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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Recent blog posts
Shine On, Harvest Moon: The Same-Sex Version

I grew up singing this charming little courting ditty with my parents, who grew up singing it with theirs; its seasonal relevance gives it perennial interest. Here's my updated, same-sex version, for all those boys out there falling in love with one another right now. Hey, everybody needs a pal.

Spooning” is old slang for “making out.” Think of two spoons fitting together.

Some day, we'll have songs for all the Moons of the Year. We begin here.

 

Shine On, Harvest Moon

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
You, Your God, and a Stick of Incense

You, your god, and a stick of incense.

That's all that you need to get a daily observance in place.

And—believe me—if you don't have a daily observance going, you need to start one stat. Every good garden requires regular cultivation. What would you think of a friend who only comes to you when she needs something?

Stand before an image of your heart-god.

(I'm using the word “god” inclusively here.) This can be a statue, a picture, or an aniconic symbol.

Stand, don't sit. (Sitting is passive, and this needs to be an act of active engagement.) Think of it as standing to attention. Think of it as rising when someone important enters the room.

Light the incense.

"The offering," they say, "bears the prayer." Actually, coals and a grain or two of quality natural incense would be better, but you can't beat the ease of stick incense. Here, as always in pagan ritual, the offering is the go-between, the mediator.

Be in the presence of your god.

What you do next is up to you. If you pray, pray. If you know a hymn, sing it. If you'd rather stand silently in rapt contemplation, do that. If a state of no-mind better suits you, that's fine. (Silent time with a friend is sometimes the most intimate time of all.) Always, you should be listening for the voice of the god.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Spirit Guardians: Orishas of Santeria

On September 22, 1862, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. This is an excellent opportunity to celebrate freedom from oppression for the hardy and deeply spiritual Africans who kept their own religions alive despite the incredible odds against them. African slaves brought their native religion with them wherever they went. African spirituality is based on nature—water, rivers, plants, seashells, and all the elements of the world around them. When the Africans came to the Catholic lands in Central and South America, their African deities were blended with Catholic saints to make an interesting new religion called Santeria. It was their way of keeping their African religion alive, and it has worked well. These orishas are spirit guardians, similar to those honored in Candomble. All of life is believed to come from one great creative force, Oloddumare. Practitioners of Santeria believe that everyone has one orisha as a guardian throughout his or her life.

    Aganyu corresponds to Saint Christopher. This volcano god is the father of Chango and whose mother is Yemmu. He can protect you from harm but only if you make your appeal through Chango.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Turning Point

Autumn started in my neighborhood last Tuesday night in the wee hours.  The clock read 3:23 am when I rolled over to look at it, awakened suddenly by the loud plash of rain hitting my balcony, moments before the downpour started rattling the roof and windows. This was not a Summer rain, chilly but scented with pollen and flowers and smoke. This rain was the child of the snow that was fallng on Longs Peak many miles away.  It lasted late into the day, soaking the lawn and swelling my apples, and sneaking into the corners of the house. The following day, sunny and warm, revealed yellow leaves on the cottonwoods.

                The days following have been very hot and dry, this whole week temps are reaching into the low 90s and there are still a few wild fires burning in the high country, driven by high, hot winds and fueled by bone-dry vegetation. It is hard to feel the approaching Autumn, even if the trees are starting to turn.

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This morning I stepped from bed, dressed and walked out onto the land. It was still misty and three dark sentinel shadows watched me. The watchers are turkeys, yet they seem to be shapeshifters, turning into thin old women, wrapped in a dark cape of feathers.

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Posted by on in Signs & Portents
The Season of Change

Merry autumn, all! Today is the Autumn Equinox which, while often overshadowed by Samhain, is an important festival in many parts of the world (particularly East Asia, where it is known is the Mid-Autumn Festival).

We’ve gathered our posts here at PaganSquare for autumn as well as related content from across the web. We hope you enjoy warm nights around the hearth!

—Aryós Héngwis

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