PaganSquare


PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

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Women Are Not Props for a Man's Enlightenment

I really enjoyed watching a movie called Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons ... until its end. It's a fun, comedic takeoff on finding enlightenment and has a good message ... until its end. There it was: the gender oppression. 

The plot: two demon hunters are in love with each other, but the male refuses the woman's love because he's trying to find enlightenment and believes that there is great love and small love. When she dies, his remorse brings him to enlightenment, and he realize that there is no "great and small love."

I am sick of plots in which a woman dies in order for a man to become enlightened. Or plots in which her death gives him the apparently requisite rage to finally conquer his enemy—who, of course, killed her.

Women's lives are not props for a man's story or his victory. A woman's death should mean more than its relationship to a man. Think for a moment about the results of a woman's death constantly portrayed in films as having no importance beyond its impact on a man.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Lugh Shrine

The Shrine to Lugh stands on the east side of the Stone Circle.  He is an Irish God associated with the Sun and his Shrine rests right up against the back of the Sanctuary.

 

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In the season of Imbolc, change can be scary. Especially since it's Women in Horror Month!

As we move past the Sabbat of Imbolc, we feel its energy of new beginnings. As we have learned from the recent events on the American political and social landscape, change can be both a wondrous and a terrifying thing. In either case, it galvanizes our sense of purpose and moves us down the path of our chosen desires. Whether we are promoting a change or resisting it, the energy of Imbolc calls us to action.

The bat is a wonderful totem for initiation and transformation. When these little Goth mascots come flitting out of their night time sanctuaries, they symbolize rebirth. Again, they symbolize both the beautiful and the frightening within the archetype of transformation. They tend to be stigmatized due to their habitat and their nocturnal ways. Since we associate them with creepy haunted houses and dreary caves, we see them as symbols of death. In reality, bats are important pollinators. Their control of insects like mosquitoes also protects us from disease. I will go into the bat in more detail in an upcoming issue (probably issue 92) of SageWoman. For now, let's suffice it to say that the bat is a really good representation of the scary side of change.

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Control Freaks, Perfectionists, and Micromanagers Part 2

 

This is part 2 of a series on Pagan leadership and control freaks, perfectionists, and micromanagers. Read Part 1 here.

Ego Wounds

And that takes us back to the root issues here. It's not bad to be a visionary, to be an abstract thinker. But when you add in ego wounds of poor self esteem, lack of self confidence, or other related issues, what you often get is a perfectionist control freak, or a know-it-all. Or both.

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Control Freaks, Perfectionists, and Micromanagers

 

There's a whole overlapping suite of behaviors that are found in a lot of grassroots leaders. There's the combination of being a perfectionist, a control freak, and a micromanager. All too often, folks also engage in the know-it-all behavior pattern as well.

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Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Voluntary Simplicity

 2017 is going to be the year where hopefully the words “voluntary simplicity” will be embraced by a wider range of people. I know that I have been incorporating voluntary simplicity in my own life for many years now, and that there is still many more ways in which I can follow a simpler, more efficient and ecologically sustainable way of being in the world. To do so, I am constantly informing myself, being conscious and mindful, trying to look at the bigger picture and taking personal responsibility for the world that I am leaving to our ancestors of the future. Now more than ever, we are at the crucial tipping point where we have to look beyond our own self-interest and look to the whole, to be more holistic in everything that we do.  

I have incorporated Zen and Buddhism into my life for many years. For me, this brings a wisdom from both Eastern and Western philosophies that can blend together to form a holistic worldview and way of life. I feel that East and West need each other in order to understand the whole. Only when we understand the material as well as the spiritual can we bring them together to live fully in the here and now.  

It’s important that simplicity, in terms of reducing consumerism, resources and living a better, cleaner more sustainable life, is voluntarily chosen. When it is not, we come across such suffering as poverty. Many people in the world do not have a choice to reduce, reuse, to choose. Here in the West, many of us can make choices, however small, in our daily lives that strive towards a more sustainable future for everyone. Where we can, we should voluntarily make that choice, in order to preserve a future for humanity. In doing so, we will also achieve a higher quality of life, and be able to truly flourish as a species. We are at that balance point, if we haven’t already gone too far, to either evolve into a higher consciousness and have that reflected in our actions, to come together as we realise that there is more to bind us together than tear us apart, or we can fall into divisiveness, fighting each other over the few differences and destroying not only ourselves, but a large portion of life on this planet in our downfall.  

But what is simplicity? It is living in harmony with the world. Druidry is all about relationship, and this is also at the heart of simplicity. It is egalitarian. It sees through the illusions created by modern-day culture and society, the need to consume, the distractions of the media. It is about seeing what is really important in life: your family, your friends, your local environment. It is about living sustainably, so that our children and their children, as well as all the planet’s children, both human and non-human, have a good quality of life. It is about learning what is enough, rather than striving for more.  

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"I no longer steal from nature" -- An ancient poem from Aleppo

I'm not sure if it's realistic or not, but the New Year always fills me with hopes for peace. The Winter Solstice starts that process, and the cathartic idea of the new year follows up with an "out with the old, in with the new" type of energy. But sometimes, a voice that is "old" brings us "new" insights. 

With all the hub-ub about diversity, immigration, refugees, and religious dialogue, I thought it would be nice to share a poem from a very renowned, very ancient Syrian poet. His name was Abu 'L'Ala Ahmad ibn 'Abdallah al-Ma'arri. Not surprisingly, he is most often referred to only as al-Ma'arri. He was born in Aleppo, and lived from about 973-1057 CE.

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