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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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Recent blog posts
Long Distance Love: Sending Affection From Afar

Perhaps you are in a long distance relationship with someone special who lives many miles away Long distance magic can be quite effective so try this ritual which has worked well for my circle.

Gather together:

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Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Summer Weaving: A Sacred Season

Since Ariadne's Tribe is a living spiritual tradition, it has taken us a number of years to complete our sacred calendar. This post and the next one will be the last additions for the foreseeable future. This has been a long-term community effort in the Tribe, and I'm grateful to everyone who has participated in this process.

So where are we in the calendar right now? We've just passed the Blessing of the Ships and are now in the season that leads up to Summer Solstice.

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Let Love Flow: Binding Ink Spell

If you are lucky enough to live in the country or near a wild and weedy meadow, you can easily find pokeberries. Though poisonous when eaten, these magenta berries make wonderful homemade ink. You can imbue this wine-colored ink with magical powers with this simple spell.

During a waning moon, fill a vial with dark red ink and add the juice from the crushed pokeberries. Add a few drops of burgundy wine from the bottom of your love’s glass and one drop of a fruited essential oil such as apple blossom, apricot, or peach.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
An Enchanted Love Letter

Love letters are an ancient art that always deepens intimacy. What heart doesn’t surge when the object of affection pours passion onto the printed page? Magic ink, prepared paper, and magic wax will seal the deal.

Take a special sheet of paper (sumptuous handmade or creamy watermarked stationary is ideal) and write with a magical colored ink—red dragon’s blood is available at most metaphysical shops—or try the “Enchantment Ink” spell that follows.

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Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

60-some miles south of the Twin Cities, the Mississippi River widens into a large body of water that has come to be known as Lake Pepin. (Readers of Laura Ingalls Wilder may recall her girlhood crossing of the river ice there, just before its thunderous spring break-up, in Little House on the Prairie.) Two miles wide and 22 long, with a total surface area of about 40 miles, it's about the same size (and shape) as the famed Loch Ness.

Like Loch Ness, it has its own water-horse, they say.

“Pepie,” they call him, predictably. (Her? It? Them?)

Keep an eye on any sufficiently large body of water for long enough, and you'll be bound to see some strange things, for sure. Just how long folks have been seeing Pepie isn't entirely clear.

Predictably, there are stories ascribed to “Native American” times. Since a number of the local Indigenous peoples knew of “water panthers” that lived in lakes of a sufficient size, that's maybe not surprising.

(Water panthers are water-spirits who have an ongoing feud with the Thunderbirds. A number of 1000-year old effigy mounds in the area apparently represent these water panthers, powers of the Great Below.)

Some have dismissed Pepie as a “20th”-century publicity stunt to draw tourists. Well, people do love monsters, and monster tourism does indeed bring in money. Ask anyone in Roswell, New Mexico.

Admittedly, on the face of it, the prospect seems zoologically dubious. You can't, of course, have just one Pepie, since not even monsters are immortal. You need a breeding population of Pepies, which is another matter entirely. Pepin's a big lake, but it's not that big.

Publicity stunt or not, I suspect something deeper going on here. There's a witch in every woods, a monster in every lake. The language of the Good Folk, of those Others with whom we share the Land, gives us a very real, if nonliteral, way to talk about our relationship with the Great nonhuman Out There.

If you're looking for naturalistic explanations here—leaving aside wakes and floating logs—I'd personally suspect sturgeon. There used to be so many sturgeon in the Mississippi that there was actually a thriving domestic caviar industry, until—predictably—overfishing put paid to it. Sturgeon, which in the Mississippi sometimes grow to a length of nearly three feet, have been around since the Upper Cretaceous period—about 100 million years ago. So maybe, just maybe, there are prehistoric monsters in Lake Pepin after all.

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A Chance Encounter with Mythology in the Garden

Magic that takes place in the garden doesn’t always have to do with plants and you never know what you might find. While weeding around some lilies in my garden the other morning, I did a double take for what I thought at first was a spent flower that had dropped and landed on a leaf. On closer inspection, I saw that it was a moth. Its markings were less than remarkable until he moved one of his wings revealing a splotch of red color and a hind wing eye spot that was very owl like. Unfortunately, I wasn’t quick enough to snap a picture of that.
        Curious about my garden visitor, I did some research and found that it is an io moth (Automeris io) also known as the peacock moth. An earlier name for it was Hyperchiria lilith, which had been based on a series of female moths with reddish-brown forewings. The only link between the moth and Lilith is that in many stories she was said to have had red hair. Even though I liked the little male moth I found, I was liking his species even more.
        The current species name comes from Greek mythology. Io was the first priestess of the goddess Hera. Io is also known as the cow goddess because Zeus turned her into a heifer in an attempt to hide her from the wrath of his wife. Of course, Hera knew everything that was going on in Olympus and elsewhere. Fleeing from the mighty goddess, Io eventually ended up in Egypt where she regained her human form. The Greeks identified Io with Isis. Interestingly, because corn is an occasional host plant for io moth larvae, early twentieth-century naturalist Gene Stratton-Porter called it “Hera of the Corn.”
        At any rate, since moths are mostly nocturnal and elusive, they may go unnoticed for magic. However, because they are active at night they are especially helpful for dream work and contacting spirits. As for symbolism: attracted to a candle flame, the moth represents the soul seeking truth as well as transcendence. It is also regarded as a symbol of knowledge. Associated with the moon, the moth is a perfect symbol for an esbat altar and lunar magic.
       Invite the energy of the moth for spell work, especially for defense. It can aid in understanding omens and messages received through divination. In addition to being considered an oracle, the moth was often regarded as a witch in European folklore. With the symmetry in its patterns and shape, the moth represents balance and can help restore equilibrium when life gets out of whack.


 

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 The Perils of Mirror-Magic

 

Never get between two mirrors.”

 

In his 1991 novel Witches Abroad, Terry Pratchett warns of the dangers of getting trapped between mirrors.

The danger he writes of is real, especially for witch-kind.

Let me tell you a story.

 

Stepping out of the hotel-room shower, I catch an unexpected glimpse of myself from behind in the mirror on the wall in front of me, vertiginously reflecting back from the mirror on the bathroom door behind me. It's disorienting, seeing your own back, right there in front of you: an out-of-body experience, almost.

Like many gay guys, I'm probably over-engaged with graceful aging. As always, the territory manages to look simultaneously familiar, and alluringly mysterious.

Damn, boy,” I think approvingly, “Looking pretty good.”

 

As it happens, I'm prepping for an event later this summer at which I need to look my lean and rangy best, so it's reassuring to know that the regimen is paying off.

A day or two later, back at home, I find myself—uncharacteristically—checking out the rear view again with the aid of a hand mirror.

Next day, I'm at it again. Now, I've got as much gay narcissism as the next guy (f*ck you, Sigmund Freud), but—as the saying goes—third time makes the charm.

“No,” I think firmly, and lay down the mirror.

Forewarned is forearmed. Thank you, Terry Pratchett.

 

Our own hinder regions being something that we don't much see, they readily become for us a liminal territory: us/not-us; familiar/mysterious.

The Self as Other: one of the Horned's deeper mysteries.

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