PaganSquare


PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Sun

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Solstice Treasure

On the Thirteenth Day of Yule in the year 1153, Earl Harald Maddarðarson of Orkney was travelling from Stromness to Firth when he was caught in a blizzard. He and his companions took shelter from the storm in the famed Neolithic burial mound Maeshowe, where, interestingly, two of his party went mad. This delayed the travelers for so long, reports the Orkneyinga Saga, that they didn't reach Firth until well after dark.

Dating from around 2500 BCE, Maeshowe was well known to the Vikings, who ruled the Orkneys for more than 300 years. Carved into the stones of the mound's central chamber is one of the largest known collections of runic inscriptions in Europe. According to the longest,

Crusaders broke into Maeshowe. Líf Earl's-Cook carved these runes. To the northwest is a great treasure hidden. It was long ago that a great treasure was hidden here. Happy is he that might find that great treasure. Hákon alone bore treasure from this mound.

Maeshowe is famed for its orientation to the Winter Solstice sunset. For the last few years, on the morning of Midwinter's Eve, I've tuned in to the live on-site webcam to watch. What I saw there amazed me.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Keeping the Sol in Solstice

The last words of British painter J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851) are reported to have been: The Sun is god.

And him not even a pagan.

Our Sun, our star. Our star, our god. We are sunlight and soil, literally, Earth and Sun our undeniable parents. In this Divine Family that we call the solar system, They are our Mother and our Father.

And what does one take more for granted than one's parents?

When did you last actually think about the Sun? Really see the Sun? Praise the Sun? Offer gratitude to the mighty Being without Whom we would not exist? Say thank you for the incomparable gift of light?

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Here's one: http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/paganistan/lunisol.html
  • Chris Moore
    Chris Moore says #
    Steven, what is the song you sing to the rising Sun?
Here Comes the Sun - Sun Symbolism, Solar Magic and the 3rd Chakra

A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows. – St. Francis of Assisi

Lately, I’ve been pondering the Sun symbol.

...
Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Mandy
    Mandy says #
    Wow, great information! I have always been strongly drawn to sun symbols, more extensively than I realised before now - fav flower
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    Wow, you DO have a strong association with the sun, Mandy. Thank you so much for taking the time to post; I'm glad you enjoyed an
  • Tess Whitehurst
    Tess Whitehurst says #
    Lovely, Janet! I love the sun energy too. Thank you so much for the Magic of Flowers mention.
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    My pleasure.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The War on the Gods

To make is hard. To make takes skill. To make is godlike.

To break is easy. Any bully can do it.

This the desecrators, the icon-breakers, have never understood. Nor do they understand that, smash as they will, in the end they cannot win.

Shown above are three of the greatest gods of ancient Palmyra. In the center is Thunder: Ba'al Shamin, “Lord of Heaven,” here shown without his usual attributes of thunderbolt and eagle. To his right stands Moon (see his crescent horns): Aglibol, “Ba'al's Calf.” To his left stands Sun: Malakbol, “Ba'al's Messenger” (or “Angel”).

The breakers of the world can smash Their images, they can blow up Their temples. And let us make our due and worthy laments for such lost and broken beauty.

But the gods Themselves they cannot touch. Thunder, Moon, and Sun stand in the heavens as They always have: our very makers, givers of life to maker as to breaker.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Many Faces of Minoan Dionysos

Most people are familiar with Dionysus as a vegetation god. In fact, that’s how he started life (so to speak) among humans, dying each year at the time of the grape harvest. In the Mediterranean, where Crete is located, that happens most years in late August or early September. So in many ways Dionysos is similar to the other dying-and-reborn vegetation gods we’re familiar with from the Near East, Europe and other regions. But as so often happens, cultures change over time, inventing or importing new ideas and layering them onto what’s already there. Something like that happened with Dionysos in ancient Crete.

Before we get to his details, though, let me explain a bit about how the Minoan pantheon works. Rather than having a particular slot in a human-style family tree, the Minoan gods and goddesses unfold out of each other in a multi-faceted fashion. In a way, all the deities within the Minoan pantheon can be considered reflections or facets of the Great Mother Goddess Rhea. But for practical purposes, they behave as individual deities with their own personalities and qualities. This henotheistic setup can make it difficult to tease out exactly which aspects go with which deity name, and to sort out whether two different names belong to two different gods or a single one. In addition, as Minoan society changed over time, more layers were added onto those already-complicated facets, and some of the deity names only come down to us in later forms, from languages and cultures foreign to the Minoans. I’ll do my best to untangle some of the bits about Dionysos today. I’ve worked with him for a long time and as far as I can tell, these aspects of him manage to work well together in spite of their apparent differences.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Pocket Gods

I've never much been one for religious jewelry, but that doesn't mean I haven't generally got a god or two tucked somewhere or other about my person. You could call them “pocket gods.”

The Norse called them hlutir and carried them in pouches. (Hlutr is the same as English lot, as in “drawing lots,” which gives one something of an idea of their cultural importance.) The witch-wife Heiðr once told Ingimund the Old, while he still lived in Norway, that he would settle in an undiscovered land west over sea, and that the sign of the truth of her seeing would be this: that the little silver hlutr of Frey that he always carried in his pouch would be lost, but that he would find it again buried in the ground when he dug to raise the pillars of his house in the new land. And so indeed it came to be when, years later, he settled in Iceland.

Which pocket-gods I carry depends on the season and the vagaries of my own thought and mood. Shown above are two that are frequently with me, both worked in Baltic amber: a Sun-disc and a Thunder-ax. Sun and Thunder are two of my best-loved gods, and I like to bear their main (power) with me as I go through my day.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Visible Gods

So I'm standing there naked in the kitchen.

Mind you, this isn't something I make a point of doing. It's the end of January, and this is Minnesota. Early in the morning, the kitchen is just as cold as the rest of the house, no place to stand around naked.

You have to understand that at this time of year, the North becomes a desert. Our intense cold wrings every trace of moisture from the air. If you don't slather on moisturizer, you turn into an ice-mummy. Fortunately, there's no need to resort to bear-grease, like in the old days.

So, I'd just toweled off from the shower and rubbed down with body-lotion. Waiting for my skin to absorb it, I ran downstairs to plug in the waffle iron.

That's when it happened.

Last modified on

Additional information