PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
Excessive force indeed! The United Nations blasts the Americans on November 17 for its response to the Water Protectors' protest in South Dakota. The struggles around the Dakota Access Pipeline took an alarming turn when Donald Trump became the United States President-Elect on November 9th. At right is a photograph from Indian Country Today Media Network courtesy of Myron Dewey. What you see in this very disturbing photo is merely the continuation of what has never ended in the United States when it comes to Native Americans. Here is the American historical response to Indigenous sovereignty since the 1500s:
1. Militarized response to Indigenous peaceful protests;...
One of my favorite women on the planet, a gifted priestess with whom I am blessed to share space on the regular, wrote this beautiful piece over at her blog.
"There are some of us who are the Dark Goddess and have been for quite some time. I have noted that these folks are feeling this shift the hardest. Going through the birthing pangs as Ereshkigal writhing alone and in the dark. Facing those who are saying “it’s not that bad” or “give it a chance let’s see how things go”. We know though that that only prolongs the process. It is only through BECOMING the Dark Goddess and seeing her for who she truly is the Goddess of creation and rebirth, that we are able to live again. She is literally attempting to birth us into a new world at this time. So are you silencing her? Attempting to persuade her that her pain is not real? Or are you standing with her and seeing the truth of this moment?"...
Spirituality, an intimate relationship with the spirits; a love of life and respect for all its sacred forms; the use of practical magick and powerful prayer; and the holiness of the Earth, are all the fuel and form of my life and everything that flows out from it. It has been this way as far back as I can remember in my 53 years of life, and it is the lens through which I see my life now, and in the unfolding future.
I am a Traditional Witch, conjure-man and faery seer. I am a well-travelled lecturer and author of several books on those topics, and creator of a multi-year apprenticeship program aimed at core spirituality, mystical living, eco-spirituality, and the practice of real magick for real change; or, as I call it, “Magick with Muscle”. The intense soulfulness of my message is a direct result of being born into and growing up in Appalachian and Southern culture that was highly influenced by a romance of the land, the legacy of the Civil War and the African slave-trade, and the looming presence of racism and poverty. I was born with the veil (the second sight) into a family where the folk lore and customs of this gift were still alive in both my family and community culture. These elements made the living presence of Spirit; the spirits; and the powers of: prayer, spirit-doctoring, faith-healing, charms and spells, and other forms of "magick", very real and very necessary in a world with a lot of injustice and inequity.
A look at how the Christian right in the United States has aligned itself with Republican politics. Ten questions commonly asked of atheists. And a disheartening look at how hatred is impacting the lives of young Muslims in America. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment on news about faiths and religious communities from around the world. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle.
Let's talk about a fun topic. Let's talk about passing. Historically, it has meant that if you looked white and could pass as white, you would take that power and hide your actual racial background.
In this political climate and in this modern age, passing can mean a lot more. It can mean not wearing jewelry that indicates you're of a minority religion. It can mean not choosing to date a same sex partner if you are pansexual/bisexual or to be closeted about it. It could mean not being as open poly or kinky. It can mean stfu'ing about feminist issues such as abortion access. (A side note, since the election I feel like all I do is yell, WITCHCRAFT AND ALSO ABORTIONS)
It's one of the few known instances of actual King Sacrifice in the literature.
Dómaldi took the inheritance after his father Visbur, and ruled the land. In his day, a great famine and hunger engirded the Swedish thede (people). Then the Swedes offered great sacrifice at Uppsala. The first autumn they sacrificed oxen, but the following season was no better. The next autumn they held a man-sacrifice, but the next season was even worse. The third autumn a great many Swedes came to Uppsala when the sacrifices were to be offered. Then the chieftains took rede with one another, and agreed both that the famine was due to Dómaldi their king, and that they should sacrifice him that very year: take him out, kill him, and redden the altars with his blood.
And that is what they did.
So wrote Icelander Snorri Sturluson in his Ynglingasaga (1225).
Snorri's account implies a perpetrated violence, but in Swedish painter Carl Larsson's monumental 1915 canvas, Midvinterblot (“Midwinter Sacrifice”), the death of King Dómaldi becomes a moving act of willing self-sacrifice.
In this controversial painting, a festive crowd has gathered before the great stave-temple of Uppsala. Lurs blare, women dance, warriors march. Through the open doorway, we see the great golden statue of the Thunderer standing in a chariot drawn by golden goats. Before the temple the high góði stands with hammer raised to hallow the sacrifice. In the foreground, facing away from the viewer, stands the red-cloaked sacrificer, who holds the bright blade, ready but hidden, behind his back.
But the center of the painting is Dómaldi himself, his head thrown back, standing (like Þórr) on the sledge on which he has been drawn in procession to the temple.
Young, vigorous, bearded and redly beautiful, he is depicted in the act of shedding the red fox-skin cloak which is his only covering. Beneath it, in the Midwinter cold, he offers himself stripped for sacrifice, naked and ready. It is the ultimate act of royal kenosis: the voluntary self-emptying of one who willingly gives his life for the people.