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An Older, Realer Paganism: The Life and Times of a Saami Shaman-Poet

 the guests had one month fewer

they do not speak the language of nature

 

We take ancient gods and goddesses, revive them, and think that that's paganism.

But that's not paganism; it's a cartoon, a caricature, of paganism.

For an older, realer paganism, read the work of Saami poet Nils-Alsak Valkeapää (1943-2001).

Here there's a life lived so thoroughly among the old gods—the Sun our father, Earth mother of life, the Moon, the Winds, the Lake, the Mountain, the Reindeer—that there's no space between: a living relationship with a living world.

Listen to his shaman's song:

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Nectar of the Gods

Woe, I cry, woe: five long years, and never a good tomato.

Either it got too hot, and the tomatoes languished.

Or it didn't get hot enough, and they never ripened.

We didn't have enough rain, and so they were tough-skinned and bitter.

Or we had too much rain, and they swelled up obese and flavorless, red water balloons.

Oh, but this year: this year the gods have been good.

Earth and Your two boon husbands, Sun and Thunder: thank You, thank You All.

Firm, sweet, kissed by the Sun: at every meal tomatoes, and you never get tired of them.

Glory to the gift of the Aztecs, best of Nightshades! But in every good tomato year, you always reach glut: the point at which they're coming in so fast that you can't keep up, no matter how many you eat.

That means that it's time for the Nectar of the Gods.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Stand aside, avocado toast. You're hopelessly outclassed.
  • Murphy Pizza
    Murphy Pizza says #
    Need someone to unload tomatoes on? Tomato toast for breakfast now. Just sayin '.
A Midsummer Invocation to Earth and Her Two Husbands

Midsummer dark, Midsummer bright:

the longest day, the shortest night.

 

(Horn)

Let us lift up our hands.

 

On this Midsummer's Eve we call

to Earth, mighty mother of us all,

and we praise you for your great good gift of fruitfulness.

We ask that through the summer to come

our gardens may bear abundantly,

so that through this season

and through the winter to come

we, your people, may have plenty to eat.

So mote it be.

Last modified on
What Do You Swear On When You Take a Public Oath?

You're giving testimony in court, or maybe you're assuming public office.

In both cases, it's customary to swear on a holy object.

So, Pagan: on what do you swear?

Strike me dead if I'd swear on one of their accursed books.

Strike me dead if I'd swear on a book at all.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Makes sense: who is as stable or trustworthy as Earth? And, of course, she knows everything.
  • The Cunning Wife
    The Cunning Wife says #
    Traditionally, Slavic people would take a lump of earth in hand while making an oath and then eat it. I like it.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I once read that the ancient Egyptians took their oaths on an onion. Something about those concentric rings in an onion. I like
  • Ian Phanes
    Ian Phanes says #
    I've thought that an altar pentacle could work for a witch.

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