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PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Mystic Sun

The Great Mask of the God of Witches lives in a closed shrine in the Temple of the Moon.

Twice daily it receives incense, song, and prayer.

Weekly it receives offerings of food and water.

A light burns continuously before it.

But though the Mask dwells in mystic darkness, in these days and weeks following Grand Sabbat, I who have seen it tell you that a light shines forth from that shrine, a mystic light, a light as though there were a Sun within.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
God-Paint

“Most painted dick in the Midwest.”

If I never accomplish anything else in this long and varied life of mine, I suspect that I can safely claim that distinction at least with little fear of competition.

Such is the life of a priest of the Horned.

At the Grand Sabbat, the priest wears a mask, a collar of fresh green leaves, and a coat of paint.

The god wears the priest.

Eight days on from Mystery Night, I've just about scrubbed off the last of the god-paint. Well, there's still a little around the edges of the toenails, and my navel (being too ticklish to scrub). Such things are neither lightly taken on, nor easily shed.

Do you know why the god's glans is painted red at the Sabbat? The way I heard it, it's because He's the Opener of the Way.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

You don’t need to fix anything,
it is okay to let your feelings feel, b2ap3_thumbnail_68513579_2397020617176813_5076035239403323392_o.jpg
to let your swoops swoop,
to let your not-knowing not-know,
to let your hope soar
and then plummet,
to let your joy be joyful,
to let your tears be hot.

Witnessing,
without fixing.

As part of my ongoing Living the Questions free e-class this year, I offer you this brief audio about Adversity and Normalcy

...
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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
“Just Like the Woodcuts”

We don't know whether or not the “orgiastic” witch's sabbat of the witch-hunters ever existed anywhere but in their sordid, sex-starved imaginations. But this much we do know: it exists now.

It exists because we made it.

In our day, the Grand Old-Time Witch's Sabbat, with all its blood, grit, and semen, rises again. Those old medieval tropes retrovert very nicely into Pagan, we've found. Anyone who has ever been there can tell you that's it's the real thing.

“Just like the woodcuts,” I was once told, the morning after.

But the Sabbat is not for everyone.

At the Midwest Grand Sabbat just past, a friend was telling me about some folks that she'd spoken with who had attended a previous Sabbat and found it not to their taste.

“Too intense,” they told her. “Too culturally immersive.”

Well, you can't fault their conclusions. Those of us who have been there know full well its unremitting, gut-wrenching emotionality, and the four days of the Sabbat weekend constitute a crash course in deep Witch culture. To those accustomed to the undemanding eclecticism of most pagan festivals, the Real Deal might well seem overwhelming.

For the witch-hunters were right about this much at least: the Sabbat demands everything. The Sabbat demands your soul.

For those of us of the Tribe of Witches, it's a price joyfully paid.

No, the Sabbat is not for everyone. But I couldn't help but grin when I heard my friend's words.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Function of Focus

On the last morning of this year's Grand Sabbat gathering, a friend—a priestess of many years' experience—came to me, distraught.

“The campers!” she said. “They have to be moved! They'll ruin the sightlines!”

The campers and caravans were parked on the edge of the meadow through which the Horned departs in the final rite of farewell. We follow him up out of the woods and watch as he walks up the hill and off into the sky.

I could readily understand my friend's concern. The sight of the Antlered disappearing over the horizon is an image of such searing purity and beauty that nothing must interfere with it, nothing.

“Don't worry,” I tell her. “The god will make the campers disappear. You won't even see them.”

And so, indeed, it was.

When the rite was ended, and the tears dried, my friend came to me, wondering.

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Not Only Lammas: Other August Harvest Holidays and Traditions in Europe

Grains are goldening, apples and other fruits are ripening, and beehives are thick with honey. The harvest season has come and is rapidly maturing. While Lammas and Lughnasadh have passed in the UK and Ireland, other harvest holidays are still just beginning. Each festival celebrates the culmination of hard work and good luck, and marks the turning of the year, the slow fade of summer into fall, and the gratitude that people still feel for the benevolence of their lands.

Grains, Apples, and Honey

...
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Hands of Great Skill: A few "handy" Minoan deities

Modern Minoan Paganism's pantheon includes a variety of gods and goddesses with varying attributes. One group I haven't talked much about is the set of deities we call Hands of Great Skill: those whose purview is highly skilled handcrafts of various sorts.

Taking the raw materials of the Earth and transforming them, turning them into something new and different: that's a kind of magic. Rhea's gifts to us - clay and metal ore - are the body of the Earth Mother, offered up to those whose can make blades from rocks and vessels from mud using their hands and the equally magical power of fire.

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