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
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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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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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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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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Deliciousness Requires Mindfulness

As something of a hedonist, I struggle with mindfulness because surely if I just eat the right apple fritter, drink the right spiked frozen apple cider, watch my favorite television shows and buy the right pair of boots, I’ll be living my best life.  Mindfulness is something I also feel a certain amount of stubbornness towards because I had a Buddhist boyfriend once and it felt like then it would be a short hop onto complete detachment and not caring about all of the shallow things that make me happy and I’m not about the life.  (Calm down, Buddhists.  I know that it’s an incredibly long and difficult thing to obtain because I have been lectured on it excessively.)

So I tend towards extremes sometimes because that too is a bit of my hedonistic tendencies.  Either it’s a scene from Pippin when he goes nuts in the countryside indulging in every whim ever or we are reenacting a significantly less fun version of Salem and there are no red stockings or beer for you, Goodwife Deborah.   My intentions are sincere, but it’s hard to maintain either extreme.  Generally what happens is I decide that I don’t really need to drink booze, vegetables are fine for breakfast and chicken is great for everything always.  Then I get bored.  Then it’s a super fun weekend binge of eating and drinking all the delicious things, having a fantastic time going out with friends and gossiping and geeking out and going shopping and lying in bed for forever and reading the books I want to read and watching all the things and putting my house back together from the week before and feeling all satisfied and happy with life.  Then Monday morning it’s like the worst reality hang over ever where I know I will need to do tasks I don’t want to do and deal with workplace shenanigans so Monday morning I’m essentially trying to lodge my fingernails in the doorframe so I don’t have to do it.

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