificatory sprinkling of salt water. This act mythically reenacts creation: as all life arose in the womb of the Sea, so too do the touch of its waters make new.

What follows are the preparatory formulas that I myself generally use.

 

The Blessing of Salt and Water

 

(Take up dish of salt)

 

Blessings be upon you, O Salt.

 

(Sign)

 

In the name of Mabh, be blessed.

 

(Raise dish of Salt)

 

(Take up bowl of water)

 

Blessings be upon you, O Water.

 

(Sign)

 

In the name of Mabh, be blessed.

 

(Raise dish of Water)

 

(Add three good three-finger pinches of Salt into Water. Using aspergillum, stir three times.)

 

In the beginning was the Sea.

 

(Sprinkle.)

 

Comment

Last modified on
Tips ’n’ Tricks: A Pocketful of Kryptonite

While making a gemstone belt or waist chain could be a major investment of time and money, placing a rock in your pocket is a quick and easy way to bring change into your life. To get a new job, carry tourmaline, moss agate, tiger’s-eye, or carnelian. If you’re looking for love, pocket a moonstone. For money, carry green jade.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 Review: 'Bridgerton' Is Sexy Shondaland Goodness : NPR

 

Somehow, Bridgerton reminds me of a blown-out Ostara egg.

Pretty on the outside, but that's all you get.

It's no exaggeration to categorize the Netflix period costume-drama Bridgerton, set in an ethnically diverse early 19th century Britain-that-never-was, as a fantasy series. At heart, it's a Mating Game drag show—how many fabulous costumes will our heroine get to swan around in this episode?—but, of course, lacking the poignant self-satire that gives real drag its pungency.

Women in female drag. Now there's a concept.

In Bridgerton, we enter into a world entirely matriarchal, with (basically) an all-female cast. Yes, there are a few nominal male characters, virtually all of them pretty prizes for the scheming central characters, without interior life of their own. (That they're beautiful and occasionally take their clothes off provides only limited consolation.) If this seems due payback for all those decades of hero-centric TV with its pretty-but-empty female trophies, unfortunately, in the end, one is just as boring as the other. Revenge nearly always makes for better fantasy than reality.

At very least, Bridgerton manages to avoid the all-too-predictable Masterpiece Theater trope, in which the lowah closses (= servants) are always good for a loff. (I'll include here Julian Fellowes' current Gilded Age, basically an English costume-drama in American drag.) Here, the dramatis personae are all Persons of Privilege, and working folk—amusing though they be—stay duly in the background, where they belong.

Although I don't doubt that eventually we'll be seeing the more-or-less obligatory Christmas episode, one advantage for the pagan viewer is that this is a thoroughly secular fantasy, in which religion—Christian or otherwise—plays virtually no part at all. As I said, this isn't a period piece, it's 21st century in drag.

What redeems Bridgerton is its unabashed let's-pretend ethnic romp. What if early 19th-century Britain were as ethnically diverse as contemporary Britain? What would it be like to live in a multiracial society utterly lacking in racism? In that sense, having laid aside even the slightest pretension to historical accuracy, the series offers the viewer a breath of fresh air.

Alas, Bridgerton's ethnic diversity is as far as it goes. Predictably, its lack of non-cardboardy male characters puts any sort of gay interest beyond the pale. (Unlike real matriarchies, there isn't even any lesbianism.) Sorry, Netflix, if you think that your gay audience is going to content itself forever with identifying with female characters while salivating over all those firm young male bodies, I've got some bad news for you.

Last modified on

Additional information