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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 SageWoman Blogs
Seasons of bare earth

Exposing the soil is, in temperate climates, something people do when farming or gardening. Drier lands that do not support many plants can have much barer earth.  Mountains and deserts can be something else again. I’ve seen small islands where the winter grazing of birds will take out all vegetation and bare the ground. There are all kinds of possible seasonal variations that might expose the soil. Where and when and why this happens is well worth a thought.

Left to its own devices, England is a green sort of place and manages this most of the year round. We lose the leaves from the trees in the winter, but not the green from the fields. Even in the hottest summers, we stay green rather than fading to the yellows and browns of hotter climates. If we don’t dig the soil, then the soil seldom stays bare for long.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Hearken to the Witches' Runes

We can be virtually certain that the Hwicce, the Anglo-Saxon tribe said (by some) to have given its name and lore to historic witchcraft, knew and used the runes.

They, of course, would have named them in the Mercian dialect of Old English, the language that they spoke every day. It is worth asking what those names might have become had the runes remained in continuous use into our day.

Certainly they would have modernized along with the rest of the language; many of the Anglo-Saxon rune-names have remained part of the living language and are entirely recognizable today. We would expect the names to have retained a certain amount of archaic vocabulary, and also to reflect a certain degree of semantic and phonetic “drift” as well: i.e. to include words whose meanings have changed over the centuries, and whose pronunciations no longer reflect those of Old English.

Since some of my family come from the old Hwiccan tribal territories, I figure I have as much right to the runes as anybody. My entirely personal decision to base this version on the Elder, rather than the Anglo-Saxon, furthorc may offend some rune purists. Oh, well. In my experience (I wrestle with it myself), purism is usually its own punishment.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
30 Days of Frey: Sacrifice

noun

An act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to God or to a divine or supernatural figure: they offer sacrifices to the spirits the ancient laws of animal sacrifice

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_DorrieJoy-Melody_20150729-005855_1.jpg

SHE Belly Laughs . . . .
What bleeds and yet is not wounded?
What is fed upon and yet is not devoured?
What carries a room that all leave
but none can enter?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Renouncing Baptism

 “In Latgalia [a region of Latvia] they say, 'Oh, as soon as the missionaries left, we all just jumped in the river and washed it off, anyway.'” (Sean McLaughlin)

It's the first of the traditional Three Questions asked by the Horned at an initiation (and later repeated during the Renewal of Vows):

Do you renounce the waters of baptism?

Old Craft initiations are very different from Wiccan ones. They're not secret at all. Those who wish to take the Oath must first know the Oath. How can you swear to something that you haven't had the chance to think through thoroughly? You need to know what you're letting yourself in for. One cannot join the Tribe of Witches all unwitting.

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Posted by on in Signs & Portents
The First Harvest of the Year

Welcome brethren, to the annual celebration of the growing season’s end and the harvest season’s beginning! Although perhaps not as widely known or celebrated as Samhain or Beltaine, Lughnasadh (also known as Lammas), remains an important component of the wheel of the year and an integral part of the annual sabbats, commemorating the point at which summer begins to transition to autumn.

As always, we’ve brought out a collection of content we thought would be of interest to all of you who follow us, some from Witches&Pagans, some from elsewhere. We hope you’ll enjoy!

-Aryós Héngwis

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Teachings of the Lion (for Cecil)

Known as the King of the Jungle, Lion actually lives on the open African grasslands. Originally, He ranged from the Mediterranean Sea to Asia and south to Africa. Hunted by Romans for their Games, Lion first disappeared from Europe and Asia Minor. As Lion hunting increased, his range shrank to where now Lion lives only in Africa.

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