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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in storytelling
How Stories Can Change the World and Ourselves

Stories matter. In fact, human beings have been called “story-telling animals.” Every day we consume stories on the media and in books, films and TV shows. We can spend hours on Facebook reading the posts of friends, relatives, and even total strangers. We hunger for narratives that give us hope but all too often run into descriptions filled with horror, abuse and despair.
 
The narratives we’re told and the ones we tell ourselves interact to shape our way of thinking. They provide the context in which we place our experiences and the lens through which we interpret what happens to us. Stories affect our self-esteem, our emotions, and our mental health. They can be empowering or debilitating, life-enhancing or toxic. Though we seldom realize it, our relationship with ourselves and the world depends on stories, especially on the ones we’ve come to accept as “objective truth.” If these tales happen to be destructive, they can wreak havoc on our inner world.

Stories have a powerful grip on the human mind. Research shows that most people are unwilling to change their beliefs even when confronted with facts that contradict them. Facts appeal to the rational mind; hence their power is limited. Beliefs, on the other hand, are often rooted in narratives that we’ve been told from a young age or myths that are constantly cultivated by the media and which we’ve come to accept as facts.

We live in a society that relies on oppression and exploitation, hence the narratives we’re told are meant to maintain the status quo. For example, even though the story of Adam and Eve is an obvious myth, it's still used to stigmatize women, sexuality, and everyone who doesn't conform to gender norms. Furthermore, those who are at the top of the social hierarchy maintain power by portraying human beings as inherently greedy and aggressive, blaming on individuals all the evils created by the system itself. We learn that injustice, violence and war are inevitable because well, that's human nature, so what do you expect?

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

A diaspora, a scattered and exiled people is held together mainly by shared stories and songs, customs and language. Through space and time, generations and movement, the traditions passed down change. They fade and dwindle, but they also are revived and brightened. They are added onto, embellished. Neighborhoods and cities become their territory, each gaining its own character, each city having a synthesis of all the waves of immigrants that enter its gates. Conquest, slavery, genocide, war, so many tragedies and trauma haunt us all in different ways. Expressing what has been lost and erased and  asking gods, spirits and ancestors why all these things happened, and asking who we are now, what are we becoming, what is this this idea, this great story we are all part of, called America? We struggle, who tells this larger story of who we are, who controls and steers it determines who are the heroes and the villains.

What was the original version of the story, of the song may not be remembered?  There are a thousand versions. How well it is sung or told and whether the people believe in its poetic truth and power matters more. Each people has a story of their journey of how they became American, each is a part of a great story, the story of America.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Where Prophecy Begins

Every prophecy starts off as a con.

You have an idea, a belief, or a practice that you would like to see spread. (In the beginning, one such idea was that there were other pagans out there.) It may be something that you and your group do. It may even be something that you've never done, but that you think would be good to do.

So you write a book—or an article, or a post—about it. You say: “This is what pagans think/believe/do.” You write about it as if it already existed.

People read your book/article/post. They think: That sounds cool; I'll do it too.

And pretty soon your idea/belief/practice is being held or done by people all over.

What is particularly interesting about the con is that we've been doing it since the very beginning of modern paganism. Gerald Gardner's a prime example. In his books, he was writing—at best—about the practices of one coven. Yet he writes as if this is what witches do everywhere.

Where does con end, and prophecy begin?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Aniesa
    Aniesa says #
    I'm not one to leave comments but I felt compelled to make those aware of one of the original "Cons ". Adam and Eve and shortly af
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I read in one of the Seth books by Jane Roberts that humans are story telling creatures. That our myths are the way we turn anima

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_icstorymoonlogo.jpgHello Relatives! I'm so glad you could come with me this evening and travel to a gathering to hear a traditional Indigenous Grandma's storytelling! Historically, in most Indigenous nations of the Americas, the colder months meant the work is mostly over and the celebrations begin in order to see the people through the long, dark months. Even though we now have modern conveniences, traditional people still keep the cycles of the year of their ancestors and practice their traditions just as they have always done. Ah, I see you have the gift I suggested you bring Grandma in order to honor her and her nation's traditions--thank you! That beautiful blanket you brought will be put to good use for whomever in her community needs one.

Brrrr...it sure is cold this time of year, and I'm glad to see you dressed comfortably, but respectfully, because we will be up for hours listening intently to stories that have been told for centuries! Just like people dress well for an event they value, dressing respectfully to attend a traditional gathering is important--it's not a sports event or the gym! Come on! We are almost to her very traditional home where her medicine and ancient objects from her nation are kept. Look, here we are at last...I'm so excited!

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

I like the alternative name for vernal, or Spring, equinox - equilux, the equal light, this brief balance before we tip into the increasing daylight and lengthening days, the 'doing-ness' part of the year.

At this point when the the earth is equally poised between light and darkness, what stories do you tell yourself?  How do you frame your life's passage? Is there a single, unifying theme or thread? Or is it a tapestry with intricate workings of warp and weft? Where is the balance between the personal and universal in your story?

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Changing The Story of Your Life

The stories we tell have power.  They teach.  They influence the opinions and behaviors of ourselves and others.  They influence how we experience our lives and the world.

Vivian Gornik wrote a great book for creative nonfiction writers called The Situation and the Story.  It’s short, entertaining, educational, and I highly recommend it.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Raven J. Demers
    Raven J. Demers says #
    Excellent writing/journaling prompt. Thank you for the idea!
  • Ashley Rae
    Ashley Rae says #
    My pleasure! Thanks for the feedback!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Songs of the Northern Tribes

In support of Gaia Gathering: the Canadian National Pagan Conference, thirteen artists have come together to create an anthology of Canadian Pagan music and spoken word.  Only available online, this album spans thirty years and includes some of the best of out-of-print Pagan classics as well as some up-and-comers.  All artists have donated the use of their work: all profits from the sale of the album go directly to support the Conference.

Featured artists: Vanessa Cardui, Tara Rice, the Ancient Gods, JD Hobbes, Brendan Myers, Dano Hammer, the Dragon Ritual Drummers, Gallows Hill, Heather Dale, Tamarra James, Raven's Call, Sable Aradia,and Parnassus (Chalice & Blade).

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