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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in grief

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
When Community Fails

My friend’s mother died this past spring.

The stroke happened suddenly and her passing came a few weeks later.  Despite a lot of preparation for a worst-case scenario, the death hit the family hard.  My friend had a difficult relationship with her mother (something many of us can relate to, I’m sure) and her ambivalent thoughts and emotions have been complicating an already difficult grieving process.

My friend announced her mother’s illness to our group, but she kept the news of her mother’s passing to herself.  She had been out of town a lot to be with family, and it was only recently that I saw my friend since her family tragedy. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ann Edwards
    Ann Edwards says #
    I was interested in your comment "I as a priestess, did not show up at funerals..." Did you as a friend show up?
  • Anna Helvie
    Anna Helvie says #
    From 2002 to 2012, it was mixed. A coven member's father died and we did not go to the funeral. At that time it was because we we
  • Anna Helvie
    Anna Helvie says #
    My impression is that greater Pagandom has a substantial number of people who don't do well with these types of things, and that o
  • Anna Helvie
    Anna Helvie says #
    I meant "bring in a social worker who understands the nuances of bereavement and has specialty skills in this topic."
  • Ann Edwards
    Ann Edwards says #
    I'm sorry but this story struck me as almost a description of modern paganism. Events, celebrations, connections... but no true c

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Music of the Longest Night

To many, winter is a time when the grief of loss strikes hardest.  The symbolic death of spring and summer combined with the cold have us turning inward, some seeking a spiritual hibernation.

For me, this grief has been compounded by my mother's December birthday.  This year she would be turning sixty.  One of my friends grieves both her parents today, while another sits in a hospital waiting for her mother's unconscious body to relinquish its hold after a stroke.

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Tales Told In November: Grief and the Perpetual Samhain

In her novel Possession, A.S. Byatt writes about the Celtic roots of Breton folklore, in a series of macabre tales that are only told in the few darkening weeks between All Hallow's Eve and Advent. These collected tales, Tales Told in November, are mysterious and disquieting tales, full of violence, monsters, and shadowy, threatening sexuality. The Dark Goddess is invoked as Melusine, the double-tailed mermaid. October is a time of harvest and revelry as the last of the harvest is brought in. It is a time of great bounty and joy. It's not until after the Wheel has shifted and the Descent has begun, that things become truly frightening. Halloween is the beginning, not the end, of the dark seasons of the shadow, the chthonian, and the Dark Gods below the Earth and Sea.

This transition, this Hinge that comes at Samhain and we in the Northern hemisphere begin our Descent, is marked by so many cultural celebrations. These are occasions of great joy as well as reverence and solemnity. Samhain, Dia de Muertos, Samhuinn, Winter Nights, All Hallows—of these have more than a little joy mixed in with the darker aspects of contact beyond the Veil, and engagement with grief and mourning. For years, the Samhain season was my happiest time of the Year, full of rituals, fun and festivity. It was during this time that I often fell in love, or began new friendships or projects that proved to be important and transformational. Samhain brought so much abundance and pleasure that it was easy to forget the whole death part.

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Dead and Back Again: Part 2 - Grief and Healing

While I was in labor with my stillborn baby, I remember telling my midwife that I spent the first thirty years of my life depressed and I would NOT allow this tragedy to drag me back there.  She smiled through her tears and told me I might not have a choice in the matter. 

 

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Niki
    Niki says #
    Thank you so much for sharing your grief. So many people don't know how to share it or that they can.
Dead and Back Again: This Mama's Experience

Most people would call what happened to me a “near-death” experience, I suppose.  Afterall, I am alive to write about it, three and a half months later.

When I think of what it is like to nearly die, I think about the time that crazy person driving the semi nearly ran me off the interstate at eighty or so miles an hour.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Helena
    Helena says #
    Amazing story. Thank you for sharing it!
  • Ashley Rae
    Ashley Rae says #
    Thank you, Helena!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

In my last post, I talked about going to the John Edward show and getting a metaphorical smack.  Since then I’ve had some interesting things happen.  I read tarot.  I love the tarot and feel very connected to certain decks.  I have one I use for me every time no matter what.  I’ve tried doing readings for myself with other decks and they just don’t resonate like this one deck.  I use the deck for other people as well and always have the best readings with this one deck.  I’ve stopped buying other decks.  I like other decks but they don’t work as well as this one deck I use.

My daughter’s friend called me out of the blue and asked if I would do a reading for her.  I’ve not read for her in probably ten years or more.  She believes but has not come back to me for a reading since I did one which told her a male energy was going to come into her life and have a significant influence on her.  (Shortly after, the reading she got pregnant with her first son.)

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Time for melancholy

In theory Pagans honour the dark half of the year as well as the light, bright growing times. However, in practice we spend autumn talking about harvest, and while we do acknowledge the dead at Samhain, midwinter tends to be more about the return of the light than the deep darkness. There are many things the wheel of the year doesn’t give us much space to honour and explore. Loss, misery, nostalgia, regret, and despair don’t really find a place.

Of course it’s tempting to focus on the ‘good stuff’ in life – what seeds are you planting this spring, where’s your fertility for Beltain, what have you harvested, and lo, the sun is reborn and round we go again! However, if you don’t have a lover, and your health is poor or your plans aren’t working out, then these are tough things to celebrate and it can feel like there’s no room for your experiences amongst everyone else’s cheerful optimism. The wheel of the year encourages us to look forward in hope, not fear, and not to look back except when we can be pleased by the results.

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