While people look for many things in a religion, community is undoubtedly one of the most important. This week for Watery Wednesday we took at the ways in which community shapes religion and vice versa. Read on to learn about the 2015 Mythopoeic Awards, the nature of the Muslim fast of Ramadan, and how you can support contemporary Pagan artists. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
both sweet and spiky
sun-kissed and thorny
able to draw blood
and to cause you to smile
as you taste the juices of life.
I find it interesting to observe how the wheel of the year is reflected within my own mind and thought processes. In the late fall, I turn inward and feel like retreating and pulling away from commitments. In the winter, I incubate and make plans. In the spring, I emerge again and feel enthused with new ideas. In the summer, I start to make decisions about what to keep and what to prune away. I find that summer is a perfect time to see what is growing well and what needs to be yanked out by the roots.
One Pagan's DNA Research
My ancestors are important to my shamanic path. My previous post discusses that and why taking an AncestryDNA test is part of that path for me.
Today's post discusses my feelings as I waited for the test results, my reactions to the results, and the adventure it put me on as a Pagan.
An AncestryDNA test predicts ethnicity. Waiting for test results, I wondered if I'd like them. I felt excitement and a bit of trepidation.
I was empowered thinking about the benefits my friends' experienced. One friend learned which regions in Africa her ancestors hailed from. Prior to that, she did not know where in Africa she was from. Another friend uncovered secrets her family had hidden. This freed her from decades of lies.
So, one day the Interfaith Council asks the witch the deliver the opening prayer.
(By the way, this actually happened. My long-time friend and colleague Macha Nightmare has been active in Interfaith for years.)
She stands up.
“Witches dance to pray,” she says. “So I'm going to teach you one of our oldest, most sacred dances. It's called the Spiral Dance.”
Mystery plays were a big part of life in the ancient world, when people’s seasonal work was punctuated throughout the year by sacred festivals of all sorts. What on earth is a mystery play? It’s not a whodunit, like a modern murder mystery. In the case of mystery plays, the word takes on an older meaning. My dictionary defines it as ‘a religious truth that man can know by revelation alone,’ in other words, something you have to experience yourself rather than just being told about it. And that’s what mystery plays are all about: letting you have the experience of the gods, the myths, the sacred, right there in your own life. A mystery isn’t just something you experience; it changes you from the inside out.
The modern world still has mystery plays of a sort. The ‘living nativity scene’ that some Christian churches put on around Christmas is a snapshot or tidbit of a mystery play and those huge Passion of Christ productions are the full-scale deal, a mystery play about the Christian festival of Easter.. But for most people these days, I suspect the movies largely take the place of the old mystery plays, allowing us to roll ourselves up emotionally in the stories that make up the mythology of the modern world: superheroes, science fiction, fantasy....
For the past 2 years, I've been circulating a Dropbox link to a collection of files containing Jung's Collected Works, which someone had scanned. Unfortunately, the text recognition feature on the scanner was imperfect, which made searching and reading frustrating.
But I have good news Jung-o-philes!...
We Pagans often like to think of ourselves as a minority religion, ignored and disregarded by mainstream culture. But we're far from the group striving for equality and representation. This week for Fiery Tuesday we take a look at America's first underprivileged group: the American Indians / Native Americans, who've struggled for centuries against colonialism and exploitation. Read on to hear about some of the most relevant issues affecting natives today, from protecting their rights to their ancient traditions to how they're represented in the U.S. Census. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!