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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 Culture Blogs
Gardenia Goddess Glow Spell

Tantra, a greatly overused and gravely misunderstood term, comes from the Sanskrit meaning “Ritual, Meditation, and Discipline.” It involves a form of mutual worship of the Godhead (lingam) and the Goddesshead (yoni), in which divinity is achieved through simultaneous erotic and emotional union. This exquisite approach to deepening the love between you and your partner requires you to share mutually held intentions.

At the nearest greenhouse or floral show, buy as many gardenias as your purse will allow. Ten or twenty of these heavenly flowers will fill your bower with a sweet, seductive air. Place some of the flowers in crystal-clear bowls of water and some in a warm footbath, and scatter some petals in your bed. Undress and light a single gardenia-scented candle at the head of the bed. Crush some of the petals and rub them into your skin and hair, then chant this love spell:

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Robin Goodfellow Tea

Historians tell us that the concept of the Witch's Sabbat as revolutionary counter-worship arose at a particular time in a particular place: to whit, the Western Alps in the early 15th century. Of necessity one asks: why there, and why then?

The answer, my friend, is love.

 

This is the story of the love between a god and his people.

Listen, now.

In the darkest days of our persecution, the Horned heard our cries and looked with ruth—compassion—upon the sorrows of his people.

(So it was in ancient days, when he brought us the Fire from Heaven.)

For love of us, he gave us a gift, that we might have the soul-strength to endure: a love-gift to lift our burdens, even for a little, that we might know freedom in the midst of bondage, a foretaste of the joy that shall someday be ours.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Passion Potion: Tea for Two

A tea of mandrake root, when mixed with the sweat of a lover, can be sprinkled around the bedroom to heighten ecstasy if accompanied by this chant:

Brew of mandrake, brew of desire,

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

I was recently astounded to read in Richard Rudgley's 2018 book The Return of Odin that

Today in both American and British pagan circles, practitioners generally divide themselves into three basic groups: Wiccans; Druids, and those who follow some kind of Celtic religion; and Heathens, those who follow Germanic and Norse traditions [231].

Admittedly, the book was originally published in 2006; maybe things were simpler in those days.

Still, if I knew Rudgley well enough to tease him, or if I weren't a Midwesterner, and hence constitutionally incapable of public rudeness, I would really have to suggest that maybe, just maybe, he needs to get out a bit more often.

I don't know about Britain—although I have my doubts—but here in the US, I can assure you from personal experience that pagans come in lots more flavors than Wiccan, Celtic, or Germanic.

Lots more.

So I can't help but find it a jest for the gods that, in fact, I can recognize something of myself in all three of Rudgley's categories.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Vedas - Wikipedia

On the Training of Young Warriors

 

The words of Kris Kershaw:

[I]n a highly structured and successful warrior society, like that of the Masai of even fifty years ago, the training was long and rigorous....Typically, for a good part of the period the boy lived in the forest like the beasts of the forest; he became a hardy and crafty hunter and fighter. But that was only part of becoming a man of his people. As a family man and citizen he would have to know the correct prayers and cultic practices, as well as the history of his tribe [25].

He adds:

Among pre-literate peoples, all important information, and especially anything that must be learned by heart, is in verse; the verse form acts as a mnemonic device, and at the same time, the subject matter is lifted out of the domain of the everyday. All the lore that the young...warrior had to absorb during the period of training in the Jungmanschaft was in verse; this would include the history of his people, hymns to the gods and stories about them, as well as general information on how to get along in life in a dangerous and often puzzling world [77].

He concludes:

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
U.S. Presidential Debate Debacle

Short answer: the two-party machine and the media that supports (and is owned) by it.

The United States’ corrupt two-party system ushers in rich candidates to nomination (getting name on state ballots is expensive) and derails fresh voices.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

The Crown Jewels | Tower of London ...

 

We're American pagans. We live in a democracy, and think democratically.

(For the time being, at least. If we want to keep it that way, we'd bloody well better get our pagan butts out there in November and vote.)

So what's with all the aristocratic/monarchic language—lords, ladies, kings, queens—when we talk about the gods? Having dumped the institutions, why do we retain the language, and wouldn't it be better to replace it with something more in keeping with our own politics instead?

In my more than 50 years in the pagan community, I've heard these questions raised any number of times, and acknowledge their validity.

Experientially speaking, though, I find that this nobility-speak terminology doesn't really bother me. Why not?

Well, for one, I live in a democracy. (Note above-cited caveat.) That monarchy and aristocracy can be profoundly oppressive of yeomanry like yours truly, I have no doubt whatsoever—to quote my friend Volkhvy, if there's any noble blood in my family, it's only because a horse outruns someone on foot—but I also have no personal experience of it. I've never been in a situation where the laird and his hunt ruin my crop by riding through it, or his son rapes my daughter, and I have no recourse to the law because the laird is the law. Thank the gods.) Precisely because I'm American, kings and queens, lords and ladies have, in a sense, lost their political reality and become metaphors of status and power.

(That the gods are bigger and more powerful than I am, I readily acknowledge.)

Add to this the fact that nobility language has become so ingrained in religion, both Western and Eastern, that it seems perfectly natural to speak this way in religious situations. The elevated and the archaic have characterized religious language for as long as we have record of religious language. So I find no fault with these metaphors, social fossils that they are, on this account, either.

To this, I'll add a third argument, a pragmatic one. When I hear objections raised to “lord” and “queen,” my very practical response must be: okay, so what do we have to put in its place? Better the imperfect metaphor that we have, than the perfect one that we don't.

Obviously, our political institutions have nothing to offer here, precisely because of their essentially egalitarian nature. Speaking of the gods as presidents or senators evokes nothing but laughter.

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