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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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
This is a time of steeping b2ap3_thumbnail_nourishment-card.jpg
and deepening,
of holding and enfolding,
of ripening and harvesting,
of nourishment
shared and received.
There is an offering occurring,
a recollection at hand,
a restoration in process,
a stewing and a brewing,
a choosing and renewing
in our souls.
 
Autumn Blessings to you all!
 
We've created a free set of nourishment-themed affirmation cards and they're available to you here.
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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

This year astrologically the autumn Equinox falls upon the 23rd of September, bringing with it longer nights and the gradual shift towards winter. Leaves fall, berries and nuts come to fruition and here in Avalon it is apple time. The name Avalon, the British otherworld, often geographically said to be here in Glastonbury in the Somerset levels, comes from the word for apple, which in the Celtic tradition symbolises the wholeness and healing of the soul, the sensual delight of being alive, of the human lived experience, without shame or sorrow. It is said to be a place where nine priestesses dwell, attending to a great otherworldly cauldron, symbolising the goddess of the land, who goes by many names, yet there is also a god of Avalon, Avalloc who is its guardian and keeper, father of the famous enchantress Morgan le Fay.

Avalloc is a mysterious figure with only a few mentions in the traditional literature, but a walk in the misty damp orchards of Avalon, on a September morning have much to teach about his nature. Gentle, elusive, a little wistful, I see him often as the orchard keeper of the soul; round apple face wrinkling with kindness and wisdom, sun tanned and weather beaten and full of juice, an irrepressible vitality and sense of wellness, an unassuming delight in being fully and physically here. The mythology and folklore of apples is endless across the globe, but always it brings life and sensual presence, even in the Christian mythology where it brings sin or the knowledge of good and evil, the apple leads us on to the next stage of our soul’s development and growth. It reminds us of our potential as well as the lesson of becoming at peace with what we already are.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Facing the Darkness

At this moment, many of us are being called upon to face our darkest fears. Pandemic nightmares and a lingering threat of impending doom surrounding our very democracy have become the new norm. The furious wildfires of climate change rip through our forests and leave lingering dark smudges carried on clouds which reach far across the nation. People are being attacked for wearing masks to protect others and/or exercise their right to peacefully protest. Instead of being able to come together and find common ground for a common good, we are being driven farther apart by the people elected to publicly serve and protect us.

The Fall Equinox has always been about finding a true balance. Never has this been a more pertinent allegory than right now. We need to work harder together to tame the pandemic. We need to take care of our planet and nurse our Mother Earth back to better health. We can no longer ignore that this is shared space– and if we want to coexist in any harmony, we cannot go through life with blinders on. These are not debates, matters of opinion, or imagined hoaxes. These are undeniable facts that we all need to face, whether some of want to or not. It has little or nothing to do with politics or sensationalized media. It has everything to do with the fate of our country, our world, and our civilization (emphasis on civility). The time for selfishness, greed, and giving in to our darkest impulses is over. The balance needs to be restored with compassion, generosity, and reaching toward a shared higher purpose. This also means taking a deep breath, no matter how weary we are of fighting the good fight. We must roll up our sleeves and meditate on making this balance a reality, in all the millions of seemingly small ways that we still can. We can channel our magical power and energy to bring about this good, but we cannot give up hope. Here is a place to start, this Mabon:

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Fall Equinox

Perfect balance returns, light and dark in harmony again for the final harvest. As we wheel in the last-lit days of seasonal symmetry, face the coming darkness together with gratitude for what we've learned about light. Autumn's grain is spring's seed; paradox surrounds us with ripening wisdom. If we lose hope, remember that Hope has two daughters to support our balancing acts: Anger and Courage. Instead of passive hope, embrace radical willingness. The good news is that an organism under attach creates blooming antibodies, devoted to restoring original health to the world's immune system. Activists are that devotion. 

The season of barrenness mists her breath on our window panes—a foreshadowing—yet we're full of our gathering visions. What holds you back? Every minus is a plus that just needs a stroke of vertical awareness. Awake, ask what you do want to harvest into your life? Find the courage to move forward into action. Science and love, the two most powerful poles of humanity have been fiercely separated. The truth is, we're all connected; the greatest disability is, we don't believe this. Believe it. Practice powerful participation in the great circus of life. Find balance on the wild trapeze. 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

The Goddess Brigid’s Shrine - approaching completion

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Equinox Light

Our last group ritual here at Temple of the Moon was the Eve of the Equinox this Spring. After people went home with their eggs and pussy willows, I extinguished the candles in the wrought-iron chandelier that (inter alia) illuminates the temple.

In retrospect, I'm not sure why I did that. Generally after a ritual I let the candles burn down, an offering for the holy tide. But this year, for some reason, I didn't. That the Equinox also marked the beginning of the Great Covid Lockdown here in Minnesota may have had something to do with it.

Since then, the half-burnt candles have stood unlit in the chandelier. The offerings that take place twice daily in the temple don't require so much light, and through the Season of Light our group rites have unfolded outdoors.

But now comes the Other Evenday, the Waning Equinox, with no immediate prospect of indoor gathering through the Winter to come.

I ask myself: should I leave the half-burned candles until they can once again light our next indoor rite together?

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I like the circular symbolism, but I prefer a light in the darkness. Yes, I know that's a reference to The Rocky Horror Picture s

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
A Different Kind of Near Death Experience

When one hears the phrase "near death experience" most people think of an awesome spiritual experience in which one sees light or their god or ancestors. That's an experience very few people have. But almost everyone will have to deal with death sometime, their own or their loved ones'. The common way to be near death is to know a loved one is dying and to be trying to handle their affairs and set everything up for them to succeed at being a newly dead person. One succeeds at being a dead person by having one's cremation or burial, funeral and / or wake set up in advance. One of the major goals of a funeral is to provide the rites that help a dead person cross. If the dying person and the person doing the arrangements and the person handling the funeral are all the same religion it makes things a lot easier, but for many pagans and heathens this will not be the case.

There are things the dying person can do in advance, years in advance, to prepare for death. Among those things is to speak to one's patron deity or ancestors about where one is going and how to get there. There are also things one can do for another before the person actually dies. Most of those things will be mundane things in the mundane world, but one can also send blessings, even to someone one can no longer visit in person.

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