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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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Happy Lunar New Year!

This most special holiday for Chinese all over the world is a “moveable feast,” as it occurs on the second new moon after the shortest day of the year (the winter solstice, December 21) and lasts about two weeks. According to the Western calendar, this means the holiday begins sometime in either late January or early February. Tradition holds that homes must be cleaned from top to bottom in preparation for the festivities. On New Year’s Eve, families get together for a banquet, and at this feast fish is the dish of delight, as the Chinese word for “fish” sounds like yu, or “great plenty.” Red is the color of luck and all children receive red envelopes filled with money and bright, shining moon-like coins. Adults write “spring couplets” on red paper; these are short poems that are hung around the doorway to greet the New Year auspiciously. Oranges are placed around  the house in bowls and plates and blooming plants adorn the home both indoors and out. All generations of the extended Chinese family, from great-grandmother to the tiniest toddler, stay up late playing games, telling stories, and making wishes for the New Year.

 

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Once upon a time, in a land much like yours and mine, people said their princess was so neurotic and fussy that she complained about a pea under her mattress. 

 

Her father, the king, had explained to her that there couldn’t be more than a tiny pea or pebble under the mattress. 

 

But her back hurt badly and, raised to believe she could not overcome obstacles herself and must rely on a man instead, she vowed to marry the first fellow to solve her problem.

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Does the Name Match the Claim? Using Historical Linguistics to Assess Claims of Pagan Continuity

Every word tells a story.

Unfortunately, it's not always the story that we want to tell.

Back at the end of the last century, it was not uncommon for pagan groups to claim unbroken continuity with the paganisms of the past. When someone makes such a claim, one way to test what they say is to look at the vocabulary that they're using to see if it matches their claims.

To take one preeminent example: in the 60s and 70s media witch Sybil Leek claimed to be high priestess of a Keltic tradition group in Hampshire's New Forest called Horsa Coven.

(Sorry, but after nearly 50 years in the Craft, I still cringe when I hear the term "high priestess." Talk about hokey.)

Now, “Horsa” has a pleasingly archaic sound to it: unsurprisingly, as it's an Anglo-Saxon/Old English name meaning “horse.” The fact that the name is Anglo-Saxon, however, sits uncomfortably with her claims of a “Keltic” tradition.

Horsa was the name of one of the two legendary Anglo-Saxon brothers who led their people to the Promised Land of England. (His brother was reputedly “Hengist,” which means “stallion”; the word survives into modern English as the first syllable of henchman.) The implication, I suppose, is that the tradition goes back to Anglo-Saxon times.

If so, the name itself disproves the claim. If the name had survived in continuous use since ancient days, it would automatically have modernized to "Horse." The fact that it didn't is proof that the name is a modern one, chosen for its archaic sound. Interestingly, one can say the same for the word “Wicca.”

Back in the early 90s, a group in the English Midlands calling itself Tuatha de Cornovii claimed to be a survival of the Iron Age Keltic tribe of the same name. Does the name match the claim?

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The magic of rosehips

Rosehips

 

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Be of Good Cheer: Hot Toddies That Heal

When someone needs a cheering up after a long day or is going through hard times  we mix up a quick hot toddy adding in one of our tonics or tinctures. We keep a blend of echinacea and goldenseal tonic using the same recipe above in the house year ‘round.  At the first sign of a cold or cough, 10 drops go into a warm medicinal mug. A  hot toddy is traditionally made with hot water, lemon, sugar or honey, and liquor. Using an herbal tea adds a higher level of medicinal power. Gather together:

Warm mug

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Candlemas Song

Candlemas

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Aquarius New Moon: THIS is Your Sustenance

Dear Moon Muser, Let’s meet in the middle. This spiritual time is for you. To celebrate Mama Moon and yourself. NOW is the time. Be gentle, and begin. This is your sustenance. Be gentle. Be light. Float here for a bit in this space with me and our Moon Musing family. You are safe here and always welcome. The cards featured are from my own self published oracle decks. Look for the new Zodiac Goddess Power Deck to be released in Spring, 2020.

Time now to go deep.
Relax.
Take some breaths.
Choose a card above then scroll down for the REVEAL.

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