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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You’re invited to a Samhain ritual

You’re invited to a Samhain ritual. It will be held via teleseminar (group phone-call). Simply dial your phone, and you’re in. No other equipment needed. Attendance is free.

 

Dial-in number and other details for this one-hour ceremony are in my upcoming newsletter. Subscribe for free: https://outlawbunny.com/newsletter/ 

 

Samhain is a major holiday for many Pagans. The holiday has various aspects. Here are a few: 

* It is similar to the Mexican Day of the Dead, in that it is a time to honor and visit with ancestors.

* It is a harvest festival.

* Many Pagans celebrate the New Year at this time, instead of on January 1.

 

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A Brief History of Witchcraft: Part Two

When the Witchcraft Act was repealed in 1951, people started to come out of the broom closet. Gerald Gardner was one of the first, who was mentioned earlier. Gardner was the one who came up with the word, Wica, to denote his spiritual path.

Naturism was a big fashion in the 1920s and 30s, and Gerald was a naturist (hence the skyclad part of his particular tradition of witchcraft). There was even a naturist camp that opened up near his home. He became involved in the Rosicrucian Theatre, and later came across Masonic (Fellowship of Crotona) practices and the work of Margaret Murray, which he incorporated into his ideas for this spiritual path. With the help of Alistair Crowley, he came up with beautiful poetry for his tradition, which was also a contentious point for one of Gardener’s High Priestesses, the aforementioned Doreen Valiente. Gardener created the witch tradition that he was seeking, and Valiente wrote it down eloquently and made sense of it all.[1]

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Circle of Compassion and the power of

Many of us who have come to identify with Witchcraft or Paganism (hence finding ourselves on the Witches & Pagans blogosphere) originated in a family tradition where communion with the Divine (the All, Spirit, the Totality) was achieved through prayer. In the etymology found within common dictionaries, "prayer" tends to be defined both as, "worship of God (a deity)" as well as simply, "an earnest hope or wish." Somewhere in the mystery between these two forms, we may find the truth. Prayer, as well as spell craft and the various types of ritual used to facilitate both, can be seen as acts of co-creation

Those of us raised in one of the major mono-theisms may be familiar with teachings like that found in Matthew 18:20 of the Christian "new testament": Again, I tell you truly that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather together in my name, there I am with them."

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Celebrating skin

Warmer summer weather makes it possible to have more bare skin without freezing to death. Living in the UK (and not having great circulation) I feel the cold and I spend much of the year covered up. With more skin exposed, I am acutely aware of sun, wind, rain, shade, temperature changes and so forth. I’ve had some intense personal encounters with brambles and stinging nettles this summer and, as usual, blood sucking insects find my bare skin really appetising. Bare skin increases my sense of connection with the natural world.

It’s good to be able to uncover my body without fear of having that sexualised. This is part of why I think it’s so important to deliberately celebrate our bodies, making a clear statement of the joyful innocence that bare skin can also signify. We should not be reading sexual possibility into bodies that happen not to be heavily clothed. We should not be imposing desire on other people’s skin.

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Update: I finally admitted to myself that almost no one is going to take this survey. And that’s as it should be. It’s not safe to publicly discuss details of gun ownership online anymore. Big Brother is here.

 

I’m going to keep the post here anyway. Perhaps just reading it will be informative for someone, or otherwise useful to them. There are also a couple of comments that someone might find useful. Here is the post:

 

Are you a gun owner and Pagan? If your weapon is for self-defense (as opposed to, for example, hunting), please participate in this survey.

 

Its purpose is show a diversity of personal opinions, as well as their commonalities. I don’t believe personal viewpoints can ever  represent how other people should think or act. Instead, my hope is that folks sharing about the intersection of gun ownership and Paganism in their own lives will provide food for thought for folks who read this post, including those taking the survey. This mental stimulus might help someone gain greater clarity about what that intersection currently is in their own lives, whether they want to change it and, if so, what they want it to become.

 

Since I’m hoping to show diversity, some people might be puzzled by my not creating another survey for those who don’t own guns. My reason is twofold:

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    I'm Pagan, and a gun-owner. If you want to have a conversation on this topic, dearest one, you know where to find me. (I'm not goi
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Ooh, Anne, a chance for another juicy phone call with you, thanks so much for offering it. Immediately prior to reading yr comme
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Hi there. If you want to do an actual survey, I'd recommend posting a link to a survey. If you just want comments, here's mine. I'
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Erin, I am grateful you were willing to share your opinions, thanks so much. Immediately prior to reading your comments, I final

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Incense Heresy

Have you ever had 2 different types of incense that you think would be great together?  Me too.  That’s what has led to my “incense sin”.

This is my confession.  I have done something that might be interpreted in the incense world as genuine heresy.  If you aren’t an incense person, this might not seem significant, but if you are an incense person I hope you won’t hate me for what I have done.  I especially hope so since I’m very pleased with the result.

I feel like the incense version of Dr. Frankenstein.

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The Solar Path - The Sabbats for the Hedge Witch (Part Two)

Samhain

We all know of the modern-day Hallowe’en that falls on the 31st October, but few outside of the Craft know of the origins of this festival. Samhain is a Celtic festival that celebrates the time when the veil between this world and the Otherworld is thin, and we can connect more easily with the unseen, both in the form of the Fair Folk (faeries) as well as the ancestors. The Celts reckoned their days from sunset to sunset, and so Samhain would run from sunset on the 31st October to sunset on the 1st November. The Celts divided the year into two halves, the dark half and the light half, and we see this reflected in much of Modern Witchcraft today. How this is divided depends on the tradition. If you are following on from the Celtic lore, the dark half of the year begins at Samhain, and ends at Beltane, when the light half of the year begins. This is the Celtic beginning of Winter and Summer, for they only considered two seasons in their worldview. Samhain means “summer’s end”. Other traditions of Witchcraft see the dark and light halves of the year commencing at the solstices, with the myth of the Oak King and the Holly King. We will explore this later when we look at the solstices.

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