PaganSquare


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 prodea
Pagan Place, or: There Are No Generic Pagan Rituals

A local festival asked a friend of mine if he would write a ritual for them.

“We can't guarantee that it's going to be in any particular location,” they told him.

“Sorry,” was his reply. “If you can't give me a place, I can't give you a ritual.”

Corollaries:

  • There are no generic pagan rituals.
  • All pagan ritual is place specific.

Take, for example, the kachina religions of the American Southwest. You couldn't really pick these religions up and practice them in, say, Minneapolis. They've evolved as a perfect unity of place, people, and religion: what in Witch we would call Land, Lede (“tribe”) and Lore. This unity constitutes the pagan ideal.

I look at my coven's Wheel of the Year. Nearly every one of our rituals has evolved to fit a specific place. You could, theoretically, enact them elsewhere, but it would require a re-envisioning and a recasting of the rites to fit the new location.

The Paganicon 2020 committee asked if I would be interested in crafting Opening and Closing rituals for the upcoming event. As you'll have gathered, I'm not much one for casting circles and calling corners in ballrooms, but if things were to go as I foresee, our rites would mark the tribal Ingathering with what heathens call a “land-take."

Last modified on
The Year the Yule Tree Saved the Coven Jewelry

The coven had been together for not quite a year when we all decided to move in together. Hey, it was the 80s.

Soon our second Yule together rolled around. Naturally, we had our discussions about whether or not it was ethical to kill a tree just for purposes of decoration. Like I said, it was the 80s.

Some felt one way, some another. As it turned out, though, we didn't have to kill a tree for Yule. Instead, one offered itself.

Just before Yule, an early blizzard blew through town, dropping lots of heavy, wet snow. The weight of the snow snapped off a tall, slender arbor vitae in the back yard.

(By the way, for those of you who didn't happened to grow up speaking Latin, arbor vitae means “tree of life.” Interesting.)

So we dragged the tree into the house and decked it out. Goddess will provide.

This being early on in our pagan careers, we didn't have much in the way of Yule ornaments between the lot of us. So we hung the tree with jewelry instead. Pagans, of course, have lots of jewelry that looks good on a Yule tree. Interestingly, the German word for Yule tree ornaments—Tannenbaumshmuck—means exactly that: fir tree jewelry.

So that was our first coven Yule tree together. But there's a coda to the story.

Last modified on
Those Prodea Witches, or: How Does a Coven Manage to Stay Together for Nearly 40 Years?

Come Harvest Home (= autumn evenday) this year, Prodea, the coven that I'm part of, will have been together for 39 (= 3 x 13) years, a significant number.

Given that the life expectancy of the average coven comes to something around three years, that's really a pretty remarkable achievement.

So at Paganicon 2020, we'll be throwing a public bash to celebrate.

 

How Does a Coven Manage to Stay Together for 40 Years?

In Celebration of Prodea, Paganistan's Oldest Working Coven

 

We'll start off with a little panel, so you can meet the folks. Prodea members (those that want to, anyway) will offer stories and reflections on 40 years of life, and magic, together.

There will surely be singing and dancing. (It wouldn't be a Prodea event without them.) Eventually—since there is no witchcraft without food—we'll get to the cake and ice cream.

Reportedly, our celebration will feature yet another culinary masterwork by the indefatigable Janey S., baker to the gods, who (speaking of tales of Prodea) for our 13th anniversary, actually baked a cake with 13 layers.

So cut a notch in your calendar-stave, and we'll plan to see you there.

 

Because if we can do it, so can you.

 

***

Last modified on
A Night in the Life of an Urban Coven

Ah, summer in Lake Country. There's no humidity like Midwestern humidity.

One steamy New Moon night in July 1984, we gather in Loring Park to greet the First Crescent, hoping for even a breath of air movement.

Alas, there is none.

We retire to my nearby deficiency compartment to continue. In the thick, airless humidity, we strip off and sit on the bare floorboards.

In the center of our circle stands the coven goddess: earthen, tall as a child of two years. There she rises: dancing, naked, smiling her mysterious smile. Of us all, only she looks cool.

We chant, savoring.

new is moon

moon are we

we are new

blessed be

The sweating jar passes from lap to lap, a lunar coolness. With sea-sponges, we wipe each other down with the cold water.

As the jar circles, we begin riffing off of our chant.

We are nude, I deadpan. There is no witchcraft without self-satire.

Laughing, Magenta points to the Goddess.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Moon is a Mirror

Our temple Goddess wears a crown of Three Moons, and the disc in the center is a mirror.

Many are its meanings, but this foremost: that the Moon is Herself a mirror.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Secret Smile

A warm golden light streams from the temple doorway. I enter.

Shining, the Goddess stands on the altar. She's actually grinning.

This is not always the case. Usually Her smiles are of the small, secret variety that art historians call “archaic.”

Not today. Today She wears a big, wide grin. Anyone who thinks that statues are static has never lived with this one.

Gifts always make Her happy. The coven was over for Full Moon last night. Each of us kindled a candle before Her. For five days they will burn there, bearing the intentions of our heart.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Urban Procession: Harvest Moon

I hear the procession before I see it.

They enter in at the front gate, with rattle and drum. I join them, and together we wind around the house and back to the garden.

All summer the little goddess has presided over the growth of tomatoes, eggplant, beans, beets, kale, and collards, sunk to her knees in the ground.

Now we stand her instead in a bowl of wheat grains, wheat that we will eat (cooked in almond milk, sweetened with honey, perfumed with rosewater) on the year's longest night. We garland her with harvest marigolds.

Lastly, we cover her over with the same veil of night-blue silk that will enwrap her through her winter slumber in the pantry. We're about to process her down a public street, on which she will duly bestow her blessing, but this is, after all, a goddess: not everyone is privileged to see her.

The procession reforms. I walk this street every day of my life; tonight it becomes a sacred route, a processional way. People arriving for choir rehearsal at the corner church stop to watch.

Last modified on

Additional information