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 Tribe

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Name (Tribe)

There's a conventional usage in the First Nations press which I think, for various reasons, would be a good fit for the pagan community as well.

There it's customary to identify someone both by name and by tribal affiliation:

Winona la Duke (Anishinabe)

Arvol Looking Horse (Dakota)

This makes perfect sense. In traditional societies, you don't just need to know who someone is; you need to know who her people are as well. In traditional Dine (Navajo) culture, when introducing yourself to a fellow Dine, you mention not just your own name, but your maternal and paternal clans as well. This gives you not just an identity, but a context.

Since pagans come in different kinds, it seems to me that this makes sense for us, too:

Isaac Bonewits (Druid)

Alison Harlow (Feri)

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Reborn to the People

What do you say when someone dies?

I've been rereading Marvin Kaye and Parke Godwin's monumental The Masters of Solitude, a landmark of 20th century witch fiction. It's set 1000 years in the future, and eastern North America is largely populated by various witch tribes.

Among them, when someone dies, you express the wish—or is it a prayer?—that he (or she) be reborn to the tribe.

Reborn to the Shando. Reborn to the Suffec. Reborn to the Karli.

It's a deep witch longing: if I'm to be reborn, let it be among my own.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
What Is a Witch?

What is a witch?

Is a witch something that you are, or something that you become?

Is witchhood from within or from without?

Can anyone be (or become) a witch, or only certain people?

Do you have to undergo initiation to be a witch?

Can you stop being a witch?

From whence does witchhood derive?

Is witchcraft a religion?

If not, does the Craft have religious implications?

Are witchcraft and Wicca identical?

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Broomstick Ghetto

 “Bast, you need to get out more and read some history that doesn't have witches in it.”

 

I live in the Broomstick Ghetto.

Now, some may think: Posch, you need to get out more. You're living in a fantasy.

Well, I disagree.

Denunciations of “retribalization” routinely miss a salient point.

People want a tribe. People need a tribe. People are looking for a tribe of their own to be part of.

And some of us are lucky enough already to have one.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Local historians generally date the start of Paganistan from Beltane 1976, when Minnesota Church of the Wicca held their first May
  • Chris Sherbak
    Chris Sherbak says #
    Amen. (Omen?) I've always been jealous of what you all had up there since, oh, I dunno, 1980?

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Who's Your People?

How do you become a witch?

Well, some of us are born to the tribe. They say that He Himself overshadows our fathers at the moment of our begetting. That explains why we turn out the way we do.

But like other tribes, the Tribe of Witches tends to be porous around the edges. Opting in is always a possibility. (So is opting out, but that's another matter. And you know what they say: Once a witch, always a witch.)

You can marry in. Love is the ultimate bind-oath. Once you speak the language, eat the food, and keep the holidays, you're more or less in by osmosis.

Or you can adopt in. The old rites of initiation are essentially rites of adoption: you make the bind-oath to the gods of the thede (tribe), you're blooded, and you're in.

Because (with all due deference to Uncle Gerald) we're not really a religion at all.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Pagan Era

So: a Wiccan, a Druid, and a Kemetic Reconstructionist walk into a bar.

By any reasonable standard, these people all practice different religions, right?

That's why the term "pagan" is so brilliant.

I've been part of this long enough that I can remember when we first started calling ourselves—and, more importantly, thinking of ourselves—as pagan.

BPE (Before the Pagan Era), Wiccans, Druids, and Kemetic Reconstructionists were different modalities of being. But add the name, and suddenly: hey, presto, it's now the Pagan Era, and we perceive one another as (in some way, shape, or form) belonging to the same group, as different clans in the same overall tribe.

Being pagan together gives us numbers. Suddenly there are millions of us across the world, and numbers = power. Suddenly I have something in common with someone that I've never met in Kyrgyzstan. (Since independence, there's been a big resurgence of traditional religion across Central Asia.)

Let no one doubt the power of a single word.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    It's a wonderful little book, isn't it? Definitely a worthwhile read for a People in search of itself. Can't wait to read Belongin
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Just so! Finished reading Tribe, by Sebastian Junger. Feeling the need to write a book called Belonging: Searching for Tribe in

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The People of the Sea

I never knew that we were Seal Clan until my nephew was born.

You know the story. One full moon night the fisherman sees the seal-maidens come up onto the beach. They step out of their seal-skins and dance as naked maidens in the moonlight. 

The fisherman steals the skin of the youngest. When her sisters return to the sea, she cannot join them. So she goes home with him and becomes his wife.

But years later, one full moon night, she finds her seal-skin again, hidden away in a chest, and not even her love for her children can keep her from going back.

And that's where certain families get their webbed feet from.

Seeing my newborn sister-son's toe-webbing, the aunts said: Oh he has it too, and then I heard the stories.

Last modified on

Additional information