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 Heathenry

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
How to Make a Paganism

Gods, there really are pagans everywhere.

Urglaawe (pronounced OOR-glaw-veh) means “Primal Faith” in Pennsylvania “Dutch.” It's a New World Heathenry from the land of hex signs and powwowing.

Between 1683 and the War of 1812, tens of thousands of German-speaking migrants from the Palatinate and Switzerland, along with significant numbers of Silesians, Moravians, and Swabians, settled in the New World. Initially spearheaded by Mennonites and Amish seeking religious freedom, later waves consisted primarily of economic migrants. These are the Deitsch, who through the following 300 years have managed to maintain their own distinctive language and culture.

Die Deitscherei—literally, “Dutchery”—is their name for Pennsylvania Dutch Country in what is now eastern Pennsylvania and contiguous parts of Maryland and Delaware, but die Breet-Deitscherei (“Greater Dutchery”) includes those non-contiguous areas of Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Ontario with significant enclaves that self-identify as Deitsch.

Well folks, there's Heide—heathens—in Deitschland.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Magical systems just want to cross-pollinate.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I've been interested in Pennsylvania hexcraft since my dad drove us from Massachusetts to North Carolina to visit relatives back i
Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, July 29

Welcome back to Watery Wednesday, our weekly take on community-centered news relevant to witches and Pagans! Join us as we review some of the positive outreach to the Ásatrúarfélag in Iceland, Tess Dawson's take on the desecration of ruins taking place in the Middle East, and the surprisingly occult history of World War II. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Last modified on
Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, July 22

Welcome back to Watery Wednesday, our weekly foray into news about the spiritual, religious, and cultural communities we all play a part in. This week we take a look at new in the Heathen community, including a recent bout of controversy in Iceland over one Heathen group's plans to build an official temple. Additionally, we've gathered a story about the Catholic Pope's declining relations with political conservatives in the United States as well as a piece about what it's like to grow up in an Alaskan Native community. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Last modified on
Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, May 6

Generally, community is a good, even great thing. But sometimes our desire for community can become warped and twisted. This week for Watery Wednesday we look at some of the ways communities have failed in the past as well as ways we're striving to build a better community for the future.

Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    I'm quite disappointed to see that terrible Vice article getting any more publicity than it already has gotten. It's completely se

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Early Net Experiences Part 1: MSN ASATRU

In 2001, I moved to a house where I could get internet access at home. I had been using the net at the public library, but the time rationing system meant I never had time to learn much. Search engines like Google didn't exist yet, but there was a search capability within the MSN Groups website, and one of the first things I did with my home net connection was join MSN ASATRU.

It was exciting to be able to connect with other heathens, and for the first time I encountered other heathens who lived outside of the USA. An Icelandic Asatruar joined the group and told us we were using Icelandic words wrong and we sounded ridiculous. American Asatruars had been greeting each other with "hailsa" for as long as I'd known any other Asatruars, but now we learned it was grammatically incorrect. Although it was hard to break a habit of using a word I'd been using for over a decade, I started using terms in my own language instead, and adopted the traditional "hail and well met."

Among my other early internet experiences was encountering the word Vanatru for the first time. I considered using it myself because of my dedication to Freya, but ultimately decided to stick with the word Asatru to describe my path because I consider all the gods who live in Asgard to be my gods. I'm very happy with that decision, as since then Vanatru has become its own sect very different from Asatru, and I have broadened and deepened my relationships with the gods of Asgard and have remained firmly committed to Asatru.

Last modified on
Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, April 10

It's that time of the week again, when we look around the world to see how religion is affecting and being affected by peoples' lives all over the globe. This week in Faithful Friday we take a look at the intersection of religion and activism—for both good and ill—from the revival of traditional Norse religion in Iceland to the oppression of ethnic minorities for their religious beliefs.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Holding a Heathen Ritual Upstairs

Continuing my story of my personal journey on my path, in the late 90s I started holding my own blots and sumbels in my apartment. My local area had neither festivals with public rituals nor any heathen groups I could find to join, so I started holding the holidays myself, sometimes alone and sometimes with friends. When I had non-heathen friends over for the holidays of the American holiday calendar, I did my holidays the American way. That eventually grew into my personal practice which I talk about in my book American Celebration. 

When I held specifically Asatru rituals, I usually held a sumbel (toasting ritual) but also sometimes held a blot (blessing) in addition. In preparing to hold a blot or sumbel for the first time, there was a practical consideration: Where do I pour out the blotbolli or horn? At the end of a heathen ritual, there is leftover liquid-- usually mead these days-- in a bowl (for a blot) or a horn (for a sumbel.) This liquid is supposed to be given to the landwights. I would have had to leave ritual space to access the ground, which was a common strip of lawn used by all the neighbors, down a flight of stairs. So I decided to pour the horn or bowl into my potted plants on the balcony, which I called "the hanging gardens of Las Vegas."

Offering through my plants connected my potted garden, in which I grew food, flowers, and small trees, with the land spirit. There is something very primal, very pagan, about gardening. It connected me with the land, the seasons, the weather, and all those gods and beings related to those things: spring maiden and harvest lord, sun and rain, and the spirits of nature.

Last modified on

Additional information