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 Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 34: Tyr and Zisa

Tyr is the original skyfather in heathen mythology. His major sphere of influence is justice. Zisa is his wife. Her symbol is the war boat, and she was identified by Tacitus as being the same goddess as Isis.

The Fireverse uses the names of gods as recorded in the Icelandic / Norse sources, unless the name is not recorded there. In the Icelandic, the name of Tyr's wife is not written down. However, Tyr is the same god as Ziu, and Ziu's wife's name is Zisa, so in both my novel Some Say Fire and in my personal practice I call them Tyr and Zisa.

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Planting Peace of Mind: Gardening Wellness

I tell people that gardening is my therapy and they always think I am joking but I am not. It is an enormous source of peace in my life. Pulling weeds and plant tending is very positive way to handle nervous energy or upset. It also helps me work out problems.  I will come back in after a wild and weedy session and feel calm and in control. Bringing together the divine with the beauty of the plant kingdom can bring great pleasure to your life. Gardening is also very calming and, after the work is done, you can enjoy the fruits of your labors. Sometimes, literally if you have fruit trees and berry bushes. A green thumb is hardly necessary to create your own secret sorcerer’s plot. I am an advocate of garden statuary and, if you were to come over for a sip of tea and garden gazing with me, you will see an altar adorned with deities and a few carefully placed statues, What seems sacred and inspiring to you and is pleasurable to your eye will certainly do nicely but even if you have a deck, a fire escape or sunny windowsills, you can create your own sanctuary, indoor gardening can absolutely fulfill the desire for an otherworldly aesthetic.  For a truly witchy garden, it will come as no surprise that many of these plants love shade, or look best in the moonlight.  The rare art of magical gardening serves to put you in closer touch with nature, which is essential to pagan’s horticulture and is an amazingly peaceful pursuit, and working directly with the earth and her plants and flowers will teach you the secrets of our Great Gaia.  Tending and growing these herbs and flowers will usher you into a very specialized world.  From this vantage point, you can dry herbs to make special teas, potions, tinctures, and flower essences that are uniquely healing and magical.

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
With Harm to None

Cooped up at home, feeling nostalgic? Jump in my vegetarian time machine and take it back. Way back. I wrote and delivered this sermon for a contest held by the Unitarian Universalist Animal Ministry. I had to pare it down for delivery time, but enough of the history section includes "Pagan" vegetarian forebears that I think it deserves a spot here. Also included are modern reasons for a plant-based diet, such as personal health and environmentalism. For more info on the Unitarian Universalist Society (which also includes a covenant for UU Pagans), check out https://www.uua.org/.

 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 33: Time

Continuing my series about insights I've gained via novel gnosis, that is, religious revelations I've gained via writing fiction, today I'm talking about the nature of time. I'm going to talk about both the Fireverse, the universe of Some Say Fire, the unpublished novel about Norse mythology I've based most of this series of blog posts on, but also about the Time Yarns Universe, my science fiction shared world.

Loki tells the stories of heathen mythology to P as if they happened in a particular chronological order, but in order to make that work there are several points in the story when something happens, such as Thor getting his belt and gloves, “and then it had always been that way.” The gods have the ability to change the past. The Rainbow Bridge can deposit them in any part of Midgard’s history they wish to visit, but more than that, Loki tells P that those whose home is Asgard can move through time as easily as P can walk from one room into another room. They can also return to the time they left just like going back into a room they just left. The gods are not actually time traveling when they do that like a human would be if a human moved around in time like that, because the gods are native to a dimension in which time does not flow just one way. That is, our human concept of time travel doesn’t really match up with how that actually works for them.

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The most pernicious thing about racism and white supremacy may be the way that they get into absolutely everything in US culture, even things we might assume – or want to assume – are impervious to such influences. This is true of the fairy faith, that set of beliefs and practices connected to the fey folk which were brought to the US with Europeans and can be found in parallels of native American beliefs. Sadly I have seen this expressed over the years in various ways, usually intended to uphold the idea of white as normative and to push out people of colour who may be interested in fairylore or fairy based spirituality. I’ve always been a vocal opponent of such attitudes and today I’d like to tackle this directly.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 32: Thor

Thor was the most popular of the heathen gods in historical times. His most notable possession, his hammer, is not only a weapon but also a useful tool. He is depicted riding a chariot pulled by goats; goats are a useful domesticated animal. He is married to Sif, whose major myth is a metaphor for wheat harvest. All these details point to a god of the common man, of farmers and workers. His role as protector of mankind from frost giants and other inimical forces made him one of the powers people relied on for basic survival.

In the Fireverse, Thor is enthusiastically manly, liking to eat and drink manly things, liking to adventure in Jotunheim and Midgard and to fight giants. At one point a character asks him what he likes on his salad and he says bacon, a very manly answer. He enjoys contests of strength. His manliness and physical strength does not really mean that he is in any way less intelligent than other gods, though, despite how he is sometimes depicted.

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The Healing Power of Flowers: Floral Essences Energies

Many of our favorite flowers have distinctive healing energies; which can be captured in water. A key difference is that flower essences minister to the emotional body while essential oils treat the physical body. However, vials of a multitude of these are available at grocers, pharmacies and new age shops. Bach Flower Remedies are doubtless the most popular and are seemingly everywhere with a recommended dosage of 3 to 4 drops taken via the bottle dropper under the tongue 2 to 4 times a day. I suggest not using more than 2 different floral waters at any given time for full effect. Flower essences are typically ingested directly via the mouth or by way of adding a few drops to a glass of water. They can also be dropped onto linens such as your pillow case, a sachet, or into your bath. They can be applied directly to the pulse points such as temples and wrists. These floral essences are also different from essential oils in that they do not carry the scent of the flower. It takes a single flower to make an essence whereas essential oils rely on a significant amount of the plant. Here are some essences that are good for emotions:

Passion Flower connects us to our higher self and connects to the divine

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