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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
Danced Religion

Paganism is sung religion.

Paganism is danced religion.

Without the songs and dances, our paganism is incomplete, a mere shadow of what it could be.

For 40 years now, one group in Minnesota has been gathering the Songs and the Dances of the Old Ways.

Now we're going to teach them to you.

 

All Around the Wheel: Sacred Song and Dance with the Midwest's Oldest Coven

Steven Posch, with Prodea

 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

9-10:15 a.m. Room F

Paganicon 2020

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Meet the Minoan Deities: Korydallos

One of the tricky bits about revivalist Pagan religion is that lots of information gets lost over time, either because oral traditions die out or because written sources are destroyed - or both. That means there are deities we may not even realize exist until we stumble across them in our research. So today I'm introducing a new god who's also a very old god. This is the section I've written about him as I revise and update Labrys and Horns for the new second edition that will be released in June:

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This enigmatic god comes to us via the fascinating field of dance ethnography. The Red Champion still exists in folk dances around the Mediterranean today. A shamanic spirit warrior of a sort, he is the son of an ancient goddess figure. He may very well predate the Minoans, possibly going back as far as the beginning of farming in the Neolithic, given the content of the dances he appears in. But our experience with him in MMP links him with Therasia, so that’s how he fits into our pantheon: he is her son.

He’s one of the three Young Gods, each one a son of one of our mother goddesses. In that role, he acts as an intermediary between the people and the Mothers. Like his brothers, he’s forever young: youthful, energetic, exuberant. But of course, he’s also old, as old as the gods themselves. So he’s wise but also playful, which can be a nice change sometimes.

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The Magical Spectrum: Candle Colors in Your Spellwork

Candle magic is a mainstay of witchcraft. I burn candles every night and take them with me when traveling, too. For their magic to work, simply apply the basic percepts of color magic: have a clear intention of your desired outcome, and choose the appropriate color candle from the following list. On the corresponding day begin burning the candle on your altar. Repeat this ritual for seven consecutive days with the same color candle. If you’re a traveling, choose a spot to consecrate as an altar using the prosperity altar incantation at the beginning of this chapter.

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
ASSIGNED MEANINGS of CRYSTALS

I sometimes get emails from people who disagree with the assigned meanings of certain crystal configurations listed in the blog and elsewhere. Recently I had someone write about Eight-Sided Face crystals. He wanted to know why I focused on particular assigned meanings and not others. I am sharing my take on this great question.

THE QUESTION:

Mandala Eight-Sided Face - Genn John"I read with interest your write up on Eight-Sided Face crystals. You seem to focus on this crystal as one that is essentially used for STOP, FOCUS and GROUND action, in another words it is a grounding stone.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Jesus with a Boner

Check out Peter Paul Rubens' 1615 (?) painting Christ Risen.

Note the prominent morning boner.

The Renaissance was the time when Pagan Antiquity saved the Christian West from itself. (Even dead and buried, those old pagans still have the power to impart new life.) Inspired by the nude gods of the Ancient World, Christian art suddenly took on a fleshy quality that it had never theretofore known.

(Some critics would see a betrayal of Christian message in the implied eroticism of this artistic en-flesh-ment. Since embodiment—incarnation—lies at the very heart of the Christian story, to this sympathetic pagan at least this would seem an invalid critique; but perhaps the inherent contradiction lies in Christianity itself.)

Since the Resurrection is never narrated in the gospels, it took a long time for it to be depicted in art; before the Middle Ages, artists tended to treat the Resurrection by allusion rather than direct depiction.

As an artistic problem, it's an interesting one. How do you show a dead person coming back to life?

What Rubens has done here—logically enough, really—is to show it as a waking from sleep. Still wrapped in his grave sheet, Jesus is just sitting up in bed. As for the morning boner, well, that's just male physiology, and kudos to Rubens for having the testicular fortitude to show it.

But, of course, the waking erection is more than that. It implies a virility more appropriate, one might think, to the fertility gods of antiquity, to the Green Men of the world (in whose honor we speak of “wood”) than to the “pale Galilean” of so much Christian theology.

Rubens was not the first to depict Jesus with an erection; the motif occurs earlier in Flemish and German art—notably in the paintings of Van Heemskerck—as a daring articulation of the implications of Incarnation in, not just human, but in male human form (109).

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Rubens was a prolific guy.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I majored in art history back in college. I don't remember this particular work by Rubens being mentioned at all.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
“Our Gods Do Not Have Genitals!”

Reading what one can only call a Hellenismos salvation pamphlet a while back, I came across one of the more jar (sic)-dropping claims that I've seen in my 50 years in the pagan community:

Our gods do not have genitals!” Sic: italics, exclamation point, and all.

Of course, we can't assume that the writer is speaking for anyone besides him- or herself here. Still, on the face of it, this might seem a strange claim for a Hellene to make. Greece is famous for its naked gods, as a glance at pretty much any ancient art will show. Among the males, at least, virtually all have genitals, or at least did before Time and mobs of marauding monks got to them. So what's with the claim?

I presume that the writer is making a point here about the nature of the gods: that Their reality is spirit, not flesh, or some such philosophical mishegoss.

Well, the Genderedness of gods is surely among the Deeper Mysteries, and I won't go into it here. What does it mean to say “Goddess” or “God”? Is the gendered language that we use when speaking of the gods mere metaphor, or does it point to some richer, deeper reality?

As for me, I'm a witch of the Tribe of Witches, and as to whether or not gods have genitals, our response would be clear:

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Burning Away Bad Luck: A Change-Your-Life Spell

Perhaps you have been overwhelmed recently by the daily news, or a series of unfortunate events – problems with work, finances etc. –seemingly beyond your control. Do away with these burdens as quickly as possible. This spell requires paper, a black candle, a flat rock with a hollow in the center to set the candle into, a black ink pen, and a “cancellation” stamp, readily available at any stationary store. Anoint your candle with a drop of peppermint oil. Dress your altar with a peony blossom, the luckiest of the flower family.

The consummate time to release bad luck is immediately after the full moon. Write on a piece of parchment or stationary what you wish to be freed from; this is your “release request.” Write this same request onto the candle, as well. Ideally, this is scratched into the candle with the thorn of a rose you have grown yourself. Light the candle near an open window so the negative energy will leave your home. While the candle burns, intone:

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