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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The Scene Is Never What It Used to Be: A Retrospect on Glamour and Steampunk

Can I make some old/femme/goth/steampunk/the-scene-is-never-what-it-used-to-be noises? Back in my day, a hundred years ago when I was the con head for SalonCon, Steampunk was still being defined. Like, to the point that I needed to make my assistant (The Baby) explain what exactly it was, many times. I was interested in Neo-Victoria for many reasons but I also became interested in The Past that Never Was (Steampunk) for many reasons coming from an intersectional feminist standpoint.  Mostly, we became involved in Steampunk because The Baby was interested in it and we couldn't afford to pay her and it was a reasonably easy way to compensate her for all her time and energy.  We wanted her to have a space to enjoy herself as a thank you for her hard work.

This was . . .ten years ago.

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Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Lover's Flame of Beltane

The air is warm and sweet. Life is budding all around and May flowers stretch across a field of freshly paint greenery, the faint scent of their perfume on gentle warm breeze. My heart beats rapidly in anticipation and I look out over sunlight space seeking your face. A stream of electrified energy moves up my spine awakening all of my senses as I feel the heat of your breath at the back of my neck. I turn to face you and two small suns flash with desire from the depths of eyes that have lovingly gazed upon my face in seasons past. Breath hangs in the air suspended in timelessness as I, the Maiden, reach out to you, my consort. Earth and Sun sigh into the release of consummate union and passion’s light burns with heat and intensity, as each lover’s flame becomes the singular flame that fuels the passion of Beltane. 

As the Wheel continues its cycle of light we turn our focus towards stimulating the dynamics of creation within. At the time of the Vernal Equinox we did the work of seeking balance and honoring the pause of that space strengthening an awareness illuminated by the potential that is held within the fertile space of manifest form. We found this space of balance within ourselves and opened in receipt of taking in more of the light continues to expand as it surrounds us outwardly. This opening to receiving the downpour of the light of growth was the preface to the union of the polarities at Beltane. 

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Is Beltane 'Bright Fire' or 'Bel's Fire'?

Is the festival Beltane named for an Irish god Bel?

Short answer: probably not.

The Keltic peoples of the Continent knew of a god Belenos (attested in various spellings) who, during the Roman period, was identified with Apollo.

Belenos clearly = *bel-, “shining, bright” + infixed -n-, (denotes lordship, mastery, or preeminence) + -os, (masculine singular ending). The “mastery infix,” interestingly, features in the names of a number of Keltic deities: among them Cernunnos, “Horned Lord” or “Preeminently Horned” and Epona, “Lady Horse” or “Preeminent Horse.” So Belenos is “Bright Lord” or “the Preeminently Bright.”

Did the Keltic-speaking peoples of Britain know such a god?

If so, the evidence is minimal, and there's none whatsoever that the Irish knew him. ('Beltane' is an Irish word in origin.) We cannot assume that the Insular Kelts worshiped every god that their Continental kin did.

So alas, Beltane is probably not “Bel's fire.”

Last modified on

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Riding with Nicnevin

The Scottish version of Hecate (at least according to some) rides with a company of 'weird sisters' in the night, with wild plans of mischief. No wonder I think of it now that Walpurgisnacht is upon us. There's a most interesting poem that offers us insight in to the beliefs of the past. 'The Flyting Betwixt Montgomerie and Polwart' is a humorous verbal battle. Flyting is probably better known amongst the Norse, but the Scots have that tradition of joshing verbal battles, too. Though a challenging text, the 16th century poet Montgomerie demonstrates well the variety and force of Scottish insults (seriously!) but there's also some interesting supernatural information that usually comes in the form of scurrilous suggestions like:

 Wih warwolfes and wild Cats thy weird be to wander

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What Paranormal Investigators Should Know...

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  • Gerrie
    Gerrie says #
    Right on Catt! I always love watching these shows, if only to yell at their stupidity. But yes, I think Amy Allen on the Dead File

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Steps Toward Justice

The world we humans have created is unfair, and yet we have also seeded within our societies the paraphernalia and parameters of justice. It would seem that we have attempted to move beyond nature and the natural world—a world in which fairness is not a relevant concept. No judge and no judgment, only predator and prey within a complex set of relationships that make up life and living. 

Yet within our created world, justice is deemed a virtue. We strive to be fair and argue over concepts of fairness. Justice in practice is a challenge, however, to the relationships in which we find ourselves and to many of the systems we hold dear. As just one practical example, the realm of public education brings to light myriad instances of the struggles for justice because of inequities in how school systems are funded, with students’ race and socio-economic status a key indicator of whether they receive a quality education.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Overheard in April

Officer, hel-lo. Welcome to Paganistan.

How was your flight?

I can't tell you how delighted we are to have you here with us for our Beltane celebrations this year.

Absolutely delighted.

Care for some cider? Paganistan's finest.

If you'll just come with me, you really must see this year's Wicker Man. He's taken our artists more than a month to construct. I really do believe he's our most impressive yet.

Yes, indeed. So massive, yet so beautiful. Just look at those antlers.

A closer look? Certainly, certainly.

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