PaganSquare


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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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Lunar New Year New Love Spell

If you are in a phase of your life where you wish to attract new love, try this Candle Bell Spell two days before the full moon.You will need

pink votive candle

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IFO, Identifiable Flying Objects in Our Skies!

We had many retreat and bed and breakfast guests at our retreat center near Little Fort, British Columbia. My husband and I had decided instead of traveling the world, the world would came to us. Although, the visitors also came from the skies from other stars and planets!

A great deal of the UFO activity near Nehalliston Canyon Retreat, my retreat center, in the BC Central Mountains, was during the summer of 1997. I loved it, and another reason for moving into the mountains had appeared as I had hints about upon arrival.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Horns Up!

“Horns up!” says my friend, grinning and flashing the accompanying Sign.

It's become his usual valedictory. I find this delightful.

Horns up: a polysemous—many-meaninged—greeting. Go for it! it says. Don't take any guff! it says. Forge ahead! it says.

But for witch-folk like us, it's also an invocation. And of course—so it is with witch-lore—it tells a story as well.

Because, naturally, “Horns up” implies an equal-and-opposite inverse. “The Goat Above, the Goat Below,” the Basque witches used to say at their sabbats. (No doubt they still do.) “Horns up” signs the living god, “Horns down” the dead.

And there's his story. Unlike most gods, the god of the witches dies. Being a god, of course, he doesn't stay that way, but that doesn't obviate what went before.

(How does he die? In fact, sad to say, we kill him ourselves: in love, we kill him. Witches are a tribe of deicides, which explains much of our long, sad history.)

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Does Electric Incense “Count”?

Who would expect to be confronted with a theological conundrum upon walking into a supermarket? Welcome to the Wonderful World of Paganism.

I've gone over to my neighborhood Asian market to pick up some tofu. (At a buck-fifteen per cake, it's still the best deal in town.) Just inside the door, in his little shrine on the floor, sits Weng Shen the Door God. Flanked by electric candles, he scowls as good door-wards do. Before him burns a bowl of electric incense.

The porcelain bowl filled with gravel looks just like a real incense bowl, if you ignore the electric cord that runs through a hole at the back of the shrine. Even the “sticks” of incense—I assume that they're plastic—could almost pass for the real thing, if it weren't for those uniform glowing red electric tips.

So here's the conundrum. Is a symbolic offering still an offering? Does electric incense “count”?

I suppose that the answer to this question depends upon what you mean by “count.”

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Happy Lunar New Year!

This most special holiday for Chinese all over the world is a “moveable feast,” as it occurs on the second new moon after the shortest day of the year (the winter solstice, December 21) and lasts about two weeks. According to the Western calendar, this means the holiday begins sometime in either late January or early February. Tradition holds that homes must be cleaned from top to bottom in preparation for the festivities. On New Year’s Eve, families get together for a banquet, and at this feast fish is the dish of delight, as the Chinese word for “fish” sounds like yu, or “great plenty.” Red is the color of luck and all children receive red envelopes filled with money and bright, shining moon-like coins. Adults write “spring couplets” on red paper; these are short poems that are hung around the doorway to greet the New Year auspiciously. Oranges are placed around  the house in bowls and plates and blooming plants adorn the home both indoors and out. All generations of the extended Chinese family, from great-grandmother to the tiniest toddler, stay up late playing games, telling stories, and making wishes for the New Year.

 

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Once upon a time, in a land much like yours and mine, people said their princess was so neurotic and fussy that she complained about a pea under her mattress. 

 

Her father, the king, had explained to her that there couldn’t be more than a tiny pea or pebble under the mattress. 

 

But her back hurt badly and, raised to believe she could not overcome obstacles herself and must rely on a man instead, she vowed to marry the first fellow to solve her problem.

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Does the Name Match the Claim? Using Historical Linguistics to Assess Claims of Pagan Continuity

Every word tells a story.

Unfortunately, it's not always the story that we want to tell.

Back at the end of the last century, it was not uncommon for pagan groups to claim unbroken continuity with the paganisms of the past. When someone makes such a claim, one way to test what they say is to look at the vocabulary that they're using to see if it matches their claims.

To take one preeminent example: in the 60s and 70s media witch Sybil Leek claimed to be high priestess of a Keltic tradition group in Hampshire's New Forest called Horsa Coven.

(Sorry, but after nearly 50 years in the Craft, I still cringe when I hear the term "high priestess." Talk about hokey.)

Now, “Horsa” has a pleasingly archaic sound to it: unsurprisingly, as it's an Anglo-Saxon/Old English name meaning “horse.” The fact that the name is Anglo-Saxon, however, sits uncomfortably with her claims of a “Keltic” tradition.

Horsa was the name of one of the two legendary Anglo-Saxon brothers who led their people to the Promised Land of England. (His brother was reputedly “Hengist,” which means “stallion”; the word survives into modern English as the first syllable of henchman.) The implication, I suppose, is that the tradition goes back to Anglo-Saxon times.

If so, the name itself disproves the claim. If the name had survived in continuous use since ancient days, it would automatically have modernized to "Horse." The fact that it didn't is proof that the name is a modern one, chosen for its archaic sound. Interestingly, one can say the same for the word “Wicca.”

Back in the early 90s, a group in the English Midlands calling itself Tuatha de Cornovii claimed to be a survival of the Iron Age Keltic tribe of the same name. Does the name match the claim?

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