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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in language
A Living World: Language, Memes, and Thought Forms : Moving Beyond 'Cultural Appropriation' Part IV

 

Many memes are communicated through language, and, like any tool, language shapes how we look at the world when using it.  Language facilitates some memes’ replication and makes the survival of others more difficult by shaping what relations are easy to notice and what relations require more effort. Different languages have different biases in this regard. One linguistic feature is particularly relevant here: do we experience our world primarily as objects, or primarily as processes and relations?  Clearly there is value in both perspectives, but which gets emphasis is in no small part shaped by language.

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Moving Beyond 'Cultural Appropriation,' a Pagan Perspective. Part I.

Some people within the Pagan community object to instances of what they consider “cultural appropriation.”  Smudging with sage, seeking a power animal, celebrating Day of the Dead, is somehow stealing. To my mind they are confused about culture, confused about appropriation, and even confused about what it is to be a human being. In their confusion they attack other Pagans, creating a problem for all of us.

No NeoPagans practice traditions with an unbroken connection to pre-Christian times. Almost all old Pagan traditions have been mostly oral, and the core of those teachings have been lost. When once Pagan practices have survived, their interpretation will have changed, as Sabina Magliocco has described in rural Italy.         

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Aryós Jezebel quotes cultural appropriation as "'Taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or ar
  • Mariah Sheehy
    Mariah Sheehy says #
    I too, have found the phrase to be mostly a stumbling block. It seems as if it may have been mostly used for more extreme example
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Thank you for continuing the discussion! Though some of what you raise eill be in later installments, here is some stuff I hope y
  • Aryós Héngwis
    Aryós Héngwis says #
    "You say for you it was limited to the sacred. Maybe for you. For example, thoughtlessly eating a burrito was given as an example
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Aryós I am not very concerned with where the term first appeared, but if you can provide a link I will be happy to make that disti

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Wanted: A Good Word for 'Energy'

It flows through everything.

Everything is made from it.

Energy.

But how do you say that in Pagan?

“Energy” is a word from the vocabulary of science, which is no bad thing in and of itself.

But I would contend that for so primal a concept, we need a primal word.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I was able to dig out a copy of the book. The word the author uses was Ruach not roika. Apparently roika is a word my subconscio
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Doesn't sound Yiddish to me. A quick web-search turns up nothing relevant; I'm guessing that it's made-up. Not that there's anythi
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I'm reasonably sure it's not Yiddish. It might have been coined by that guy who invented Anthroposophy, but I'm not sure. I gues
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Hmm. I speak Modern Hebrew and read Biblical Hebrew, and I can tell you that it doesn't look Hebrew to me.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I think the author said he got it from the Hebrew.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Aunts and Uncles

Uncle Gerald. Aunt Doreen. Even (gods help us) Uncle Al.

I don't know about where you live, but around here I not infrequently hear people talking about our forebears in the Craft as "aunts" and "uncles."

I.e. as family.

Not, mind you, as "lords" and "ladies"; nothing so pretentious, so distancing. Aunts and uncles: not immediate family, but family nonetheless. These are titles, not of rank, but rather of relation, of familiarity, of fondness.

Aunts and uncles stand in a special place. Since with your aunts and uncles there's simultaneously a connection but also a certain distance, you can learn things from them that you can't easily learn from your parents.

In my family, in which the women tend to outlive the men, the aunts are a power to be reckoned with, and they carry the collective memory and experience of the family.

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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, August 4

Marine biologists find something at the bottom of the sea they can't quite explain. Orangutans provide insights into the possible origins of language. And a dead star still proves full of surprises in the depths of space. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment about science and Earth-related news! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, May 25

We think about the unique challenges Pagans with disabilities face. The meaning of the Gaulish word "iexta" is considered. And "occult" strategies of political resistance are advocated at Gods & Radicals. It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment on news about the Pagan community! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
H-lloweens

 

Halloween. First part sounds like hallow, which preserves the original sense of the festival, derived from Old English hælig, “holy thing or person, saint.”

This is how I grew up pronouncing the word in Western Pennsylvania, and how I still pronounce it.

Which means, of course, that this is the correct pronunciation.

Helloween. Feast of the Goddess of Death and the Underworld (= Hell), observed only by the bluest of British blue-bloods. Raw-tha.

Hilloween. Southern hemisphere festival observed in New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. Named for the Hill o' Ween, where Australia's first Bealtaine bonfire was lighted in 1794.

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