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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And What Did the Yule Stag Bring You, My Little Pretty?

There aren't many Yule decorations that would make me consider theft.

In fact, I can only think of one.

My friend Sirius found the Yule Stag years ago, half-price at an after-holiday sale. He's your usual made-in-China, dressed-up Santa maquette of the kind that one sees in the stores by the scores at this time of year: the porcelain head, the red robe trimmed with faux fur, the shouldered sack of toys.

Oh, but he's got the head and hooves of a stag: Santa and Reindeer in one.

Oh my Hornèd God.

The Kalasha of what is now northwestern Pakistan are the only Indo-European-speaking people who have practiced their traditional religion continuously since antiquity. Their most important holiday of the year is—surprise—the Winter Solstice. During the most sacred days of the festival, the rider god Balumáin descends to visit the Kalasha valleys, accompanied by his boon companion, a god named Púshau.

Students of ancient religion have long wondered if the famed Horned God of antiquity finds a reflex in proto-Indo-European religion. Such would, in fact, seem to have been the case.

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The Aquarian Tabernacle Church of Canada Appoints New Archpriestess

The start of a new decade also marks a new era for the Aquarian Tabernacle Church of Canada (ATCC). Nearly three decades after its inception as a registered institution, ATCC is appointing a new Archpriestess in April, 2020 at the annual Spring Mysteries Festival hosted by the ATC Mother Church. High Priestess Mary Malinski of Circle of the Sacred Muse, Vancouver Island, Canada, will be joined by her husband High Priest David Malinski and many of her family and friends from Canada and the US to receive her elevation to Archpriestess of ATC Canada.

The Aquarian Tabernacle Church of Canada was established by the outgoing Archpriestess Michèle Favarger at the request of the former Archpriest and Founder of the Mother Church, Pete Pathfinder Davis, in 1990. Michèle, originally a solitary and eclectic practitioner, has a long history within the pagan community of Vancouver Island, circling with many who went on to form the renowned 13th House Mystery School.  Michèle received her Third Degree in the British Family Tradition in which she was trained, the Aquarian Tabernacle Church Tradition, and was also recognized as a Third Degree by Shadowhawk and Blacksun in their Star-Wyrm tradition. Michèle and her spouse Third Degree Priest Erik Lindblad, along with the Elders of ATCC, Heather Botting O’Brien, Gary Botting, and Doris Windrim, saw to it that ATCC was officially incorporated under the Societies Act of BC, recognized by Vital Statistics to sanctify marriage in the province, and authorized to allow Wiccan clergy to minister to the inmates at William Head Institution, where Michèle volunteered for 14 years. These accomplishments, along with many other great successes and achievements, have ensured that Mary’s induction into Archpriesthood will be a smooth transition.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Winter Solstice

Observing the cycle of changing light on our dear planet all year long has brought us to Winter Solstice, the simultaneous ending and beginning of the solar year. A blessed poise suspends us.

The Great Mother gives birth to the first speck of reborn light, barely believable after its agonizing absence. The longest night and the start of incense was originally called Yule, from the Anglo-Saxon Iul, wheel. At the center of the Wheel we look in the mirror. We see the seeds of our intentions, our hopes for Gaia's future. 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
A Midwinter Labyrinth Journey

The labyrinth: that winding, twisting, single-path maze that takes you surely into the center and out again. Ariadne, the Lady of the Labyrinth, leads us onward and inward, to our own shadow self where the Minotaur helps us face our inner darkness. The labyrinth is a place of exploration and discovery, full of shadows and strange turnings. Let's see where the labyrinth of mythos takes us today.

As we approach the Winter Solstice here in the northern hemisphere, darkness is very much on my mind, as is the labyrinth. In a sense, the labyrinth is a kind of cave. Caves were important sacred sites to the ancient Minoans, and they're important symbols in Modern Minoan Paganism.

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Pagan Place, or: There Are No Generic Pagan Rituals

A local festival asked a friend of mine if he would write a ritual for them.

“We can't guarantee that it's going to be in any particular location,” they told him.

“Sorry,” was his reply. “If you can't give me a place, I can't give you a ritual.”

Corollaries:

  • There are no generic pagan rituals.
  • All pagan ritual is place specific.

Take, for example, the kachina religions of the American Southwest. You couldn't really pick these religions up and practice them in, say, Minneapolis. They've evolved as a perfect unity of place, people, and religion: what in Witch we would call Land, Lede (“tribe”) and Lore. This unity constitutes the pagan ideal.

I look at my coven's Wheel of the Year. Nearly every one of our rituals has evolved to fit a specific place. You could, theoretically, enact them elsewhere, but it would require a re-envisioning and a recasting of the rites to fit the new location.

The Paganicon 2020 committee asked if I would be interested in crafting Opening and Closing rituals for the upcoming event. As you'll have gathered, I'm not much one for casting circles and calling corners in ballrooms, but if things were to go as I foresee, our rites would mark the tribal Ingathering with what heathens call a “land-take."

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Swipe Left For Love: Pendulum Power

We all know many people find romance on dating websites and apps. Use your witchy tools of a pendulum and a whispered spell for swift and accurate swiping! If you don’t already have a pendulum they are easily gotten at any metaphysical shop or mind, body spirit bookstore. You can also make your own with a footling strip of string or leather cord with a small rose quartz with a pointy end. Knot the quartz onto your cord and test it to show you which is “yes” and which is “no.” That is easily done by putting your elbow on a table and holding the pendant in your raised hand, Still the pendant and hold it over the photo on the app for people of interest to you. and then ask it to indicate yes and no. When you feel sure, swipe away!  When you have found a person of interest, craft your note and speak this spell.

God of  love, fly my  letter hence at the speed of light.

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Winter Solstice Song Magic: Galdrs to Sunna and Freyja out of Christmas Carols, Pt. 1: Gaudete

Do you love the breathtaking sound of old Christmas carols but want music that reflects your Heathen, polytheist and pagan beliefs? Would you also like to work some old-style Norse song magic, galdr, on behalf of the world, the Gods and your ancestors? And have fun?

Here is a very simple and potent act you can participate in that requires no magical knowledge-- simply your voice, passion and clear intention. For maximum impact in healing, join your voices in song on both the Solstice itself and the 24th. The more voices raised, the more power that builds. (You can also just sing this at any time leading up to it, or when you want to honor the Sun.) Let's reclaim several ancient songs, and the Northern, feminine sun!


It turns out that some of the oldest carols were first recorded in Finland in 1581, part of a manuscript called Piae Cantiones. That makes them Norse songs. It is more than likely that some of those songs preserve far older, pre-Christian tunes as well as ones contemporary to the time.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    So glad you're blogging about this!
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Is there a video on YouTube of anyone singing the English version? I'm not good at picking up tunes from just the song lyrics. I

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