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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Hwicce

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Witch Country

They call it the Driftless Area.

What strange forces spared one isolated region along the Upper Mississippi River, asks Timothy S. Jacobson, from the repeated crushing and scouring effects of massive continental glaciers during the last million-plus years? What pre-Ice Age throwbacks survived here in this unique refuge that holds more Native American effigy mounds, petroglyph caves, strange geological features, and rare species than anywhere else in the Midwest?

Every tribe has a territory. In this, the Midwest Tribe of Witches is no different from any other.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Hearken to the Witches' Runes

We can be virtually certain that the Hwicce, the Anglo-Saxon tribe said (by some) to have given its name and lore to historic witchcraft, knew and used the runes.

They, of course, would have named them in the Mercian dialect of Old English, the language that they spoke every day. It is worth asking what those names might have become had the runes remained in continuous use into our day.

Certainly they would have modernized along with the rest of the language; many of the Anglo-Saxon rune-names have remained part of the living language and are entirely recognizable today. We would expect the names to have retained a certain amount of archaic vocabulary, and also to reflect a certain degree of semantic and phonetic “drift” as well: i.e. to include words whose meanings have changed over the centuries, and whose pronunciations no longer reflect those of Old English.

Since some of my family come from the old Hwiccan tribal territories, I figure I have as much right to the runes as anybody. My entirely personal decision to base this version on the Elder, rather than the Anglo-Saxon, furthorc may offend some rune purists. Oh, well. In my experience (I wrestle with it myself), purism is usually its own punishment.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Watchtowers

Q: What's the difference between a Jehovah's Witness and a Wiccan?

A: Three Watchtowers.

These days witches' circles are often cast complete with invocations to the guardians of the Watchtowers, one in each cardinal direction.

According to researcher John Michael Greer, the Watchtowers most likely entered the Craft from the Golden Dawn, which in turn derived them from John Dee's Enochian magic. During the original Enochian workings, during the 1580s, scryer Edward Kelly had a vision of four great towers at the quarters of the earth, the seats of guardian archangels (Greer 581).

Down the years, the Watchtowers and their guardians have acquired a deal of lore, little of which has anything to do with the original metaphor. But rising above the amassed archangels, elements, and Enochian tablets stands a simple, clear image: an image with implications.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Piper
    Piper says #
    Well, maybe the bible, but I share 2 lodges (Blue and SRICF or SRIA)with these three guys: Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers Willia
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I thought the watchtowers thing was taken from the freemasons, and that the masons in turn got it from the Bible. I can never rem
Why Witches Keep Cats: A Folktale of the Latter-Day Dobunni

They say that long ago, before things were as they are today, the Moon fell in love with her brother.

She tried everything she could think of to get into his bed, but he was having none of it. Only Cat shared his bed, no one else.

So Moon goes to Cat one day and says: Cat, trade shapes with me.

And Cat, being Cat, says: What's in it for me?

Says Moon: Someday I shall bear a great many children, and my children will always make a place for you at their hearths.

And Cat, being Cat, says: What else?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Miles Gerhardson
    Miles Gerhardson says #
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    So it is.
The War of the Elements: A Folktale of the Latter-Day Hwicce in an Age of Climate Change

They say that once the elements were at war.

The land quaked, and the sea rose up to drown it. Wildfires raged; the winds wreaked havoc.

The people were frightened and sent a delegation of elders to the forest to speak with Him of the Horns.

They found him sitting at the foot of an oak, wearing Grass Snake around his neck. He heard their words, and when they had finished, he took Grass Snake in his hands. Grass Snake began to grow and grow until he was as big as the world. Then he wrapped his long body around the whole world and took the tip of his tail into his mouth.

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The People of the Black-Handled Knife: A Folk-tale of the Latter-Day Hwicce

They say that back in the dawn of days, She of the Moon conceived a desire to divide This from That.

She went to the stag and said, "Stag, give me your antler, that I may divide This from That."

The stag gave her his antler, and from this she made a knife. But when she went to divide This from That, lo! the knife broke in her hand. 

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Nine Jars of Compassion: A Folk-tale of the Latter-Day Dobunni

They say that He of the Horns looked upon his people and his heart was moved with compassion at their suffering.

For an age and an age, two ages, he wept, and the tears of his weeping filled nine jars.

And when his weeping was ended, he took these nine jars and, with their waters, extinguished the fires of Hell.

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