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 Paths Blogs
A Mother's Love, Minoan Style

Whenever I check on my blog statistics, I always find that the post I wrote about topless Minoan women is the number one in terms of hits. The female breast is such a source of titillation (ha!) in modern society, it's hard to wrap our minds around the idea that exposed breasts might have represented something other than sexual innuendo to the ancient Minoans. But we're pretty sure they did.

In addition to the frescoes and figurines that show women with exposed breasts, Minoan art also includes quite a few representations of animals suckling their young. The image at the top of this blog is a drawing of a faience plaque found at Knossos. It shows a mama goat suckling a kid. There's a similar plaque with a cow and her calf. Images of mother animals suckling their young - cattle, goats, sheep, even deer - appear on a number of Minoan seals.

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The Winter Holidays have arrived and the new year is less than a month away. For people who would rather skip them because of heart-aching estrangement from biological kin, I dedicate this Blog to you!

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
In Defense of a Missionizing Paganism

 

 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
My New Asatru Book Has a Preorder Link!

Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path is the updated, longer version of my out-of-print book Asatru For Beginners. It's scheduled to be published next summer. It now has a preorder link for both Kindle and paperback editions.

New and improved! Now with more gods!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
In the Castle of the Holly King

Nou Is Yole Comen: A 15th-Century Yule Carol

 

The “secular” carol is no new thing. Most of the oldest surviving Yule carols are thoroughly non-religious, describing the earthy joys of the season with little (if any) religious content.

What follows is a 15th-century English carol, set to music by Early Musicologist Shira Kammen on her stunning 2003 album The Castle of the Holly King: Secular Songs for the Yuletide. For those of you who didn't happen to grow up speaking Middle English, a modern English rendering follows.

Note that personifying holidays as guests who come to visit is an ancient Indo-European poetic trope with its roots in deepest antiquity. Note also the playful AAAB rhyme-scheme, and that the poet uses only two rhymes through the entire song. That's a pretty bravura performance.

 

Nou is Yole Comen

 

Hay, ay, ay, ay:

make we merry as we may.

 

Nou is Yole comen with gentil chere,

of mirth and gomen he has no pere;

in every londe where he comes nere

is merthe and gomen, I dar wele say.

 

Now is comen a messingere

of your lorde, Ser NuYere—

biddes us all be merie here

and make as merie as we may.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Chris Sherbak
    Chris Sherbak says #
    Excellent pointer! I still cherish my 'Pro Dea' Winter Solstice songbook you all published so many years ago.

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The Old Antlered One

I am a product of the land I am from. If you were to cut me open you’d find that my bones are made from her compacted soil, my lungs carry her air and her rain and thunder still flow in my blood.

For as long as I can remember the land and I have engaged in deep conversation. Not a conversation of words, a conversation of sensation, the brush of a crow’s wing, the power of a threshold, the invitation to rest by a familiar tree trunk. All these things developed over the years deepening through visions alongside burying relatives into the same sacred soil.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Mementos of Friends

I took the red and white baking dish out of the drawer under the oven and set it on the counter. An image of the person who had given it to me rose in my mind, and I sighed. We had been friends for many years. Now however she had joined the angels that she so often spoke of. Her faith was strong and she shared it on occasion though not intrusively. A colorful character, she was always fun to see and over the years she had given me other gifts I cherished.

As I reached to put on my earrings, I opened a small trinket box and fished around for a tiny plastic "ear nut." I keep a lot of them in it, ready to make sure I don't lose a precious earring. The pretty little box with a woman on the lid was another gift from a special friend and I think of her always when I open it to get one. There is a pair of cute stretchy pants in my drawer, a present from a friend who has moved away, so I don't see her any longer. I am happy to have this reminder of her and of our friendship.

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