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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Pumping & Churning Out Art

A while back, a good friend of mine posted where he was in overall word count on his book project to his personal Facebook page. Someone thought it was their place to tell him that he should be more concerned about content than quantity, and that he was "in danger of churning out too many books." 

"Too many books" was approximately one a year apparently. 

I've seen the same criticism leveled at musicians/bands that produce perhaps a CD a year. 

I yet to have that same crap thrown my way about my art or more writing - but it could be that they're just not going to say it to my face or post it where I can see it. I imagine it's only a matter of time, especially with how my own publishing schedule seems to look like from the outside.  People do express a bit of incredulity at what I am able to do/create, which can be a bit awkward at times. 

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Beating the January Blues. Druid Style.

The period just after the midwinter holidays can be difficult. For our ancestors this time of the year, before the chickens, ducks and geese began laying again and before the sheep and cattle began lactating, was a hungry time. Nowadays, when we don't appear to be so dependent upon the cycles of nature and farming for our very sustenance, the difficulty of the time of year settles into our souls in a different manner.

For those living in cold, northerly climates, this is when the deep freeze settles in (though with climate change, as we can see from Canada throughout the end of December, it can come earlier and stay longer). For those in more temperate areas such as here in the UK, it's the darkness of the grey, cloudy days and long nights that become hard to bear. It's also a time when money can be scarce, and we are paying our bills not only for the holiday time, but also higher bills for heating and electricity. We can feel overwhelmed, depressed, apathetic and more. This is the time when we just can't shake off that cold, and the colds and flus that have been going around since the holidays are getting stronger and stronger.

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Creating a Yule Morning Tradition for Children

We can build a cherished tradition in the simplest of ways.

 

One of my absolute favorite childhood memories from the holiday season was my Christmas stockings. I felt more strongly about them than I did about the gifts under the tree, though please don’t think my parents skimped there. 

 

There were little toys in the stockings, but I don’t recall a single one of those toys. What I remember, with sweetness, is that every year my stocking held a couple of tangerines, a handful of unshelled nuts, and a few, exquisite, small, Italian nougat candies, each candy in a tiny box that seemed oh-so-fancy to me.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Winter Solstice

The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year. It literally means that the sun stands still: from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (standing still). The midwinter sun rises at its furthest point in the southeast and sets in its nearest point in the southwest, thus making the shortest and lowest circuit in the sky. For three days (the day before, the day of and the day after the solstice) the sun rises and sets on the same points of the horizon, until it begins to rise further east and set further west with each and every day. This phenomenon occurs between 20 - 22 December each year. The Welsh name for this time is Alban Arthan, a term coined by the 19th century poet and writer of forgeries, Iolo Morganwg. This translates as "Light of Winter" or "Light of the Bear", although it is also known as Alban Arthuan, which means "Light of Arthur". The "Light of the Bear" is an interesting translation, which may have roots going back 13,000 years and connected to the circumpolar constellation or Ursa Major, which would be very visible and very bright in the British Isles at this time of year, during the greatest darkness. [1]

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  • Agnes Toews-Andrews
    Agnes Toews-Andrews says #
    I enjoyed reading about Scriptor Syrus and how the new "Christians" created a diversion--Christ Mass, to offset the pagan Winter S
November – a difficult time for celebrating

Last year I wrote about the first frosts as something to enjoy in November. http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/nimue-s-wheel/celebrating-the-first-frosts.html

This is without a doubt the month I find hardest to be positive about. Samhain with all its spooky joys is now behind us. The winter stretches ahead. The cold has its teeth in and will likely keep chewing for months to come. The ground becomes slippery and treacherous, the days short and dark. Everything is harder. And I’m one of the lucky ones; I have a home, I can afford to heat it and I can afford to eat.

...
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A Full Moon of Samhain Ritual to Remember

The candles were lit, the incense smoking, and the bells of the church ringing in the still night air. Friday night is the practice night for the village bell-ringers, and so our ritual was accentuated by their skilful tones. The moon was riding high in a hazy sky, and haloed with an ever-widening ring that spoke of the Otherworld.

We raised our boundary, which was to the whole of the property, and called to the realms of Land, Sea and Sky. We honoured the ancestors at the full moon of Samhain, as well as the spirits of place. We invited the Fair Folk who were in tune with our intention, as they have been a part of our rituals since we began. We sang to the four quarters, and then invoked the gods. We invited all who were harmony with us this Samhain night. This was our first time in invoking the god into our full moon ritual, but it felt right. How right, we were just about to discover.

We honoured the tides of Samhain, the winter months of darkness. We then performed our magical working at the fire, and gathering our clooties: ribbons of intention that we tie to the branches of the apple tree at the bottom of the garden every month. Walking back to the terrace where the bird bath, now a sacred basin of water reflecting the moonlight, served as our vessel as we drew down the moon into the water. The church bells rang in time to our working, and stopped just as we finished. The air was utterly still.

Suddenly, a loud bark sounded from the other side of the hedge, down the track a little ways. A fallow deer stag, wandering the moonlit night. We stopped and turned to the noise, and he barked again, this time a little closer. We looked to each other and smiled, feeling blessed by his presence. Then an enormous bark, just the other side of the cedar boundary, which made us all jump. He was right up against the hedge, near the little hole that the muntjac, fallow deer and badgers made.

And he was trying to come through.

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Taking fifteen minutes—or less—to plan your autumn and winter can make all the difference.

 

As you will see, I’m not suggesting the all-too-common, hyperactive, overly-ambitious, unrealistic agenda that leaves you exhausted and makes you want to rip your hair out.

 

If you view the modern holiday season as a non-Pagan concern and therefore see no reason to make plans, consider the following.

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