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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Let me tell you about the Yule that I considered becoming a suicide bomber.

Now, I'm as gay as the next guy but, for reasons that I won't go into here, I'm no fan of gay men's choruses. My housemate at the time, though, regularly attended concerts of the Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus: more, I suspect, for the social opportunity that they offered than for the “music.” So I wasn't surprised to see, while bringing in the mail at the end of a November back in the 80s, an invitation to that year's TCGMC Christmas concert.

It wasn't until I read the description of the concert that I started thinking about explosives.

I can't remember the title of the concert, but the stated theme was: “Moving from the darkness of the Winter Solstice through the lights of Hanukkah to the true illumination of Christmas.”

There's so much wrong with this theme that it's difficult to quantify, but underlying it all is its triumphalist religious Darwinism. That lying old story has killed hundreds of thousands, if not millions, down the long years.

And they thought they were being inclusive. The sheer cluelessness of it all—and the fact that this atrocity was being perpetrated by gay men on other gay men—just makes it that much more offensive.

Well, I didn't buy the suicide vest and (of course) I didn't attend the concert. But I can, nonetheless, tell you (why are these things so bloody predictable?) exactly of what that program consisted.

For the Winter Solstice, a secular Christmas carol of some sort. For Hanukkah, a medley of old Yiddische tunes guaranteed to include “Dreidel.” Then the gaggle of Christmas carols that everyone had really come to hear.

Hey, all you organizers of “Holiday” Concerts out there:

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  • Chris Sherbak
    Chris Sherbak says #
    Hehehe ya well. I still cherish your Pro-Dea Solstice Song book. Drag it out every year. Merry Yule!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Fast Magic: Prosperity Herb Spells

As a kitchen witch and gardening enthusiast, I am always seeking to learn more about the power of herbs, plants, roots and flowers can be used in the craft. Grow your wealth, literally with these handy money attraction herbs.

Allspice berries bring good luck; gather 7 berries and place in a small pouch to carry in your pocket or purse for a week. On the 7th day, burn them with cinnamon incense while making your wish for whatever you want.

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On a whim the other day, I did an image search for “Yule ornaments.” What I found dismayed me.

Or rather, what I didn't find dismayed me.

Pentagrams, runes, Thor's hammers, witches on brooms: pagan schmuckerei for pretty much every taste and tradition.

Out of the first two screens, maybe 150 images in all, I found one Sun.

One.

For a moment, I felt a sense of vertigo, as if I were falling: a giddy kind of kinship with the “Keep Christ in Christmas” folks.

Solstice is relationship: Earth, Sun, Us.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Bewitching Brews: ProsperiTea

Among its healing and energizing properties, the herb bergamot also brings prosperity. If you are feeling down in the dumps and empty of pocket, fix yourself a pot of bergamot tea and watch the negative energy rise and dissipate with the steam. If a co-worker or boss is exhibiting the same symptoms, fix him some Earl Grey- a fine English tea bursting with precious bergamot.

If the problem runs deeper – no raises, overdue bills, general bitterness -  then more systemic healing is necessary. Come to work right before dawn one day. Boil one cup of water and steep a pinch of each of the following dried herbs:

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At my house, we've put away the harvest decor that has been up since late September and set up the house for Yule. Earlier in the fall, my mom gave me a straw cornucopia that she's had for years, and as I put it away with the autumn-hued table runner and wreath, I thought of how far back the cornucopia reaches into the past, and what it means.

Nourishment and Wildness

These days, cornucopias often take the form of vaguely horn-shaped baskets of faux fruit and flowers, like the one my mom gave me. But it was originally a real goat horn holding fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, and grains. Literally meaning "horn of plenty" in Latin, the cornucopia originated in ancient Greece. In one origin myth, the infant Zeus was nourished with milk from the goat Amalthea on the island of Crete. Because He was extremely strong even as an infant, He broke off one of her horns, and the hollow horn gave forth unending nourishment.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

                                       

The Online Wassail

(Tune: Malpas Wassail)

 

O Harvest is over, and Yuletide's come in:

turn on your computer and let us begin

our online wassail, wassail, wassail.

And joy come to our online wassail!

 

The year's been a dark one, we all must admit:

we're tired and fed up, and we're feeling like shit

for our online wassail, wassail, wassail.

And joy come to our online wassail!

 

This stupid pandemic has been a real bitch;

our old plans for Yule have all taken a slitch.

Hence, our online wassail, wassail, wassail.

And joy come to our online wassail!

 

But a new day is dawning: we've kicked the foul rump

of that gibbering idiot, President Trump

off our online wassail, wassail, wassail.

And joy come to our online wassail!

 

So, socially distanced, come join in the fun

of singing our hopes for the year that's to come,

with our online wassail, wassail, wassail.

And joy come to our online wassail!

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Thank you! I recited this as part of my full moon ritual tonight it felt right and fun.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

We all have biases, its part of human nature, but many people don't acknowledge their biases, and may not even be aware of them. Its important in both spirituality and life to try to root out where our biases are and see how they are effecting, for good or bad, our interaction with things around us. This is something that I have been thinking a lot about today as I see the effects of bias within various fairy-interest communities. 

We relate to the world through a series of mental schema which act as shortcuts for our minds to assess situations and organize information. These schema are essential to the way the human mind works because they provide frameworks for us to relate to the world around us quickly and efficiently. However this mental process lends itself to the formation of biases, or ingrained beliefs and ideas about people and things. Biases are slightly different from schema but are part of the same wider mental process that looks for shortcuts to processing and understanding information. Biases are usually learned or taught and can be positive or negative, for example a person may have a positive bias towards teachers or a negative bias towards people who are unemployed. 

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