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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
Foundations of Incense: Frankincense

While sandalwood is arguably the most traditional base material for incense, perhaps no ingredient’s name is better known than frankincense.  Its fame is based on more than just its place in the story of Christ’s birth in the New Testament book of Matthew.  In fact, frankincense plays an important role in ancient history that begins thousands of years before the beginning of the Common Era.  Frankincense was one of the key products shipped on the famed “silk road” of the ancient world.  It was a source of great wealth and, as a result, also a product of mystery and intrigue.  Even today the locations of many of the traditional groves that produce the highest quality frankincense remain a closely guarded family secret.

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A Witch’s Practice of Prayer: Why Not? (Part 3)

Many of my friends and colleagues who identify as Pagan are suspicious of prayer, as I’ve mentioned earlier.

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Last Tree Standing

If it were a contest, I'd win every year.

Last Yule tree on the block.

Call it the “Long Yule.”

Up here in the North, through our dark days and cold nights, we come yet again and again to drink from that fountain of living light.

Yule is a long farewell. At Thirteenth Night we begin; again, a thirtnight later, at Twenty-Sixth (3 x 13) Night, we continue. Last of all is Thirty-Ninth Night, what in Shetland they call Up-Helly-Aa: “Up-Holiday-All.”

By then, of course, we can see the fires of Imbolc burning on the horizon: our midwinter, halfway hope, by which time the greens will all have been burned and the geegaws laid by, with nothing over but ash, and the pure, pure Light.

The rest of Yule is all boxed up and put away. Only the tree remains: a worn familiarity, its glories somewhat dimmed as the Sun's light waxes.

But for now, for just this little while longer, I'll fondly sit and warm my hands at the embers of a dying fire.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
I Have It from On High That...

I can't even remember what the meeting was about, or what we finally decided.

But the lesson that I learned that night, I'll never forget.

It was pagan politics as usual. Some wanted A, some B.

Then someone stood up and announced that she had "had it from On High" that we were supposed to go with A.

Well, those were arrogant times. These days, I like to think that anyone making such a claim would get laughed out of the room.

I'm not saying that the gods don't speak to us. Of course they do, if we care enough to listen. Still, what a god may or may not tell me is one thing; expecting what he says to be binding on others is something else entirely.

In the pagan world, some people do get to speak for the gods. But you don't get that privilege (and burden) by mere assertion. I myself know some—admittedly, only a handful—whose word I would trust in such a manner.

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How Thunder Slew the Three-Headed Giant

They say there was once a three-headed giant named Motho.

Well, that's what they say.

You know giants: they're greedy. Motho just couldn't be content until everyone, everywhere, was his slave.

He went through the whole world, chaining the people. Wherever he went, balance was broken. Wherever he went, hatred and discord sprang up.

In time, it seemed as if he might enslave all the world. Then from their chains, the people called to mighty Thunder: men, women, and children, they called.

Mighty Thunder arose. His anger burned hot. He took up his lightning hammer and smote, smote, smote. He broke the baleful heads of Motho; he broke the chains that bound the people.

In this way, Motho was killed, and the world was freed.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

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We Are All Connected: On Atheopagan Counseling

We are all connected: to each other, biologically,
to the Earth, chemically,
to the rest of the Universe atomically.
—Neil deGrasse Tyson

So, I’ve written about our responsibility to the Earth. About how being who we are—Atheopagans—implies a necessary requirement that we stand up, in whatever great and small ways we can, for a better world.

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