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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April and May 2019 Heathen and Asatru Holidays

April 1: Loki Day. Loki's Day is celebrated on April 1st by American Asatru groups and individuals influenced by the old Ostara festival held by the old Ring of Troth, which was a multi day campout that included April 1st when that date fell on a weekend. Loki Day was a day for pranks and jokes in honor of Loki, and toward the end of the RoT women who were awake in the early morning threw their hair-combings into the fire for Loki. When the Ring of Troth broke into two groups, the American Vinland Association kept the Loki celebrations intact, while over the years the Ring of Troth abandoned them due to the influence of new members who were Nokeans (see my post on Nokeans for a definition and discussion.) The Troth recently re-embraced Loki, so the old custom may or may not come back. Also on April 1st: Narrentag (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) and the season of the possible date of Alp Aufzug begins (Switzerland.)

9 Day of Haakon Sigurdson (American Asatru, American Odinist)

14 Flyttedag, Faredag (Norway)

15 Sechseläuten (Zurich, Switzerland)

21 Sigrblot (Asatru)

22 Yggdrasil Day (American Asatru)

30

Valpurgisnacht (American Asatru),
May Eve (American Asatru, England),
Walpurgisnacht / Wonnenacht (Urglaawe), Wonnezeit begins (Urglaawe),
Walpurgisnacht (Germany, Austria, Switzerland),
Valborgsmässoafton (Sweden)
Valborgsnatten (Norway),
Maitag Vorabend (Switzerland),
Valborgsaften (Jutland, Denmark) 

May

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Deity Profile: Quan Yin

Quan Yin is a powerful archetype of veganism. In the Buddhist legend, the “Complete Tale of Guanyin and the Southern Seas,” she is determined to save every sentient being on earth from their suffering. As she tries to contemplate this suffering, her head shatters into eleven pieces.

The Buddha Amitabha sees her plight and grants her eleven heads so she can continue on her noble work. She goes on to try to reach out to all the suffering, and her arms shatter. She is then granted 1000 arms. There are different variations on this story, and one of Quan Yin’s names is “the goddess of 1000 arms.”

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The Magical Month of Alder

Following the wheel of the year through the Celtic tree calendar, March 18th begins the time of the alder tree and its ogham character Fearn. While the tree calendar is a modern construct, it holds meaning because of the concepts it has come to symbolize and the significance it has for twenty-first century magic, ritual, and everyday life.

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Kiss the Earth

When's the last time that you kissed the Earth?

I mean: got down on your hands and knees and actually kissed the Earth? Kissed Her, and really meant it?

The Kiss of the Earth has nothing to do with abasement. It's an act of love, of worship.

All that we know, all that we love, our very selves: all these are gifts of Earth.

That's why we do it.

 ***

In one of the “20th” century's greatest pieces of pagan art, Sacre du Printemps, we see the Spring Rites of an ancient Slavic tribe. In the original Nijinsky choreography, at the end of the first act, the Day Rites climax with the moment of utmost sanctity, the Kiss of the Earth.

The youths lead the tribe's Oldest Man into the midst of the people. With their assistance, he lowers himself to the ground and kisses the Mother of Us All.

On our behalf, he kisses Her.

***

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Kit Fox Oracle: Love is All (Leo Moon Mar. 16-18)

Here at PaganSquare, I’ll be sharing a spirit animal painting and message from my Elfin Ally Oracle Deck picked especially for the zodiac sign that Mama Moon is currently transiting. Enjoy!

Keyword: Bright
Meaning: Through touch you are jolted awake for love is everything.
Reversed: You are lost within yourself.

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Shit on the Altar

What would you do if you came down one morning and found shit on the altar?

Literal shit?

It happened to a friend of mine.

She'd recently moved the household altar, with its antlered Grinnygog* and photos of the dead, from a wall-shelf upstairs to a beautiful painted alcove downstairs. By aesthetic standards, the move was a quantum improvement, and yet, there it was: desecration.

What do you do when there's shit on the altar? Well, first you wash everything as thoroughly as you can, and strew the altar with salt.

Then you figure out what's going on, and what you need to do about it.

It turns out that the shit wasn't actually shit, but—hardly an improvement—spew.

The kitty had jumped up on the altar, eaten the food offerings, and then puked them back up. Yuck.

Well, kitties will be kitties. Still, when it comes to the sacred, these things don't just happen.

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Lose the Chocolate

Ostara's the time when many would say: Loose the chocolate.

But me, I say: Lose the chocolate.

For religious reasons, lose it.

***

I live in Minnesota. It is wrong—wrong—that, in the stores here, apples should be expensive, and bananas cheap.

Wrong.

 ***

Chocolate, like copal and bananas, is an exotic visitor from the fabled Southern lands of Ever-Summer. There's the connection with Ostara: think of it as sympathetic magic.

In a few years, most of the world's cacao trees, grown unsustainably in inappropriate places where—as a cash crop—their cultivation has helped to destroy sustainable local agriculture, will be dead from cacao blight, anyway.

By then, of course, oil will be running out in good earnest, and it will no longer be economically feasible to move foodstuffs over large distances.

Then chocolate will once again become the expensive exotic that, by rights, it ought to be.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Birch beer is an old northern drink. I once split a bottle of it with a friend while standing under the tower on Glastonbury Tor i
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember back in the 80's they kept trying to pass off carob as chocolate. It never tasted right to me. Then back in the 00's

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