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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in once upon a time

Posted by on in Culture Blogs



Every culture needs an opening phrase that says: This story is set in mythic time.

“Once upon a time” says: folktale, not myth.

“In the beginning” is the wrong world, and (moreover) a mistranslation.

“In the Dreamtime” is profound, but it's someone else's profundity.

So lately I've settled upon “When Earth was young....”

It's a resonant phrase, this. Few are older than Earth, and surely none that we know (or love) so well. “Old as Earth,” we say. Surely when Earth was young means long ago, before things were as they are today, which is always a good way to begin a story.

I love that the phrase makes Earth a character in our story. We're the pagans; for us, Earth is a character in every story. Even if the story isn't directly about her, she's still a necessary character. If the story were directly about her, I would probably start off with a variation: Back when Earth was a girl....

I've even heard myself use the phrase in satire, as a way of making fun: In the early days of Paganistan, back when Earth was young....

Here's the best part of all, and the part that makes it mythic: we all know that time ourselves. We know it because we've seen it. In fact, we see it every year.

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Pagan News Beagle: Airy Monday, July 13

Welcome back! We hope you had a great weekend. This week for Pagan News Beagle's Airy Monday section we take a look at what is arguably the biggest pop culture phenomenon of our times: Comic Con! We share a number of stories from the cross-media extravaganza held at the end of last week, including new details about Once Upon a Time, The Legend of Korra, and Warcraft. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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The silly story my Goddess self wanted to tell

A part of Goddess work is honoring your imagination and time to be silly. I did not do that two weeks ago. I forced myself to be serious. I told myself I had to make a serious story post for my SageWoman blog. Instead of listening to my inner girl, I forced her into a corner which lead to a total writer’s block. How did I break it? By playing a silly game! My partner and I celebrated our anniversary by playing a storytelling game. With no expectations of being serious or publishing what I shared, my imagination was let loose!

The following story is the one my Goddess self actually wanted to tell instead of the one I was felt needed to be told. Hope you enjoy it sisters!


Once upon a time a young woman named Sanaa was ostracized from her village along with her mother because the villagers thought them unlucky. Sanaa and her mother were blamed for everything that went wrong. Eventually they were kicked out to live in nearby caves.

One day Sanaa was exploring the caves and found a group of elementals cavorting around a fire. The elementals, each a mixture of different animals, danced and sang about their lucky egg. They sang of hours burning the negativity out of the egg—infusing it with their positive thoughts and intentions. Sanaa was determined to take the egg to her mother. She dressed herself in moss and sticks and confidently strode into the Elementals’ presence. She presented herself as the Queen of Elementals and admired their egg. With a regal nod Sanaa accepted the lucky egg so she could show it off to the surface Elementals. In return she gave them a rock to make another egg.  

Out of the caves, Sanaa took off with her mom and egg. Soon they came upon a group of lost ladies and lords. Using the lucky egg, Sanaa and her mother helped them back to their kingdom. The grateful ladies and lords gifted them with bags of silver and gold. With their riches and the lucky egg, Sanaa and her mother started on their journey.

Months passed before the elementals figured out they had been tricked. They decided to send their “ugliest” Elemental to search for their lucky egg. Ila was a turtle and bird elemental who looked too human for her own good. She was given a wand that at midday always pointed to direction of their lucky egg and got warmer the closer it was. As she followed the wand, a hungry Ila found herself in the middle of deepest and darkest part of forest. In the midst of the forest, she found a decrepit looking hut. When she knocked on the door, a hag answered the door. She had just finished eating two children and was ready to snack on her next visitor.

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