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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

b2ap3_thumbnail_11-25-10catnecklacegrove059-2.jpgMost of the Vanatruar I know, myself included, are not reconstructionists - each of us seems to have our own idiosyncratic way of relating to the Powers, much like bio-regions differ from region to region, the Vanic path will vary from person to person.  I do not believe that reconstructionism is superior, nor do I believe that modernism is superior: in Vanatru, there is no one true way of doing things, we recognize that diversity is organic and natural, responding to the needs of different situations and relationships. With that caveat...

One of the questions I am often asked is "where do I start? how do I begin?"  If you are new to Vanatru, you may feel overwhelmed by the very do-it-yourself approach found among much of Vanatruar.  Sometimes people need a point in some direction, even if they choose later on to do things differently.  In my book Visions of Vanaheim (paperback | PDF), I look at some older practices connected with the Vanic cultus - such as the wain processions of Frey and Nerthus - and how one might adapt these practices for the modern day.  One of the rites of the elder Heathen that we know about is a ritual called blót.  This word means "blood", and is a sacrificial rite, usually of a farm animal where at least some of it would be cooked and eaten by the attendants.  In the 21st century, most of us do not make blood sacrifices to the gods (please note: I do not want to get into a debate here about blood sacrifice, that is not what my post is about) - it is commonplace to substitute an alcoholic beverage such as mead, or a non-alcoholic beverage such as cider or goat's milk. 

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I was skeptical about American Horror Story: Freak Show. The first two seasons of AHS were riveting, but the franchise seemed to lose its luster during the third season. I felt that AHS: Coven was a convoluted mess of limp storylines and uninteresting characters that couldn’t seem to decide if it wanted to be a gritty thriller or a witchy cross between Frankenstein and Mean Girls. Freak Show had promise, but I was worried about it as the fall season started.

Freak Show

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Moments that Matter

The moments that really matter, are the ones where our hearts change. I recently heard a former lawyer involved in fighting racism saying that she had been trained to think you can’t change people’s hearts, so you’d better focus on changing the laws. Once she started working with Theory U, she discovered that in fact you can change people’s hearts, and those are the moments that really matter. The moment our heart changes, that will have a long lasting imprint on our lives- and those around us.

For me this gave words to what has been happening in my trainings. There have been so many of those! I challenged myself to remember them, and start writing about them. The most powerful of all was definitely the one with.. my dog!

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Why Witches Keep Cats: A Folktale of the Latter-Day Dobunni

They say that long ago, before things were as they are today, the Moon fell in love with her brother.

She tried everything she could think of to get into his bed, but he was having none of it. Only Cat shared his bed, no one else.

So Moon goes to Cat one day and says: Cat, trade shapes with me.

And Cat, being Cat, says: What's in it for me?

Says Moon: Someday I shall bear a great many children, and my children will always make a place for you at their hearths.

And Cat, being Cat, says: What else?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Witches' Christmas

They call it "Jewish Christmas": Chinese food and a movie.

I suppose, then, that Witches' Christmas would be Indian food and a movie.

I don't know what it is about witches and Indian, but there sure does seem to be something. No doubt there are individual Jews who don't do Chinese (overexposure as children, probably), and doubtless there are witches out there who don't relish alu gobi.

But bring some palak panir to your next coven potluck and then tell me I'm wrong.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    1835 Central Ave NE. If you mean the "Holy Land" bakery/deli/butcher's/ grocery, yes, that's it. Best Middle Eastern grocery in to
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    My favorite Indian grocery in town is Little India on Central Avenue. They have everything. Miles, any chance you're going to be
  • Miles Gerhardson
    Miles Gerhardson says #
    I am hoping to wrangle the $$...Is Little India...by that Jerusalem "complex"?...U going to Paganicon?
  • Miles Gerhardson
    Miles Gerhardson says #
    Where do you do your shopping for ingredients? I live in Minneapolis...and would appreciate the "hook-up"..not wanting to "run all

 

One of the first things the new Republican majority has done in Congress is to escalate the battle against legal abortion.  Republicans have long been seeking the world’s most restrictive law on abortion. Today, in the midst of what most people would regard as far more pressing issues, Republican leadership is seeking to further restrict women’s access in ways that ultimately alienated even many Republican women members of Congress  The reasons for their fanaticism go deeper than the reasons anti-women’s rights groups give for opposing abortion.  They go to the root of who they are.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Thank you. There will be one more, a shorter piece about spirits that want to be born and are stymied by an abortion. This is an i
  • Bill Bittner
    Bill Bittner says #
    Very thoughtful, reasoned and logical. Great post.
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. diZerega, I got your book for Christmas...looking forward to reading it! Great post.
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Thank you Jamie. I hope you like it.
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    I think we are talking a little past one another. The Enlightenment was itself pretty patriarchal, but initiated a style of reason

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
What's Remembered, Lives

“There are things,” my Grandma Winnie would say, “better left forgotten.”  That was always her response to questions about her life.  So, for many years all I really knew about her was what we lived together in the tiny mountain community of French Gulch.  When she died in the early 1990’s in her early 90s, my father and I cleaned out the shack where she had lived with my Grandpa Russell.  I came away with a bit more information about who she was from my father’s stories of her.  We sorted through a box of photos, and my dad did his best to identify the images as I wrote on the backs.  Then he showed me a letter, typed in 1911 in San Francisco.  The letterhead was from The California Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.  “There are things,” I heard my Grandma Winnie say in my head, “better left forgotten.”

 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    I too have been journeying with my ancestors in recent weeks. It is amazing how it feels like I (like you) am being transformed fr
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thanks Carol, it's good to know we have companions on this journey of healing for the past. Blessings on your Annie, Anna, Irene,

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