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
Solving an Ancestor Mystery with DNA

Asatru is one of the paths that includes ancestors among the beings we honor. That doesn't always have to be one's own personal literal biological ancestors, as explored in a prior post. However, many heathens go in for genealogy, and for those who have done so and hit a wall, or for adoptees and others who don't know anything about their ancestors, the corner where modern science and capitalism meet has provided home DNA tests.

My brother has extensively traced our family genealogy and uncovered some interesting things, but there was one mystery the paperwork could not answer for us. We had been told that we were part Cherokee. The summer after I graduated from college, which was about a year after my father died, I went looking for my Cherokee roots and drove across the country, all the way from California to the Qualla Boundary reservation in North Carolina. I utterly failed to connect to the land spirits, the people, or even the artifacts in the museum. I went camping nearby in the Great Smoky Mountains and did not connect to the land there either. I tried looking for records, and whether I approached via writing or in person, I hit a wall of silence everywhere I went. I tried to connect spiritually, and decided that was not the path for me. I had already been following a heathen path at that point, but that was about when I found a local California Asatru organization, and when I went there I felt right at home, welcome and connected, so I was affirmed on my path. But the unsolved mystery of the elusive Cherokee ancestors stayed in the back of my mind.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Magic With a Boner

Screw the athames and quarter calls.

Let me tell you something about Warlock Magic. It's gritty, primal, old: some of the oldest magic that we have, its prime locus the male body.

I'll give you an example.

Some friends of mine are buying a new place. I passed along a bit of old warlock magic to the man: Go around the outside of the house, and pee on each of its five corners.

Like other predators, warlocks mark out our territory. Scent-marking: it doesn't get more primal than that.

Warlock magic is body-magic, men's magic. It's not for the over-civilized or the fastidious. It's magic with a boner, magic with juice.

Let the dried-up old wizards keep their grimoires and athanors, their tower rooms and chalk circles.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
On the Necessity of Self-Initiation

There's been much making of words down the years over the question of self-initiation into the Craft, and whether or not such a thing is even possible.

Well, I'm here to tell you that not only is self-initiation possible, but that you cannot be a witch without it.

Life is a series of initiations, but no matter how many rituals you've undergone at Lady Such-and-so's hands, you cannot truly count yourself a witch until the moment when you look yourself plain in the face and say: I am a witch.

That is your deepest, truest initiation.

Witchdom is not so much conferred, as claimed. Someone who has undergone every ritual initiation from Azarak to Zamelak, but has never said to herself, I am a witch, is no witch.

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The Curse on the Burners of Minneapolis

 Cursed be the burners.

Cursed be they.

Cursed be they, forever.

 

They really should think twice before they start setting fires in the Witch neighborhood.

In the four nights of unrest following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, assholes came to our city to set fire to buildings: assholes from the Right, assholes from the Left, and just plain assholes.

Cowardly-wise, they came here to do their morth-work and then ran away, back whence they came.

Well, we can do morth-work too. Hit us, and we hit back.

Here in the Witch neighborhood, we rebuild, but we do not forget. Whenever I pass the site of a burned-out building, I renew the curse.

 

Cursed be the burners.

Cursed be they.

Cursed be they, forever.

 

Their ill-work will dog them, wherever they go. To their graves, it will hound them.

There's only one way out: remorse. Remorse, and it better be public.

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All Sacred, or: Jim Morrison Reincarnates in Minneapolis

If I believed in reincarnation, I would say that the guy from across the street is the young Jim Morrison come again, hair and all. Now here he is in all his glory, out walking the dog.

He's so beautiful that you just want to stare at him, but of course I don't. That's no way to treat someone, especially someone who's giving you pleasure, and besides, who wants to be the creepy, leering old guy across the street?

Ah, aging. You can be resentful, or you can savor the gifts of time. As Sokrates said, the contemplation of beauty is its own reward.

In his old age, poet Victor Anderson, Father of the Feri tradition, was on a bus one day when someone, noticing the direction of his gaze, said—probably disparagingly—“Well, you certainly like looking at the young ladies, don't you?”

Anderson smiled.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Hagia Sophia and the Goddess of Wisdom

When the Turkish Prime Minister decided to convert the famous Byzantine church Hagia Sophia into a mosque, there was a huge outcry in Greece and internationally. But who was this mysterious Sophia and how was she related to the Divine Feminine?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Plum Butter

There's a bag of plums waiting by the front door when I get home. Earth be praised, it's that generous time of year, and my friend's backyard tree is bearing well.

Some love clear, light jellies, but me, I'm a fruit butter kind of guy: heavy, dark, earthy. I wash the plums, pit and halve them, and throw them into the electric cauldron (= slow-cooker) with a generous pinch of salt and just enough apple juice to cover the bottom.

When the fruits collapse, I run them through a food mill to catch the skins, and return the puree, now an outrageous magenta color, to the cauldron.

Reduced by half, it would be the most delicious plum sauce that you've ever had, but I'm aiming for something even more intense. Many hours, and much stirring, later, I've finally arrived at the Land of Promise: plum butter.

The color is porphyry, the flavor almost overwhelmingly intense.

The jars go onto the shelf along with the others: concentrated Summer, Sunlight in glass, stored for the long dark months ahead. I admire their assembled variety of rich, jewel tones.

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