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 Culture Blogs

 

 

Time: The night of Holy Saturday

Place: A village in rural Greece

 

In the plaza outside the village church, the folklorist waits, along with the gathered villagers, for midnight, when the priest will come to the door and announce the resurrection of Christ.

The folklorist turns to the old, black-shawled yiayia (grandma) standing beside him.

Soon Christ will have risen, he says.

I hope so, she replies earnestly. Otherwise, we'll have no bread to eat this year.

 

Several things strike me about this story, which is a true story or, at least, was told to me as true.

First, the (one gathers, distinct) possibility that this year Christ might not rise.

Second, the conviction that the god's rising, or lack thereof, will affect the health of the crops.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Every Day is Earth Day

"Every day is Earth Day to a Pagan," quipped our recent podcast guest, Amanda Marie Parker, aka Belle Be Damned. The latter moniker is her burlesque stage name in the Houston-based troupe, Bewitched Burlesque. A creative brainchild of Parker and Jessica Anderson of the Thorn and Moon Magical Market, they are now performing socially safe, in-person shows after launching virtually a year ago* in the wake of the pandemic. Parker also performs in Houston with Strange Bird Immersive, which recently a shout-out from The New York Times. Strange Bird Immersive includes Bradley Winkler, who acts with them and also handles some sound design, PR, and marketing. A longtime actor and friend of mine, Bradley and I met in the Boulevard Theatre community here in Milwaukee. He was the one who had the foresight to introduce Amanda and I for a podcast chat.

 What Can We Do?

Amanda has a point about Earth Day that is easy to forget. We should be mindfully living with reverence for Mother Earth each day with gentle and kind intent. If it weren't for her, we wouldn't be here after all! Whether it's keeping up with our recycling, using non-toxic products in our food purchases and lawn care, carpooling, biking, and hoofing it whenever possible, or making a point to clean up trash in our local waterways and parks, there are so many ways we can help. Make no mistake, it's never too late to make a difference and if enough of us do, it can still make enough of an impact to heal some of what we've wreaked over time. We owe it to the young people in our lives that we cherish, as well as the animals, trees, and all of earth's living creatures dependent on her intricate ecosystem.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

Sniper Rifle Cross Hairs Isolated On White Background. Stock Photo, Picture  And Royalty Free Image. Image 5243212.

 

Well, the proverbial journey of a thousand miles begins.

For the last eleven months, Paganistan has been in the cross-hairs of history. Blocks from where I write this, George Floyd died at the hands of then-policeman Derek Chauvin. The coven met that night; we were dancing for the New Moon in the back yard when it happened.

Since then, the attention of the entire world has been focused on this most pagan of neighborhoods, in this most pagan of cities.

For four nights last May and June, this neighborhood burned. For four nights, the arsonists and looters wreaked havoc here while the authorities dithered and did nothing. We were the bride that they threw to the wolves in order to buy themselves time.

Well, the verdict's finally in, and the jury came through.

The wave of relief washing across the city was almost palpable: a collective exhalation of breath held for nearly a year. Now we take up the tools and set to work. There's much to be done, and change comes from the center.

Welcome to the New Paganistan.

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No one owns the gods, but traditions have rules to follow

I'd like to point at the title above and say, "That's it; that's the post." But I know I'm going to have to explain.

No one owns the gods: That means that no one can tell you how to interact with them, how to experience them, what to believe about them. Your spiritual experience is your own, filtered through your psyche as a part of your personal life.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Science Fiction and Spiritual Insight

One of the main draws of science fiction is that it can examine ideas outside of their normal cultural context. Hard sf always starts with a "what if" based on science or engineering, which goes something like "What if we had x technology, and how would that change society?" Softer versions of science fiction are basically just set in the future, though.

When we think of spirituality in sf, we usually think of various types of meditation, such as the Litany Against Fear in Dune or the Vulcan mantra against pain in the original Star Trek, or depictions of religious ritual, such as the rituals and customs of different Newcomer religious sects in Alien Nation, the religions of various aliens in Babylon 5, etc. There are religious elements in sf that are obviously drawn from real world religions, such as the obvious Eastern influences on The Force in Star Wars and the depiction of the world as illusion in The Matrix. 

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Beltane is nearly here, and I think most of us are feeling a certain change in the season- in nature but also in our daily lives, its been a long winter metaphorically and spiritually and we find ourselves emerging into a new time wondering what the future holds. I always take my signs and omens from nature- and at this time the main sign to look for in the UK and Ireland at least, is the hawthorn blossom. This year it is flowering a little later in my garden than other years, but its not far behind where I’d expect. Traditionally it flowers for Beltane ( May 1st) - some folk only celebrate Beltane on the full moon when its in blossom and I like this idea, there’s a lot to be said for astronomical dates for the cross quarter days, but following the organic flow of nature seems to suit me best.

Hawthorn is a tree associated with faeries. Most ‘fairy thorns’ are isolated hawthorn trees, marking ancient places on the land, or where the energy is particularly special- these are favoured places for faeries and can act as access points to the other world, but Hawthorn also has a place in the Irish ogham lore, where it is the 6th letter H for Huath / Uath meaning frightful or horrible. The Ogham alphabet serves as a mnemonic device for a whole host of lore and can be very useful in magic and spiritual training. Hawthorn’s lesson can indeed by frightful. In the texts called the Bríatharogaim ("word oghams") which explain the meaning of each ogham name, Huath the hawthorn is described as  Condál cúan-  ‘pack of wolves, or pack of hounds’,  Ansam aidche - ‘Most difficult night,’ and Bánad gnúisi - ‘Whitening or blanching of the face.’ These point to a time of challenge, of facing our fears or other ordeals- yet hawthorn is also associated with such folkloric figures as the May Queen, (its known as Queen of the May) and connected to ideas of romance and eroticism. The great teaching here is all about undergoing challenges and how if we come through ‘a difficult night’ we may find we know ourselves better, becoming the true of heart, worthy of the May Queen, the sovereignty of the land and our own souls. In this way the hawthorn teaches us about sovereignty, and how that comes from within, through right action with ourselves and others, and how becoming worthy of that divine union with sovereignty means we need the wisdom of the heart most of all- wisdom born from experience and compassion. This isnt fluffy stuff, but it is beautiful, born from hard work, and deep care. It is by this heart’s wisdom, that we gain access to the otherworld and its blessing.

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Dear Boss Warlock:

When I heard about the conviction of killer cop Derek Chauvin, I wanted to dance in the streets and sing “Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead.” As a triumph song, it's hard to beat.

But now I'm wondering: is it OK for witches to sing that song?

Munchkinning in Madison

 

Dear MM:

My friend, you're golden to go, and here's why:

By virtue of the fact that we're insane enough to call ourselves witches, anything with the word “witch” on it ipso facto (as Professor Marvel would say) automatically belongs to us.

So: when it comes to “Ding Dong,” feel free to dance, sing, and ring the bells out. It's our song, and we'll sing if we want to.

To be sure, I would recommend a certain amount of situational editing. Boss Warlock can fondly recall hearing the dulcet strains of “Ding Dong the Nazz Is Dead” ("Which old nazz? the nazzty nazz!") on the streets of Paganistan after the unlamented demise of the late Jerry Falwell,

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, One major thing I can't forgive Falwell for, is his response to 9/11. We Pagans were the first people he blamed. "Y

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