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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in pagan-cowan relations
NY Times Crossword References Book of Shadows

Really, I just about swallowed my gum.

I had just started yesterday's New York Times crossword puzzle—by Jeff Chen, bless him—when the clue for 58 Across—as these things do—leapt out and slapped me upside the head.

58. Ones reading the Book of Shadows.

A massive grin on my face, I inked in: Wiccans.

Step by step, the journey is made. That the New York Times should expect the average educated reader not only to know of Wicca, but to recognize the name of the book most associated with it, must be acknowledged as one such step.

So thanks and kudos to you, Jeff Chen, puzzle-master inclusive.

One appreciates the gesture, of course, while acknowledging the (rather endearing, actually) misapprehensions. No Wiccan that I know would describe herself as a “reader of the Book of Shadows.”

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I'm frequently struck by just how closely crossword puzzles act as barometers of the zeitgeist. So we're in, and we're in because
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Haha! I do lots of crossword puzzles in the hope that it staves off dementia. I've encountered such words and Wiccan and Pagan,

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Danger of Thinking in Pagan

the guests had one month fewer

they do not speak the language of nature

(Saami poet Nils-Aslak Valkeapää)

 

Och, maybe I've just gone too far into the mists.

Cowans just don't make sense any more.

I find that I can't even bring myself to write (or say) “God”—with a capital G, like a name—as cowans do, without the quotations. The way that they use the word is wholly a misuse, a misconstrual, of an old word, a fine word, our word, which never meant, nor means, nor can mean what they mean by it.

That's the problem of thinking in Pagan. Once you start to do it, it makes so much sense that, in time, nothing else does.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • M.T. Noah
    M.T. Noah says #
    i can't say i'm a decades long person in this fold. but i can't say i'm not. the 1/2 trained grandchild of someone who also cann
An Open Letter to the Editor of 'City Pages'

Dear Editor,

This concerning your coverage of Paganicon 2018 (“The Twin Cities—AKA Paganistan—Will Host a World Gathering of Witches”).

In the vocabulary of modern Witches, the word cowan (rhymes with plowin') refers to a non-Witch. It is not necessarily a derogatory term.

Not necessarily.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Thirteen Surprising Facts About Cowans

Cowans are not all alike.

There are Protestant cowans, Shi'ite cowans, Hasidic cowans....

Cowans are not necessarily anti-pagan.

Some cowans actually like pagans.

Cowans don't all look alike.

Next time you're with a group of cowans, take a really close look. You'll be amazed!

Cowanism is not a single religion.

In fact, there are many different forms of cowanism.

Many cowans find the term “neo-cowan” deeply offensive.

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What Do You Say When They Wish You 'Merry Christmas'?

What do you say when they wish you 'Merry Christmas'?

Well, it all depends on what you want to communicate.

Thanks, you too.

No thanks.

(Smile, shake head.)

Sorry, not my holiday.

You shouldn't assume that everyone's Christian.

And the broom you rode in on, baby.

Hail Satan.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Brand Spanking New

Brand spanking new.

A curious expression, certainly: what does one have to do with the other?

In fact, it's birth imagery. Birth imagery? you might think.

Ah, but this was birth the cowan way.

Back in the Bad Old Days of the Cowan Era (CE), it was customary to hold newborn babies upside-down by their feet and give them a good, solid swat on the behind. Supposedly, this was to get the newborn to take its first breath.

In fact, of course, most newborns breathe automatically, and for those that don't, there are much less violent methods available.

But for cowans, the gesture held deep meaning. At the very moment of birth, it subjected the newly-born to the life of indignity, violence, and subjugation that most people then could expect to live.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    I delivered all three of my boys at home with a midwife, and believe me, there was no spanking involved! It hadn't occurred to me
  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    Unfortunately, Steven, it hasn't. Not if you enter a typical maternity ward rather than a birth center. I deeply appreciate your a

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Blood on the Sill

Silly cowans.

Back around solstice I went over to a friend's house to put her air conditioner in the window. She lives on the first floor of a big, solid old place, built back in the 1890s.

The first item on the agenda was to prop open the big, heavy oaken sash. It has a tendency to crash down unexpectedly when unsupported.

Last summer someone tried to break into her house. When she got back home, she found the air conditioner on the floor and the sash slammed shut.

There was blood on the windowsill.

Ouch.

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