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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Received Tradition

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Foundation Offerings

The offering bears the prayer.

The ancestors thought long and hard about their foundation offerings.

In their choices, we see their intent, their wit and (like enough) their humor.

When the New Stone and Copper Age ancestors of Old Europe built a new house, they buried beneath its floor a little model of a house, lovingly rendered in ceramic detail.

No one needs to tell you what that means.

To the ancestors, it was obvious that when you built something important like a house or a temple, you first laid an offering in the ground to bear the embodied prayers of the builders.

We too have thought long and hard about what offerings to lay beneath the Bull Stone, when we raise it to mark the Marriage Point of Earth with Sky, of Land with People.

There will be three.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Do the Dead Still Speak to Us?

Do the dead still speak to us?

Of course they do.

I, Steven, who do not believe in life after death, I tell you so.

They speak to us in memories. Have you ever heard your grandmother's voice in your head, counseling one course of action or another?

They speak to us through their deeds. Through stories, through their remembered actions, the ancestors tell us today how to behave or how not to behave.

They speak to us through their words and songs. We live by the Lore, and through the Lore their words and ways come down to us. In oral cultures, memory is passed down in songs. Many covens have a Book of Shadows; we have a songbook.

They speak to us through their artifacts. Although here in North America, relations between First Nations communities and archaeologists have (and understandably so) been contentious, the Mapuche of Bolivia love the archaeologists. “Through them, the ancestors speak to us,” they say.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    When it comes to belief, I'm very much of the "Value Added" school of thought: let's go with what we know for sure. Then if there'
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    I like your philosophy, and agree! Blessed Be and a Good Samhain to you also. Tasha
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    I must respectfully disagree. While I honor your belief I hav so much evidence of "the dead" speaking in the past umpteen years to

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Song for Everything

I'll tell you, those old pagans had a song for everything.

Everything.

Not just holidays, not just fun. Work, too.

Rowing. Plowing. Sowing. Mowing.

Chopping wood. Cleaning. Weaving.

Hell, they even had a song for wiping your butt.

(As a matter of fact, the butt-wiping song is one that I happen to know. So does anyone that's ever raised a kid. And no, I'm not going to sing it for you.)

The worst fact of pagan history is that we've lost most of our old songs forever.

But not all of them.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks, Chris, that makes for good hearing. I might add that in the most recent edition of the coven songbook, there are nearly 70
  • Chris Sherbak
    Chris Sherbak says #
    I still lovingly cherish your Solstice songbook from Pro Dea.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Younger Lores

UPG: Unverified (or: Unsubstantiated) Personal (or: Private) Gnosis.

New information on old topics.

I've gone down on record as contending that UPG is important—indeed, necessary—to contemporary pagan observance, but that it deserves a better, more worthy, name.

Well, I've got one to propose.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Throng of Boars

In the old Witch language, the constellation that we know as Orion was called Eofor-ðring: literally, “Boar-throng.”

We don't know why.

It's likely that there was once a story to explain the name. Doubtless this Ever-thring (as we would say today), this throng of boars, belonged to—or was defeated, or captured, by—some god or hero, and ended up in the sky as a result.

We'll never know.

Boars were meaningful to the ancestors. Their likeness appeared on battle-gear. Boars are fiercely protective, and nothing stops them. You can always recognize a boar-spear because it's got a cross-bar. If it didn't, the spitted boar would drive his own body up along the spear-shaft, just to get at you. Seriously.

In Old Norse mythology, the boar belongs to the phallic god Frey, whom some would identify (controversially) with the God of Witches. His name means “lord.” The Anglo-Saxons had the same word with the same meaning—fréa—but whether to them it also was the name of a god we simply don't, and probably never will, know.

So much has been lost since the old days, like the story of the Ever-thring. What has come down to us has come down to us in pieces.

And thereby hangs a mandate.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Man of the Mounds

There was a man who came to the New World from the Old. He worked hard and saved his money, and in time he bought himself a parcel of land and began to farm it.

Now it so happened that on this land there were some mounds.

"Dig 'em up, see what's inside," said some. "Plow 'em under," said others.

But the man knew mounds from the Old Country, and he knew that no good ever comes of meddling with them. And so he did neither.

Well, the man prospered and bought more land, and on this land also there were mounds. But no more did he meddle with these than he had with the others.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • T-Roy
    T-Roy says #
    Blessed be this wise ancestor, Fredrick Bronnenberg.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Hefting

It's what cowans call “tradition”: heft.

It's an old word, a Northern word, from the Norse hefð. It's ultimately from the same root as have, heave, and haven, because heft—tradition—is what we have, what we hold and hold to.

It's a noun: both what (and where) we hold to, and those of us hefted—traditioned—thus. So we are our heft. The Driftless Area is our homeland, our heft.

It's a verb: used of a person or people, it means to hold to, to maintain. We heft the Old Ways here.

It's an adjective: hefted, describing those so held; the state of being traditioned, for as we hold heft, so heft holds us.

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