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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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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
A Valentine for Your God

A Valentine for Your God (Written together with A.D. Kent)

"The whole thing is to love God
and to taste His sweetness.
He is sweetness and the devotee is its enjoyer.
The devotee drinks the sweet Bliss of God.
God is the lotus and the devotee the bee.
The devotee sips the honey of the lotus.

As a devotee cannot live without God,
so also God cannot live without His devotee.
Then the devotee becomes the sweetness,
and God its enjoyer.
The devotee becomes the lotus, and God the bee.
It is the Godhead that has become these two
in order to enjoy Its own Bliss."

—  Sri Ramakrishna, "The Sacred Jewels of Yoga"


St.Valentine's Day!
Ahh, it's the Secular Day of Love made popular by greeting card companies-- and the Feast of Saint Valentine, which has more significance if you're Catholic. Most people get through not having the traditional secular day of love “valentine” by ignoring the public displays of affection or out and out having an “anti-valentine” of some kind. Ie ask why expend that energy being negative? There's enough negative energy in the world already. If you have no other valentine you may do a variety of loving things for yourself-- or in devotion for your God. That's really what I want to talk about.

Divine Love. Love of the Divine. Bhakti.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhakti

There's the wikipage on it, so wiki away if need be, and then come back. If not then good, you're just that much ahead. The important thing is Love is an experience that grows-- sometimes faster, sometimes slower, depending on how you nurture it. If you even WANT to love your Goddess or God deeply, then probably you are already on the way of growing that love.

“Teach me how to love you”, “Let me love you more and more every day”.
These are absolutely legit wishes for you to present your deity and no one is pushed into that type of relationship with a deity-- (consent is a very big thing. A powerful thing.) If you want it, just ask for it. (If you don't, please make that clear too) Just ask for it in a prayer. Ask the deity to help you to “grow more in love” with them, and if that feeling between you is mutual, They will definitely help! You may notice the changes coming into your life, emotions and feelings that burst forth. These small changes will build into a sense of renewal and well-being.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

S p i d e r w o m a n   T h e a t e r! b2ap3_thumbnail_NewTribeLadies.jpg

Spiderwoman Theater is the country’s longest running women’s performance group, founded in 1976 by Muriel Miguel in conjunction with Miguel's sisters, Lisa Mayo and Gloria Miguel. The three Native American sisters are of Rappahannock and Kuna heritage.  The theater troupe can be reached at info@spiderwomantheater.org.b2ap3_thumbnail_spider_LogoSideBar-300x223.png

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Wanted: A Non-Monotheist on the Bench

Scalia was dead: to begin with.

There is no doubt whatever about that.

Left sitting: a Supreme Court made up of five Catholics and three Jews.

The lack of religious diversity in the nation's highest court is disgraceful.

Deists aside, there has never yet been a Supreme Court justice from a non-Abrahamic tradition.

There has never yet been a Hindu on the bench. Or a Buddhist. Much less a Pagan.

Well, maybe it's time that there was.

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The Five-Petaled Primrose: A Magic Charm by Robert Graves

Poet and novelist Robert Graves (1895-1985), author of The White Goddess, generally eschewed magical practice.

I am no mystic, he wrote in 1960, I avoid participation in witchcraft, spiritualism, yoga, fortune-telling, automatic writing, and the like (Graves 1966, 488).

But we know that at least once, when asked for a magic charm, he complied, with interesting results.

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We may not be able to agree what "pagan" means, or even if that's really the label we prefer- Heathen, Witch, Polytheist, Occultist etc. But one experience many of us have in common is facing some degree of social prejudice and the question of how "out" to be.  At the end of day, regardless of your practices, theology or identity, Paganism can be That Religious Category By Which we are lumped and stigmatized.

Often when we speak or write to teenagers inquiring about religious and magical practice, we advice them to wait until they move out of their parents' house. For many young people with disabilities independent living is  out of reach. And for older Pagans who may lose some degree of independence, getting help from aides, relatives or moving into a senior home may mean going back into the broom closet. I have been quite fortunate- my parents were quite accepting both of me being bisexual and Pagan, and I've had to continue to rely on them or my partner to varying degrees financially without having to hide who I am. The mental health professionals that I work with, when I have broached the subject of my sexuality or religion, have also been accepting. (It doesn't hurt that two of them were also Unitarian Universalists!)

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Lupercalia Valentine

"When in Rome, do as the Romans do." Well wherever you may presently be, I suggest mimicking the pre-Romans with a Lupercalia Valentine's Party. Who couldn't use a little extra debauchery to get through this dreariest of winter doldrums. First off, everybody has to wear something sexy to gain entry (see what I did there). Since everyone has a different definition of that, anything goes. Lady Gaga to S&M bondage gear, cute Furry to 80's neon spandex – it should all be good fun.

There must be lot of wine flowing and succulent finger foods to eat. Feed each other bunches of grapes. Citrus fruits, chocolates, smoked salmon, pizza, venison summer sausage, and olives should all be present and accounted for. Heck, if you're feeling ambitious, grill up a few turkey legs. To me anyway, there's nothing more hedonistic-looking than people chowing down on a big old turkey leg in hand. Encourage your guests to bring additional bottles of vino and several decadent desserts.

The music needs to be lively and loud. This will cause people to talk louder to converse, and ultimately lead to laughter and automatically up the ante of your party. If you can bring in some extra lounging chairs to recline in while you dine, all the better for authenticity. Break out the Twister, if you have some game guests – it's the safe version of an orgy. Form relay teams and pass the orange from neck to neck. If that doesn't break the ice, you're on your own peeps.

Wrap things up with some cappuccino, aspirin, and apple cider vinegar diluted water as needed. Ideally, hold your party when you can have a a super lazy day off to follow. Salute!

GRILLED TURKEY DRUMSTICKS
(recipe from http://www.primalpalate.com)
If you've never tried grilling turkey drumsticks, you're missing out! These big, juicy cuts are perfect for grilling. Keep the flame low, and these babies will come out perfectly tender with a nice crisp skin.
Serves: 2
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
2-pound turkey leg, 2 drumsticks
3 tablespoons red palm oil
    Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
    Mix together cumin, garlic powder, cayenne, sea salt and pepper in a small bowl.
    Rub drumsticks with seasonings.
    Sear drumsticks on the grill for approximately 3 minutes per quarter turn.
    After searing all sides, move drumsticks to a part of the grill where they can cook by indirect heat.
    Cook drumsticks via indirect heat for an additional 50–60 minutes.
    The grill temperature during this time should read around 300°F.
    Turn drumsticks 1/4 turn every 10 minutes until they have reached an internal temperature of 180°F.
    Baste drumsticks with red palm oil toward the end of their cook time, about the last 20 minutes or so.
    Reapply as necessary.

Notes:
This recipe uses an indirect cooking technique on the grill. If you have a gas grill, turn one burner off and leave the remaining burners lit at medium heat. Place the drumsticks over the burner that has been shut off. If you have a charcoal grill, move the drumsticks to the coolest spot on the grill or raise the rack. The objective is to slowly cook the turkey so that it does not burn or dry out.

Photo by radnatt at freedigitalphotos.net

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The Parentalia: Honoring the Ancestors and Beloved Dead

It is bedtime. My daughter and I are cuddled up, and it is story time. This is our nightly ritual. Some nights, when she's not so tired, we read myths. She is nearly 4, and her attention span is not that of an adults, so most nights we read about My Little Pony or Olivia like your normal family.

Tonight, though, she brings me Neil Gaiman's Blueberry Girl. There was a point where I couldn't read through it without crying, and I'm secretly thankful that I've steeled myself slightly to the beautiful prayer the author wrote for his daughter.

Within the first few pages, my daughter grabs my hand to still it, and looks a long time at the picture of beautifully aged women looking lovingly over a wandering, wondrous girl. She asks, “Are they the Ancestors?”

I'm suddenly tearing up anyway. This time my eyes are welling up with pride. She's connected it. She's starting to understand the nature of Ancestors – That They watch over us.

Until this point, I've avoided using anything but English words for the Gods (which for a Roman polytheist can include at least some of the Ancestors), but on this night I kiss the top of her head and say with pride and delight, “Yes, these are special Ancestors. We call Them the Matronae. They are the Big Mothers who look after us and make sure we have a good life.”

“Matronae,” she says, turning the R into a W. It's adorable. It's amazing to hear the word on the lips of the young, fae-like creature my entire world has come to revolve around. It means even more as I slowly write a book about the Matronae of the Missouri River.

My daughter gets it. She understands.

Maybe I'm not failing as a parent as much as I thought.

“It's Parentalia,” I remind her. “This is a time for the Ancestors.”

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