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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 Lot Detail - Blatz Beer Flat Top 39-3

Like most tribal elders, I worry about my people. Is there a future for pagans?

In a group of, say, 50 pagans, one could make a case that, arguably, there are actually 50 different religions represented. How can so fragmented (not to mention self-obsessed) a group possibly have a future together? How can we possibly achieve anything lasting?

Well, something that I heard at a workshop at Paganicon 2024 gives me hope.

 

Hero Tales

His great-grandfather was a drunk.

He had recently moved back to the old family farm, land in-taken by said great-grandfather. According to family tradition, the old man had liked his booze, and then some.

So at Samhain, he'd take down the treasured bottle of 40-year old Scotch from the shelf and pour a dram or two for his ancestor-in-the-land.

After a year or two of this, one Samhain night, great-grandpa himself turns up in a dream and slaps him up side the head.

“What's this shit?” he says. “I want Blatz!”

(Blatz is a local beer that could charitably be described as a “beer-drinker's beer.”)

The man who told this story on himself was a respected local elder, founder of one of our regional pagan land sanctuaries.* When he told his tale, my heart leapt up and I thought: Ye gods, maybe there's hope for us after all.

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A New Spring Beginning

The Spring Equinox/Ostara is all about new beginnings and resetting our internal clocks. Now is the time for forging new paths, trying new things, tackling new projects, perhaps even starting a new career. With bold, energetic Aries on our side on the same day, this makes it the ideal time for any and all of these endeavors. The sun in Aries can help us tap into newfound courage and bravery to undertake things that we might normally shy away from. We all could use a little extra hope and hutzpah right now, so tune into this and utilize it to your benefit.

Spring Things To Do

Besides setting out some pretty yellow fresh daffodils on your altar, and hard-boiling some eggs to peel and eat contemplatively, think of other activities you could partake in that would speak of spring to you. Nature hikes are always great, no matter what the weather happens to be up to. Just remember some good hiking boots or shoes you don’t mind getting muddy, as things tend to be wet this time of year, no matter where you reside! Spring cleaning and clearing the clutter from our closets and our minds is never a  bad endeavor, and clean slates restore peace and calm on both fronts. Speaking of which, I really need to get on this work desk area organizing project I’ve had on the backburner for far too long.

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Saturn-Day Soul Tribe Gathering

It is very important to gather your soul tribe and just celebrate each other from time to time. Here is a pagan ritual I have performed on weekends—I call it “Saturn-day night fever.” Over the years, I have added many embellishments, such as astrological or holiday themes. The basic ritual of cakes and ale, however, is a timeless and powerful classic.

Gather a group of friends either outdoors under the moon or in a room large enough for dancing, drumming, and singing. Have the guests bring a cake of their choice as well as a cider, mead, beer, or juice to share. (Note that the cake can be of any style, so it does not have to be an iced sheet cake; banana bread, Irish soda bread, or a braided honey bread will do just as well.) Place the offerings in the center, on an altar table. Then light green and brown candles for home and hearth.

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 80+ Driftless Area Photos Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images -  iStock

The rite is complete. I turn to bestow the final blessing, and see something that I have never seen before in ritual: people preparing themselves to receive the blessing that I am about to pronounce.

Some bow their heads and lower their eyes. Some pull themselves up straight. Some brace to receive, as if I'm about to throw something at them. I suppose that, in a sense, I am.

The trust, and strength, of this so-willing self-opening moves me deeply, and calls forth a corresponding tenderness within me.

A tear courses down my cheek. I raise my arms and pronounce the final words.

Around us, the horns of sunset blow.

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Panel on Paganism at American Academy of Religion

This weekend I was a panelist at the American Academy of Religion conference at UNLV on “History of Mystery: Pagans in Las Vegas,” organized by Prof. Candace Kant. The panel included representatives from various pagan traditions. I represented Asatru.

My fellow panelists included BJ Rogers of the ADF (Druid) Larrea Tridentata Grove, Edmond Costello of Sanctuary of Solace (an all-inclusive Goddess community,) Abbi McBride of Vegas Vortex, and Rev. Areeya Marie Sharpe of Desert Moon Circle and Temple of Goddess Spirituality (Sekhmet Temple.) Marissa d’Aradia of Sin City Witches was slated to be on the panel but couldn’t make it. I had met most of the other panelists before, either at Pagan Pride Day events or at Sin City Witches events.

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Revealing the True Self: A Group Mask-Making Ritual

The elements needed for this ritual include:

• Posterboard, newspaper, water, and white flour to make a plaster-like paste, paint, glitter, feathers, sequins, colored markers, and sticks at least twelve inches long

...
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 Why are earliest sunrises a week or more before summer solstice? | Fox  Weather

 Paganicon 2024

 

Gathering

(7:15 a.m.; sunrise 7:25)

People gather outside Ballroom A (Scandinavian Ballroom).

Welcome (priest)

 

Horns blow

 

Procession
People proceed outdoors, led by:

Stang

Libation bearers

Priest

People

People assemble, facing East.

 

Sunrise

As the first limb of the Sun touches the horizon, horns blow.

People pray, pour libations.

As the Sun clears the horizon, horns blow again.

 

Song: Turn to the East (all)

 

Lift thine eyes, behold the light:

turn to the East, where dawns the day.

Hope and love, forever bright,

guide and protect us on our way.

 

Hail the Sun's rays, shining bright

after Winter's long, dark night.

Lift up thy voice, with praises ringing;

turn to the East, where dawns the day.

 

Blessing and Dismissal

 

Priest

(Turns to face people)

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