Another Pagan voice lost is mourned. A school for "Vikings" is set up in Norway. And the origins of the "horned god" archetype are examined. It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment of news about the Pagan community! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
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Q: What's the difference between a Jehovah's Witness and a Wiccan?
A: Three Watchtowers.
The Jehovah's Witness stood at the door, holding up a copy of The Watchtower. My mouth literally fell open when I saw the title.
Isis Is Still Being Worshiped.
In this very room, as a matter of fact, I thought.
“I don't have time to talk, and I can't give you any money,” I told her, “but I'll be happy to take a look at your literature if you leave it here.”
Turned out to be an anti-Catholic tirade. Boy, was I ever disappointed.
When the thede (tribe) of witches foregathers, as we did recently at this year's Midwest Grand Sabbat, we kindle (wood on wood, in the old way) the traditional Fire of Gathering.
The Fire burns continuously throughout the time of assembly. Everyone tends it; offerings are made to it daily. It roars at the very heart of the sabbat itself, and on our final morning together it is ritually extinguished. People take the ashes home with them when they leave.
Anyone who grows up in a traditional culture knows how to behave around a sacred fire—how it differs from a household fire, for instance—and doesn't have to be taught What You Do and What You Don't. For those of us who (alas) did not grow up in such a culture, how then does one impart these rules, the Does and Don'ts of sacred Fires, in a manner that doesn't devolve into learning boring lists of regulations?
Well, my friend and colleague Chris Moore came up with the perfect way to do it: you give people a metaphor.
They're all over the world now, but they started out right here in the Midwest: Little Free Libraries.
In front of their homes, people erect what look like roadside shrines, and so they are: shrines of literacy. Open the door to one of these little god-houses and you'll find inside, instead of an image, shelves of books. The idea is, take a book, leave a book. All completely free. It's a great idea: generous, hospitable, practical. Very Midwestern.
A coven-sib and her husband put up one in their front yard. Suddenly, a problem arose: what to do with the Kreesh-chun materials, the Bibles and other “literature,” that accumulated on their shelves?
[A Zuñi elder once remarked: "How can they expect us to take their religion seriously when they throw it away as if it weren't worth anything?"]
The Kalasha are the last remaining pagans of the Hindu Kush. Numbering about 4000, in three adjoining valleys in northwest Pakistan, they are known for their proud polytheism, the freedom (and beauty) of their women, and their wine-drinking.
Among the Kalasha, November is the month of the ancestors, and it is customary to remember them—for “the spirits of the dead are pleased when their names are remembered”—by recounting tales of their deeds.
In Kalasha society, it is impingent upon the wealthy to throw elaborate feasts for as many people as possible; only by sharing their wealth with the rest of the community do they gain prestige. Their Muslim neighbors laugh at them for their lavish, spendthrift ways, but this is indeed the way of the pagan ancestors: from those who have much, much is expected.
Today we will look into the little talked about practice of the washing of feet within the context of xenia. It's something I have been curious about ever since I first read the Odysseia. I had completely forgotten I wanted to post about it, however, until I discovered a post by Robert of Doing Magick, who wrote about his recent experience with the practice--though for different reasons.