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 SageWoman Blogs

“Let us hold hands with the woman who cooks,
with the woman who builds,
with the woman who cries,
with the woman who laughs,
with the woman who heals,
with the woman who prays,
with the woman who plants,
with the woman who harvests,
with the woman who sings,
with the woman whose spirits rise.”

Pat Mora, Let Us Hold Hands
(in Auga Santa, reprinted in the UU Service Committee’s Gender Justice curriculum)

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Classical Greek society (article) | Khan Academy

In ancient Greece, when an athlete was chosen to represent his city at, say, the Olympic Games, he first went to the temple.

There the priest would perform certain rites of purification and consecration. Then he would tell him: Remember, your body now belongs to the god.

When you give something to a god, of course, you want it to be the very best that you can possibly give.

 

So it is with spiritual athletics. I spoke the other night with the personifying priest for the upcoming 2021 Midwest Grand Sabbat.

There's a regimen to giving your body to a god. (Never doubt that the god, of course, gives back in kind.) Diet, exercise: in all ways, mentally and physically, you have to hone, to pare, to mold yourself into the best you of which you are capable.

I've done it myself. It's grueling work, especially for us over-fed and under-exercised denizens of the so-called 21st century. It's hard to give yourself to the hunger, even when that hunger joins you to a god.

I do my best to be a good trainer, to correct and suggest and encourage. Reflecting, I realize that I also have one other thing to offer here.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Marker with Thorshammer

The marker for my companion Tom is up at the Veterans' Cemetery in Boulder City, Nevada. Tom wore the Thorshammer in life and it means a lot that he can have that symbol on his columbarium marker. Many heathens worked for many years to get the hammer symbol approved for Veteran graves. I am grateful for their efforts.

When it came time to have a marker made for Tom the cremation package from the mortuary company included getting the veterans' cemetery approval to have a military funeral and have his remains placed at the veterans' cemetery. I just had to tell them what I wanted and they took care of it, but they did show me the form to review for accuracy, and it had an option for the Thorshammer symbol preprinted on it, along with other faith symbols. It was a number and a checkmark. It was easy, and that part was done last fall, and yet, it didn't seem completely real that the hammer would be there until I went out today (in March) and there it was. It was easy for me because the people who came before made sure the option would be available. It took them a lot of effort. Somewhere in this same cemetery there is already a gravestone with the Thorshammer on it.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

No wonder pagans like Middle-earth so much.

Let's face it: one of the guilty pleasures of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings is that Middle-earth is a world without organized religion.

No churches, no bibles, no street-corner preachers: really, it sounds kind of idyllic, doesn't it? No Judaism, no Christianity, no Islam. This is a world in which the two major holidays—Midwinter and Midsummer—are largely (if not exclusively) secular celebrations. In Middle-earth, we find a world of unmediated experience.

No wonder pagans like Middle-earth so much.

But wait, there's more. On a recent read-through, I noticed that there is in fact a deity in Middle-earth, one invoked with surprising frequency throughout the entire trilogy, especially in moments of direst danger. (Guess what: she always comes through, too.) And guess what: She's a goddess.

Forget the Silmarillion. Forget Tolkien's made-up pantheon of not-quite-gods, the usual poor monotheist's masturbatory fantasy of polytheism.

Judging from the trilogy alone, there's one god in Middle-earth, and her name is Elbereth.*

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 Are Kentucky Farms Under Attack from Flocks of Ravenous Vultures? Not  Quite. | NRDC

 

If you're wondering what Minneapolis, home to one of the US's largest pagan communities, is like on the eve of the trial of the white policeman that murdered George Floyd here last May, I can tell you in one word: tense.

Everyone fears a reprise of the violence, arson, and looting that stalked last spring's protests.

Local activist groups have pledged peaceful protests, but everyone here knows that their pledges mean nothing. For four nights of terror in May, we watched our city burn around us as the peaceful protests were invariably followed by destruction and violence at the hands of bad actors from out-of-town and out-of-state.

That the vast majority of these bad actors came here, cowardly-wise, from elsewhere to work their morth-work and then leave again, is no consolation whatsoever to those of us left behind to sweep up the shards.

The scale of violence last spring caught everyone by surprise, and the arsonists and looters ran rampage here in the pagan neighborhood—my neighborhood—for four days before the authorities finally intervened. On one night in particular, four buildings burned within a block of my house. Most terrifying of all was the knowledge that if I were to call for help, none would come.

Some have accused city government of over-reacting in their pre-trial preparations. I'm not one of them. I, for one, have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that opportunistic bad actors, on both the Right and the Left, are already gathering from out-of-town, ready to work their havoc wherever, and whenever, they can. Call it vulture tourism.

Virtually everyone that I've spoken with seems to accept the likelihood of violence, which is in itself a bad sign. From what I'm hearing, the assumption seems to be that the best that we can hope for is that the destruction will happen somewhere else, probably downtown. That's not good news for the tens of thousands of people that live, or own businesses, near the trial's venue.

“I suppose we're all going to be sitting out on our front porches again all night,” my next-door neighbor, who's African-American, said to me today. She just turned 70 last year; she's lived in this house her entire life.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks Jamie. Here's hoping.
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, Stay safe, brother.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

This is Steven Posch, the pagan blogger.

This is Stefan Posch, the Austrian football player.

The Posches are an old Viennese family. (Back in the days when there were such things, the Vienna phone book had pages and pages of Posches.) Looking at the two of us, you can see something of the history of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Me, I look very Germanic. (When I'm in Germany, people on the street automatically address me in German.) Stefan has that square, south Slavic face. Ah, Central Europe, cauldron of nations.

Needless to say, we don't know one another, but I know about him, and I'm guessing that—the internet being what it is—he probably knows about me, too. (Such is the nature of being a public person.)

One wonders what Stefan thinks of his gay, pagan counterpart. If anything, I'm guessing that he probably finds our shared identity (such as it is) amusing. In his place, I probably would too.

Well, Stefan, if ever you should happen to read this: my greetings, brother, one to another. Next time you're in Minneapolis, let me know, and I'll happily stand you a beer.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Meredith Everwhite
    Meredith Everwhite says #
    Well, they are certainly human things, anyway...
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Ancestors, kinship, connections: all those things seem very pagan to me.
  • Meredith Everwhite
    Meredith Everwhite says #
    In all honesty I am very puzzled and have to ask what is the point of this and what does it have to do with Pagan culture?
Spring Full Moon - Invocation of the Flower Moon

This dazzling spring Flower Moon is an optimal opportunity to strive for the new, to initiate a phase of transformation that will last long after the Full Moon has waxed into darkness. This invocation honors the season, planting seeds of positive change in your life to bloom for years to come. Start by gathering red and green apples, candles of the same colors, and seed corn from a gardening store, along with three stalks of lavender and three long strands of night-blooming jasmine. Leave these offerings on your altar all day.

When the Full Moon of May reaches the highest point in the night sky, light one red and one green candle on your kitchen altar. Wind the jasmine and lavender into a crown for the top of your head, breathing in the lovely scent the flowers produce. Holding an apple in each hand, speak this spell while circling the altar clockwise three times.

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