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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
“Clean!”

 “The gods receive no offerings from dirty hands.”

(Hesiod)

 

So: at Paganicon next month we'll be doing a big, public ritual for the many-named and many-hued Lady of Spring.

Here's the downside: We' ll be doing it in a cowanish and public place, to whit, a hotel.

Here's the resulting problem: Ritual of this sort demands a high state of ritual purity, and public spaces such as hotels are not generally in a ritually clean state.

So what do you do? Obviously we can't expect to maintain the same high degree of ritual cleanliness that one does back home at the temple.

So we do what pagans have always done: we make do.

As the procession bearing the Offerings and the Holy Things proceeds through the hotel to the Place of Offering, it will be preceded—even before the drums—by one bearing the rose water and the leafy spray for sprinkling.

(And surely those who bear the Offerings and the Holy Things will have washed themselves well beforehand, hands and forearms to the elbows.)

As she cleanses, she will cry out in the ancient language of the Tribe of Witches.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Magic of Sticks and Twigs

Sticks and twigs

 

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Witch Craft: Kitchen Cupboard Incense

As you may have noticed from your reading, I treasure cinnamon incense. It brings a positive energy to your space, an appealingly sweet and spicy scent. It also brings prosperity and calm. What could be better? This may become one of your favorites, as well as it is truly easy to make.

Gather together:

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Hail Hel

Hail Hel, goddess of the dead.

On Feb. 4th, 2020, in the words of my brother, "My mother won her last struggle to free herself from the limits of her form, emerging from an outworn body as a transcendent and radiant being into the limitless possibilities of the Infinite and the unknown."

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Something from the Oven

There was an advertising phrase that went, "Nothing says loving like something from the oven…" however, I think the advertising agency had it backward. It's the love in the preparation that does this. The oven only helps, as do the ingredients, preferably as clean and fresh as possible. Love helps us to choose them, as well as to guide the utensils used in the preparation. Furthermore, the focus of the mind is an important ingredient as well. If I am angry or upset when I am preparing food, it could affect the way it tastes as well as the way it is digested. Though I can't prove it, it's my belief that thoughts and feelings can be powerful in their effect on food.

A study of this potential would make an interesting experiment for a science project, though it could be difficult to set up. I do really enjoy cooking. Though I've never had any courses or training for it and am completely self-taught, I get great praise from those who taste my cooking. I remember one person saying, "This must be Tasha's kitchen because it smells so good." Another time, I had prepared a tropical entrée made with bananas with other ingredients, baked inside their skins. When I stopped one guest from cutting into his, he said, "Oh, I thought if you had cooked it, I could eat it." I laughed and thanked him.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The High Priestess Effect

They call it the “high priestess effect.

You've been there before. It may not have been the worst ritual in the world, but it was somewhere Down There among the Bottom Thirteen. People walk out of the circle feeling bored, irritable, imbalanced.

All but the high priestess, that is. She's giddy with excitement. She thought the ritual was masterful, one of the best ever.

Premise: If you want to know how a ritual really went, don't ask the high priestess.

The sad fact of the matter is that when you're leading a ritual—especially one that you wrote yourself—your perception of the ritual will be both qualitatively and quantitatively different from those of the other folks present. You have a level of investment and engagement that they simply don't. That fact must inevitably shape the experience.

It's not quite fair to put these parallax views down to incompetency: not entirely, anyway. Perhaps it's a matter of experience, really. Experienced priestesses—priests too, of course—know about the High Priestess Effect and understand that they need to temper their own reactions accordingly. The experienced priestess (or priest) knows that, of all the people in the circle, his/her experience of the ritual is the least important. The right to your own experience is one of the sacrifices that you make when you enter the priesthood.

Moral of the Story: From inside and outside, the same ritual looks very different.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Worst Insult

Really, I didn't mean to insult the guy.

A library book that I'd ordered had come in, but I couldn't find it on the reserve shelf. Finally I gave up and went to check with a librarian.

The cute straight guy with the big beard came over to help me. The book had been misfiled on another shelf, but he managed to locate it right away.

“Thanks: I could have looked all day and not found that,” I say, taking the book and shaking my head. “Librarian's intuition.”

There was an awkward pause. I'd intended a compliment, but instead I'd just insulted him.

I'd been riffing, of course, off the phrase “women's intuition.” Inadvertently, I'd just compared him to a woman, which of course—as every man knows—is the most insulting thing that you can do to another man.

Gods. Two (I'm intuiting here, myself) feminist guys, and it's still an insult for one to compare the other to a woman. I'd probably even insulted his choice of careers by implying that it wasn't sufficiently manly work.

I'm sorry, but that is so f*cked.

It's an old, old story. Famously, in ancient Athens, a youth was tried for having murdered his lover.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Don't worry Steven, we're human beings I'm sure that no matter what we'll keep finding new ways to f*ck things up and say stupid s

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