PaganSquare


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

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Recent blog posts

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Mundane Mysticism

People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”

From The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell

...
Last modified on

b2ap3_thumbnail_Tree_Of_Life0-1.jpgWhat and where is the Sacred Feminine?

How do we connect with Her?

Why is it important that we connect with Her?

These and other questions are the subject of my recent conversation with Barbara Hanneloré, author of The Moon and You - A Woman's Guide to an Easier Monthly Cycle. You can listen in to our conversation, part of the Womb Wisdom telesummit Barbara is organizing, beginning April 22.

The free Womb Wisdom telesummit brings together 12 women, sharing their expertise on subjects ranging from Fertility Awareness and Pelvic Floor Health to Mandala Meditations and Creativity.

Once you register for this free event, you're on your way to receiving gifts from each of the presenters. I’m offering two gifts, each complementing The Woman's Belly Book: a $5 discount on the Honoring Your Belly instructional DVD and a 20% discount on the full-color illustrated paperback, Rite for Invoking the Sacred Feminine.

b2ap3_thumbnail_womb_wisdom.pngHere's the theme of my conversation with Barbara regarding the what, where, how, and why of connecting with the Sacred Feminine: She is in our midst.

 

The Goddess In Our Midst

The Great Goddess —
      call her as you will:
      Mary, Isis, Kali, Tara,
      Demeter, Eve, Asherah — 
is here among us.

She is tangible, personal, present, earthy, real.

While some gods may be abstract, remote, out of reach,
She is here among us, in substance.

She is in our midst, embodied.
In the matter of our bodies, she is in our midst:

She lives within the center of our bodies
in that place we call the belly.

Our culture shuns the Sacred Feminine
and likewise shames woman's belly.

The devastating consequences of
denying the Sacred Feminine play out

communally —
       in violence, injustice,
       poverty, disease,
       environmental despoilation

and personally —
       in addiction, illness,
       lack of purpose,
       dissatisfaction, discontent.

Whatever we think will save us or heal us
from this devastation,
in essence
what we're seeking is
    reconnection with the Sacred Feminine.

We're craving a way
to reclaim the Sacred Feminine in our lives,

a way to move into
    intimate experience
    and personal knowledge of Her
            as our center of being.

We can reclaim the Sacred Feminine in our lives
by honoring the place where She dwells within us:

our bellies.

We can reconnect with Her
by making pilgrimage
to the temple wherein She dwells,

deepening our awareness
into our bellies with movement, breath, kind regard.

Honoring and energizing our bellies,
we come to know, to be with,

the goddess in our midst.

 

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Walking in another man's privilege

When we talk about walking in another man’s shoes are we not asking to experience their privilege or lack thereof? What would it be like to walk in the shoes of a woman or a person of another gender? Recently I traded my privilege with someone. And I don’t mean that we traded stories about our experiences with privilege. We inadvertently took on one another’s privilege and we both walked in it.

I am one of the most outgoing people I know and I meet a lot of people. In light of this it is no surprise that I have met people across a wide spectrum of intersecting privilege. I have shared dinner with homeless crack prostitutes and hot tubbed with silicon valley venture capitalists. But no matter how carefully I listen, I can never fully understand how different their lives are. By walking in another person’s privilege, however, I was able to gain a better understanding.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Kalends at Three

Tomorrow marks the Kalends of April, the first day of the month. In Ancient Rome, this was the day that state-sanctioned sacrifices were made to Juno, Janus, and the Lares. The date of the Nones, the day all other monthly festivals were publicly announced, was given. While a few syncretic Roman Revivalists follow the lunar cycle of marking the Kalends, which would be when the first sliver of a new moon could be seen in the sky or (not quite as accurately) the new moon, most of us observe the first of the month as the Kalends. That was how it was marked for the majority of Rome's history.

Most months, I work extra hard to make sure that I cook a modest but well-balanced meal for my family from scratch on this day. We offer at the lararium, or shrine to the Lares and household Gods, that sits in the middle of our dining room table. In my home, we bring the Gods to the table with us when we eat. We offer the first bites of food from our plate to the Lares, giving Them what They are due, along with all food that might happen to fall onto the floor. With a toddler in our house, the Lares get fed well with all the food that falls.

The rest of the religious duties of the day fall on me, though, and that's because I'm technically the only person in the house of this religion.

Except this is going to change this month. It was agreed upon many years ago that any child I had would be raised within my religion, since my husband is an agnostic humanist who loves Christmas. Now at 3-years-old, I feel like my daughter has hit that magical age where she's ready to start really learning about the Gods (though she continues to insist there are only 2 Gods) and participate in her mother's religion.

Last modified on
PaganNewsBeagle Fiery Tuesday March 31

In today's fiery Tuesday post, we concentrate our attention on issues of interest to Pagan activists: Mother Jones takes a cheap shot; John Halstead offers an opinion on Indiana's new "religious freedom" law; is doing spellwork for money ethical?; women's power connected to witchcraft; consent culture and Pagan festivals.

Oh dear, Mother Jones -- really? This cheap shot (on an interesting subject that deserves better treatment) against religious minorities is both stupid and a low blow. Shame, Mother Jones, shame on you.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Goddess Art and Body Image

Images of large bodied goddess figures really helped me deal with sudden changes to my body that happened in 1997. I dealt with more pressing issues first, but eventually I dealt with suddenly being a fat person, a person society perceives as less hard working, less beautiful, having less willpower, less healthy, less strong-- just generally less. I made several artworks based on different goddesses of the ancient world, and it helped me process those issues.

This art is a sunprint, which is a contact photograph that yields a photonegative image of the printed object, in this case a paper cutout of a line drawing I made of the goddess of Laussel. This is an adaptation rather than a replica, so it isn't precisely like the statue. The curved line represents the icy cave entrance, with the warmth of the earth within.

Some don't call these images goddesses, but fertility fetishes. These types of Stone Age statuary are officially named Venuses, such as the Venus of Willendorf, and Venus of Laussel, but Venus is a goddess name and is culturally specific. If I said I was making fetish art, people would get the totally wrong idea. When I was looking for images like these to adapt to sunprint art, I found them in art books in the public library as Mother Goddess figures, so that's the idea I'm going with. I've been considering them goddesses since I first saw them and by now they have become part of my personal path, so to me they are goddesses.

Given the age of the Willendorf and Laussel sculptures, between 20,000 to 25,000 years old, the people of that time and place would have been hunter-gatherers. Having a large body would have indicated abundance and prosperity, and fertility derived from same, all of which are positive things. None of  those are things I had at the time I was making this art, but re-imagining the social meaning of a large body from a negative to a positive still helped me pull out of negative thinking and depression. Identifying with these ancient body-positive images made a positive difference in my life.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Story in Five Pictures

Dating from more than 40,000 years ago, the Lion “Man” of Hohlenstein Stadel is the oldest uncontested zoomorphic figure that we know of. Carved from mammoth ivory, and standing about a foot high, the bipedal image combines feline and human characteristics. Since the lions of prehistoric Europe had no manes and there is no clear indication of sex, we cannot say for certain whether the figure is intended as female or male. 

Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Way back in the 80's I dreamed of a soap stone sculpture of a seated man with the head of a mountain lion wearing a feather bonnet

Additional information