My specialty is small group rituals and retreats for women. However, a primary reason behind having women-only rituals at this point in my life is purely logistical. I find it nearly impossible to have a complete “retreat” experience with kids also present! Someone has to take care of the kids during said retreats…hence, single-sex rituals/ceremonies often make the most sense for my local community. However, shorter and simpler rituals are possible with kids, though they have a completely different feel and even function and so that energetic output needs to be balanced with the renewal and restoration we often need as parents, mothers, and women.
PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
The Sign of the Horns has been a sign of power since long before it became a Heavy Metal cliché.
Because horns aren't just for beauty or display.
They're weapons. They ward because they warn. Theirs is the power of protection.
You could call the Horns a mudra. (In Witch we usually just say: hand-sign.) You could call them an invocation. (You know Who I mean.) In Anthropologist, you could call them an apotropaic: a turning away, an averting.
The Horns have been warding off the hostile, the unchancy, the ill-favored, for centuries, if not millennia.
You can mutter “Horns ward [me]” or “Horns protect [me]” if you like. It certainly won't hurt.
But only make the Sign and the Horns will do their work, seen or unseen, spoken or unspoken.
Some might call this a fire-fight-fire scenario: like warding like, the unchancy against the unchancy.
The worship of La Santa Muerte, Mexico’s iconic Lady of “Holy Death,” is blossoming throughout the Americas. Much like death itself, the hauntingly powerful skeletal figure of Santa Muerte is maligned and feared by the powerful, but loved and venerated by the desperate. Millions of faithful throughout Mexico, the southwest United States, and all of Latin America, most of whom identify as Roman Catholics, flock to her temples to venerate the Lady of Death who holds the entire world in her hands.
It's been a bit quiet on the blog here, but with good reason - I've been on tour for the last month with our band (The Nathaniel Johnstone Band), and prior to leaving for the tour, I needed to get the first draft of my book, The Witch's Cauldron in to the publisher and get the layout designed and finished for the new album, The Mother Matrix.
The album was inspired by my drawing and painting by the same title, and I'm excited to say it also includes the second song I have written. (The first was "Persephone Rises" and was track 8 on our Greek-themed Steampunk album entitled The Antikythera Mechanism.)
I've done and made a lot of things in my life, but I don't think I ever imagined myself writing a song. Sure I've written poems, stories, and many articles over the years, but a song seemed like something else. However, when you're married to a musician, I suppose one should expect a fair bit of bleedover. I didn't sit down with the explicit intention of writing a song. Rather it just sort of happened. "Persephone Rises" emerged just around the Spring Equinox of 2014.
In the summer of 2015, Nathan and I were contemplating the theme of the 2016 album. We were playing with the idea of something dark, perhaps bellydance-inspired, pagany. After one discussion, I found myself up in my studio, and "Hekate's Song" was written. Once we had settled on the title/feel of the album, I added two more verses to tie it in, and it became the third part of a trio of songs on the album exploring the concept of The Mother Matrix, and its title became "The Crossroads." (I also ended up writing most of the verses for part 2, "Going Gone" which weaves in the concepts of the Fates.)
But the words are only part of the magick, because then the real musicians take over and truly bring the song to life. Dogwood's vocals, to me, truly evoke the power of Hekate's voice I envisioned when writing the song, and I love the interjection of S. J. Tucker's ethereal backing vocals. Nathan's composing and Tom Coyne's drumming gives it all roots and more compelling layers of power. It becomes a painting inside of your head, moving throughout your body.
Have a listen (will open in a new window):
Exhale your question
out and out again
into the fresh North Mountain air
See the answer
It waddles with leisurely curiosity
on the path ahead
Or drops blessed from the sky
Hear the answer
in the rolling songs
of the Aspen trees
The rhythm of tides
drumming the shore
Touch the answer
with hands, feet, heart
Earth, Water, Fire, Sky
Dancing with mothers, sisters,
Taste the answer
in tender kisses
of salty sea and tears
Ripening fruit the earth offers
Words and music on my tongue
both thanks and prayer
Embrace your question
And an answer will find you
© Andrea M. Keber 2010
Laurie Bauers (Hakalau, HI) is living the dream on an organic farm with her husband and son in Hawaii. She paints and creates often, hopefully inspiring others to live their dream. etsy.com/shop/ArtofLaurieABauers
A Ruist (aka Confucian) talks about the role of ancestor veneration within his faith. The difference between Hindutva and Hinduism is explained. And St. Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome, is remembered. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment about faiths and religious communities from around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
It is common in many traditions to ask for guidance from the unseen realms, from the spirits. Sometimes the requests are answered in signs, omens, visions, and the like. I have three short vignettes to share that illustrate some of the reactions that can occur when the guidance is very clear....