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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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No matter how carefully developed they are, theories of female power in pre-patriarchal societies are dismissed in academic circles as “romantic fantasies” of a “golden age” based in “emotional longings” with “no basis in fact.” I was reminded of this while reviewing three books about the Goddess last week.

In one of the books, the co-authors, who define themselves as feminists, summarily dismiss theories about the origins of Goddess worship in pre-patriarchal prehistory. In another, the author traces the origin of certain Goddess stories and symbols found in recent folklore back to the beginnings of agriculture. Inexplicably, she stops there, not even mentioning the theory that women invented agriculture. Considering that possibility might have suggested that the symbols and stories the she was investigating were developed by women as part of rituals connected to the agricultural cycle. To ask these questions would have raised a further one: the question of female power in prehistory. And this it seems is a question that cannot be asked. This question was addressed in the third (very scholarly) book, which I fear will simply be ignored.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Excellent discussion, Carol. I've believed Marija Gimbutas discovered the truth, ever since seeing that wonderful video, Signs Ou
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    It's not about them. It's about how to create a more egalitarian, peaceful, and harmonious world! Well said! Of course it is about
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    Goddesses in Context, Dancing Goddesses, Matriarchal Societies.
  • lanette miller
    lanette miller says #
    Would you mind sharing the three books you were reviewing?
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    Thanks Meredith. Unfortunately, women as well as men summarily dismiss the research on female power in prehistory. I think there a

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The "Selfish" Cards in Tarot

When I was trying to learn Tarot, one of the most frustrating aspects were cards that looked alike or seemed to convey the same type of energy.

Some similarities I struggled with included:

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Pagan News Beagle: Airy Monday, January 18

The musical comedy series Galavant's new season starts. Marvel's Scarlet Witch gets her own comic. And minority audiences wonder why "Oscars are so white." It's Airy Monday, our weekly segment on magic and religion in pop culture. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

While running errands the other day, I convinced my husband to make a side-trip to Raven and Crone. Set inside a small red brick building, R&C is the metaphysical book and occult supply shop in the Appalachian region of North Carolina. As I wandered the floor, greeting the on-site tarot reader, admiring the icons and plaques and Green Men and shelves of books and shelves of tarot cards and rune necklaces and glass jars filled with dried herbs -- and paused to pet the store cat, Lovey -- I started to wonder: what would my ideal Pagan-friendly book shop look like? Pretty soon, I was drawing up imaginary schematics in my head and filling imaginary shelves with anything and everything that might be of interest or use to a modern polytheist.

Welcome to Sanctuary. Would you like to take a tour?

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  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    *nod* I would spend a lot more time at R&C if I could.
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Love this. And you know I love R&C!
A 'Cernunnos' in a 12th Century French Church

Some time around the year 1120, a sculptor working on the Basilica of Mary Magdalene in northeastern France carved onto the capital of a column in the nave of the church an antlered figure that looks remarkably like the 'Cernunnos' sculptures of Roman Gaul from 1000 years earlier.

The Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene in Vézelay, Burgundy, is France's largest Romanesque church. Famed for its masterful sculpture and numerous relics of its eponymous saint, it was built on the site of a Roman-era villa.

High on the capitals of one of the columns in the nave, a handsome, antlered man peers warily from between two acanthus leaves. Bearded, with mustache and shoulder-length hair, he wears high boots and a tunic with long, cuffed sleeves.

Well might the antlered man be wary. On the other side of the stylized tree that divides the capital stands a bowman with an arrow pointed directly at him. There can be no doubt of the eventual outcome. The Antlered must die.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Unsolicited Advice

There's a plague out there. Unsolicited advice--or, advice you didn't ask for--is often the first thing that comes out of someone's mouth when you talk about anything bad going on with you. And here's the thing--you probably do it too; I sure know that I do, and I struggle not to. It's an issue of leadership because it's an issue of communication and boundaries, and it also crosses over into pastoral counseling as well. It's certainly an issue that can impact how we function together within communities.

Unasked-for advice happens on autopilot, and here's how it usually plays out. 

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  • Rick
    Rick says #
    So why do people offer unsolicited advice? One reason that you missed, IMO, is probably gender-linked. If you start lamenting abo

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Witches' God, His Bread

Supposedly the word “pretzel” derives from Latin brachiatellum, “little arms.”*

During the German Middle Ages, pretzels—made from flour, salt, and yeast only—were considered a Lenten food, their signature shape said to represent arms crossed in penitential prayer.

Witches, of course, tell it somewhat differently.

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