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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Hygge Herbal Witch's Brew: Healing Tea

We are here in the heart of fall, nearing the holidays and that is the time our Scandinavian friends suggest we “get hygge,” which means to get as cozy as humanly possible.  This lovely lifestyle tradition from the frozen north is not just for lazing about, though we greatly appreciate that aspect; it is also a very healthy way of living with sauna sessions, lots of herbal food and drink but also community, which is an immunity booster on its own.  Tea is a mainstay if you want to be healthy and we feel sure wise women and hedge witches in Northern Europe were the first on the hygge bandwagon, So much of our knowledge about herbal teas and tinctures comes from them.  Herbal tea conjures a very powerful alchemy because when you drink it, you take the magic inside. For an ambrosial brew with the power to calm any storm, add a sliver of ginger root and a pinch each of echinacea and mint to a cup of hot black tea. Before you drink, pray:

 

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Two Blades: Minoan ritual labryses and practical tools

The labrys is one of the most iconic symbols of Minoan civilization. The two-bladed axe shape evokes ideas ranging from bloody human sacrifice to butterflies in a spiritual garden. I have my own ideas about what the labrys means to me, and may have meant to the Minoans as well.

One thing I've noticed, though, is that a lot of people use the term "double axe" to refer to these artifacts, conflating them with practical tools. But they're not the same thing.

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  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Weight is an important part of a useful ax, not just for strength. A ceremonial ax would not need weight. I have never seen a bu

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

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A Prayer Whispered into the Threshold

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Make Your Own Herbal Vinegar

If you love everything about lavender, you may well want to create your own lavender vinegar. Many herbs make for excellent vinegars so pay attention to which ones are especially appealing with you as you go about your gardening. The more herbs you pack into the jar, the higher the mineral content in your vinegar which makes it more flavorful and healthful. Once you have your own apple cider vinegar or a premade organic kind you and your family love, pick an herb you know works for you and pack a quart canning jar as full as you can. Pour room temperature apple cider vinegar to cover and seal with paper and bands and pop back on the dark corner shelf for six weeks, giving a shake once a week. At the end of the infusion period, strain out any remaining compostable twigs or stems that remain, if any and store in colored bottle and add a pretty label. These make wonderful gifts so I recommend you get a set of labels for all your herbal brews. Nearly any plant or herb can used in homemade vinegars. Check this list for your next batch of brew:

Anise Seeds & Leaves: soothes cramps and aches
Caraway Seeds:  aids in romantic issues, helps with colic
Catnip Leaves:  makes women even more attractive
Chamomile Flowers: helps with sleep, good for abundance

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  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    I make lavender vinegar and also rosemary vinegar from my garden. I usually make salad dressing or marinade with my vinegars but t
  • Cerridwen Greenleaf
    Cerridwen Greenleaf says #
    That asounds delightful and I wish we were neighbors so we could exchange preserves and such. Your pickles sounds yummy and your f

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
One Minute at the Altar

Last week I realized that yet again I'd set my standards for my daily practice too high. I couldn't sit at my altar without lighting the candles; I couldn't light the candles if the candles were burned out; I couldn't buy paraffin candles, I had to make my own out of beeswax; I couldn't make my own candles because the kitchen was a mess. This is what happens when you have high hopes and two small children. You sit around wishing you were doing spiritual work while they empty every drawer in the house for the fun of it.

I'm proud to say that I did end up making my own candles, but the compromise was that I did it in the filthy kitchen. If I'd taken the time to clean the kitchen beforehand, you see, then that would have taken up all my candlemaking time, and the next time I went to make candles, it would be filthy again. When I took my new candles to the altar, I thought, "But I can't light them without cleaning the altar off first. And cleansing the space! And refreshing the offerings! And performing invocations!" No, I told myself. I found that I had to give myself permission to do things imperfectly. I let myself cleanse the space. Then I lit the candles and annointed my Cernunnos statue. And that was it.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
What is Hedge Witchcraft?

So what is hedge witchcraft? Hedge witchcraft is often seen today as a solitary pursuit, crafting one’s life in a magical way that reflects the talents and abilities of the practitioner. The term hedge witch was coined by the author Rae Beth in her book, Hedge Witch: A Guide to Solitary Witchcraft (1992). She took the term “hedge” from “hedge priest”, one who preached from the hedgerow, and who had no physical place for a congregation. A renegade, a solitary, a priest who didn’t follow the rules. This still appeals to many today, myself included.

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  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven says #
    You're most welcome
  • Lynn Hixson
    Lynn Hixson says #
    I really enjoyed this article. Thank you!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Elements

 

The Elements

The five elements are very important within Witchcraft.  Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit make up the elements.  Each one has its own unique energy and characteristics.

Earth

When I think of Earth I think about soil.  Soil contains and keeps all the minerals and moisture that all the plants on the planet need to live.  Earth is everything we are and everything we have comes from the element of Earth.  We are born of it and we return to it at the end of our lives.  Earth is the foundation so it is no wonder that the element of Earth is associated with abundance and prosperity.  Earth also stabilises and grounds us, think of the grounding exercise mentioned earlier – it involves not only trees that grow but the earth, soil and rock of the planet.

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