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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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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Who is Danu?

I ask myself this as I peruse internet articles based on scholarly attention to the tales preserved by Irish monks.  Long geneologies are reeled off of the early Irish residents, some gods, some mortal.  Ireland was inhabited relatively late in human history - perhaps only as little as 9,000 years.  While modern Ireland exported her residents, the earliest inhabitants of Ireland were all 'blow ins' - that nickname given to incomers not indigenous to Ireland. In the earliest days, Ireland had no indigenous population other than the juniper and elk, bear and bilberry.  Recent DNA studies indicate that today's Irish population is closely related to Britons and Scots, with a strong injection to the gene pool from the Iberian peninsula.

So, too, the goddess Danu may not be properly a 'Celt', even as she is venerated as a Celtic deity. She may have originated on the Indian subcontinent and simply moved westward.  It is suggested that her name is echoed in the rivers Danube and Don (one in Russia, another in Yorkshire), but linguists and philogists might dispute any true connection with rivers or Tuatha dé Danaan to Danu at all.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Sumer Is Icumen In

I thought I'd get the jump on Beltane and talk about everyone's favourite May Day song (even if you're not on Summer Isle) as it is a great piece of history. 'Sumer is icumen in' also known as the 'cuckoo song' embodies that glorious sense of happiness that the first real warm days offer us. Here in the north we still can't quite believe that summer is a-coming, which makes me want to sing it even more.

This is the earliest secular song recorded in English in the Middle Ages and appears in a 13th century manuscript along with a Latin version. Here's the original lyrics:

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Thanks for this. It's one of my favorite May songs, too. I've taught it many, many places around the country. I think the dir
  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    That sounds wonderful. If it helps any, early English is simpler than modern English which has even more influences. Blessed Belta

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Beltane and the Sensual


Sensuality – what a lovely word. It rolls off the tongue – you have to say it slowly, it really doesn’t work otherwise.  Like dripping honey.  Sweet molasses.  A cat’s stretch. It needs time, awareness, mindfulness.

Sensuality is often misinterpreted as relating solely to the sexual experience. What we need to do is bring the sensual back into our everyday lives, seeing how it relates to the whole experience rather than just a sexual one. Sensual – input from the senses. There are so many other senses that are pretty much asleep for most of our day. Sometimes there are very good reasons – we couldn’t really function if all our senses were firing on full all at the same time.  But reawakening them, especially at this time of year, and working with them intentionally can help us to rediscover our world through our bodies, rather than just living in our heads.

All too often we experience life only through our minds, leaving our bodies out.  Mind and body are intertwined, and both need input, both need nourishment in order to function properly.  When we get too caught up in thinking, our bodies are often neglected. When we are too wrapped up in the physical, our intellect or even spiritual attributes can suffer.  Finding a holistic balance is key.

I know far too many people living in their heads.  They suffer greatly, because they cannot escape their own mindtraps  To alleviate that suffering, we need to reawaken the sensual. 

So what is the sensual? Essentially, it is working with the senses.  Many of our senses are asleep, or deadened through lack of use, or even abuse. 

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs

Note:  This project is for intermediate to advanced beaders.  (I will be adding photos to this article soon.)

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Welcome to Summerisle!

 Summer is icumen in, loudly sing cuckoo. Grows the seed and blows the mead, and springs the wood anew. Sing, cuckoo! Ewe bleats harshly after lamb, cows after calves make moo!

Ever since I began ritualing with my fostering coven almost ten years ago, The Wicker Man has been one of my favorite movies.  We’d watch it together every Beltane, sipping mead and telling jokes, singing the songs and quoting our favorite lines.  One year I was feeling especially inspired so I put it on to play first thing in the morning and my DVD ran on repeat until I went to bed that night.  Clearly, to say that I adore The Wicker Man is an understatement. 

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Ian Phanes
    Ian Phanes says #
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summerisle_%28The_Wicker_Man%29

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Ghetto Tarot

A group of Haitian artists have taken the Rider-Waite-Smith iconography and turned them into a vibrant, colorful photographic interpretation called the Ghetto Tarot. You can find out more about the project at IndieGoGo here

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs


IMG_4600

I am the blossom, I am the bee
I am the branch, I am the squirrel

I am the acorn, I am the oak
I am the breath, I am the words
I am the space, I am the fullness
I am the song of the May.

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