PaganSquare


PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Recent blog posts

Autumn is here and winter will be here soon... As the wheel turns its good too to set our energetic houses in order, in preparation for the new season. Equally there are times in life when the next stage, the next move to make in life is unclear. Stress, worry, negative energy can come into our lives in a variety of ways for a variety of reasons, and sometimes the only thing to do is be prepared to wade through some deep dark waters for a while- or even dive deeper trusting in the journey that in time you will come through to easier times. However, while struggle, and even a lack of clarity is all part of the rhythm of life from time to time, there are always pro-active things that can be done to help re-set and re-connect with the navigating forces in our lives once more. Whether its illness, depression, money worries, politics or a whole host of other challenges, there is always something we can do, to just make a small shift, that may set up some positive ripples in our energy.

 

...
Last modified on
“The Only God Worth Worshiping is the Great Mother, Source of All Life”

You know the feeling: the words leap up off the page and seize you with such force that you know you're never going to forget them.

Years ago, I was reading an article about German Expressionist painter Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876-1907).

“The only god worth worshiping is the Great Mother, Source of all Life,” she was quoted as saying.

(I should mention that I've since tried to track down this quotation, so far unsuccessfully; but since her words smote themselves into my heart at the time, I'm willing to trust my memory on this one.)

To look at her paintings, you could certainly believe that she would say such a thing. Her secular madonnas, many of them self-portraits, radiate a serene and luminous sanctity of their own.

***

The wand beeps over my breastbone. With a jerk of his head, the TSA guy indicates: Show.

By her chain, I pull the little silver goddess up out of my shirt.

“Who's that?” he asks, surprised.

(Interesting: not "what?" but "who?")

“The Great Mother, Source of All Life,” I tell him. Then I hear myself adding: “I have it on good authority that She's the only god worth worshiping.”

Last modified on
Procession of the Equinoxes, or: Some of Our Best Rituals Are Processions

For far too long now, contemporary pagan ritual has been imprisoned in the magic circle. There's more, far more, to liturgy than Summoning, Stirring, and Pointing Knives At.

Consider, for example, the common Procession.

When I'm teaching the Art of Ritual, I generally draw on the Procession as an example of a successful ritual-form that doesn't require a magic circle.

As a ritual, a Procession has a lot going for it.

  • It's something that we do together.
  • It's self-explanatory.
  • Everyone already knows what to do without having to be told: the ritual itself leads us (literally) in the direction that we need to go.
  • It has a single focus and a clear goal.
  • It felicitously combines formality and informality.
  • Without words, it says: Something non-ordinary, something significant, is happening here.
  • In it, we engage our environment in a sacred way.

(Note that these same criteria characterize virtually all good ritual, not just Processions.)

I often cite the Procession as an example of ritual that can't go wrong. But at one workshop a woman spoke up, a priestess well-known in her area.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    If I'm remembering my archeology correctly both Stonehenge and Woodhenge had processionals to walk on before getting to the circle
  • Chris Sherbak
    Chris Sherbak says #
    I love processing. The ADF Core Order has a procession and I normally include it in our Grove rites. Coming from LA, where you had
Eco Mindfulness: A Simple Grounding Ritual

Grounding is the technique for centering you within your being, getting into your body and out of your head. Grounding is how we reconnect and rebalance ourselves though the power of the element of earth. This is the simplest of rituals; one you can do every day of your life. As you walk, take the time to really see what is in your path. For example, my friend Louise takes a bag with her and picks up every piece of garbage in her path. She inspired me to do the same  She does this as an act of love for the Earth. During the ten years she has practiced this ritual, she has probably turned a mountain of garbage into recycled glass, paper, and plastic. Eileen is very grounded. She is also a happy person who exudes and shares joy to all in her path.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Pagan Thing to Do

I was raised up Congregational,

never found it too sensational;

I'd rather be libational.

That's good enough for me.

(Old Time Religion)

 

Among the historic paganisms, the libation, or drink-offering, was probably the most frequently-performed act of worship, both public and private.

Today, it still is.

Whenever you're about to drink something, you pour out a few drops first: by way of thanks, by way of honoring, by way of making consumption a sacred act.

Outdoors, you do this directly onto the ground. No matter which god you're offering to, the ultimate recipient of all libations—as of course is only right—is Earth, giver of all good gifts.

Indoors, you use a libation bowl.

When pagans get together—as we did the other night for Full Moon—there will be eating and drinking.

Among the bottles and cans on the drinks table, you're likely to find a bowl. There you'll pour your libation when you're serving yourself. It's the pagan thing to do.

“Has this bottle been libated?” you'll hear people ask, before they take some.

Last modified on
October and November 2019 Heathen and Asatru Holidays

Moveable feasts in this time period include the Feast of Ullr, which is a heathenization of the USA holiday Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving takes place on the fourth Thursday of November each year. The modern secular holiday Wolfenoot also takes place in November. It has been adopted by many heathens and pagans. Last year, 2018, was the first time Wolfenoot was celebrated, and it occurred on the same day as the USA's Thanksgiving, which gave it a boost among those seeking an alternative holiday to celebrate on that day. That also happened to be a full moon, which gave Wolfenoot a boost among those who already howl at the full moon. But Wolfenoot is a fixed date holiday, always on the 23rd of November, not a moveable feast like Thanksgiving.

October
1
Month of possible date of Disablot begins (Icelandic Asatru)

6
Oktoberfest ends (Munich, Germany)

8
Day of Erik the Red (American Asatru, American Odinist)

9
Leif Erikson Day (American Odinist), World Odin Prayer Day (Odinist)

12
Day of Leif Erikson and Freydis Eriksdottir (American Asatru)

14
Winter Nights (alternate date) (American Asatru)

28
Day of Erik the Red (alternate date) (American Asatru)

29
Winterfyllith begins (American Asatru)

30
 Winter Nights (American Asatru),
Alf-blessing (American Asatru),
Freyr-blessing (American Asatru),
Allelieweziel begins (Urglaawe)

November
1
Winter Entdeckung (Germany)

2
Winterfyllith ends (American Asatru)

9
Day of Queen Sigrid (American Asatru, American Odinist)

10
Allelieweziel ends (Urglaawe)

11
Einherjar’s Day (Universalist American Asatru),
Hollersege (Urglaawe),
Ewicher Yeeger Sege (Urglaawe),
Marten Gas (Norway) 

21
Alfablot (Asatru)

23

...
Last modified on
How Stories Can Change the World and Ourselves

Stories matter. In fact, human beings have been called “story-telling animals.” Every day we consume stories on the media and in books, films and TV shows. We can spend hours on Facebook reading the posts of friends, relatives, and even total strangers. We hunger for narratives that give us hope but all too often run into descriptions filled with horror, abuse and despair.
 
The narratives we’re told and the ones we tell ourselves interact to shape our way of thinking. They provide the context in which we place our experiences and the lens through which we interpret what happens to us. Stories affect our self-esteem, our emotions, and our mental health. They can be empowering or debilitating, life-enhancing or toxic. Though we seldom realize it, our relationship with ourselves and the world depends on stories, especially on the ones we’ve come to accept as “objective truth.” If these tales happen to be destructive, they can wreak havoc on our inner world.

Stories have a powerful grip on the human mind. Research shows that most people are unwilling to change their beliefs even when confronted with facts that contradict them. Facts appeal to the rational mind; hence their power is limited. Beliefs, on the other hand, are often rooted in narratives that we’ve been told from a young age or myths that are constantly cultivated by the media and which we’ve come to accept as facts.

We live in a society that relies on oppression and exploitation, hence the narratives we’re told are meant to maintain the status quo. For example, even though the story of Adam and Eve is an obvious myth, it's still used to stigmatize women, sexuality, and everyone who doesn't conform to gender norms. Furthermore, those who are at the top of the social hierarchy maintain power by portraying human beings as inherently greedy and aggressive, blaming on individuals all the evils created by the system itself. We learn that injustice, violence and war are inevitable because well, that's human nature, so what do you expect?

...
Last modified on

Additional information