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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Many Mountains

They say that there are many paths to the top of the mountain.

Maybe so.

But in my experience, different paths lead to different places.

Some paths lead to the valley. Some paths lead to the sea.

Yes, some paths do lead to the top of the mountain.

But, of course, there are many mountains.

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The Magic of Pregnancy (or: If You Need Me, I'll Be Throwing Up and Peeing at the Same Time)

Check it out--I'm pregnant with my second daughter! Incidentally, I've been too sick to blog for the past six months. It's worth it in the long run, right?

My first pregnancy was pretty textbook, but this one's been rough. The nausea and fatigue of the first trimester lasted until week 20 or so, at which point my uterus sprouted a new fibroid that sent me to the ER with pain and preterm labor symptoms. Since then, I've been working from home a couple days a week and taking it easy, but my body seems to have skipped over the high-energy period of the second trimester and gone straight to the constant exhaustion of the third trimester.

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Two of our students from the current Per Ankh II course share rituals they created as classwork.

Gratitude Ritual by Selina White

b2ap3_thumbnail_Hathor.jpgThis aim of this ritual is to offer up and give thanks to Hathor for five things you are grateful for on foot of a success/triumph. The number five is used to reflect the myth of the five gifts of Hathor, where a person initiated in the cult of Hathor would be asked to name give things that they were grateful for while looking at the five fingers of their left hand, the left hand being the hand that typically grasped the plentiful crop while the right hand cut and harvested it.

The altar is dressed with lighted candles and any number of items which represent Hathor to the participant, including:
Fresh flowers;
A necklace or piece of turquoise;
Sweet cake;
A horn;
Sycamore leaves;
A mirror;
etc.

Opening invocation:
“Hrt-Hrw, of the domain of Horus, Heset, wet-nurse to the gods
Nurturing mother, mistress of song and dance, of celebration and gratitude, bringer of life and comforter in death, I offer to you in gratitude all that you have lovingly bestowed unto me”

Raise the item of gratitude above your head, imagining your arms to be the horns of plenty of Hathor, the item being embraced within them.

For non-physical items you are grateful for, use a symbolic object or visualise the item over your head being embraced by the your arms, being the horns of Hathor.

With the item raised above your head, say:
I offer to you, Hrt-Hrw, Goddess of Love and Abundance, [name the item], may it serve and benefit me in accordance with your will and in ultimate service to humanity.

Place the item on or near the altar and place your left hand over it for a few moments, while ringing the sistrum.

Repeat this for the remaining four items.

Closing invocation:
May these offerings of gratitude please you, Hrt-Hrw, Lady of the Stars and Lady of the West. I ask you to bestow upon me abundant life, happiness and prosperity. May each day find me grateful to you for your five gifts and help me realise that if I should lose one, that there will always come another in time, flowing from your infinite divine nourishment.

Ring sistrum a number of times. End the ritual with a celebratory meal of bread/milk/wine/honey with song and dance.

Morning Devotion to Ra - by John Scruggs

b2ap3_thumbnail_Tutankhamun_Falcon1_retouched.jpgOn the altar is a scarab, a votive candle, a stand to hold the clothing made for Ra.
The ritual takes place just before sunrise - or upon rising.
The ritual begins with making an origami kimono which will be used as a dressing for the altar.

Embodying Ra speak:
Ra, mighty one who on his barque sails with the sun across they sky, we welcome you home from your night’s journey. We beseech thee to rise so that light may shine on the land and bless crops and villagers alike. That all may grow and prosper in the light of your day.

Water is sprinked on the altar and on ourselves. Embodying Ra speak:
We bath thee Ra in the water of life as the Nile that by thy grace floods and creates ground for food.

The kimono is placed on the stand.  Embodying Ra speak:
Ra, we dress the for day’s journey ahead to sit upon thy thrown on the barque of life. We adorn thee in regal vestments befitting the one who brings light and life to the land.

An offering of food is placed in front of the “dressed” Ra.  Embodying Ra speak:
We offer thee food, oh most blessed Ra, to nourish thee on thy journey across the sky even as you nourish the land with thy light.

Embodying Ra speak:
Ra, arise and shine, carry our hearts with you even as your carry our lives with you into the day.

The votive candle is lit as the sun rises.  Embodying Ra speak:
Mighty Ra, even as you rise the scarab curls up before you. We welcome you and travel with you on your journey across the sky and partake of the life it brings to our land. Let the light be nourishing, but not burning. Illuminating but not blinding. Gui ding but not forcing. With you, we recreate. So be it. It is done.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

 

Every year it surprises me. Saskatchewan winters are long and hard, beginning in November and not really done until well into April. That's a lot of snow and cold, grey skies and skeletal trees. Toward the end, the snow melts away and the ice releases its grip on the lake, but things still feel dead ... muddy and spent.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Bealtaine In Bloom

Just in perfect timing for Bealtaine cross-quarter day, on our bank holiday weekend here in Ireland, the hawthorn blossomed in all its blushing beauty. I was over at Newgrange for Wise Woman Ireland Weekend. Walking along the lane that leads to the Brú, the air was heady and heavy with the blossom's scent.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Newgrange.jpg

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Devil's Cross

Did you ever wonder why the Devil carries a pitchfork?

Give a quick eye-over to any book of medieval art, and you'll soon know why.

In Hell, it seems like every devil has some sort of tool of torture in hand: meat-hooks are common.

The Afterlife as torture-chamber. Yikes.

The creators of modern Witchery made clever, and creative, use of their sources. Wicca's Fivefold Kiss (“What is the five that is eight?”) originated as the Trial Era's osculum infame. (In plain English, that's “kissing the Devil's bunghole.”)

The witch's ability to “draw down the Moon” originally referred to her unholy power, not to embody a goddess, but to disrupt the course of nature.

Likewise with the Devil's pitchfork. In Old Craft, it became the symbol, and sometimes the embodiment, of the Horned God.

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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, May 26 2017

Taoism finds an unexpected appeal among young people. A look at the revolutionary spirit of Sikhism. And how a Muslim victim of abuse is making her voice heard. It's Faithful Friday, our news segment about faiths and religious communities around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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