Culture Blogs


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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs

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Younger Lores

UPG: Unverified (or: Unsubstantiated) Personal (or: Private) Gnosis.

New information on old topics.

I've gone down on record as contending that UPG is important—indeed, necessary—to contemporary pagan observance, but that it deserves a better, more worthy, name.

Well, I've got one to propose.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
December Check-In

Hey.  How are you doing?  Are you taking care of yourself?  Are you feeling okay?

 

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Winter Hibernation

In the old days, people would hibernate somewhat in the winter.  Tools would be repaired, activities went from tending the earth to resting.  Animals were tended but outside work was minimal mostly because the weather prohibited it.  Though there were worries about food and fuel lasting through the dark times, it was a quieter more restful time of the year.

Now we don't have the luxury of staying indoors by a warm fire.  We also don't have to worry about food or fuel being scarce.  The frenetic pace of life continues even when we get a snowstorm dropping inches of snow on us.  We wait until the plows dig us out and continue with our lives.  Rarely do we take a day or week or more to stay at home, cuddle in and ignore the fast pace life we normally have.  

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Look Away

They've got a useful social custom in the Goddess-worshiping New Cretan civilization of the future.

Public Disappearance.

If for some reason you need to be in public, but are not available for social interaction—say you're deep in thought or in a big hurry—you put the “Look Away” symbol on your forehead and promptly Disappear. No one sees you.

“Excellent,” says Edward Venn-Thomas, the 20th-century protagonist of Robert Graves' 1949 novel Watch the North Wind Rise, who (for reasons I won't go into here) has been magically transported into the utopian Goddess future. “I must try to introduce that custom into my own age when I get back” (119).

In New Crete the Look Away symbol is a mouth with out-thrust tongue. There this is considered a symbol of the Hag (think Kali or Medusa). Those who wear Her sign are under Her protection. Non-being, after all, is Her purview.

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  • Heather Coffey
    Heather Coffey says #
    Somehow I am now picturing the null symbol as part of a head tikka ornament now. LOL Thank you!

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Is the Yule Tree an Ancient Pagan Custom?

Short answer: No.

In his magisterial Stations of the Sun, Ron Hutton explains that in many places the ancestors were wont to deck their holidays with whatever greenery and flowers were then in season (34): at Midsummer, with broadleafs, at Midwinter, with evergreens.

But there's no evidence at all in antiquity for decorated trees per se at Midwinter. The modern Yule tree, rather, has its roots in Renaissance Germany: ironically, the period of the Great Persecution.

So it's really a Christian custom.

The operative question here is: does it matter?

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I've come across two stories about the origin of the Christmas tree. The 1st one is that the ancient Germans had a sacred Oak tre


A Quest for Canada is a series of articles that will appear in both my Witches & Pagans column 49 Degrees and my Patheos blog Between the Shadows on an alternating schedule between the two blogs.   Links will be provided in both blogs.

2016-09-05 11.04.12It was the perfect moment.

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Troll Night

Well, it's here: the Thirteenth Night before Yule.

So potent a power is Yule that the Thirteen Nights cast a sort of shadow before them, a kind of inverse Yule.

These are the year's darkest nights. In the darkness, monsters assemble, more and more each night. It is the season of the troll.

Troll Night they call it, the thirteenth before Mother Night. At the doorstep, they lay out offerings, but the doors themselves they ward and hammer-sign from within. Here and no further, the wardings and offerings say.

Word is, the trolls will be particularly bad this year. Bad governance, or the threat thereof, always angers the beings of the land. 

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Myself, I'll be setting out some of the cherry vodka I made this June, and have been saving for Yule. Of course, I'll have a nip m
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Booze. Porridge. Sardines. I'm sure there are others, but that's what people that I know put.
  • Haley
    Haley says #
    So, what kind of offerings do Trolls like? Other than raw meat and unfortunate wanderers, of course.

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