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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs
ELESTIAL CRYSTALS - Connect with angelic energies

This week we’ll be discussing Elestial crystals which is a crystal type that falls into the category of crystals' overall shape, such as Curved. This means we aren't counting edges of faces, looking at surface features or otherwise looking at PARTS of a crystal, but we are looking at the overall shape of the crystal.

Elestial crystals are described as crystals which "have natural terminations over the body and face of an etched and/or layered crystal". So, what does that mean? Simply, that they really aren't in the shape of a traditional point. They are layered all over with self-healed looking surfaces.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Spring - a renewal

Spring!  A relief from the winter cold, snow, and the introspective time of assessing where I am and what I need to do next.  It’s about new beginnings and a fresh start.  I’m sitting here laughing about this because here in Wisconsin we have four inches (more in some places) of snow on the ground.  It is still snowing and they said it was supposed to stop by 8 this morning.  We’re two hours past that. 

Spring equinox is all about renewal, rebirth, coming alive again after the winter.  The Persephone / Demeter story is one of the myths which is prominent for this time of year.  Persephone returns to her mother and Demeter comes back to life with the return of her daughter. 

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Which Came First, the Marshmallow or the Peep?

I can remember my first theological debate. I was 7.

It was spring. My friend Mary Chris contended that Lent is called Lent because that's when you eat lentils. The Stepanoviches were Serbian Orthodox, and ate lots of lentils during Lent.

Clearly, there was a larger principle at stake here. To me, it seemed ridiculous that the larger thing should be named for the smaller. My automatic contrarian position was that lentils are named for Lent because that's when you eat them. (Not that anyone in my family ate lentils during—or even observed—Lent, mind you. But growing up in Pittsburgh, everyone knows what Lent is.)

Lent derives from the Old English word for “spring,” when the days lengthen. Had Harold won at Hastings, our four seasons today might be Winter, Lent, Summer, and Harvest.

Lentil is the diminutive of Latin lens, which meant “lentil.” (A lens, of course, is named for its lentil-like shape.) As we've been eating lentils for the last 12,000 years or so—since the end of the last Ice Age—it's not surprising that they should have their own name.

The words are unrelated. As in so many theological debates, it turns out that we were both wrong.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    My parents were Great Depression survivors as well, and they never let us forget it. My dad was a farmer, specializing in tomatoe
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    My parents were both children of the Great Depression, so I never discovered the Joy of Legumes until I became vegetarian at 18. N
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Growing up in a Xtian household, albeit both Roman Catholic and Methodist, we did observe Lent for my Catholic dad, and I never ev
Spring Equinox: Aries, Action & Identity

Friday March 20 marked several astrological events, all of which gave power to this year's Spring Equinox. Not only was it the Equinox, when day and night are balanced, marking the shift into a new season and an acceleration towards the light in this waxing year, it was also a SuperMoon and a Solar eclipse. While the eclipse was not visible in most of the Americas, the timing and power of these events were felt, subtly and not so subtly, throughout the world.

Although many Pagans mark the “new year” on Samhain or Yule, for many ancient cultures the New Year started in Spring. For while the work of the new year may be seeded or dreamed of in the dark of Winter, it is now that this new life becomes evident. Just as the baby rabbits born weeks ago are starting to come out and explore, just as the new buds that have been plumping up for weeks are starting to pop, maybe we are aware of something stirring inside ourselves.

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The Grateful Witch: A Tale of the Slovenian Roma

While eating lunch one day a girl noticed that, having shelled their hard-boiled eggs, her parents crumpled up the shells before throwing them away. She asked why they did this.

“If you don't, the witches use them for boats,” they explained. At one time this belief was quite widespread throughout Central Europe.

“Witches need boats, just like anyone else,” she replied, and threw her eggshell, uncrumpled, over her left shoulder. A whirlwind caught the shell and whisked it away.

One day the girl was fishing from an island in the middle of a river. Suddenly, due to a heavy downpour upstream, the water began to rise. Before she knew it, her boat was swept away, and soon the rapids were in danger of covering the entire island.

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Changing Consciousness: Pagan Activism in Canada


b2ap3_thumbnail_2015-03-14-12.46.50.jpgI don't think there's any doubt, for any witch who's been to one, that a public protest is a magickal act. A group of people get together and use symbolism to focus the collective will towards a specific goal.  If the magick is successful, consciousness changes, with results that are reflected in the outer world.

So last weekend I, along with about two or three hundred other people, gathered in downtown Vernon, BC to protest the new proposed Canadian anti-terror bill, C-51.  We rallied, sang, cheered, and marched through the city streets, holding up our major highway for several minutes.

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  • Rick
    Rick says #
    14 years after the US Patriot Act the Canadian government decides they need a similar bill? That doesn't pass the smell test at al

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tree of Dawn

In Latvian lore, not much is remembered of Austra—the goddess whose sister-selves include the other Dawn goddesses of the Indo-European diaspora: Ushas, Eos, Aurora, Ostara, Easter, among others—except for her name and her symbol.

Each of the Old Gods of the Baltic pantheon is associated with a particular sigil that has been faithfully transmitted through folk-art—in particular weaving and embroidery—down to our own day. Saule (Sun) has a sun-wheel, Mēness (Moon) a crescent, Pērkons (Thunder) the thunder-cross (fylfot), and the like (Dzērvītis112ff.).

Since Austra, by her very nature, does not readily lend herself to depiction—how does one draw a picture of light, of color?—her symbol is Austras koks, “Austra's tree.” This makes eminent sense, since trees capture both the first and last light of the day, even when the Sun is not yet (or is no longer) above the horizon. In Latvian lore Austra's tree is said to have copper roots, silver leaves, and golden branches (Dzērvītis 115).

Read figuratively, this describes the colors of the great Tree of the East as it shines with the new light of dawn. Read literally, the image may sound to the modern ear both artificial and unnatural. But to the ancestors, for whom the natural was commonplace and artifice precious, the image would have expressed the transformation of the everyday into the extraordinary.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    "Dawn, shining raccoon...."
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember seeing some mornings back in high school when the early light shown down through the trees. I never met a pretty girl

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