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PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

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Recent blog posts
Ritual Elements Part Two - Re-igniting the Spark

I've recently finished co-teaching a six week class titled "Elements of Magic". It is one of the core pieces of magic I teach in the Reclaiming Tradition.I revisit this work every so often as a teacher and as a student. In my last post, I talked about my explorations with Air. Now I'm moving into Fire (cue music -The Ohio Players "Fire" )

Re-igniting The Spark -

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Limoncello is a glass of liquid sunshine.  As the light grows and we approach Ostara, the Spring Equinox where the light overtakes the darkness, there is no better drink to celebrate the season.  Sweet, tart, strong, and delicious, a little glass of limoncello is like drinking in the growing sun.

Some pagans make mead, others brew beer, others steep all sorts of fruits in any strong drink they can find.  I make limoncello.  I first learned of limoncello while traveling in Italy.  We were staying in Sorrento, a seaside town with much the same climate as my native southern California.  The local drink was this delicious concoction of local lemons, sugar, water, and booze.  I had to try it.  After I did, I had to find the recipe.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Mandrakes

I'd never met anyone that raises mandrakes before.

Over breakfast one morning at a festival, a couple that do just that were telling a group of us about the process. It's very interesting. Where they live, it's too cold for the mandrakes to over-winter in the ground, so they dig them up every fall and keep them in boxes of sand through the winter. Then in the spring they replant them.

The advantage of all this exhuming and replanting, of course, being that they get to know each of the roots individually, maybe shape them a little, and photograph the mandrakes as they grow. Did we want to see the pictures?

Did we ever.

So there we are, oohing and aahing as the photos circulate. For all the world as if we were looking at pictures of someone's grandchildren: beaming grandparents, admiring circle. Witches and mandrakes.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Soli
    Soli says #
    Well, this is timely. I have been thinking about trying to grow mandrakes myself. Lovely!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Celebrating Ostara

American Asatru has a major holiday that does not exist in Icelandic Asatru, which is Ostara. Ostara is the heathen and pagan Easter. Because Easter is a major cultural holiday in the USA, with many holiday traditions in which people of all faiths participate, it has also become a major holiday among many American pagans and heathens. Like many of the seemingly secular traditions surrounding Christian holidays, Easter has pagan roots. 

Ostara is the Germanic spelling of Eostre, the English goddess name that developed into the word Easter. A goddess of spring and dawn, Ostara's sphere of influence is the fertility of animals, as exemplified by the fertility symbols the bunny and the egg. The holiday of Ostara can be celebrated on the Spring Equinox, or for a few weeks after. The American secular holiday tradition of hiding dyed chicken eggs and then having the children hunt for them replicates the way real farmers hunt for the eggs of free range chickens. 

The Easter Egg symbol is used in different ways by different individual heathens and pagans and by different heathen and pagan groups. Some families do the traditional American Easter Egg Hunt for their children. Like other Americans and some Europeans, they might dye or decorate the eggs at home, a project in which children can participate. Others buy candies in the shape of eggs, chicks, and bunnies as substitutes for the real thing.

Some kindreds fill blown eggs with confetti and break them on each other's heads to bless each other. There was a group in California that had an annual Ostara campout at which eggs and nickels were placed in a replica Viking longship, and the boat was set on fire and launched into the Pacific Ocean as a sacrifice to the sea goddess, Ran. 

Find out more about American holidays in my book American Celebration: http://www.amazon.com/American-Celebration-Erin-Lale/dp/1304916138/ref=la_B004GLACQQ_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1425318146&sr=1-3

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PaganNewsBeagle Wednesday Community News March 4

Lots of fun community news in today's Watery Wednesday edition of the Pagan News Beagle. Paganicon guest Lupa; a new Druid college; staying well at festivals; Morning Glory Zell (Memorial Foundation) news; Between the Worlds.

Upcoming Paganicon guest Lupa Greenwolf is featured in this interview by PNB-Minnesota chapter.

Interested in becoming a druid? This new three-year apprenticeship program by the Druid College might be of interest.

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New Findings Confirm Folk Wisdom About Broken Glass

AP: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Think back to the last time that you broke a glass on the kitchen floor. Did it seem to you at the time that you swept up more glass than could possibly have been in the glass before you broke it?

Well, it turns out that you were right.

According to Dr. Martin Summerton, Professor of Applied Theurgics at the University of Paganistan's prestigious Department of Thaumatology, carefully-controlled experiments demonstrate that breaking a glass actually does increase its weight.

“If you weigh a glass, break it, and re-weigh every shard from the broken glass, the overall weight of glass increases by approximately 12.3%,” reports Summerton. “Apparently the old folk wisdom is correct.”

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I thought of saving it for April 1. Ah, life on the cutting edge!
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Someone is pullng your leg, or you are trying to pull ours.
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    I hope that "the Onion" doesn't scoop you up for your razor-sharp wit, Steven!

Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltain, Litha, Lammas, Mabon--the eight points in the year that we stop and celebrate the seasons. In the six to eight weeks between each Sabbat, changes have been taking place--some so subtle that you might not be aware of them. The nights get longer--or shorter--by only a minute each day. The weather warms up, or cools down. One of the things that the Sabbats call us to do is to stop and look at the changes that have taken place. It's a time to regroup, reflect, and plan ahead. So in addition to the celebrations, family traditions and seasonal crafts, it's a good idea to spend some time grounding or balancing yourself to deal with the season that's coming up. It's not hard to do. It just takes a little time, a little quiet, and some concentration.

In about two and a half weeks we'll arrive at the Spring Equinox. It's time for those things that were stirring to life at Imbolc to "spring" up--thanks to a warmer environment and nurturing Spring rain. The element of water is considered by many people to be the mother of us all. Think about it. Life started in the sea. And what about you? You floated around in your mom's tum for months, breathing, eating, and growing in water. About 80% of the human body is made of water! People really feel it when water is missing in their lives. Periods without rain--droughts--can cause failed crops and wildfires (we've seen that in the past year in Australia, and over here in the state of California). But just like everything else, balance is essential. Too much water kills plants, animals and people. Flooded areas can breed danger and disease. Remember Hurricane Katrina? That happened several years ago, but the people of New Orleans are still recovering from an overdose of water.

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