The world's a wonderful and diverse place full of many different kinds of people. And with the variety of nations and races comes the entwined variety of religion. For this week in Faithful Friday we take a look at the religions around the world, what the future has in store for them, and how they've changed throughout the years. 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.
Summer Solstice is traditionally one of the most festive of the Pagan/Wiccan Sabbats of the year. What better way to celebrate than with some Sun Salutations and joyous chants? Depending on whether you have your most energy at sunrise or sunset, plan your party according to your own natural rhythm. Invite your fitness-buff friends. Have everyone bring a yoga mat, lounge-worthy apparel and a healthy snack to share. Lead them through a series of easy postures, including Prayer Pose and Raised Arm Pose. There are some good ideas and tips courtesy of
If you are able to do these outside in your backyard, all the better. If nothing else, open all the windows and let the sunshine in. Be sure to keep you and your guests hydrated with some Sun Tea. If having a morning party, prepare the tea the day before. If holding at sunset, you can start your tea the day of! And the recipe is:
(Adapted from Chef Garlic, food.com)
4 family-size tea bags (I know some people prefer one brand over the other, so you can decide which you prefer)
1 1⁄4 cups sugar or sugar substitute to taste
water, to fill container
lemon wedge, for garnish
1 gallon container or jug, with a screw on lid.
About 9 a.m., fill your pitcher with the water, and tea bags.
(The reason for the screw on top, is so that ants don't get to the tea.) Let the tea sit in the sun for most of the day, a prime full sun location is best. In the summer, the heat from outside can be enough to dissolve the sugar later.
When done heating, combine the sugar, tea, and more water to make one gallon.
Serve with thick 1 1/2" wedges of lemon. It usually takes 4-6 hours of being in the sun in order to steep. You can eyeball the tea and bring it in, after the tea looks dark enough.
Since the tea is best served cold, put it in the fridge right away. It does not last as long as boiled tea for some reason, and I usually leave the tea bags in the jug until the tea is gone. Then, I take the tea bags and sprinkle them in my flower garden, or over my roses.
A rousingly energetic series of Kirtan chants can be shared on the wah! Loops N Grooves recording. A sampling of this inspiring music can be found at http://www.wahmusic.com/music_loopsngrooves.php
Typically Kirtan is a call/response effort, but with this recording you could sing along, dance, or do whatever moves you. When everyone has reached a sufficient state of bliss, sit down and feast! Blessed be and namaste.
For a list of common Kirtan chant lyrics that you could print out copies of:
For more info about Kirtan:
Photo by ponsuwan at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
In today's Faithful Friday post, the Pagan News Beagle brings you: a secularist convention; yoga: fitness or faith; UK law enforcement confronts witchcraft accusations; does higher education lead to less religious behavior? and five Hindu words for love.
Richard Dawkins and his fellow secularists are having a convention this week, concentrating on the rise of religious fundamentalism, especially in the Middle East....
Five days of silence…my friends laughed in astonishment. I’d signed up for a retreat at a Buddhist centre in the woods: no reading, no writing, no talking, no eye contact. My friends were amused (amazed?) because they were familiar with just how much I could talk. But maybe not with why.
I’ve always wanted to be consistent. Walk one path with loyal dedication. But it was not to be.
Born with a perverse need to be both sceptical and spiritual, I have a checkered religious history. I’ve been a Jehovah Witness, Anglican altar girl, and agnostic (a few times). Twenty years ago though, I found Paganism. Instead of dogma and moralizing, it offered me a celebration of life and a treasure trove of symbols and traditions to explore....
Having passed (by quite a few) the required number of years and an appropriate series of experiences, it appears that I have become a sage. I can now look back over the events of my life and connect the dots.
As a young man I felt that I was a reincarnated sage who was constantly seeking reconnection, through my vague but compelling memories, to my former wisdom and power. I now see clearly that it's silly to split hairs over titles. Druid, hierophant, teacher, bard, yoga philosopher - titles are just signposts. They indicate a certain type of calling that can never be fully encompassed by words....
I rolled into my yoga class last week, placed my mat in my usual spot and prepared for my normal Thursday night level 1-2 Anusara practice. My yoga teacher started the class by talking about a studio she has practiced in for many years-and then drew our attention to the particular studio in which we sat which had just turned 4 years old. She talked of foundations-how this particular floor and these particular walls have held us all as students-in our successes, our failures (if there is such a thing as failure in yoga) and all of the emotions and thoughts that run through us as we fold over into downward dog or kick up into headstand. I paid special attention to my bones during that class-their alignment or lack thereof, strength, and hugging the muscles into the bones as well.
And of course, being the animist, ancestor venerating, root magic-making, self-inquiry sorceress that I am I started thinking about my own foundations-my ancestors-who come from all over the place-Cherokee First People, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Germany, Spain, and the list goes on. I thought about all of the religions and spiritual traditions that have poured out through the ages into the pool of my heart-indigenous European pre-Christian traditions of so many stripes, indigenous Cherokee and Choctaw pre-Christian traditions and knowing, Judaism, Catholicism, and Baptist. The animals, plants, deities, and spiritual allies that have been with my lineage for centuries and the ones that have made themselves known to me in this time and this life. For me-these people, their traditions, devotions, and knowledge are the foundation upon which I stand. I thought of my own mother who taught me how to read tarot and runes when I was barely three-of my first magic spell performed with great success when I was four and a half, my father who taught me the power of prosperity, how to run a business and how to make a difference, of my dearly departed Cherokee grandfather who taught me about crystals, red clay, and root medicine and my grandmother who still lives and to whom I owe my intimacy with the King James Bible-on all of their shoulders I stand and I bow in honor....