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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Disambiguation: Asatru For Beginners and Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path

The only official, authorized new version of my book Asatru For Beginners is my new book Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path. It was published on the 1st of this month by Weiser Books. The upcoming book announced on Facebook by Mathias Nordvig last Sunday titled Asatru For Beginners: A Modern Heathen's Guide to the Ancient Northern Way is NOT my book. I don't know the man, he is not my heir or apprentice, and his book is not my book's successor. Do not be confused.The only successor to my out-of-print book is my new book.

Look for my name, Erin Lale, to be sure you're getting a genuine Erin Lale book. My name is a brand. Erin Lale is a brand you know and trust. I've earned it over the past 2 decades since I first published Asatru For Beginners. Here follows a more detailed timeline for those interested in more of the story.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Hating on Keto 'Pizza'

Help! All the other adults in my covid-pod are on (ugh) keto diets!

Argh!

Really, it's almost enough to make me believe in karma. Whatever I did in my previous lives to deserve this, it must have been awful.

Me, I don't need to be ketoid. I've been vegetarian since I was 18: long enough to see the long-term health benefits which accrue to plant-based eating. (And to be insufferably smug about the fact.) What I've achieved by long-term, my keto-eating friends are trying to get on the quick.

Leave aside the long-term health risks of a high-meat, high-fat diet. Let's not mention that the single most important thing that you can do to reduce your carbon footprint is to become vegetarian: i.e. keto diets are just about the most Earth-unfriendly—really, almost anti-ecological—way that it's possible to eat. Don't bring up the fact that virtually all the evidence shows that the most successful diets in the long run—like, for instance, vegetarianism—are all flexible, and that over-restrictive diets (e.g. keto) have proved to be unsustainable and have a high rate of failure.

The issue here is pizza.

Keto pizza crusts are, without exception, nasty. Oh, some may be less nasty than others, but even the best are still nasty, nasty, nasty.

Keto crusts are for pizza maximalists: people who believe that pizzas are about the toppings.

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Self-Care Spell: Roman Chamomile for Calm

Roman Chamomile essential oil is derived by distilling  fresh or dried flowers of this beloved herb, Another frequently used option is  German Chamomile or Matricaria chamomilla which has much  smaller flowers. The deep blue German Chamomile essential oil is better known for its excellent anti-inflammatory properties. When you read about the splendid healing at European spas, they are using one of these two tried and true favorites. These treatments have been being used for over 2000 years so that is a good indication of how they have helped. Chamomile oil was used by the Roman soldiers to relieve anxiety and to induce a strong sense of purpose as they set out to fight. In clinical trials, this essential oil has been found to be effective in treating generalized anxiety disorder.  A walk in the garden where these delightful little flowers grow is often considered a sure cure for depression. The sweet scent released by this aromatic plant and the sight of the pure white flowers with sunny yellow centers can raise the spirits. Similar effects can be obtained by using ¼ cup of Roman chamomile oil in your bathtub and dabbing a few drops on the pulse points. The vapors can be inhaled or the oil can be used in a diffuser for a generalized effect. Before you step in your Roman chamomile bath, prayer aloud:

 

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

If I were naming the moons,
August would be
the Mushroom Moon,b2ap3_thumbnail_116721655_2720505291495009_3608339146132803919_o.jpg
honoring the things that wait
below the surface
for the right moment to emerge,
the invisible magic beneath our feet,
the wisdom of hidden places,
the quiet mists
that rise from cool water
into steamy evenings
beneath thunderous skies
and cicada song.
It speaks of the deepening
and the steeping,
the shy and the creeping,
the unexpected lessons
of loam and longing,
the vast and stubborn network
of all that is unseen,
the sky that sings
and hopes with wings,
and wide, round mysteries
on the rise.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Trouble With Gurus

My pagan identity was already fully formed when, in 1988, I visited New Vrindaban, a rural Hare Krishna community in West Virginia, so I never had any intention of joining or staying. I went, rather, to learn about temple ritual and Indian cooking, and I did. This learning turned out to be formative and, years later, I'm still grateful for the experience.

I learned a few other valuable things too.

While I was there, I heard a lot about the NV guru, Kirtanananda Swami ( Keith Ham).

Guru-ji stands in the place of 'God.'

Guru-ji knows everything.

Guru-ji knows you better than you know yourself.

I saw people prostrate themselves when KS drove by. I saw them kiss his 'lotus' feet.

During my visit, I stayed in the men's dorm along with the other unmarried guys of the community. One day I went with them to a meeting at Guru-ji's office. There I learned something interesting about Kirtanananda.

While describing the community's next building project, he was eying me over.

He wasn't just noticing a fresh new face, that much was obvious. Every young gay guy gets this look from older men, and knows what it means.

Well, I thought, and got out of there as quickly as I could.

Keith Ham liked young guys, and later got in trouble with the law over it. I'm sure that he had some sort of religious excuse justifying his exploitation of all those young men, probably along the lines of Krishna's love-play with the gopis. Some guru.

Pagans don't do gurus. Guru-ship, along with its accompanying lack of accountability, is a system crying out—pleading—for abuse.

Pagans have teachers; we have elders. They don't stand in the place of the gods; they don't know everything. They certainly don't know you better than you know yourself.

Over the years, a few have tried to give me the guru treatment. I've always been careful to throttle such attempts at birth. Any pagan leader with any integrity will do the same. Nobody deserves that degree of trust. Nobody.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
I am Bear, I am Wolf: Anger Meditation

Unexpected angering news waited for me on the internet on Sunday. I had been having such a great day. I had finally gotten to see my companion and organize his stuff for him at his care center, after having to just deliver his mail and supplies to the front door of his care center for months, due to pandemic restrictions. While I was clearing out a pile of months' worth of old magazines one of the workers mentioned it had gotten so big it tipped over on the workers a few times, so I suspect they may have allowed me in to organize his space because of that. Regardless, it had been really nice to finally see him in person.

I had come home, tested my blood sugar to see if it was safe to get in the pool before eating, and it was not, so I devoured a home grown pear first. Let me tell you about this pear. It was perfect. Soft, juicy, sweet but not insipidly so, everything a pear should be. I had a nice swim, and then a good lunch, and signed into the net thinking "Oh, I'll just check my messages and then log some work hours in at my new job." (I had recently started a new job on top of my writing career and my home business doing life management / property management, and of course my gythia duties and service to the heathen community but that's volunteer work. I had also recently given up my home business dyeing fabric because of my failing grip strength.) My friends, nothing good ever comes from "Oh, I'll just."

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Healing Yourself With Herbs and Love

There is an old saying, “if you can’t love yourself, how the heck can you love somebody else?” This admittedly cheeky statement actually hold a lot of truth but the bottom line is everything starts with self love, your health, yourself esteem, your relationships your success and your happiness. Even if you had a less than ideal childhood, it is never too late to esteem yourself and watch as everything makes a turn for the better, And quickly. Making a daily ritual of this will weave this strand of personal empowerment into your life and make sure it is grows sure and strong.

Sanctifying Salve

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