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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in wheel of the year
The Minoan Sacred Year: A Modern Pagan Calendar

Most modern Pagans are familiar with the eightfold Wheel of the Year: the solstices and equinoxes and the points halfway in between. But that's a modern construct. It also doesn't match the unique seasons of the Mediterranean region, where Crete is (and where the Minoans lived).

So in Modern Minoan Paganism, we've worked out a sacred calendar based on the Mediterranean seasonal cycle. We've combined information from Minoan artifacts and ruins, archaeoastronomy, the few fragments of myth that made it down to us via the Greeks, and a bunch of shared gnosis. That gives us a set of festivals that work for us as modern Pagans but that still reflect what we think went on among the Minoans in Bronze Age Crete.

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Stillness and Strength: A Runic Reflection at Imbolc

Images and memes traditionally associated with Imbolc are showing up on social media now, as they do every year. I enjoy seeing the hearty crocus push through the snow, the candle illuminating a frozen landscape, and the dormant seed waiting underground to burst forth into life. All of these symbols and motifs encourage the weary heart that the cold, dark days are ending.   

It’s not exactly how I experience Imbolc, though. 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Wheel Dance

At the very heart of our Yule each year turns the Great Dance of the Wheel, the dance of the Sun's Rebirth.

Listen while I tell of it.

Wearing holly, the circle of men faces outward. Wearing ivy, enclosing, the circle of women faces in.

The two circles take four steps toward each other, then four steps back.

Then the circles wheel. One moves sunwise, the other, widdershins.

(There's a metaphor to be savored here, but that's for later.)

Again the concentric circles expand and contract. Once again they wheel, reversing direction.

Then repeat.

The song that accompanies the dance tells the seasons of the Sun's life: winter, spring, summer, fall, and back again to winter. In one infinite instant, the Sun is begotten, born, begets, and dies. Like the dance, the song wheels, returning again to its own beginning. In the end, it becomes a round, turning and turning on itself.

In this way, we work our magic.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Good question, Ian. I would think that what you wanted to wear and where you wanted to dance would be up to you. Tradition is fixe
  • Ian Phanes
    Ian Phanes says #
    What would you do if a non-binary person (like myself) wanted to dance?

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Signs of Spring

It’s December, and here in the UK that means grey skies, dampness, cold conditions, bare branches... it would seem like madness to be talking about signs of spring.

Except that I can see them.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Meredith Everwhite
    Meredith Everwhite says #
    Very well put, Nimue...thank you for so beautifully sharing a technically obvious but very frequently overlooked and unconsidered

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
A carpet of leaves

For anyone who sees trees as part of their spiritual landscape, it’s important to think about trees specifically and not generically. It can be tempting to approach any aspect of nature as an archetype or an idea, but that means we can end up engaging with our ideas about nature, and not what’s really going on around us.

The process of deciduous trees losing their leaves is a slow one if you track it carefully, and this year I am tracking it carefully. I observed the first significant changes of colour in leaves a couple of weeks ago. Clearly different species of trees turn and shed at a different rate while the weather conditions and temperature affects how long leaves stay on trees. From what I recall of previous years, I think it likely that oak will be the last to go, while horse chestnut turned first and ash followed.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Bad harvests

From Lammas (loaf mass) through the autumn, we tend to think about harvests and to reflect that in rituals. The normal procedure is to focus on the things we have grown and harvested in our lives because most of us aren’t intimately involved with growing and harvesting food.

However, bad harvests are very much part of nature. Too much or too little water, too much or too little sun, and your crops can fail. Insects, disease, people too ill to work the land, and other random natural acts can mean there is no harvest. This is a good time of year to look at the harvests you didn’t get to make because circumstances thwarted you. It can be oppressive having to be all joy and gratitude about life when life is not full of delight. If you are suffering, if you are restricted, if your scope to harvest has been denied you, it’s important to have space to acknowledge that. Gratitude is good, but not when it makes us ignore genuine injustice or go into denial about what isn’t working for us.

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