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
Botanical Bliss: Garden Your Way to Happiness

For healing, plant sage word sorrel, carnation, onion, garlic, peppermint and rosemary.

For dispelling negative energy, plant heather, hawthorn, holly, hyacinth, hyssop, ivy, juniper, periwinkle and nasturtiums.

...
Last modified on

 Best Chocolate Cake | Handle the Heat

 

In the dream, I've gone with two friends to observe the year's last day of classes at a new experimental school.

I know nothing about the school, but learn that they share a central premise with Robert Graves in The White Goddess: that in order to make the social and cultural changes that we must make in order to survive, we need a new religion. So the staff of the school have made a new religion, and the students have enthusiastically embraced it.

They call it Hinduism—something of a steal, I think, since what I see has little resemblance to actual Hinduism. It's a polytheistic religion, though (I hear with disapprobation) that they call the gods “saints.” So far as I can tell, they seem to have drawn their pantheon largely from Indigenous Central America, and the ancient court-ball game of the Americas figures large in their observance.

There's a subdued sense of celebration in the air as I wander around, and platters of a delicious-looking chocolate cake circulate freely among the groups of students. One of my friends is already sitting at a table along with many of the best-looking young men in the school.

“Well, that's in character,” I think, a little jealous that he's already managed to insert himself into the life of the school. Myself, I need to do more observation; I'm waiting for my other friend to join me.

The school's principal—clearly the driving force behind the social experiment—stands up and offers a reasoned rationale for what they've achieved, but I find myself out of sympathy with what he says. “He's trying to walk it back," I think.

Over my shoulder, though, I hear a young man talking about the whole project, and why it has to be religiously-based. “Religion motivates people as nothing else can,” he says. “With this religion, we've been able to accomplish all sorts of amazing things.” (He names several collective achievements; the environmental ones are particularly noteworthy.) “Without it, we would never have have been able to do all this.”

“This is exactly the point that Graves makes at the end of White Goddess," I think, "and here we see the proof." Secular environmentalism will never offer sufficient motivation to make the hard changes that need to be made; only religion can provide the necessary driving social force to do that.

The friend that I'm waiting for still hasn't turned up—he too, I suspect, has begun to enter fully into the life of the school—but I've already reached a conclusion.

Last modified on
Hope and Healing Candle Consecration

Recently, I have been wishing and hoping for peace in this world of ours, as have most of us. I have been making, burning, and giving away candles with the word “peace” written with crystals embedded in the soft candle wax.

If possible, perform this spell during a full moon night for the greatest effect. Place your stained-glass peace candle on your altar and light rose incense, which represents love and unity. Light the candle and chant:

I light this candle for hope,
I light this candle for love,
I light this candle for unity,
I light this candle for the good of all the world
That we should live in peace. And so it shall be.
 
Sit in front of your altar and meditate, eyes closed, for a few minutes while visualizing peace in the world. Let the candle burn completely for full charging. Whenever the world around you feels chaotic, light this candle and meditate on a sense of peace enveloping you. And it will.
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

Incredible as it may seem, there's a carving of Perun, the Slavic God of Thunder, in the Catholic cathedral in “St.” Paul.

I can't remember why a priestess friend and I had decided to go across the River to attend a service at the cathedral that night. (It must have seemed like a good idea at the time.) After the ritual—the church had otherwise emptied out quickly—the two of us wandered around playing tourist.

In the apse behind the altar are the so-called Chapels of Nations, each one dedicated to the patron saint of one of the constituent demographic groups that originally settled the city formerly known as Pig's Eye. (How the city got its first name is a funny, and very pagan, story. Remind me to tell you some time.) It's above the altar dedicated to the brothers Cyril and Methodius, missionaries to the Slavs, that you'll find the carving of Perun.

In 988, Prince Vladimir of Kiev decided to cement his political alliance with the Byzantine emperor by accepting baptism. In a move reminiscent of the mass Moonie weddings of the 80s, he had the entire population of Kiev herded down to the River Dnieper to undergo forcible assembly-line style mass baptism.

In an act of blatant hypocrisy, Vladimir also had his soldiers throw down the sacred god-poles of the city's main sanctuary, images which he himself had caused to be raised some years before.

Pro forma baptism notwithstanding, the people of Kiev were distraught to see the images of their old gods cast down. When Perun's image was pitched into the waters of the Dnieper—it had golden mustaches and a silver beard, a chronicler remembers—the people lined the riverbank.

“Swim, Perun, swim!” they cried.

And he did. The place downstream where He came to shore is still called Perun's Landing.

In the “St.” Paul carving, Perun lies on his side: cast down, but not yet drowned. It's a fine likeness, crisply rendered, based on the four-faced figure of the god Svantovit discovered at Zbruch in Poland in 1848. In His right hand—liquor-loving god that He is—He holds a drinking horn. It seems a telling touch, intimate.

Well, we're pagans, and pagans don't go to see a god empty-handed. Unfortunately, until that moment unaware of Perun's presence, neither of us had thought to bring a proper offering.

So I keep watch while my friend “liberates” some flowers from another altar, and Perun, giver of rain to pagan and non-pagan alike, receives His offering.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Self-Blessing Spell

The time you take to restore yourself is precious. Morning is the optimal time to perform a self-blessing, which will help you maintain both your physical health and provide an emotional boost each and every day. Take a bundle of dried lavender grown in your kitchen garden or from a purveyor of organic herbs and place it into a muslin sack. Knead the lavender three times and breathe in the calming scent. Beginning at the top of your head, your crown chakra, pass the pouch all the way down to your feet, gently touching your other sacred chakras: throat, solar plexus, stomach and pelvis. Holding the lavender bag over your heart, speak aloud:

Gone are sorrows, illness and woe;
Here wisdom and health flows.
My heart is whole, joy fills my soul.
Blessed be me.
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 Amazon.com: European Paganism (9780415474634): Dowden, Ken: Books

Hey N,

I'm absolutely delighted that you'll be joining us for this year's Midwest Grand Sabbat, and the enthusiasm with which you've taken on the preparations moves me deeply. The Sabbat really is the witch's true paradise, as anyone who has been there can tell you, but there's no denying that what you get out of it is very much proportional to what you put in.

I hope that you're enjoying Dowden's European Paganism. It's so much better than nearly anything else out there: a veritable hoard of pagan/heathen practice. It's definitely one of the Thirteen Books that I'd take to the desert island.

If you really want to understand the inner workings of the Grand Sabbat, pay close attention to Chapter 14. Cowan reviewers have felt that Dowden oversteps the evidence in his claims here, but the truly amazing thing is that he could well be describing our Sabbat—the whole tribe gathering in the tribal territory's central sacred place to enact the terrible sacrifice that renews the life of the people—even though the entire structure of the Grand Sabbat and its "time-stead" were already fully in place well before I had ever read Dowden.

This is one of the things that gives me hope for the future of the whole pagan project. Spontaneously we regenerate old practices and structures, not because they're historical—although they may be—but because they're practical ways to accomplish what we want, inherent in how we—as heathens/pagans, as human beings—do things together. There are large conclusions to be drawn here, and in a matter of weeks we'll be fully immersed in them. Gods, what's better than that?

Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Lindenfest is a festival in Geisenheim, Germany centered on a large, old linden tree. They decorate the tree with lights, do folk dances around it, and celebrate for 3 days. It's also a holiday my kindred will be celebrating this year.

In ancient heathen times, trees of particular note were often associated with gods and were part of their worship, for example: Thor's Oak. Linden trees are associated with the goddess Frigga, and in particular with her handmaiden Lofn, also known as Minne. My kindred is celebrating Lindenfest as a holiday for Frigga and Lofn / Minne. We will be drinking linden tea. As Geisenheim is in the Rhineland, noted for its wine, and a holiday in summer has the character of a harvest festival, many of the festival-goers in Germany drink wine. We might drink some wine too, but tea first.

We're not trying to replicate what they actually do in Germany, since we can't dance around the actual linden tree there. We can bring the spirit of linden to our celebration with linden tea, though. Perhaps we will even manage to do a folk dance, although there is very little overlap between my kindred and the old dance group that was destroyed by the lockdowns, just me and one other person. We don't have a linden tree to dance around, but maybe we could dance around the teapot while the tea is brewing? As the Minne aspect of Lofn is also associated with mermaids, after our tea party we'll also be going for a swim, continuing the mermaid theme for the summer.

We're starting with the idea of Lindenfest and making our own celebration out of it. It's going to end up being quite different from the original version, and that's OK. Most of the holidays we celebrate in the USA are very different from their original versions, and most modern pagan and heathen holidays are celebrated differently from the originals, even the ones for which a lot of careful reconstruction was done. Change is OK. That's how culture operates. Lindenfest in Germany is 3 days, the second weekend in July, but ours will only be 1 day, on July 11th 2021. 

Info on Lindenfest as it is currently celebrated in Germany:
https://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Lindenfest

Info on Lindenfest as a pagan holiday:
https://journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/goddess-minne/

Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Victoria
    Victoria says #
    There is zero evidence that Linden trees were associated with Frigga or with Lofn, there is nothing in the Norse or Germanic lore

Additional information