PaganSquare


PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Recent blog posts

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Witches Have Always Been Different

Even back in pagan days, witches were different.

They lived in cities and ran things, like government and armies.

We lived in the sticks and tried to raise enough to get us through the winter.

They worshiped Younger Gods, the ones with human faces.

We still worshiped the Old Gods, the untamed powers, the wild.

They went to temples to pray.

We went to the woods to dance.

Their priests wore white linen.

Ours—if anything at all—wore black, and probably wool.

Their gods had beautiful statues.

Ours had trees and standing stones, the woman in white clay, the man with horns.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    It's the pagan way.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    So some us remembered Acteon as the God of the hunt before Artemis came along. Some of us would have worshipped Hermaphroditus as
The Summer Solstice: A Day of Awakening!

The Great Wheel has turned once again and the longest day, the Summer Solstice, offers opportunity to stand in the heat of Solar Flame, cast the strength of our Inner Sun into the spotlight and bask in the expansive culmination of the prior months’ hard work and efforts. 

This is the time in the Great Year that I call on the Fires of the Goddess in all of her power and strength. She is raw and visceral. Palpable and the shadows that she casts are far reaching and soothing in their transformative directive. She is the ebb and the flow. The expander and the contractor of what I allow to flow from her bounty.
 

We can use this dynamic of energy to call forth our Inner Sun and the energetic changes that have occurred in concert with the increasing of the outer sun’s strength and have brought us to this midpoint of peak. To consciously engage the energy of the Solstice as a tool for enlivening our inner light is similar to the pulling back and tautness of the slingshot band forming its own state of temporary imbalance in order to send the stone straight, steady and fully propelled on its intended course. It is the tipping of the scales towards one extreme of expansion before the necessary contraction that draws all into a state of equilibrium and (temporary) balance at the equinox. This cycle of expansion and contraction- balance and purposeful imbalance- occur in a pattern of alternating the center of focus and the point of expression. 

We find ourselves drawn to the longer days that have been gradually moving towards the apex of this day of the longest hours of light. We feel ourselves emerging into the fullness of this Light filled with the realized potential and life sustaining energy of the sun. We are infused with its power and take pleasure in opening our senses to the full experience of being lit from within and shining that magick on all we encounter. This is the center of our focus and we cling to the last vestiges of daylight before the cycle moves towards the waning time.

And, it is from this place of extreme that we drink in all of the light we able to hold to carry us forward in the days and months ahead, knowing they will bring increasingly shorter hours of daylight and longer times of nightscape. This absorption of the catalytic fires will be the fuel that will burn throughout the months ahead as we move into the space of darkness, cold and introspection and become the lantern of that light.

I usually craft a personal working for the solstices and the equinoxes using the solar energies as the continuous energetic thread. Below is a simple ritual that you may use to celebrate the Solstice as an awakening to and reaffirming of the solar energies that are part of our inherent make-up. Each of the workings I do serves to enliven and increasingly strengthen the solar current. It is this current that I use for energetic protocol and workings. And, it is this current that supports the lunar work that I do. In this way, I maintain the tools that are needed so that I may remain in sync with the energetic tides that flow around me and have as my foundation the Inner Sun that will Light the way. 

A Ritual of Awakening

For the working: 

1/Gold or Yellow Pillar Candle
1/White Pillar Candle
1/Black or Dark Pillar Candle
Candle snuffer (optional) 

Place the candles in a triangular shape on a small altar table. The White Pillar would be the point of the triangle with the Gold on the Left base and the Black on the Right base. A white or gold altar cloth would be suggested. Something plain is preferable rather than a patterned cloth. Everything should be very simple, uncluttered and clean with the candles as the central focus. 

Sacred space is prepared is whatever way is compatible with your path. Invoke those Patrons, Guides or Deity that you work with and wish to have witness and support this rite. For my ritual I would use the gold candle, as the sustaining light and the black as holder of the dark and the midnight Sun. The white candle serves as the inner anchor for the energy. 

Make statement of your intent to enliven and awaken your Inner Sun that its flame may burn brightly in the months ahead. You want to speak this aloud, so that all of your subtle bodies may respond to the physical vibration of the words you are setting forth. 

Begin by lighting the Gold candle. Declare this candle as the energy of the Sun held in its peak of potency and life sustaining properties. It is the catalyst that bursts forth at the dawn of each day. It is the strength and fullness of light as the midday sun. And, it is the drawing of the solar energies into the belly of night; still burning brightly as its mysteries are held in the Midnight Sun. Take some time to connect with these energies and envision this solar cycle in whatever way presents and feels natural to you. Breathe in deeply, feeling the expansion of your lungs and imagining this expansion as the heat and warmth of the growing sun.

Next, stand before the White Candle. Make declaration that this candle represents the pure illumined energy of your Higher Self and the power and strength that is held within. This candle represents your Spirit and the true nature of your being, that flows with the cycles of nature, the seasons, the Universal and Cosmic laws. Feel its resonance within you as you speak each work of description. You may also wish to say your mundane and magickal names, affirming your identify in Spirit and Matter.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
How Does Your Litha Garden Grow?

The first day of summer is tomorrow, and I for one, am imagining lush green plants and foliage. What better way to honor Midsummer than with a Litha garden? Even if you live in an urban setting, you can get adventurous with the right size pots for roots, some potting soil, and cages for the vines to grow correctly.

When thinking of sun colors, I would definitely plant some tomatoes. If you’re in the Midwest, you should still be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor come August, and now there are so many varieties to choose from. Pretty multi-colored heirlooms, lush romas, or the ever versatile and easy-to-grow cherries are all good options. Likewise, some nice orange or red bell peppers would do well planted now. The tomatoes are the ones that need extra room for roots and wire cages to help the vines grow properly up top. For an inexpensive potting option, purchase some large plastic bins from a hardware store like Menards and drill holes in a circle along the bottom. Fill with nutrient rich plant soil and be sure to secure the roots of your tomato plants deep within it. Watering is of the utmost importance, and if you don’t live in a naturally rainy climate, you really need to keep up with this every day. A good amount is needed to truly keep the soil moist for a healthy, thriving plant.

...
Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    After Thanksgiving last year I took the pumpkins off the front porch and set them against the back fence. I have some pumpkin vin

b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2019-05-27-at-11.50.42-AM.png

The Warriors Shield

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Summer Solstice Water Oracle 2019

Water is a powerful and prevalent element at the Summer Solstice, which is when the Sun enters Cancer. Cancer is the cardinal (first) water sign, as it is the sign that kicks of the season of summer. In the northern hemisphere, this is the day when the Sun shines the longest. This year it enters Cancer on Friday, June 21st, at 11:54 a.m. EDT – right at midday. How appropriate! This is an exceptionally magical in-between time, as we are halfway through the year and the Sun makes its entry into Cancer right in the middle of the day. This is a great time and energy to use for any rituals, meditations, journeying, spells or intuitive readings.

Some especially important and helpful things to focus on at this time include our homes, which are our sanctuaries where we care for ourselves and recharge from our day-to-day activities out in the world, as well as our personal direction for the rest of the year. Cancer is the sign that is most concerned with the home, comfort and care. If you or someone you know is a Cancer (certainly at least a typical Cancer), you/they are likely to be very homey, motherly types of figures who like to take care of others, make sure everyone is comfortable and well, and that the home is especially beautiful, comfortable and in order.

So this Solstice, check in with yourself and the state of your home. What do you need to feel more nourished, and what does your home need to be more lovely and comforting? The world is getting crazier all the time and we can all benefit from making sure our personal retreat and downtime are as nurturing and healthy as possible.

In addition to the Water oracle readings I do and publish on my blog, The Oracle of Water, for each new and full moon, I felt inspired to do one for the Summer Solstice as well, as not only is there obvious Water energy with Cancer, but Neptune also turns retrograde on the Solstice and the Moon is in the sign of Aquarius – the Water Bearer. Granted, Aquarius is an Air sign but, being the Water Bearer, it obviously has water associations as well. Air also has a relevance for this time, as will be revealed by the card that bears Water’s message for this Solstice.

This time I did something unique to receive that message which became a ritual that would be great to try on the Solstice, if you feel so inclined, with any personal touches or adjustments. I set up a space in the middle of the floor with a purple cloth and placed one seashell with specific meanings in each direction. You could use shells if you have them (to enhance and work with Water’s current energy), or stones or any other natural or significant objects you have.

In the East, the direction of new beginnings and the rising Sun, I placed a Lettered olive shell which, according to Michelle Hanson’s Ocean Oracle seashell divination system (which currently studying for certification to give professional shell readings), represents “an invitation to opportunity”.

In the South, a Moon snail shell, which has to do with enhancing and exaggerating experiences (ideally in a good way, as in focusing on and increasing the positive aspects!)

In the West, I placed a Scotch bonnet, which is not in the Ocean Oracle but I have learned (for my own understanding and uses at least) means “pioneering and ancestry”. Follow the link to read my blog post all about the Scotch bonnet and how I found its meaning.

In the North, I placed a Green turbo, which is about determining one’s own value.

Lastly, in the center, along with a bowl of water, I placed a beautiful abalone shell which bears seven holes. Michelle Hanson equates the abalone with spirituality and further attributes the number of holes a shell bears to the corresponding chakra, so mine is attuned to the seventh or crown chakra. In this shell I placed my green fluorite pendulum.

I used this pendulum because of green fluorite’s appropriate and helpful energies as outline by Melody in her Love Is In the Earth encyclopedia of crystals – “increases the ability to concentrate, balancing positive and negative relationships of the mind. It helps one to see both reality and truth behind illusion…The energy of fluorite can inspire the universal energies to activate the nourishing energies of the body, assisting one in the attainment of the ultimate state of physical perfection…It provides for purification, cleansing, and elimination of that which is in disorder.”

These are the energies and abilities of fluorite in general, while green fluorite in particular, in addition to those qualities, “can bring a cleansing, tidying, mint-like freshness of spring time and renewal to the chakras. It can be used to help diminish mild trauma in the emotional body and to eliminate negativity within a room, the negative vibratory states being transmuted toward the light and love of the universe.”

This in fact intuitively guided me to first attune the pendulum to the energy of Water in the bowl of sacred, salted water and to go around my new apartment with it and, allowing it to naturally move in a wide clockwise circle, direct its energy in an outward, rippling spiral to cleanse and clear the space, to transmute any negativity or trauma, to balance and harmonize the energy and to create an aura of understanding and clarity to see beyond illusions and to effectively receive an oracle message from the element of Water. I highly recommend this as a way to cleanse, charge and sanctify a space while visualizing it’s refreshing, cool green energy (or the corresponding energy of whatever type of pendulum you use) to swirl and spiral like a seashell and to fill the space with circles and ripples of energy.

I then used the pendulum to select one of three oracle decks to receive the message, and it clearly, moving in its clockwise circle indicating “yes”, chose just one – Denise Linn’s excellent Native Spirit oracle deck, which is one of my top personal favorites and has wonderful, powerful, earthy and indigenous ancestral energy to which everyone is connected somewhere in their bloodline and can relate.

The card the pendulum chose, after I spread the whole deck out evenly in the space between the four directional points marked by the seashells, was Spirit Keeper of the East. This also told me that the Lettered olive shell was especially significant and was part of the message, which is all about new beginnings, renewal and the invitation to new opportunities.

Interestingly, Spirit Keeper of the East bears relation to the “freshness of springtime and renewal” of the pendulum, as well as to the Sun itself, though we now find it at its height in Summer and the middle of the year, rather than at its new rising state as in spring and the morning. This suggests that this is still a great time for us to embrace a new beginning, which I personally am and know others are as well, to take stock of ourselves, our homes, and the goals toward which we are currently moving.

Refresh and recharge your home this Summer Solstice. Do something, anything, to beautify it, to refresh and tidy it, to invite in more Spirit and positive energy and to make it a sacred place. Rather, a more sacred space, as by its very nature that is exactly what a home is. Do what you can to open doors to new opportunities, whether literally by using the technique of Feng Shui to make your sanctuary more open to newness, or spiritually and figuratively by making yourself open to the universe to receive the messages and opportunities it is sending.

Meditate with an abalone shell to enhance your spirituality and intuition, and to balance any or all chakras or energy centers and areas of your life. A seven-holed abalone would be especially potent at this time and can help open and balance the crown chakra to receive divine inspiration and natural, balancing energies from the universe.

And if nothing else, as is always appropriate during hot and exciting summertime, get out and into some water! While pools, sprinklers and Slip n’ Slides have their value, nothing can compare with wild waters. Get thee to a beach and into the salty ocean that is the domain of beauteous Cancer!


© 2019 Meredith Everwhite - All Rights Reserved
cross-posted to The Oracle of Water with additional images and links

Featured image: Deserted Island by Jacek Yerka 2003

Last modified on
Tales of Paganistan: The Cancer Birthday Party

Back in the day when (assuming you were foolhardy enough to try) you could have fit all the pagans of Paganistan into one large room, the community ran into its first collective problem.

Most of us were Cancers.

What this may say about the nature of this community, I'm not sufficiently well-versed, astrologically speaking, to know. (Cancers don't believe in pseudo-science, anyway.) What I can say is that by the end of the sign, folks were all partied out—even pagans get there—and those whose birthdays fell toward the Leo end of things felt deprived.

Hence the Cancer Birthday Party.

On some Saturday night after Midsummer's—usually in July—the pagans would foregather in collective natal celebration. And if it just so happened that this was the Saturday closest to the birthday of whoever was hosting the party, well, who could find fault with that?

The Cancer Birthday Party was thus the functional equivalent of the only other community-wide gathering at the time, the Saturnalia party, which usually happened on the Saturday of finals week in December. (A lot of us were students at the time, so you wanted to catch everyone before they headed off for winter break.) The 80s being the 80s, these were (naturally) Toga Parties. I have fond memories of watching a wine-soused friend fall simultaneously off the couch, out of her toga, and into Uncle Wolf's lap.

Well, the day is long since past when you could fit all the pagans in town—even assuming you wanted to—into one room, even a large one. Nowadays you would need a stadium at least, not to mention (probably) gladiators. It's long and long indeed since we knew one another well enough to fight over irrelevancies.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

Psychologically, we are made of very tough stuff – the mental equivalent of Titanium! As a consequence, it is extremely difficult to knock off our rough edges. It takes a painfully long time, and many abrasive experiences.

However, when those rough edges finally have been smoothed off, we will find it easy to slip into the next life with no catching, complaint or resistance.  It will come as naturally as the progression from caterpillar to butterfly, as consciousness graduates from one level of experience into a higher one.  

...
Last modified on

Additional information