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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Tribe

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
What Is a Witch?

What is a witch?

Is a witch something that you are, or something that you become?

Is witchhood from within or from without?

Can anyone be (or become) a witch, or only certain people?

Do you have to undergo initiation to be a witch?

Can you stop being a witch?

From whence does witchhood derive?

Is witchcraft a religion?

If not, does the Craft have religious implications?

Are witchcraft and Wicca identical?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Broomstick Ghetto

 “Bast, you need to get out more and read some history that doesn't have witches in it.”

 

I live in the Broomstick Ghetto.

Now, some may think: Posch, you need to get out more. You're living in a fantasy.

Well, I disagree.

Denunciations of “retribalization” routinely miss a salient point.

People want a tribe. People need a tribe. People are looking for a tribe of their own to be part of.

And some of us are lucky enough already to have one.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Local historians generally date the start of Paganistan from Beltane 1976, when Minnesota Church of the Wicca held their first May
  • Chris Sherbak
    Chris Sherbak says #
    Amen. (Omen?) I've always been jealous of what you all had up there since, oh, I dunno, 1980?

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Who's Your People?

How do you become a witch?

Well, some of us are born to the tribe. They say that He Himself overshadows our fathers at the moment of our begetting. That explains why we turn out the way we do.

But like other tribes, the Tribe of Witches tends to be porous around the edges. Opting in is always a possibility. (So is opting out, but that's another matter. And you know what they say: Once a witch, always a witch.)

You can marry in. Love is the ultimate bind-oath. Once you speak the language, eat the food, and keep the holidays, you're more or less in by osmosis.

Or you can adopt in. The old rites of initiation are essentially rites of adoption: you make the bind-oath to the gods of the thede (tribe), you're blooded, and you're in.

Because (with all due deference to Uncle Gerald) we're not really a religion at all.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Pagan Era

So: a Wiccan, a Druid, and a Kemetic Reconstructionist walk into a bar.

By any reasonable standard, these people all practice different religions, right?

That's why the term "pagan" is so brilliant.

I've been part of this long enough that I can remember when we first started calling ourselves—and, more importantly, thinking of ourselves—as pagan.

BPE (Before the Pagan Era), Wiccans, Druids, and Kemetic Reconstructionists were different modalities of being. But add the name, and suddenly: hey, presto, it's now the Pagan Era, and we perceive one another as (in some way, shape, or form) belonging to the same group, as different clans in the same overall tribe.

Being pagan together gives us numbers. Suddenly there are millions of us across the world, and numbers = power. Suddenly I have something in common with someone that I've never met in Kyrgyzstan. (Since independence, there's been a big resurgence of traditional religion across Central Asia.)

Let no one doubt the power of a single word.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    It's a wonderful little book, isn't it? Definitely a worthwhile read for a People in search of itself. Can't wait to read Belongin
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Just so! Finished reading Tribe, by Sebastian Junger. Feeling the need to write a book called Belonging: Searching for Tribe in

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The People of the Sea

I never knew that we were Seal Clan until my nephew was born.

You know the story. One full moon night the fisherman sees the seal-maidens come up onto the beach. They step out of their seal-skins and dance as naked maidens in the moonlight. 

The fisherman steals the skin of the youngest. When her sisters return to the sea, she cannot join them. So she goes home with him and becomes his wife.

But years later, one full moon night, she finds her seal-skin again, hidden away in a chest, and not even her love for her children can keep her from going back.

And that's where certain families get their webbed feet from.

Seeing my newborn sister-son's toe-webbing, the aunts said: Oh he has it too, and then I heard the stories.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Ours by Eldright

 

It's a question worth asking: do we, the new pagans, have a right to the ways and the lore of the old pagans?

To this, I would say: we do. They're ours by eldright.

David Cowley, who coined the term, defines eldright as “ancient right, tradition.” It comes to us by virtue of who we are.

We are the pagans, the True people. (It's an anthropological truism that practically every tribal name means the People, the Real People.) The contrary of this True is not false; the contrary of this True is unTrue. We are the ones who remain faithful (“true”) to the ways of the ancestors. Some have chosen other ways, as is their right. But in doing so they have thereby become unfaithful—untrue—to the ancestors and to their ways. Every people that remains True to its ancestral ways is a True people.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
People Like Us

It's Wednesday's and Pugsley's big sword-fight scene in the school play.

A severed limb thuds to the ground. Blood sprays the front rows.

The camera pans the audience: horror, incredulity, disgust.

All but the Addams Family.

They're loving it.

I'd gone with some of our sister coven to see Addams Family Values.

There we were, a row unto ourselves among the pastel suburban families, laughing at all the wrong times.

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