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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in domestic cult

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Things That Go Bump in the House

You could call him the house-wight. I first encountered him directly in a dream last year. (And yes, he's a he, whatever that means.)

That's how I learned his name. His name says a lot about him (and, probably, something about me, as well). When you know someone's name, it's a bond. Whether you will or whether you won't, it makes a relationship which, like all such, needs ongoing maintenance.

These last few days, I've been hearing things fall in the house. I get up, I go look: nothing. It isn't Craig: he's not here. It isn't the cat: he's asleep on the bed. Yes, the house vibrates when buses hit big potholes on Lake Street, but it's not pothole season yet. (Ah, the joys of urban spring.) Yes, the house ticks and pops when the temperature falls below zero. But those sounds I know, and this isn't them. Ice falling from the eaves? No, these are indoor clatters, I'm sure of it. I'm hearing things fall in rooms where nothing seems to be falling. If we call it the house-wight, that makes as much sense as anything.

A little guy with a beard and shining eyes? Shadows sliding in the far corners of vision? My human mind connecting up stray incidents into patterns that don't exist? A subtle way of externalizing my mental and emotional relationship with my environment? All of the above?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Back when I still lived in my parent's house I would notice sounds when I was in the house alone. Thump noises like something fel
  • T-Roy
    T-Roy says #
    Some of them prefer oatmeal with a pat of butter.
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Ah, yes: it makes sense that the preferred offering would vary from wight to wight. (We have our preferences, why wouldn't they?)
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Well, of *course* you didn't give away his name. (He would have given you a lot of trouble for doing that.)

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I'm home from Sacred Space Conference where I had the very best intentions of blogging it day-by-day. But here's what happened--I was so busy teaching and seeing old friends and having an excellent time, that I simply didn't do that. I'm going to try to encapsulate some of the juiciness of this good conference over the next few days, as I unpack and do laundry and prepare for some new workshops in the Asheville area and prepare to go out on the road again in about a month, when I visit the Gulf coast.

This was my third time at Sacred Space and I will say that the third time was the charm for this conference. I was a featured teacher the first two times I went up but this time I was a regular old teacher, doing two classes and participating in a panel discussion of Appalachian folk magic.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs


Today’s blog is on the di Penates or Penates.  Blog number 9 of my gods of the “graveyard” series.  This one was extremely difficult to write because…well no one really agrees on who the Penates are.  The concept for the Penates and Lares comes from the ancient Roman domestic cultus and were at some point included as part of civil or state rituals.  They remind me a lot of the ancient Greek agathos daimons, which are good spirits/gods of home, family and/or individual.  Everything I’ve read on Penates and Lares boils down to the individual.  I’m including the Lares in this blog because they are often honored with the Penates and very hard for the researcher to tell apart.

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