PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
Welcome back to Watery Wednesday, where we celebrate themes of community and cooperation around the globe. Join us this week as we talk about the community role of soul food, news about the Pagan Spirit Gathering, and the fight for justice within the Pagan community. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
It is twilight in the woods, neither dark nor bright, but that liminal time where moment by moment, vision shifts. I am once again at California Witchcamp in the Mendocino Woodlands, surrounded by Reclaiming Witches of all genders and generations. It is the second night of camp and we gather in a clearing to begin our evening ritual work. I have agreed to hold the role of Anchor at this ritual. Being Anchor means I will not participate as an individual, but instead will stand at the edge of the circle in a meditative state and deeply witness the energy patterns and flow being created and worked by the group. I will witness and notice and see, but not move or direct or channel the energy myself. At times, like a tent peg, I may help keep the energetic wall in which the work is being done secure, but my role is to witness and help hold stable the container for the work.
As the ritual begins, I place a thin scarf over my face, denoting my role, and I ground myself deeply into this place, this piece of Earth. I feel my energetic roots go deep and touch the energetic roots of the Redwoods ringing the clearing. I let my roots entwine with theirs, they have been anchoring this space for centuries, witnessing the comings and goings of generations of animals like us. I feel the deep ancient connection with Earth and Redwoods holding me as I hold the edge of this night’s Circle which is being cast by one of the priestesses with the help of the whole group. Connecting to Earth time, to Redwood time, helps me see a wider band of human time and space....
"Just as the acorn holds limitless oaks, the Self has limitless potential. Expanding, contracting, opening, closing, leaping, pausing, watching, knowing, asking questions…" --Womanrunes, The Rune of Self
To be a human being sitting on a rock, in the sun, feeling wind, breathing in and out, reaching. This very moment, this very experience, this very capacity to sit and see and wonder, is the soul of life.
Today is my grandma's birthday. She passed away two years ago after a short and brutal bout with aggressive pancreatic cancer. After she died, my mom and I spoke briefly about whether or not my grandma's spirit is still present with us. I’ve noticed I don’t really get the kinds of “messages” that other people seem to experience after the loss of someone important to them and my mom feels pretty certain that life is over when it is over.
“To crawfish”: to work widdershins, you might say.
This is the well-known magical technique of inversion: raising power by doing backwards what is usually done forwards.
Walking backwards. Dancing back to back. Reciting prayers in reverse.
The American crawfish (a regionalism for “crayfish”): cambarus diogenes. A freshwater crustacean (I hear they're delicious) that looks something like a mini-lobster. Unlike most fish, it moves through the water back-first: what looks to us face-firsters like backwards. How witchy is that? Small wonder it's become a magical byword.
On my last morning at Summerland Spirit festival in Wisconsin, I was talking shop with another old warlock, a dear friend and colleague who's also a co-conspirator in the upcoming Midwest Grand Sabbat. We'd made our way up to the highest point in Turtle Lake County: they say you can see 5 counties from it.
Shortly after we started making our way back down, we came across a crawfish, scuttling across the path in front of us, looking for all the world like the lobster in the Moon card.
Welcome back to Fiery Tuesday, our weekly dive into politics-related news on behalf of the Witches&Pagans community. This week we're going to talk about the place of Pagans within the political world. What can Pagans do to advance the cause of transgender acceptance? Why is sacred violence or violence against the sacred so much more provocative than regular violence? And are modern polytheists "anti-choice?" All these questions and more will be addressed this weak for the Pagan News Beagle.
2015 was going to be the last Ravenwood. Prudence has been putting on Ravenwood since the early 90s, with her local group Freya's Folk, and at first under the umbrella of the national organization The Ring of Troth, and then the American Vinland Association, which was one of the two successor organizations to the old RoT, the other one being The Troth. Using a state park for heathen festivals had always been intended as temporary, and Prudence had bought land farther north years ago. She has been slowly improving the land at Folkvangr over the years and is almost ready to pass it on to someone who will start holding festivals on it. This campground in the redwood forest held a glow of nostalgia, but it was time for the last one.
I was very invested in going to the last Ravenwood, both emotionally and literally. Emotionally invested, because Ravenwood had been my first experience of the heathen community. It was the place where I first met other Asatruars, after having only known Wiccan Pagans in high school and college. Ravenwood was a heathen festival held on Mt. Tamalpais in California, near where I used to live in Sonoma. I had not attended since I had moved to Nevada in 1995. Literally invested, because I intended to sell my books there, I had bought copies of my new book No Horns On These Helmets, and of my nonfiction books, to sign and sell at a vendor table at the festival....