Originally posted on PAGANARCH:
Patheos Pagan’s series, “Has Pagan Environmentalism Failed?” has gone live.
My contribution, A Call To War, has already garnered some grumpy attention. Whenever one talks about Capitalism, one’s guaranteed to get any configuration of the following responses:
- Communism is just as bad (they’re right, but it’s quite American to assume Capitalism has an opposite. The Coke/Pepsi, Democrat/Republican, Top/Bottom dualistic thinking in the American mind is quite ingrained)
- Capitalism isn’t the problem, it’s Industrialization (yes, yes, of course, but why’d we industrialize in the first place? To maximize profits with minimized and exploited labor through mass-production…that is, Capitalism)
- You’re a hypocrite–you use a computer or You couldn’t have this conversation without Technology (this one gets really, really old. As I’ve mentioned before, the notion that Capitalism is responsible for technology is ridiculous. Worse, people are too addicted to their blue screens to realize that these conversations occur on the street…
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I like it.
Originally posted on The House of Vines:
Reading Galina’s declaration that August is Polytheist Community Outreach Month:
Ancient polytheisms promoted civic virtues and involvement in one’s local community. We have a lot of tremendously talented people in polytheism today and I think we could really make a difference if we started reaching out. I know a lot of us do things already all the time and we don’t draw attention to it. Maybe we should, not to brag, but to inspire each other to go out and make a difference. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problems we face as a community, as a human community and to feel that nothing we do, no effort will ever make any difference at all. That’s not true though and when we give in to those feelings of hopelessness, we’re denying ourselves a chance to make a good, solid change. We can poke the Filter…
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This Saturday. Baltimore. I will be there. Will you?
Originally posted on Metallomusikum:
There are many bands labeled as American black metal, but few in the USBM scene that present a full-fledged occult ritual the way Pact does. The Moribund Cult Records group perfectly blends traditional black metal aesthetics and symbolism with the pummeling grind and growl of death metal.
The Erie, PA group will headline Metallomusikum’s first-ever Grimscape Saturday, July 26 at The Sidebar in Baltimore along with Virginia’s Dispellment, Maryland’s black metal underground veterans Inverted Trifixion, and newcomers AntiKosmos and Hex Temple, who are both making their stage debuts. Tickets are $12 at the door or online at Missiontix.com. Pre-sales of this show have been strong and a sell-out is possible.
Pact’s most recent album, The Infernal Hierarchies, Penetrating the Threshold of Night, elevates the band to the next realm of aural assault with more complex songwriting, better production and even more visceral vocals than their debut…
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I had a conversation with a friend the other day that bears recording and commenting. There’s been a dearth of magic recorded here lately. That’s not for lack of magic going on or for lack of conversations with friends. I’ve been too busy to record much of anything and some of it really hasn’t been the sort of thing that gets recorded.
In any case, my friend and I were speaking about magic and the ways in which our prayers/spells/meditation manifest. I mentioned that some time ago, January I think it was or maybe February, I had begun to petition my gods and the Universe to help reduce my financial stress. I should clarify that this is in fact the language I used since I have never been one to seek wealth for its own sake. Rather I sought the peace of mind and freedom of movement that comes with financial security. I should have realized that this would be yet another thing that Levay got right.
Magic tends to take the path of least resistance. In this case the path of least resistance has turned out to be not an increase in my income but a reduction of my need for income. Let me explain. In our current national economy of crisis and ever increasing inequality it is very difficult for a person to increase their income unless they are already earning much more than they need. Studies have been done, look them up. Instead of immediately boosting my client list I find myself in a totally different and far less expensive situation. I have escaped my crushing rent and instead my camper trailer is parked on an unused corner of shared family land. I’ll contribute to property taxes but that’s it. I also escaped my electric bill in favor of a solar panel and a deep cycle 12volt marine battery. It’s enough for the few electronic gadgets I have. There is a plan to set up a hand pump well which would provide not only me but the nearby chicken coop and series of vegetable beds with water. Since this corner of land is lacking one anyway, there is also a plan to install a composting toilet system here. Right now I’m glad there’s another house nearby. The result of all this? Low cost living with shelter, food, sanitation, family and friends all accounted for.
This is why I believe as I do. I’ve even managed to land a temporary but lucrative side job which will pay for the necessary facilities that are currently missing. Magic (and for the record I’m one of those folks who is pretty sure that some of what we call prayer is its own kind of spell craft) doesn’t always work the way we anticipate. But it does work.
So I do this thing where I meet up with a bunch of folks from a variety of different spiritual paths and spend a few hours rambling about whatever book we’re all reading. It’s an interfaith book club and it might be the only one in the area. We’re a mixed bag which includes a Unitarian Universalist, an Episcopalian, a Buddhist, a Jew and a pagan. There are others who come and go but it seems like the five of us are at most meetings. I have to say, those meetings are some of my favorite evenings.
We come up with some really fascinating conversations. We agreed at the very beginning that it is better to ask a question than be confused or ignorant. We agreed that no one is trying to convert anyone else. We agreed that we will be polite and respectful to each other and to other spiritual paths which may be mentioned in conversation. In other words no bashing people or beliefs; inform yourself; don’t preach. It’s gone very well so far.
At one of the most recent meetings the subject of prayer came up not as a dividing concept but as common ground. We each do it a little differently but we came to an interesting conclusion in our conversation. Each of us uses prayer to create space for the divine in our lives. We all agreed that it is an active thing and can have varying results, but no matter the specific impetus it creates some sort of connection with forces beyond ourselves.
The definition we came up with, as different as our prayers may be, was kind of mind blowing.