PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
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.
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.
The Maypole and the Bonfire have long been the two ritual foci of Beltane celebration.
The logistical problem being that a ritual can't have two centers.
I remember running into this difficulty decades back while planning the community Beltane down at the old River Circle by the Mississippi. We wanted both a Maypole and a Bonfire, but (unless you want to burn the Maypole, which is wrong) they're mutually exclusive options and only one of them can be in the middle of the circle.
In the end we settled for a central bonfire with the Maypole off to the side of the circle. After the Maypole dance, people (of course) clustered around the Bonfire as darkness drew in, leaving the poor Maypole deserted.
I.e. not really a satisfactory solution.
Historically speaking, the Maypole is a relative newcomer to the Beltane celebrations (there's no documentary evidence for it until the early modern period), while the Mayfire is clearly prehistoric (the name Beltane itself originally meant “bright fire”).
But the tension between Fire and Tree is more apparent than real. Our problem is trying to cram both hands into the same catskin glove.
You're entering a sacred place. What do you do?
You can't just saunter in, doing nothing, as if it were (say) some big box store. It's a sacred place; going in means something.
So what do you do?
Some reach down and touch the ground. (If you're reading this, I probably don't need to tell you why you would do this.) In practice, this often means that you touch the threshold of the temple.
What comes next is up to you. Some people touch their hearts, some (with a kiss) their lips. Some touch their brows. I usually touch all three: In my heart, on my lips, in my thoughts.
Or some variation thereof. The deeply pious may bow down and kiss the Earth. Those of us who aren't as spry as we used to be may settle for kissing the doorposts of the temple. (I love the doorposts of your house, goes the old song.)
So much for entering. How do you leave a sacred place?
[Today, we sit down for a quick interview with Jenn Campus. Along with her husband, illustrator Roberto Campus, Jenn has launched a kickstarter to fund the creation of Dreams of Ýdalir. Described as "Norse Mythology meets The Mists of Avalon," the novel centers on Ullr and Elen of the Ways. If you are inspired by what you read here, please look over their kickstarter page and consider funding Dreams of Ýdalir.]
Damn that old lady Hawthorn.
There she goes, knocking my hat off.
I don't know how old she is. Being a Siberian hawthorn, it could be hundreds of years. Judging by how gnarled and ornery she is, I'd say probably pretty old. Older than me, anyway.
And did I say attitudinous? Old lady Hawthorn is the undisputed ruler of this lawn, and you'd better not forget it.
Before you mow, you'd better tip your hat to her. You'd just better. Likes that, she does.
Otherwise, she'll knock it clean off your head.
Like she just did.
The Hierophant is usually deemed Trump 5 in the Tarot. Hierophant means revealer of sacred things. While The Emperor is earthly, secular and governmental authority, The Hierophant is religious, spiritual and sacred authority. This archetype embodies cultural traditions, moral dictates, religious teachings, orthodoxy and philosophical or ethical mandates.
Phrases and Keywords: Tradition; Exoteric Religion; Formal Education; Religious Authority; Right and Wrong Wrangling; Dogma; Ethical Standards; Social Mores; Morality; Philosophy; Doctrine; Canon; Spiritual Beliefs; Revered Teachings; “Shoulds”; Orthodoxy...