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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 Paths Blogs
Topless Minoan Women: Not What You Think

The modern Pagan world is awash in womb symbolism and I can’t say I mind. After all, the feminine side of the Divine has been almost entirely ignored by the major religions of the past few centuries. OK, millennia. But the ancients didn’t always focus on the womb as the central symbol of the feminine, either divine or mundane. Take, for instance, the Minoans and their reverence for the breast.

You’re probably familiar with the frescos and figurines from ancient Crete that depict well-endowed women in open-front tops that display their breasts for all to see. We may feel that the exposed breasts found throughout ancient Minoan art are provocative but the Minoans probably didn’t feel that way. Just as the Victorians found women’s legs to be terribly sexy simply because they were normally covered and hidden, we respond the same way to women’s breasts. But in Minoan society women frequently went topless, just as men did, so that would have been an ordinary sight, and of course ancient women nursed their babies so that would have been common and not provocative or controversial either. It would not have been sexy so much as normal. But when the priestesses of ancient Crete bared their breasts in a ritual setting, that had deeper meaning as well.

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My Personal Religious Calendar (The Pagan Experience)

(This post was written as part of The Pagan Experience, a community blogging project. You can find more information on the project and how to join in yourself here.)

I’ve been meaning to write this post for two or three weeks now, but unfortunately, the letter “C” came up in the posting prompts around the same time as my doctor changed my pain maintenance meds, which put me in withdrawal for two weeks. In that state, I ranged between low-grade fevers with chills, periods of complete exhaustion, and extreme mood swings, and while making stuff was okay, writing an actual content post was probably ill-advised, if even possible.

I wonder what my doctor would say if she knew that it was a Norse god who had mandated the change. My memory and critical thinking skills had been getting progressively worse over the past several years while taking Gabapentin, during the past year especially. I had become incredibly accident prone; I concussed myself pretty badly once, and overdosed the dog on his heart pills twice, but it wasn’t until I forgot that Pyrex gets hot in the microwave and ended up with first degree burns over a good portion of my right hand that Odin finally said “Enough, I want you OFF of that already, before you do irreparable damage to yourself.” My new doctor had already been saying that she didn’t know how I was even walking around with the dosage my old doctor had put me on. Going down from three pills a day to one came with pain and withdrawal as a trade-off, which a low-dose Prozac in the morning has helped to counter, and two weeks later I’m finally starting to feel better—more like myself, actually, than I have in years. (There is still some fibro fog, but the Gabapentin was making it much, much worse than it needed to be.)

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My Adventure Between the Worlds in Sacred Space

I recently attended the joint Between the Worlds and Sacred Space conference that occurred in Maryland from the 5th through the 8th of March. Between the Worlds is a conference which occurs every few years, dependent on the right astrological circumstances, while Sacred Space is an annual conference. I'd never attended either, but I had been invited to be a presenter for Between the Worlds by Ivo Dominguez Jr (And a hearty thank you to him for doing so). Thursday was the start of the event, and I attended the opening ritual, which was a powerful awakening of the Sacred Space egregore. I liked how everyone got involved in the ritual...It was quite moving in its intensity. Later on I attended a talk by Literata on Modernity and Occultism and how different people had specific visions of what they wanted to manifest and how what they manifested didn't quite turn out the way they expected, but nonetheless built a current of sorts that we can look back on in history.

On the second day of the event I attended a panel on alliances with the spirit world, with Diana Paxson, Dorothy Morrison, Kirk Thomas, Aeptha, and Michael Smith sharing their perspectives on working with the spirits. I enjoyed the various perspectives they shared, all of which showed a depth of experience that was meaningful to anyone listening to the panel. Then I presented my class on the Alchemy of Breath, which seemed well received. As a presenter, it is always nice to have a room full of people who are genuinely engaged in what you are sharing. After that we attended the ritual prep class for the main ritual. What I liked about it is that they provided people the necessary background information to get the most out of the ritual scheduled for that evening. Later I went to Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki's class on Astral Doorways. This was a fascinating class, where she presented information on the second road/world. A lot of what she presented fit in with what I've been learning from R. J. Stewart (no surprise given their respective lineages), but it also gave me food for through about my own practices in relationship to imagination. Finally I attended the main ritual, which was a syncretic mix of five different traditions, woven together quite nicely to create a ritual which spoke to the importance of being present and participative in the changing times, to represent your cause during those times and know that others were also there. Following all that I had some conversation with people I've met and people I already know.

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PaganNewsBeagle Community News March 11

In today's Pagan News Beagle we are concentrating on the Pagan community: comparing Pagan conventions; Between the Worlds; humanistic Pagans wanted; memorial fund for Shekinah Mountainwater; American Council of Witches (RIP?)

Are all Pagan conventions the same? Patheos Pagan editor Jason Mankey compares two very different ones that happen almost simultaneously: Pantheacon and ConVocation.

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Neo-Paganism as a Mystery Religion

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  • Piper
    Piper says #
    Rather than ascribe a gender, I typically use the Sephirot, Netzah and Hod as the focal ideas for this ritual, equal on the tree,
Senate Republicans Send Letter to "Islamic State"

**** SATIRE *****

AP: Washington, DC

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R) and 46 Senate Republicans have sent an open letter to the leaders of the self-described “Islamic State.”

The policies of our so-called 'President' towards ISIL have been failures from the word go,” said Boehner. “A Republican administration created this problem, and a Republican administration will fix it.”

The letter, which has not yet been released to the press pending receipt by Caliphate authorities, purportedly offers recognition of national sovereignty in return for unspecified “support” during the upcoming presidential election.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Gratitude As A Spiritual Practice

First my apologies for my disappearance. No excuses. I just didn't schedule blogging time into my day. I've missed y'all!

In 2008, I created a spread I called Gratitude As A Spiritual Practice. I based this on something Joanna Powell Colbert said about how she viewed Gratitude as a spiritual practice. Normally when I create spreads, I go for smaller patterns with seven or less cards. I find those work better for me. But this one seemed to really need more. So it ended up being a total of thirteen cards.

I wanted to share this here because I think I've been missing a serious practice of giving thanks. I seek joy daily, yes. However, there seems to be a nuance, a flavor, a texture that isn't quite right. It's my belief that it is gratitude. Not just a weekly gratitude list, but a pause in my day where I take stock of things. Where I acknowledge the joys and give thanks for what's going right in my life.

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