PaganSquare


PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Fire

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
A Loki's Day ritual

Continuing my story of my personal journey on my heathen path: On Loki’s Day 2014, for the first time, I held a blot specifically for Loki. April 1st had become my traditional Loki's Day a couple of decades ago when I participated in Ostara festivals that overlapped April 1st. That was back when I was a member of the old Ring of Troth. Ostara was a campout with an indoor sleeping area which was a World War I era bunker, and the grounds also included an outdoor campfire and a trail down to the beach. The women who gathered around the campfire in the morning chill with our coffee started throwing our hair combings into the campfire spontaneously, and because it happened to be April 1st, and people at the festival were already observing April 1st as Loki's Day, a day to tell jokes and play pranks, we came up with the idea that throwing things into the fire on April 1st was a sacrifice to Loki. It was not a really serious ritual, just a spontaneous moment of fun, but I think Loki likes spontaneous fun. Throwing hair combings into the fire for Loki became a tradition at that festival among the early risers. 

So, when I decided that I should hold a ritual to thank Loki for inspiring me to write Some Say Fire, and for all the help he gave me through that medium, I went with the tradition of throwing hair combings into the fire on April 1st. It was what I had done year after year when I lived in California in my 20s, so to me it was tradition.

I lit both a bonfire and a barbecue fire, just like I did at Yule when I engaged in that duel. At the time, I still had the burn scar on the side of my right foot. It disappeared about a month later, when I accepted another sort of symbol, but that's another story which I'll tell later. I had been saving my hair-combings, each time I combed out freshly washed, clean, dry hair. I had spun my hair combings into one continuous ball of yarn, and placed that in the bbq fire along with expired spices and various types of woods and charcoal. But I lit the bonfire first, which contained only wood and twigs and brush from my yard which I had saved after the fall chopping and had dried in the side yard. I first made a short, formal statement of thanks to Loki, “I burn this for Loki,” and listed my gratitude for his inspiration for my novel and his literal inspiration of air in my lungs. It did not light. “OK, not good enough,” I said out loud.

The only other heathen there was T. N., who is a Heimdall’s man. I had told him exactly what I planned to do at this blot and given him an opportunity to decide not to participate, but he was there. I met his eyes and we both smiled uncomfortable little smiles.

I next made a slightly longer formal statement of thanks and tried to light the fire. It did not light. “OK, still not good enough.” I realized I was going about it wrong. I had to relate to the fire first and foremost as fire. “OK, I’m going to be smart and stand blocking the wind.” I moved to a new position and realized I was now pointed due north as I should have been from the beginning. “OK, you like this better? Light, you.” I was irritated and I said nothing of gratitude or supplication.

The fire did not just light. It whooshed out in a ten foot horizontal gout of bright orange flame. It continued to burn like a flamethrower even after I put the iron lid on it.

Like when I’m writing, he spoke through me. Unlike when I’m writing, it came out my mouth instead of my fingers. “Don’t talk to me like I’m [expletive] Odin.”

I added, “he says.” I realized my own voice is actually deeper than Loki’s.

If T. N. had any particular reaction to hearing me abruptly turn medium and let a god talk through me, he did not make it obvious. Of course, I had been talking to him about my book a lot because I was in the middle of writing it. I had told him the gods spoke through me into my book, so perhaps he was not really surprised. I certainly was, though.

I went on to light the barbecue fire too, and then hold a normal blot, and then cook the post-ritual feast. There were no more surprises that day. The big surprise came later that month. I plan to blog about that soon.

Image: Loki by Miguel Regodon

Last modified on
The Return of Spring and the Snows‘ Thaw

It’s Imbolc today, the traditional Celtic celebration associated with the warming of the climate and the onset of lambing season as well as the Celtic fire goddess Brigit. Seen by ancient Celts as the start of spring it occupies the midway point between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox and is commonly associated with Groundhog Day, which traditionally takes place the day after.

For our annual megapost in celebration of Imbolc, we’ve gathered all of our content for Imbolc this year at PaganSquare as well as some links of interest from other sites. We wish you a merry Imbolc and hope the remaining days before the Equinox are warm for you and your families!

-Aryós Héngwis

EDIT: New posts made since yesterday evening have now been added to the list.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Youngest God

Fire does not exist in all worlds.

In order to exist, Fire requires three things: a spark, oxygen, and fuel.

If any of these is lacking, there will be no Fire.

Since fuel is (more or less by definition) organic, this means that Fire exists only on planets that support life. Of all the planets that we know to be, Fire exists only on ours. Fire may live on other planets as well, but this we do not know.

To the ancestors, Fire was a god (or goddess). In the Vedas, Fire is called the Youngest God, because he is constantly reborn.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lisa Kroutil
    Lisa Kroutil says #
    I would even argue that fire is the Oldest God. The sun and all stars are huge balls of fire. The nuclear fusion process that occu
  • Lisa Kroutil
    Lisa Kroutil says #
    I can make fire without organic matter. There are many alternative fuels. For example, the combustion of magnesium metal. In fact,
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Clearly I need to be reading more chemistry. Thanks for the correction!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Bear Dance

Well, Yule is well and truly gone.

Gone the tree, with all its treasures.

Gone the green: the mistletoe, the holly, the ivy.

All is stripped away now, burned away to ash.

What remains, essential, is the seed, the core, the center.

Fire: the pure, pure flame.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_traditional-Japanese-kitchen.jpg

 

I’m always nervous when I need to write about an unknown divinity and especially when it comes from a culture where I have to rely upon transliterated information. Kojin is the next deity from the atheist’s graveyard. I find him interesting in that he is a male divinity of the hearth.

Last modified on
The Care and Feeding of Sacred Fires

When the thede (tribe) of witches foregathers, as we did recently at this year's Midwest Grand Sabbat, we kindle (wood on wood, in the old way) the traditional Fire of Gathering.

The Fire burns continuously throughout the time of assembly. Everyone tends it; offerings are made to it daily. It roars at the very heart of the sabbat itself, and on our final morning together it is ritually extinguished. People take the ashes home with them when they leave.

Anyone who grows up in a traditional culture knows how to behave around a sacred fire—how it differs from a household fire, for instance—and doesn't have to be taught What You Do and What You Don't. For those of us who (alas) did not grow up in such a culture, how then does one impart these rules, the Does and Don'ts of sacred Fires, in a manner that doesn't devolve into learning boring lists of regulations?

Well, my friend and colleague Chris Moore came up with the perfect way to do it: you give people a metaphor.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Ah, hence the "Fire of Witness." Oh, that's resonant, Gerald: thank you.
  • Gerald Home
    Gerald Home says #
    Awesome way to present the Sacred Fire. I was taught that the Sacred Fire is an elder spirit that witnesses what we do.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Monday morning dawns bright and cheerful which doesn’t match my mood at all.  After a rough night of sleep filled with pain, I only want more darkness and sleep to smooth out the rough edges.  However, I’m a responsible adult (mostly) and have to be at work. 

Somehow I have to smooth out the rough edges to get through my day.  Coffee is not something which helps me.  I’ve never liked it nor do I ever drink it.  I have to find other things which will ease my grumpiness. 

...
Last modified on

Additional information