Our writer Laura Tempest Zakroff discuses the magic of genderbending. Australian Pagans meet for a conference this autumn. And the Poetic Edda, one of the most commonly cited sources for knowledge on Norse mythology, is examined. It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment on news about and commentary from the Pagan community! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
The New York Times takes a look at the collection of Doreen Valiente. The way in which gods have "evolved" over time is considered. And the debate over politics within polytheism continues. It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment on new about the Pagan community. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
- Items from nature for a collaborative nature mandala: leaves, stones, acorns, seeds, twigs, feathers, and other items from nature (mindfully collected and ideally found on ground). If a group ritual, ask each person to bring a quantity of something to add to the mandala. If it is a family ritual, go out together before moonrise to collect your items. Note: Depending on size, composition, energy, and patience of the group, you may wish to create the mandala together first before beginning the rest of the ritual and then gather around it for the rest of the ritual itself.
- Paper leaves (can be simply cut out ovals using scrap paper) or dry, fallen leaves + markers to write on them.
- Optional: drums, rattles, or bells
- Optional: a candles for each participant (place around outer edge of nature mandala)
Before the ritual: ask each person to respond to the prompt: “my bounty is” and collate the responses into a collaborative bounty poem. If you are working alone, respond to this prompt on your own and form a poem for yourself (example poem)
Science and magic meet. I won't choose between mysticism and science. They can feed each other.
My ancestors are spiritually important to me. So I'm combining science and spirit in a deeply personal way: I ordered an AncestryDNA test kit.
A mystic, I travel through the blood in my veins, back through time, to discover the ancient ways my family once practiced. Today, the logical rational side of me does the same by spitting into a vial. This test tube becomes a chalice that arrived by mail, enclosed in plastic. Two supposedly disparate halves of me come together to feed my spirit.
I mailed my saliva, part of my sacred body, to scientists, who will analyze it to reveal my ethnic background. They'll go back through many generations, the same way my meditations have. Their work will expand my otherworldly travels.
I have just returned from a Women and the Land conference held in Point Reyes, California. It was a wonderful series of panels, whose presenters were almost all women authors: poets, essayists, and fiction and non fiction writers. Given my interest in how the feminine and ecology fit together as a unified theme in needed cultural changes that might yet save our nihilistic Western culture, I expected to enjoy it. And I did, far more than I expected.
That said, this column and the next will deal with an error I heard there, and with its solution. I think the error runs through the thinking of many women and men whose hearts are in the right place. And its solution is easy once we recognize it and take the time to digest its implications. It is also very relevant to Pagans....