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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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
December's Cold Moon

( My moon face, in honor of December’s Full Cold Moon in Gemini - energies of Gemini’s intellectual stimulation (bookcase!) and self-expression (photo) hehe. Not to mention this blog post. )

 

I have the honor of facilitating the moon circle this month, for my Women’s Sacred Circle. We’re meeting tonight, at the full moon. I thought I would share what I have prepared, here, since it is mine to share, and I would be curious about what a moon circle would be like, if I wasn’t participating in one. The format was sent to me by the women who planned this year’s circle endeavor, but they said it was a loose guideline. If you want to set up a moon circle, do it however you like! This is how mine is going to go, and it’s similar to the ones that went before, in my particular circle.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_openheart.jpgOf the Vanic virtues, Openness has been paradoxically the easiest for me to cultivate, as well as the hardest save for any but Passion.

As a creative person, obviously openness is a part of the creative makeup.  It is hard to actually create things if you are not willing to experiment, trial and error, maybe take it apart and start over again a different way, look at it from a different angle to make sure it's coming together as intended... it is hard to create things if you're not willing to risk failure and risk rejection.  Every time I make something, whether it is a necklace or a poem or a story or a piece of digital art, I am building from the ground up, and while I tend to have clear ideas in my mind of what I want out of something (I rarely see just beads, I usually see about seventeen finished products), the getting there is often radically different than how I think it's going to get there and often there may be a few necessary adjustments and improvements to the original idea.  So from the perspective of an artist, openness comes naturally.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Birth Tree

In her memorable novel Reindeer Moon, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas tells a harrowing tale of a winter birth in Ice Age Siberia. As Yanan, seven winters old, is traveling with her family between winter lodges, her mother goes into labor. While the family makes camp, Yanan's mother goes off alone to find a suitable birthing-place. (Since predators are drawn to the smell of blood, to give birth in camp would endanger everyone.)

She finds herself a spruce with a good, strong trunk to brace her back against, low protecting branches, and ample duff to absorb the birth fluids. She builds a fire for what warmth and protection it can offer, crouches against the bole of the tree—squatting is the natural birthing-position for humans, with Earth herself helping to pull the baby from the womb—and prepares herself for a long night.

Thomas knows whereof she speaks. As a young woman in the 1950s, her anthropologist parents took her and her siblings to the Kalahari Desert to live with the !Kung, among the very last of Earth's hunter-gatherers. Her personal experience and careful observation of Bushman culture lend her stories of the Eurasian Ice Age a noteworthy sense of authenticity.

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How the Death Gate Cycle inspired my Process approach to Magic

I've just finished re-reading the Deathgate Cycle, a 7 book series published in the early 1990's and one of my favorite fantasy series. One of the reasons I like the series so much is the appendices, which the authors created to explain various aspects of the series, including how the magic in the series works. Although neither author is a magician, so far as I know, the detailed explanations they share provide a lot of insight into not the magic of their series, but magical work in general. For example, one of the concepts they talk about is the importance of definition in magic, and how definition shapes the raw possibilities into something that a person can understand apply to the world around him/herself.

I read the Deathgate cycle when it first came out, before I started practicing magic. It's fair to say that reading those appendices certainly had an effect on how I thought about magic, once I started to practice it in earnest. The concepts presented provided a way to understand magic that made sense to me, because what was presented was a very methodical approach to magic that made sense. That I would find some similar approaches in actual books on magic only confirmed to me the value of looking outside of strictly magical texts to find inspiration in my magical work.

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Posted by on in Pagan News Beagle
Faithful Friday December 5

In today's Faithful Friday post of the PaganNewsBeagle we highlight a Goddess blogger interviewed on the HuffPo; indigenous Saami of the North; "Celtic knot" tattoos; tattoos of the ancestors; Pagan Christmas history.

PaganSquare blogger Karen Tate discusses liberation theology and the Goddess in this interview at the HuffingtonPost.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_openness-1.jpgFor each of the Vanic virtues, I plan on writing something on how Vanic pagans can better incorporate these virtues into their daily lives, living Vanatru.  So with the fifth virtue, Openness, here is a list of suggestions (not demands, I am not interested in telling people what to do) of activities to better express this virtue:

-At least once a month, but preferably once a week or every other week, try something new.  Like trying a new food, or new type of cuisine.  Going someplace that you've been curious about, but haven't gotten around to yet.  Taking a different route home.  Read a new book.  Doesn't have to be something major - even just new little experiences can help foster openness.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
That mistletoe Druid thing

This is me and my chap at last year’s mistletoe rite. It was cold, hence my failed attempts at rolling into a ball like a hedgehog. Midwinter is usually a tough time for outdoor ritual, but the attraction of Druids to mistletoe means outdoors is where you need to be. I’ve been to rituals working with pre-cut mistletoe, and it isn’t at the same. It’s a much more immediate experience when you’re in the process of removing a living, parasitic plant from the tree branch it has grown on. We go to an apple orchard, where there is a great deal of mistletoe, singing, and good cheer.

Rituals often raise interesting issues about what we do for real, and what we gently fake. The Great rite is a frequent case in point. We turn suspicions of historic sacrifice into corn dollies, offer wine and mead to the earth and not blood. Often a Druid ritual can seem less like an encounter with raw and wild nature, more like something safe and on the edges of familiarity. But then, England doesn’t have much wilderness, most of our more dangerous wildlife is gone – no bears and wolves round here, and I’ve not seen a boar.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Nimue Brown
    Nimue Brown says #
    We have to be where we are and work with what we have - I had no idea about the juniper mistletoe - as we don't get that here. The
  • Linette
    Linette says #
    I'm not a recon, even so, I run into similar issues. We live in this age, in this culture, and our rituals are often honed to THIS

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