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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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Retson Retap, or: A Spell Against the Power of the Book

My next-door neighbor's husband is losing it.

A retired Baptist minister, his mental decline expresses itself in the form of public preaching to no one in particular. Sunday afternoon, while sitting on the front porch pitting cherries (pagan hands are never still), I listened with half an ear as he circled the block haranguing an unlistening and uncaring world about Sin, Salvation, and the Bible.

Generally I find public preaching noisome, but in this case what witches call ruth—compassion—wins out. He's not hurting anyone, and we all need to feel like we're doing something important in the world.

Besides, 20 years from now, that could be me out there, haranguing an uncaring and unlistening world about the Craft, the Horned One, and what it means to be a real pagan.

In some ways, the two of us—deeply religious people in a culture increasingly non-religious—have a lot in common.

 

The Deitsch people of Eastern Pennsylvania recognize a state of being that they call being “read fast.”

To be read fast is to become so obsessed with a particular book that one is driven to read and quote from it constantly, to the neglect of other aspects of one's life.

Among the Deitsch, the danger of becoming read fast is frequently associated with the classic grimoire the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses, but experience readily suggests the term's potential for a wider applicability. Part of the danger of books—and, in particular, of book-driven ideologies—is their potential to possess—utterly and destructively—a soul.

Fortunately, there's an out.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Is that why pagans accumulate their own libraries? So that no single book has a chance to take them over?

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 35: Ullr

Ullr in Norse mythology is a god who hunts with a bow in the winter on skis, and so, his distinguishing characteristics are the same as Skadhi's. Many heathens consider Ullr and Skadhi to be a couple or at least counterparts.

In modern times, Ullr is still a popular god. Ullr medallions are still worn by skiers for protection, even skiers who are not heathen or pagan. There is a brand of schnapps named Ullr which is marketed to skiers.

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Kuan Yin - Capricorn Full Moon Blessings

Capricorn Meditation: Focus your energies to allow creation.

Capricorn Affirmations

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The Single Most Important Pagan Ritual That You Can Ever Do

What's the single most important pagan ritual that you can ever do?

Hint: you don't need either a temple or a magic circle to do it.

Here it is: Go forth and watch the Sun rise, or set.

Do this as often as you can, and better it be if you do it from a wild place.

At sunset, I often blow a horn when the Sun first touches the horizon. As the Sun sets, I address him. (You can call this prayer if you want to.) This is also a good time to pour out a libation. Then, when he slips entirely below the horizon, I blow the horn again. Then I sing a hymn.

You can elaborate if you want to, but you don't have to. The watching is all that's really necessary.

We have it from the ancestors that the most auspicious time to address oneself to the Sun is when he is on the horizon. In my experience, this is a time of special face-to-face intimacy, not usually present at other times of the day.

If you don't know where to go in your area for a clear view of the sunset and sunrise horizon at various times of year, what kind of pagan are you? Real pagans, being people of the place, are territorial beings.

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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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