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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in living Paganism
Sometimes Healing Energy Is Not Enough: Michael Brown, Civil Unrest and Our Ugly Present

Please note that this is a sensitive topic and needs to be discussed with care. Please reference my guidelines for sensitive topic discussion.

 

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The Broom Closet in the 21st Century

When I was 18, in 1995, I was outed from the broom closet. I had kept myself in that closet, because I was afraid of how people would react if they realized I practiced magic. A friend's parents (both fundamentalist Christians) found a book I'd let my friend borrow and contacted my mom about it. She was also a fundamentalist Christian and needless to say did not approve of my spiritual choices. I was still living with her as I was in high school and I didn't have a job at the time. She told me I had a choice. I could move out or burn my books. I had a half hour to decide before she kicked me out. A half hour isn't a lot of time to make such a decision. I made a very practical choice and decided I would burn my books, because I didn't have a job and I wanted to finish high school. I hid the books I hadn't read yet and took the books I had read and told her I'd burn them. She marched me out to the back yard and I burned those books. That incident didn't discourage my practice of magic. If anything, it only made it more attractive and also made me more determined to continue learning. That incident also convinced me that staying in the broom closet wasn't going to help me, and so I decided I'd be open about my beliefs and practices, and I have been to this day.

A short time after the book burning, I was contacted by the father of my friend (I didn't know who he was at the time). He was drunk, had a cold, and told me how he was going to come kill me in 48 hours and he'd call me on the hour, each hour before he came. He started singing hymns to me. I told him if he came over I'd defend myself. I also called the police. He kept calling and eventually I disconnected the phone. The next day, in school, my friend told me that his father and step-father, in a rare moment of collaboration, had decided they were going to try and kill me. The step-father would drive the father over to do the deed. It never happened, but it illustrated to me how intolerant Christians were when it came to any religion or spirituality that wasn't of their own practice. It also illustrated what a risk it could be to be out of the broom closet.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Rebecca Kinney
    Rebecca Kinney says #
    I have also found that the most intolerant and vocal of any religion are the ones with the most to hide. It is as if they use the
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    Unfortunately many Christians are intolerant and interpret freedom of religion to only pertain to their religion. Not all of them
  • Joyce ORourke
    Joyce ORourke says #
    I find most Christians to be intolerant of any religion other then their own. If you want to know what a religion is like read hi

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Why I'm a Pagan

My local indie bookshop had one of these left in stock and they kindly held it for me. I ran up there in my garden clothes and damp do-rag because I was so excited to have this book in my hands. 

As soon as it was rung up and handed across the counter to me, I opened the cover, turned to the opening lines and saw---Lo! "Lo," I said aloud. "Interesting choice." I asked them if they needed any copies of my book ("Staubs and Ditchwater") and we agreed the 3 they have in stock will do until I get back from PSG. I declined a bag but got a bright bookmark.  Holding the book to my chest, I tip-tapped out the door and across the street to the car. I sat there for a moment, looking at the cover, then smelling the top of the book, as one does.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    It does seem ironic that a good Catholic man led so many folks to a Pagan world-view. But the Beowulf poet was much the same. The
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Thank you for this, Byron - I must order a copy immediately! Much of my Paganism, too, derives from long nights of steeping my bra

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
How straight is your wheel?

Our usual solar stories about the turning of the year focus on the birth, maturing and death of a sun god who might fight his rival at midsummer and will probably father himself. Imbolc is all about pregnancy and birth. Beltain is all about impregnating. It’s a very heterosexual narrative, when you get down to it.

Nature is not exclusively about heterosexual reproduction. What we would understand as homosexual behaviour crops up in all creatures. If you’re part of a wolf pack or a bee hive, it’s about the group, not about spreading your own genes directly. Many plants have both male and female sex organs – if you insist on understanding them in those terms! On top of this, plants will also reproduce through suckers, bulbs and other ways of doing it for themselves without any need for pollination. Some creatures change gender. Oysters have all the kit, and effectively change gender every few years. Other life forms – fungi particularly, are asexual, and reproduce without any input from anyone else.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    That's one of the reasons I'm glad I'm a heathen, specifically an Asatruar, because our ritual structure doesn't have heterosexual
  • Nimue Brown
    Nimue Brown says #
    If we have three kinds of ancestors (blood, land and tradition) then we must also have three kinds of descendants. While that cann
  • Anna Belle LaFae
    Anna Belle LaFae says #
    Thank you for this article! After my child was stillborn and then subsequent infertility the reproductive emphasis of so many pag
  • Finn McGowan
    Finn McGowan says #
    I think the mythic foundations of the pagan paths are bigger than an individual's gender, sexuality or lifestyle. They are extreme
  • Susan Harper
    Susan Harper says #
    Yes! Thank you so much for this blog. As a queer Pagan, I often find the experiences of people like me left out of the traditional
Pagan Culture and Experience: Definitions and Practice

Who gets the right to define you? To label you? Is that right solely your own, or does it belong in some measure to the culture with which you identify? I've considered this question for a long time, and I've concluded that there's no easy answer.

I've long been an advocate for the principle of self-identification: If you choose to identify yourself in specific terms, who are others to challenge it? But things really aren't that simple, are they? What about frauds who have ulterior motives for adopting a label? What about people who don't really understand what the label means?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Samaire Provost
    Samaire Provost says #
    Nope, not at all awkward, Steve
  • Stifyn Emrys
    Stifyn Emrys says #
    Not awkward at all, Samaire. I'm sitting right across the table from you!
  • Samaire Provost
    Samaire Provost says #
    Well isn't this an awkward meeting
  • Stifyn Emrys
    Stifyn Emrys says #
    Thanks, Joe.
  • Joseph Merlin Nichter
    Joseph Merlin Nichter says #
    This is some of the best work I've seen on the topic.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Sometimes, as a public Druid, I get frustrated. Because over and over again, I seem to be saying the same thing. 'What's a Druid?' 'What do Druids do?' and so on, and so forth. I suspect we all get this at some point or another, if we're 'out of the broom closet' in any way. We just smile and get on with it as part of life.

But I do worry. Is this because nobody's listening? Am I actually trying to con people into following this mad 'cult' of modern Paganism? And of most concern, am I on the take?

I'm not - but it's easy to see why people would think that.

Spirituality is a deeply personal, heartfelt thing - a state of being, mind, emotion... so much contained in a such a complex state that it's virtually impossible to put into words. Especially, I might add, when someone asks me suddenly to explain my Druidry in two minutes or less.

b2ap3_thumbnail_ADT-Cover_20140130-164522_1.jpg

(Yes, this is me - in the woods near my home)

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  • Nimue Brown
    Nimue Brown says #
    There is a world of difference between standing up and saying 'this is what I do' and saying 'this is what you should do'. So many

 b2ap3_thumbnail_SANY7301.JPG

One of the questions I get asked more often from our customers is “I want to have a Spiritual Path – how do I start?” - well, the answer couldn't be simpler: Living It Every Single Day. Entwining your everyday life with a set of regular devotional practises will gradually increase and empower your energy, connect you with the energies and entities around you, ground you, and build the Personal Power you will need to have efficient results on more demanding practises like Spell Work.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Absolutely, I'll send you a draft in advance. John
  • Carolina Gonzalez
    Carolina Gonzalez says #
    Thanks so much! You can email me at magickshop (at) gmail (dot) com .
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Carolina, I'd like to republish this on HumanisticPaganism.com in late spring with you permission. Is that okay?
  • Carolina Gonzalez
    Carolina Gonzalez says #
    John, as long as a link to my website and credit are given, of course you can! Thank you very much for this opportunity, I am extr
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Excellent post. Thank you for putting these lovely ways of being into words.

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