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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in cows

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Great Cow Mother

In heathen mythology, the first self aware being was Audhumla, the sacred cow. She licked the gods and giants out of the ice and nurtured them with her milk.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Cow-Count

Well, it could have been a game that Indo-European children played 6000 years ago as they rode out in wagons with their families to conquer most of the known world.

Although I doubt it.

“Why don't you two 'count cows'?” my father would say to my sister and I in the car. He'd played the game himself as a child.

Whoever ends up with the most cows wins, of course. All cows on your side of the road belong to you. With herds, this can mean some quick tabulation. You have to count out loud, and you can only keep counting while the cows are still in sight. Don't even think of cheating: there are other eyes on your cows as well.

As for the bad news: whenever you pass a graveyard on your side, you lose all your cows, and have to start over again from nothing. Like most games, it enacts the story of life itself.

By its very nature, this game can hardly have preceded the automobile. I strongly suspect that my grandparents made it up to keep fractious children distracted during long road trips.

And yet. And yet: those primal, primal images. Cows and graveyards, life and death: prima materia indeed.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Topless Minoan Women: Not What You Think

The modern Pagan world is awash in womb symbolism and I can’t say I mind. After all, the feminine side of the Divine has been almost entirely ignored by the major religions of the past few centuries. OK, millennia. But the ancients didn’t always focus on the womb as the central symbol of the feminine, either divine or mundane. Take, for instance, the Minoans and their reverence for the breast.

You’re probably familiar with the frescoes and figurines from ancient Crete that depict women in open-front tops that display their breasts for all to see. We modern folks may feel that the exposed breasts found throughout ancient Minoan art are provocative, but the Minoans probably didn’t feel that way. Just as the Victorians found women’s legs to be terribly sexy simply because they were normally covered and hidden, we respond the same way to women’s breasts. But in Minoan society women frequently went topless, just as men did, so that would have been an ordinary sight, and of course ancient women nursed their babies so that would have been common and not provocative or controversial either. It would not have been sexy so much as normal.

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Pagan savings challenge, week forty-four:  it gets harder

Rattling around in my head is a story about a young boy who is given a newborn calf, with instructions to lift the animal up over his head ten times each day.  As the calf grows into a cow, the boy does his duty, and so grows into a man of incredible strength, able to lift his full-grown steer overhead ten times daily.

As romantic as the notion is, that has got to be pretty hard to do, or cow-lifting competitions would be so common and state and county fairs that animal activists would be screaming for the practice to stop.  Eventually, it gets harder than the body can endure.  That's how the Pagan savings challenge is starting to feel for me:  I'm breaking a financial sweat as I force myself to live in a smaller and smaller financial world.  Each week, there's less money for things like birthday gifts, gas for the car, offerings for my gods.  By setting a greater amount aside, I'm constraining what I can do right now, and it's really, really starting to suck.

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