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
Recent blog posts

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 monsters – Medieval Studies Research Blog: Meet us at the Crossroads of  Everything

A friend is introducing us to the characters in his pagan Nativity set. He points to one hulking, beetle-browed figurine.

“That's Carol, the Ancient Yuletide Troll,” he mugs.

 

(If you've ever wondered about “trolling the ancient Yuletide carol,” it actually has nothing to do with either internet predators or those terrifying denizens of Northern legend; “trolling” here is used as in the phrase “trolling for fish,” meaning “to go round and round in circles.” A carol was originally a round dance performed to a song. ["Follow me in merry measure."] Here in Paganistan, it still is.)

 

Well, I don't know about yours, but in the pagan Nativity set under my Yule tree, the Great Mother on her birth-stool is surrounded by (nudge, nudge) a circle of animals, all come to witness the holy birth.

Don't all our lives, after all, revolve (quite literally) around the Sun?

But my friend's approach makes good sense. When the Sun is born, don't all of Earth's children, all the peoples, come to pay their respects, and lay down their birth-gifts: elves and dwarves, as well as humans? Trolls being said to be Sun-averse—I would be too if its light froze me to stone—I'm not sure how Carol the Ancient Yuletide Troll deals with the situation.

Maybe she wears Sunglasses.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tips ’n’ Tricks: Speaking Stones

If you are a singer or speaker or simply wish to improve how you express yourself, wear these stones in chokers or necklaces to realize a noticeable change for the better: amber, amethyst, aquamarine, azurite, blue obsidian, blue topaz, blue tourmaline, kunzite, lepidolite, and turquoise.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Parting Gifts

When my grandpa died, one of my uncles gave his eulogy that centered on how they'd bonded by working on cars together from the time my uncle was a little boy. He specifically remembered my grandpa asking him for a wrench, right down to the size, and later placed a wrench of that same size in my grandpa's casket to be buried with him. Others in my family placed a fishing pole, a pocket knife, and other objects that represented my grandpa's hobbies and important memories of him for the living. Regardless of our beliefs of the afterlife, something in all of us didn't want him to go into it without the things he treasured. When my grandma passed, we did the same for her.

It's not just my family that's done this, and I've seen in my occupation that people don't reserve it just for their human family, either. Some of my favorite moments at the pet funeral home and crematory where I work are when people bring their pet's favorite things to be cremated with them.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Calm Before the Storm

Many of us are bracing before the big blizzard that's due to hit, across the northern Rockies, northern Plains, and Great Lakes area of the Midwest in a matter of 24 hours or so. Not only will there be dangerous snowy conditions, but there will also be strong gusts of wind, and icy, bitter cold. There could be power outages, so folks are advised to hunker down and stock up on food, water, and batteries for their flashlights. The storm is predicted to be at its worst Thursday evening into Friday morning, when many businesses will likely be shut down. At times, it's somewhat disconcerting to realize how addicted we are to electric power and just how helpless we are without it. Even most gas stoves, and water heaters require it to function. If you're not lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home, your only option may be many layers of clothing and blankets to bundle up in and keep warm.

Be Mindful

It seems all the more appropriate then that the Winter Solstice falls today before all of this is supposed to take place. If we're fortunate, it won't quite as fearsome as they're predicting. But I believe it does urge us all to be especially mindful about our activities today as we prepare and slow down and take time to consider how we spend our time and do so with purpose, if possible. Rather than run around willy-nilly like panicked little stress balls, it would do us better to slow down and be selective. Figure out what needs our absolute attention today, and what can transpire naturally while we're snowbound. Run the errands that need to be and decide what can wait. Stop being obsessed with the to-do list and being ahead of the game and become practical and considerate. Because the latest wave of COVID/flu/and RSV, along now with this latest serious potential storm has and could possibly force many of us to be flexible with our holiday plans—we should do just that and let Mother Nature run her course.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
A Flash of White

A Flash of White

 

...
Last modified on

 Looking for the Hidden Folk | Book by Nancy Marie Brown | Official  Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster

 Reading Nancy Marie Brown's Looking for the Hidden Folk: How Iceland's Elves Can Save the Earth

 

Why do Icelanders believe in elves?

Finally, a convincing answer.

 

If, as I did, you come to Nancy Marie Brown's Looking for the Hidden Folk: How Iceland's Elves Can Save the Earth looking for tales of Iceland's huldufólk—the hidden people—you'll be disappointed. Chapter after chapter, you'll think: Ah, now we're going to get to the stories. Chapter after chapter, you'll be wrong.

But don't let that put you off. Chapter after chapter, you'll find that you keep reading anyway. Why?

If tales of elves are what you want, there are plenty of books of those out there. This book, though, is doing something else.

Robert Kirk's The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns, and Fairies was published in 1815. Since then, the English-reading public has seen no book of elvish theory.

Not until now.

 

Oh, there's no shortage here of elf-tales, to be sure. Many of them will sound familiar. You will have seen many different variations on a few similar themes before: the international press loves stories about Icelandic elfdom.

You know the kind of stories that I mean. The new road necessitates the removal of a boulder said to be the home of an elf. Locals keep warning work-crews that there will be trouble if the boulder is moved, but in the end—after endless break-downs of machinery—the elf-stone is shifted. As predicted, a series of terrible accidents in that particular place ensue.

Finally, the authorities wise up. They replace the boulder and re-route the road. The accidents stop, forthwith.

 

When it comes to the elves of Iceland, and media stories about them, one can't help but think of the war in Ukraine. When war comes to some Third World place where black or brown people live, well, it's tragic, but that's just how it is.

But when war comes to a First World country and people that look like us—i.e. "white" people—then we feel it personally.

Same with exotic beliefs. When they're held by people of color in some exotic locale, well...that's just what those people do.

But when Icelanders—surely the very whitest of white people—start believing in things like elves, well now: that's press-worthy.

 

Why, Brown asks, do we privilege some beliefs over others? Why does it seem perfectly ordinary when someone believes in, say, “God,” but weird-ass when they believe in elves?

Surely, this is a question well worth the asking.

 

For some reason, I'm not the kind of person that gets consulted when they're doing surveys. (Maybe that would change if I started answering calls from numbers that I don't recognize.) But whenever I read the results of surveys, I can't help but ask myself how I would answer these questions.

Usually, my response would be to ask for clarification. Surely we all stand to benefit by a clearer definition of terms.

“Do I believe in elves? Well, that depends. What do you mean by 'elves'? What do you mean by 'believe'?"

That's what Nancy Marie Brown is doing in Looking for the Hidden Folk.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Running in Place

Having a dream about running in place, being unable to get anywhere no matter how fast you run, probably means that you are stuck in the past. Something has happened in your life that you are unable to move on from, and this dream is bringing your attention to it. Because you are not totally present in your waking life, you are missing opportunities for growth that will be necessary as you get older. In this case, running in place might represent your own stubbornness and dislike for change.

Last modified on

Additional information