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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
Be Like Leo the Lion

When you imagine a lion, these are images that immediately come to mind: Strength, pride, regality. A certain conservation of energy is often utilized by lions. Of all of the big cats, they certainly know how to strike a healthy balance between their leisure time and the hunt. Family prides of course, are quite important to them. They could never be accused of backing down from a fight. And hey, they practice good grooming. Since the sun will officially be entering the sign of Leo today on July 23rd, it could be advantageous to tap into some of that powerful feline energy. I would also venture that you don't need to be a cat person, or fall under the sign on your chart to do so.

If you are a fellow cat person, kudos to you. You already appreciate all those kooky and mysterious little offspring of Bast on a deeper level. If you have some furry companions of this kind living with you, chances are, you have taken the opportunity to study them, and even unconsciously, to act like them. They get you to run wildly and play with silly abandon alongside them, chasing each other down long hallways and such. It's a good exercise for both of you. Probably you nap together, and that's never a bad thing. All cats are highly practiced in the art of stillness, and you can practice pretty zen-y meditations with them daily, held in the form of long starting contests. In all of these regards, cats definitely keep you in the moment. Since pet cats are largely regarded as the most wild of all domesticated animals, spend some extra time with your kitty loved one to tap into some Leo energy. If you've been considering adopting, this would be an optimum time to visit your local shelter.

If you feel the need to get closer to the real deal, look into visiting a nearby big cat sanctuary. Often these beautiful wild creatures have been injured, left behind, or mistreated, either in the wild or in an inappropriate facility. Sanctuaries provide the unique opportunity to provide loving, caring, and roomy environments for these animals, where the people there who care for them do so with knowledge and compassion. Some Midwest locations are listed under my resources below.

Since lions are very social creatures, you may want to revisit your social life. Who is a major part of your inner pride? Has it been awhile since you connected with some of these folks, if even with a good old-fashioned phone call? Now is the time, my friend. If time allows, throw a small summer fire pit party (Leo is a fire sign, after all) and invite some of these cherished companions over to roar with you.

Looking inward, think about ways that you could strengthen your own sense of pride and self-dignity. If signing up for that new dance class or treating yourself to a new outfit that you can show off makes you want to strut, then by all means, go for it. If your mane could use some coifing, get yourself into the beauty parlor and spend a little extra this time. All of these rituals should help you embrace your inner lion, and rev your confidence level up in a big way.

Resources:

https://www.wisconsinbigcats.org/Wisconsin-Big-Cat-Rescue-Education-Center

https://votk.org/


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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The magical language of flowers

Victorian Flower Language

Although flowers have had ‘meanings’ for centuries, it was the Victorians that really jumped on the band wagon with this idea, a particular flower or the scent of one on a handkerchief could send a very important message to a suitor.   It was a whole ‘secret’ language devised to send messages or convey meanings in the form of flowers.  The list is huge and varied but the following will give you some idea.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Summer's End

As I celebrate the Wheel of the Year, the midpoint between the summer solstice (Midsummer) and the autumnal equinox (Harvest) is Summer’s End. I call it that because this is the moment when Autumn first becomes detectable in my region: in the angle of the light, in the hard blue of the sky, in the sputtering of the fog cycle to bring searing hot days, and in the first turning of early leaves.

Summer’s End’s metaphorical meanings relate to work and craft, to technology and toolmaking and effort. It is the time when the harvests of hay and blackberries and early summer vegetables are at their height, so there is a lot of work to be done. Gardens are producing and gophers are marauding and the relaxed waiting of Midsummer is gone as the fruits of labor begin to come to ripeness. It is the beginning of Autumn: the time the labor of early harvesting begins in earnest.

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A Lost Pagan Classic: Rereading Gerhart Hauptmann's 'Island of the Great Mother'

Gerhart Hauptmann's novel The Island of the Great Mother or the Miracle of the Île des Dames: A Story from the Utopian Archipelago was first published (in German) in 1928, but 90 years on, it still reads appositely, especially for the pagan community.

Here's the story.

A passenger liner filled with women (they're going to a women's convention) is shipwrecked somewhere in the Pacific. Several hundred women, with only one male among them—the prepubescent son of one of the castaways—are washed ashore on an uninhabited island.

There they create a glittering women's civilization, with its own gynocentric culture and religion.

Then something amazing happens. One by one, the women begin to become pregnant and give birth.

It's one of the novel's great strengths that these mysterious pregnancies are never explained. Hauptmann makes it quite clear that they are not, in fact, due to the only surviving male on the island, now grown to adolescence. They arise, apparently, as an inherent quality of the island itself.

Well, but there's trouble in utopia. Half the children born are female, half male. What to do with the males?

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Crystal Jewelry That Helps and Heals

Earrings don't just look lovely, they can help and heal you. Try these jewelry magic secrets and see what works best for you. Earrings help to balance both hemispheres of the brain and can stabilize the throat chakra. The earlobes are sensory centers on the body and usually benefit from the stimulation of a gem or crystal. Jade and tiger’s-eye are great for reviving and refreshing. You will generally feel quite good with these two earring choices. Sapphires will bring you greater wisdom. However, lapis lazuli and opal can be over stimulating as earrings, so watch carefully and see how your body reacts to them. Some people feel light-headed with these two stones placed so high on the body. Malachite can be too spiritually stimulating as earrings; don’t wear them unless you want to be in a soulful or dreamy reverie. Go for garnet, as garnet earrings will enhance your popularity. And here is a tip that might soon cause a stampede to the jewelry shop: Rose quartz is wonderful for the skin and can even slow aging!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Of Beans, Rice, and Thinking Tribally

Back in the 70s, I was a good, doctrinaire Diet for a Small Planet vegetarian.

Frances Moore Lappé's epoch-making cookbook was based on the notion of protein complementarity: in order to get a complete protein, you need both beans and grains. Eaten together, you get more nutritional benefit from the combination than you would if you ate them separately.

So, religiously, I ate my beans and rice together at meal after meal after meal.

Since then, we've learned more about how the body handles these things. In fact, the body and its digestion is more flexible than we used to think. If you eat, say, your whole wheat toast for breakfast and your lentil soup at lunch, you'll still get the full protein benefit from the combination.

And that's another thing that the tribe does for us.

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