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 science
Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, August 27

Wildfires sweep the Pacific Northwest, sending clouds of toxic smoke into the air. Oslo construct a special "highway" just for bees. And FiveThirtyEight's Christie Aschwanden takes a look at the hard work that goes into scientific research. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment on the Earth and science-related news. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Last modified on
Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, July 9

It's that time of week again, when we bring you science and Earth-related stories to read and consider. This week for Earthy Thursday we bring you a number of articles relating to the ongoing California drought, which continues to threaten the state's agricultural industry. Read where and how the drought is hitting hardest and what you might be doing to help aggravate it (and what you can do to stop). Additionally, we've gathered a few other stories, including one about how best to weather a heat wave (no pun intended). All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Last modified on
Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, July 2

The future! This week for Earthy Thursday we talk about some of the coming changes our Earth is experiencing and how society is adapting to them. Learn more about the Pope's statement on climate change, the possibilities of biofuel, what researchers are doing to harness nuclear fusion, and how public opinion on science and technology is shaped. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
DNA and Ancestral Ritual

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. 

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Arwen Lynch
    Arwen Lynch says #
    Honestly I was a bit bummed. My husband had a more interesting mix (and surprising to find out he has a significant amount of Nat
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Arwen, I can see how that would be a bummer. But you're such a gorgeous woman, your ancestors must've been beautiful too.
  • Arwen Lynch
    Arwen Lynch says #
    I did mine and it was as I expected. European to the very core with that 5% nod to the Sub-Saharan wanderers.
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Arwen, was it an interesting experience to have what you had always been told confirmed? My dad's side of the family turns out to
  • Kin Roberts
    Kin Roberts says #
    I just received my DNA kit from Ancestry. Looking forward to the results.

Twelve Healing Stars is a yearlong project in cooperation with the Temple of Witchcraft that explores social justice through the lessons of the 12 Zodiac Signs. This is part six. Basic social psychology suggests that religion can be a very dangerous thing. Open any introductory textbook to the chapter on social psych, and you’ll be hit with a flurry of concepts that build upon each other to show us how tribal, exclusionary, and potentially violent religion – any religion – can become.

  • The Out Group Homogeneity Effect tells of our tendency to see all people that are not part of our group as “all the same.”
  • In Group Bias is our ability to tolerate differences within our own groups, even as we don’t see them in other groups.
  • The Fundamental Attribution Error leads us to blame another person’s character for mistakes they make and any behavior they do while ignoring the situational variables that could have caused the mistake or behavior.
  • Group Polarization is our tendency, once within a group, to gravitate toward extreme thinking. Our opinions may be moderate on a topic, but as we hang out with people with more extreme opinions, we move in that direction.
  • Groupthink tells us that when we have a charismatic leader and a lack of dissenting opinions in a group, we make very poor choices.

Add these together, and any time a group gets together they risk extreme thinking and tribalism. We see that play out in everything from sports team rivalries to international politics. We tend to naturally separate ourselves from others. And one of the places we see it way too often in is religion. Ethnobiologist E.O. Wilson is working on a trilogy to explore the human condition and its intersections with spiritual practice. He says that a major problem with religion is this tribal mentality. “Religion,” he says “features supernatural elements that other tribes – other faiths - cannot accept.” The problem with that is that, “Every tribe, no matter how generous, benign, loving, and charitable, nonetheless looks down on all other tribes.” Mix that with social psychology and you are creating a pretty toxic brew for humanity’s survival. There is a way out of this. Another concept from social psychology, a deceptively simple one, can be our key. It’s called the Mere Exposure Effect. We’ve all experienced it. When a person begins with a negative attitude toward a person or group, spending time around that group – merely being exposed to it – can improve their attitude. It’s one of the reasons that coming out of our closets, be they broom closets or any other kind of closet, is so important. When we know good people who belong to a misunderstood group, our perceptions of that group improve.  Instead of separation, we need to come together. We need the Piscean message of merging together, yet we can’t lose what makes us all unique. This is a large part of the mission for Alix Wright, the Pisces Lead Minister for the Temple of Witchcraft. Paganism of any brand, but especially Witchcraft, runs a great risk of being misunderstood and maligned. Wright says that, “The air of mystery surrounding the various pagan faiths could feed the fear of those who don’t truly know what we do.” She adds that, “Anytime you keep things closed off and secretive, those not in ‘the know’ have the opportunity to put their own spin on things and can demonize what the only have minimal, or no, understanding of.”

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

a1sx2_Thumbnail1_Helios.jpg

Of all the myths, it is the myths of the sun that give me the most trouble.  The typical sun myth is that the divinity of the sun rides around the earth in some type of conveyance and then takes a different one or a different form to return to the original starting point.  This myth stems from the original belief that the sun travels around the earth.  It is the ancient’s explanation for the days and nights.  Yet we of the modern era know this is incorrect.

 

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Editor B
    Editor B says #
    I've come to know AP as one of those sharp-tongued people who do not suffer fools gladly. Happily, the substance of his commentary
  • Apuleius Platonicus
    Apuleius Platonicus says #
    The curvature of the earth is instantly obvious to anyone who has ever traveled on the open seas. Records of such seafaring go bac
  • Melia Brokaw
    Melia Brokaw says #
    I wanted to get other view points and am glad that others are finding this useful though I admit to having harder time dealing wit
  • Editor B
    Editor B says #
    I shared this with Jon Cleland Host. Here's his reply. What follows are his words not mine but I thought they were very wise. For
  • Apuleius Platonicus
    Apuleius Platonicus says #
    First of all, the ancients did not think the earth was flat. That is a modern myth, and no one with any familiarity with ancient s

Additional information