PaganSquare


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 SageWoman Blogs

"Just breathe"

Such a simple statement. A reminder to just breathe. Why do we say that? Does it really help?

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Equinox is next week, and Samhain will be on us soon. As we enter autumn its good too to set our energetic houses in order, in preparation for the new season. Equally there are times in life when the next stage, the next move to make in life is unclear. Stress, worry, negative energy can come into our lives in a variety of ways for a variety of reasons, and sometimes the only thing to do is be prepared to wade through some deep dark waters for a while- or even dive deeper trusting in the journey that in time you will come through to easier times. However, while struggle, and even a lack of clarity is all part of the rhythm of life from time to time, there are always pro-active things that can be done to help re-set and re-connect with the navigating forces in our lives once more. Whether its illness, depression, money worries, politics or a whole host of other challenges, there is always something we can do, to just make a small shift, that may set up some positive ripples in our energy.

 

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“The Only God Worth Worshiping is the Great Mother, Source of All Life”

You know the feeling: the words leap up off the page and seize you with such force that you know you're never going to forget them.

Years ago, I was reading an article about German Expressionist painter Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876-1907).

“The only god worth worshiping is the Great Mother, Source of all Life,” she was quoted as saying.

(I should mention that I've since tried to track down this quotation, so far unsuccessfully; but since her words smote themselves into my heart at the time, I'm willing to trust my memory on this one.)

To look at her paintings, you could certainly believe that she would say such a thing. Her secular madonnas, many of them self-portraits, radiate a serene and luminous sanctity of their own.

***

The wand beeps over my breastbone. With a jerk of his head, the TSA guy indicates: Show.

By her chain, I pull the little silver goddess up out of my shirt.

“Who's that?” he asks, surprised.

(Interesting: not "what?" but "who?")

“The Great Mother, Source of All Life,” I tell him. Then I hear myself adding: “I have it on good authority that She's the only god worth worshiping.”

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Procession of the Equinoxes, or: Some of Our Best Rituals Are Processions

For far too long now, contemporary pagan ritual has been imprisoned in the magic circle. There's more, far more, to liturgy than Summoning, Stirring, and Pointing Knives At.

Consider, for example, the common Procession.

When I'm teaching the Art of Ritual, I generally draw on the Procession as an example of a successful ritual-form that doesn't require a magic circle.

As a ritual, a Procession has a lot going for it.

  • It's something that we do together.
  • It's self-explanatory.
  • Everyone already knows what to do without having to be told: the ritual itself leads us (literally) in the direction that we need to go.
  • It has a single focus and a clear goal.
  • It felicitously combines formality and informality.
  • Without words, it says: Something non-ordinary, something significant, is happening here.
  • In it, we engage our environment in a sacred way.

(Note that these same criteria characterize virtually all good ritual, not just Processions.)

I often cite the Procession as an example of ritual that can't go wrong. But at one workshop a woman spoke up, a priestess well-known in her area.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    If I'm remembering my archeology correctly both Stonehenge and Woodhenge had processionals to walk on before getting to the circle
  • Chris Sherbak
    Chris Sherbak says #
    I love processing. The ADF Core Order has a procession and I normally include it in our Grove rites. Coming from LA, where you had
Eco Mindfulness: A Simple Grounding Ritual

Grounding is the technique for centering you within your being, getting into your body and out of your head. Grounding is how we reconnect and rebalance ourselves though the power of the element of earth. This is the simplest of rituals; one you can do every day of your life. As you walk, take the time to really see what is in your path. For example, my friend Louise takes a bag with her and picks up every piece of garbage in her path. She inspired me to do the same  She does this as an act of love for the Earth. During the ten years she has practiced this ritual, she has probably turned a mountain of garbage into recycled glass, paper, and plastic. Eileen is very grounded. She is also a happy person who exudes and shares joy to all in her path.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Pagan Thing to Do

I was raised up Congregational,

never found it too sensational;

I'd rather be libational.

That's good enough for me.

(Old Time Religion)

 

Among the historic paganisms, the libation, or drink-offering, was probably the most frequently-performed act of worship, both public and private.

Today, it still is.

Whenever you're about to drink something, you pour out a few drops first: by way of thanks, by way of honoring, by way of making consumption a sacred act.

Outdoors, you do this directly onto the ground. No matter which god you're offering to, the ultimate recipient of all libations—as of course is only right—is Earth, giver of all good gifts.

Indoors, you use a libation bowl.

When pagans get together—as we did the other night for Full Moon—there will be eating and drinking.

Among the bottles and cans on the drinks table, you're likely to find a bowl. There you'll pour your libation when you're serving yourself. It's the pagan thing to do.

“Has this bottle been libated?” you'll hear people ask, before they take some.

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October and November 2019 Heathen and Asatru Holidays

Moveable feasts in this time period include the Feast of Ullr, which is a heathenization of the USA holiday Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving takes place on the fourth Thursday of November each year. The modern secular holiday Wolfenoot also takes place in November. It has been adopted by many heathens and pagans. Last year, 2018, was the first time Wolfenoot was celebrated, and it occurred on the same day as the USA's Thanksgiving, which gave it a boost among those seeking an alternative holiday to celebrate on that day. That also happened to be a full moon, which gave Wolfenoot a boost among those who already howl at the full moon. But Wolfenoot is a fixed date holiday, always on the 23rd of November, not a moveable feast like Thanksgiving.

October
1
Month of possible date of Disablot begins (Icelandic Asatru)

6
Oktoberfest ends (Munich, Germany)

8
Day of Erik the Red (American Asatru, American Odinist)

9
Leif Erikson Day (American Odinist), World Odin Prayer Day (Odinist)

12
Day of Leif Erikson and Freydis Eriksdottir (American Asatru)

14
Winter Nights (alternate date) (American Asatru)

28
Day of Erik the Red (alternate date) (American Asatru)

29
Winterfyllith begins (American Asatru)

30
 Winter Nights (American Asatru),
Alf-blessing (American Asatru),
Freyr-blessing (American Asatru),
Allelieweziel begins (Urglaawe)

November
1
Winter Entdeckung (Germany)

2
Winterfyllith ends (American Asatru)

9
Day of Queen Sigrid (American Asatru, American Odinist)

10
Allelieweziel ends (Urglaawe)

11
Einherjar’s Day (Universalist American Asatru),
Hollersege (Urglaawe),
Ewicher Yeeger Sege (Urglaawe),
Marten Gas (Norway) 

21
Alfablot (Asatru)

23

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