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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Grand Sabbat

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Witches' God, His Bread

Supposedly the word “pretzel” derives from Latin brachiatellum, “little arms.”*

During the German Middle Ages, pretzels—made from flour, salt, and yeast only—were considered a Lenten food, their signature shape said to represent arms crossed in penitential prayer.

Witches, of course, tell it somewhat differently.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Meeting Maenads

Well, I can truly say that I've met the maenads now.

It was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life.

Let's do it again.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Michele
    Michele says #
    Yes, let's do it again! The sooner the better!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Killing the God

To the best of my knowledge, in the entire 3000-year span of its existence, not once in ancient Egyptian art do we see the death of Osiris at the hands of his brother Set.

If true (and my knowledge of the field is nowhere near exhaustive), this is a remarkable fact, and makes some profound suggestions about the thought-life of the ancients.

What is shown endures. What is shown is empowered. What is shown is made real.

So that the death of a god, the Great Sacrifice, while—terribly so—a necessity, can never in itself be an inherent good.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Indeed. The midnight Resurrection service is one of humanity's great liturgical masterpieces. Until you've been to Orthodox Easter
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    When I was taking my history of western Art class back in the early 80's I remember the teacher mentioning that art in the Eastern
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    It's a powerful, shocking image, to be sure. As an outsider looking in, it's hard not to see the crucifix as an image that glorif
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Many of us who identify as Christian are also horrified at the fixation on the Crucifixion and how that fixation has twisted and o

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Renouncing Baptism

 “In Latgalia [a region of Latvia] they say, 'Oh, as soon as the missionaries left, we all just jumped in the river and washed it off, anyway.'” (Sean McLaughlin)

It's the first of the traditional Three Questions asked by the Horned at an initiation (and later repeated during the Renewal of Vows):

Do you renounce the waters of baptism?

Old Craft initiations are very different from Wiccan ones. They're not secret at all. Those who wish to take the Oath must first know the Oath. How can you swear to something that you haven't had the chance to think through thoroughly? You need to know what you're letting yourself in for. One cannot join the Tribe of Witches all unwitting.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Him of the Horns: His Blessing

 

People of the Old Blood:

will you receive my blessing upon you?

Your blood upon us and upon our children!

(x3)

Then:

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The Care and Feeding of Sacred Fires

When the thede (tribe) of witches foregathers, as we did recently at this year's Midwest Grand Sabbat, we kindle (wood on wood, in the old way) the traditional Fire of Gathering.

The Fire burns continuously throughout the time of assembly. Everyone tends it; offerings are made to it daily. It roars at the very heart of the sabbat itself, and on our final morning together it is ritually extinguished. People take the ashes home with them when they leave.

Anyone who grows up in a traditional culture knows how to behave around a sacred fire—how it differs from a household fire, for instance—and doesn't have to be taught What You Do and What You Don't. For those of us who (alas) did not grow up in such a culture, how then does one impart these rules, the Does and Don'ts of sacred Fires, in a manner that doesn't devolve into learning boring lists of regulations?

Well, my friend and colleague Chris Moore came up with the perfect way to do it: you give people a metaphor.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Ah, hence the "Fire of Witness." Oh, that's resonant, Gerald: thank you.
  • Gerald Home
    Gerald Home says #
    Awesome way to present the Sacred Fire. I was taught that the Sacred Fire is an elder spirit that witnesses what we do.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Man in Black

 

Know him

by the crow's feather

in his cap.

 

"I am the man in black,"

he will say.

“Do you know who I am?”

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