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 Paths Blogs


I’ve always felt the steady rhythm of beads moving through your fingers comforting.  They introduce a regularity, a heartbeat which calms my racing mind. From Catholic Rosary beads as a child or in later years rounds of mala beads provided this route yet neither fitted as they weren’t of my tradition. While I am only vaguely familiar with traditional Celtic prayer beads – the Paidirinean, I was drawn to create Celtic Soul Craft Prayer Beads.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Gratitude Turkey

Way back when I was a teenager, we’d often have Thanksgiving dinner with my Aunt Darla and her family.  Poor Aunt Darla.  She tried very hard to make us all come together like a “normal” family, which often ended up as a weak and awkward parody of whatever it was that “normal” families did.  I remember that during dinner she’d make us, one by one, share with the group what we were most thankful for.  I hated doing this because I really just wanted to shovel potatoes into my mouth and eventually get to the pie.  Even as a kid I found this “tradition” to be a bit forced and artificial.  Also I thought I was totally too-cool-for-school to be genuine and vulnerable, and in front of my family, too!  Ew!  (Plus I just knew my cousins would tease me later, regardless of what I said.)

Well, nearly two decades later and my aunt would be pleased to know that at least one of her weird tradition stuck with me.  The awkward vulnerability of thankfulness lives on!  In the spirit of Aunt Darla I spent the past two weeks forcing (okay, politely and therapeutically suggesting) that the kids I work with create lists of the things they thankful for this year.  Even the kids who are usually “too cool for school” (relatable) seemed to enjoy this project, and it was a lot of fun to learn about what these children value and why.  Being thankful for Mom and Dad came as no surprise to me.  Siblings and school were items I never would have thought to include on my own list but often showed up for my clients.  Food and Star Wars, however, are both something my clients and I are consistently thankful for.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Blow You a Kiss on the Wind

It's an ancient act of pagan adoration that anyone can perform anywhere, any time.

Kissing the hand.

In 158 CE the Roman novelist Lucius Apuleius, author of The Golden Ass, involved in a lawsuit against a guy named Aemilianus, is trying to make out his opponent as a model of impiety:

If he is passing by some shrine, he thinks it wicked to raise his hand to his lips in adoration.

(Apuleius, Apologia 56)

The Roman historian Pliny also mentions the prevalence of this custom in Roman practice (28:5).

The Hebrew Bible describes (and, of course, condemns) the act of kissing one's hand to the luminaries:

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
My Journey to Revolutionary Egypt


Much as my friends were trying to dissuade me from visiting a country in revolutionary turmoil, I decided to travel to Egypt, hoping to find an answer to the riddles in my mind. It was a burning hot desire, an obsessive thought born after the explosion of the Revolution.

It was November of 2011. The country was ruled by SCAF, the military council that had taken over after the dictator Hosni Mubarak had been ousted. The spirit of the Revolution was alive and well, so once again the people of Egypt organized massive mobilizations.

I was aware of the dangers in demonstrating in Egypt. For months I had been in touch with activists and had read lots of horror stories. Questions were pounding on my mind. What if the demonstration was attacked by security forces, armed thugs, and snipers, as had happened during the Revolution? What if I got arrested and ended up in one of the country’s notorious jails where political prisoners were routinely raped and tortured?

Yet, time and again I could hear a voice calling out: “Will you risk your life for me?” It could have been the voice of Isis, Egypt, or the Revolution. In my mind all three had merged into one. I wouldn’t miss this opportunity for anything in the world!

So, there I was, in Tahrir, whose name means “Liberation,” the iconic square of the Revolution. I had been there just a few days earlier to visit the world-famous Museum of Cairo. That first visit was a pilgrimage to the treasures of the past that have kept me under their spell for so long. Isis and Osiris were there, staring at me with their inlaid eyes, holding the key to secret longings.

The second visit to Tahrir was a pilgrimage too, but of a different nature. Demonstrating side by side with Egyptian revolutionaries felt like a dream come true. The place was overflowing with protesters, many of them women wearing the hijab, the Muslim scarf, on their heads. They were key figures, just like they had played a leading role during the Revolution.

The march was a huge success, as well as the rallies organized in other parts of the country. It was reported that three million people demonstrated that day all over the country. The atmosphere was almost festive. Protesters seemed proud and strong. The energy of the Revolution was palpable—and there’s nothing like a revolution if you want to raise energy!

b2ap3_thumbnail_Tahrir-11-2011.JPG

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
New Moon in Scorpio: Monsters and Ghosts

Samhain calls us to honor our Dead, to confront our Shadow, all those things that scare and shame us, to face our choices. We can, then, shore ourselves up to descend into the dark time of the year. Halloween, when the collective total of our cultural boogiemen get put on gory graphic display, is long over, but the fears have not left, because the monsters are still around.

                Halloween is over but the monsters still come out, in daylight or not, to the school or the church or the theatre. The monsters are armed, and hav a long string of victims, often family, often women or children. They come with frightening regularity now, and everyone seems paralyzed by them. There are new names to say, more silent moments for thoughts and prayers, quickly followed by another spate of names.

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What Do You Say When They Wish You 'Merry Christmas'?

What do you say when they wish you 'Merry Christmas'?

Well, it all depends on what you want to communicate.

Thanks, you too.

No thanks.

(Smile, shake head.)

Sorry, not my holiday.

You shouldn't assume that everyone's Christian.

And the broom you rode in on, baby.

Hail Satan.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Tethys Speaks

Tethys Speaks

 

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