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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 Paths Blogs
Snake Patrick Day

Happy Celtic Heritage Day!

Many Asatruars and other heathens and pagans don't celebrate St. Patrick's Day because it's a Christian holiday. As practiced in the USA, though, it's more a secular celebration of Irish culture, and of our idea of Irish culture (green beer is an American thing.) At this time of year, many of us are still circulating that story that the legend of Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland was really about driving out the Druids.

This is an interesting example about how mythology changes over time to suit the culture telling the story. For us modern people, we want to see the snakes as a symbol of something else because we don't need a magical explanation for why they are no snakes on that island. Our bedrock belief is in science. When we read a myth that purports to explain why a thing in nature is the way it is, we automatically read it as a metaphor, because we just don't think that way.

For the medieval people who ascribed the snake story to "St. Patrick" it was a story about a miracle, about a man wielding godlike magical powers, which somehow proved he must be channeling the power of a particular god. Who got to be called saint and who was instead called witch for demonstrating the same supernatural magic is a study in sociology.

Image: photo of me in a parade.

Image caption: I and other heathens parade with a Renfaire guild every year. This is about visibility, although I started doing this before I formalized the Heathen Visibility Project. As we march down the street with our hammers on, the message is: "See us. We are here; we are proud; we are part of this community."

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I associate St. Patrick's day with corn beef, cabbage and potatoes. Since reading books on Voodoo I also associate St. Patrick wi
Paganicon Rescheduled to September: Hashtag Pagansmart

If the mullahs of Qom thought that their god was going to protect them from the newest corona virus, they were wrong.

Same with wingnut Christians who think that “No genuinely believing [sic] Christian can for one moment accept that the Holy Mysteries might bring or be the source of sickness or ill-health and therefore take no precautions when sharing a chalice.

It's good to know that pagans are smarter than that.

It can't have been easy for the organizers of Paganicon to decide to move this March's get-together to the Other Equinox, but kudos to them for doing it. It was really the only responsible decision to have made.

In a few days' time, pagans all over the Northern Hemisphere will be celebrating the Equinox and the coming (thank Goddess) of Spring. Well, we're the People of the Wheel, and that's our gods-given work.

How you go about turning your part of the Wheel is, of course, up to you. However you decide to do it, please: be smart and be responsible. There's no reason for the gods to look out for you if you're too froward to do it for yourself.

Here at Temple of the Moon, a core group of us will be getting together to descend into the Underworld and bring Spring back with us, as we have for almost 40 years now.

For those that choose not to foregather, it will still be Spring, and there will still be plenty to do. If you go out to the woods, even by yourself, you will surely find Her.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

A Prayer for Uncertain Times

May I act with compassion,
remembering the irreplaceable valueb2ap3_thumbnail_89706561_2592221270990079_2611214320670867456_o.jpg
of the threads of human connection.
May I maintain a spirit of curiosity,
generosity, and creativity.
May I extend a hand when needed
and retreat when necessary.
May I exercise wise discernment.
May I remember to step outside
under a wide sky.
May I sweep my arms up and open
and then bring them down,
palms to the earth,
feeling the steady thrum of life
weaving the whole.
Placing one hand on my heart
and one on my belly,
may I be inspired, nourished, and restored
by this matching pulse within.
May I allow myself to pause
and witness the tender terrain
of uncertainty
and choose to inhabit it fully,
allowing not knowing, maybe, and if
to drift around me on the winds
of change,
while I take
another step
on solid ground.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Molly, Nice words.
  • Molly
    Molly says #
    Thanks!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Minoan Historical Fiction for Storytime

If you follow my Youtube channel, you'll know that one of my projects is a series of storytime videos - reading aloud from my own books and some of my longtime favorites by other authors. This time, I'm reading from my most recent novel, The Last Priestess of Malia, a work of historical fiction set in Minoan Crete.

The story centers around a young woman who dedicates herself to the temple and the gods in a time of great chaos and upheaval at the end of Minoan civilization. Though the later parts of the book get into some really heavy stuff that's also unfortunately relevant to our current world (sexism, racism, greed, conquest, xenophobia, colonialism), the earlier parts are largely about the main character's struggle to be "a real priestess" - whatever that means. If you've ever wondered when you're going to feel like you know what you're doing, you'll be able to relate. ;-)

...
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'Whatsoever You Do, Do Sacredly': or, How to Begin a Public Ritual

Priest

(faces people, chants)

Let all cell phones be turned off now.

People

So mote it be.

 

Priest

Let all cell phones be turned off now.

People

So mote it be.

 

Priest

Let all cell phones be turned off now.

People

So mote it be.

 

Priest

(spoken)

And so we begin.

(chants)

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Actually, Just a Shower

Ah, the hazards of being pagan.

My friend is decrying overgrown vegetables. As by far the best cook in our group of guys, he's earned the right to opine.

“Best rule of thumb,” he says, “is never to eat a zucchini bigger than your own dick.” This gets him a laugh.

I ask the obvious question.

“Hard or soft?"

The two of us have known one another for years. We've been to lots of skyclad rituals together.

He grins.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Elvish Spring

Our Equinox ritual is punctuated multiple times by call-and-response acclamations of Spring in many different languages, including (if you can believe it) Old English and Akkadian.

This year, we had a request for one in Elvish. Well, what's the point of ritual if you can't play a little?

Though not myself a Sindarin-speaker, I do (as my friend Magenta puts it) have contacts in the Realm.

So for those who wish to welcome Spring in the Fair Tongue, here you go.

 

Si cuielen i Híril o Coi! Ele, si cuielen!

See-kwee-ELL-en ee HEER-il oh koi. EY-ley see-kwee-ELL-en!

Lit. “The Lady of Life is living again!” “Behold: She is living again!”

 

i Híril = the Lady (hír = lord + il = feminine ending)

o coi = of life

cui = to live

-iel = participial ending

-en = again (suffix)

si = now

ele = behold (This word bears a particularly mythic resonance, having been the first word spoken by the Quendi [elves, lit. “speakers”] after their coming into being.)

 

Well folks, fun's fun, but—I'm sorry—as long as I'm alive, there will be absolutely NO KLINGON in this ritual! Really, one has to draw the line somewhere.

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