Is memory a reliable snapshot of the past? Can a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy be done without sacrificing jobs? And does a habitable planet orbit our nearest stellar neighbor? These questions and more are tackled in Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment on science and Earth-related news! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
As someone who comes to goddess spirituality from a feminist thealogy perspective, I have found it important to distinguish between the lineage and history of goddess spirituality and that of contemporary paganism as a broader and larger movement. While the roots of goddess spirituality are indeed entwined with paganism and Wicca, there is still a distinct “herstory” of the goddess movement in the United States, as well as qualities, traditions, values, perspectives, and tenants within it that are worthy of consideration on a stand-alone basis.
The Goddess in America, forthcoming from Moon Books this fall, is a highly recommended anthology of insightful essays about the meaning, role, expression, and experience of the Goddess in the United States. This is not a 101 or introductory book, but rather a complex exploration of a variety of topics including cultural appropriation, differences between feminist goddess spirituality and Wicca, contemporary priestessing, pop culture goddesses, goth goddesses, polytheism vs monotheistic concepts (i.e .the difference between “all goddesses as one” and each goddess as an individual), goddesses and the land and whether goddesses can be “transported” to other locations/lands, and much more. The book contains contributions from nineteen writers with diverse perspectives and experiences and it identifies the “enduring experience of Goddess Spirituality through a four-part discussion focused on the Native Goddess, the Migrant Goddess, the Goddess in relation to other aspects of American culture (Feminism, Christianity, Witchcraft, etc.) and the Goddess in contemporary America.” As someone who loves books, I believe that anthologies are possibly one of the greatest inventions of all time. Indeed, the only problem I had with this book was that the writers were so talented and have written so many other interesting books, that my to-read bookshelf now becoming even more extensive!...
When you get older and your doctor says you should start using a CPAP machine, don't take it as a failure. Embrace the opportunity; your CPAP may actually provide some of the same benefits as meditation, albeit through a somewhat different mechanism.
As your brain absorbs a higher percentage of oxygen while it's asleep and dreaming, it may realize clearer insights into the nature of reality....
Sturgeon are ancient fish who swam in the waters when the dinosaurs first emerged on the earth. Today, these living fossils are considered to be the most primitive of the bony fish. Sturgeon belongs to the Acipenseridae family which has twenty-seven species. Native to the lakes, rivers, and coastlines of Eurasia and North America, these giant fish resemble armored torpedoes. Their distinctive bony plates (hard scutes) stud their back and sides.
One thing that Sturgeons are well-known for are their dramatic leaping out of the water. In his poem, The Song of Hiawatha, Longfellow described this – “saw the sturgeon, Nahma leaping, scattering drops like beads of wampum.” As the largest fish in freshwater, a massive Sturgeon can kill or break the bones of unwary boaters. As to why They leap, nobody knows. Theories range from communicating in their group to Sturgeon simply enjoying doing it....
When the Sun transits into Leo, the Summer is at its fullest, the Sun returns to its sovereign sign, the lush abundance of the Summer's growth is at its peak. But the Summer is past its tipping point: the Oak bows to the Holly, the Stallion bows to the Boar. The transition is subtle but distinct: the Oak King and his powers of expansion, of movement forward, of exploration, have given way to the Holly King, older, wiser, more cagey,with his powers of protection, of preservation, and of steadfastness.
Under the Full Moon of August—a hot rosy-colored moon, a hot wind riffles through the tall grass and there's thunder in the distance—the Leo Sun dances with the Moon in Aquarius, tempering the intensity of Leo’s expressiveness and passion, with a wider perspective. Sun in Leo is eminently powerful, and imbues us all with the leonine qualities of confidence, creativity and playfulness. We feel ourselves to be sovereign in our lives, our work and our art flourishes because our connection to source is open and we are empowered to receive. This power within ourselves is available as long as we allow ourselves access, we need to believe we are worthy, we need to believe in our contribution and our talent. But Aquarius further empowers to see that our passions and our actions do more than entertain and enrich us. The appropriate role of any conscious soul at this time is to bring our talents and our contributions out of our studios, out of our homes, and offer them up for the benefit of others. The Aquarius moon reminds us that our talents and dreams might be incredibly personal and vulnerable, but they also transcend our small personal lives to touch others, to have an impact on the world we share....
The occult makes its way into the art world. Wiccans participate in a multifaith prayer circle. And A look at how to teach Heathenry to children. It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment on news about the Pagan community from around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
A few weeks ago I, and a lot of other people, saw the new Ghostbusters movie. As a child of the 80s I was a wee bit skeptical at first but ended up loving it. To quote one of my dearest friends, “I didn’t know women wielding proton packs was what was missing from my life.” Of course me being me, my first thought coming out of the movie was that I just have to work with these characters in my magick - they’re just too awesome not to. Let’s take a look at the four main characters and explore some of the many ways they can be worked with in pop culture magick.
***spoiler alert - this post will contain spoilers for the new Ghostbusters movie***
Erin is a mainstream academic with a thirst to prove herself, to gain acceptance, and have her work and value acknowledged by those around her. As a professor, Erin would be an excellent ally to call on for matters of scholarship (study, exams, learning, etc.) as well as navigating bureaucracy (there are few establishments as political and overwrought as higher education) . Her struggle for recognition also makes her an excellent ally in workings designed to help one gain legitimacy, to be valued for your work, and to overcome obstacles. I would argue that Erin would also be extremely helpful in workings of self-acceptance and self-esteem. Throughout the movie Erin struggles with the conflict between being what’s expected of her and what she truly is. She progresses from hiding her thoughts and values in order to be accepted by the establishment to expressing her true beliefs and taking the risk of really standing up for herself. Though she can be a little timid at times, Erin is an excellent ally for anyone who has to work in mainstream culture.
Abby is a significantly less mainstream academic who is willing to take risks and buck authority in order to achieve her goals. She is bold, passionate, and unapologetic in her approach to life while also being a fiercely loyal friend. Abby is a fantastic ally for any work that involves going around authority or otherwise subverting the establishment. She can also be called upon for help standing up for oneself and holding onto the courage of your convictions in the face of adversity. An unapologetic approach and unhesitant embracing of her own weirdness also make her a good ally in workings of self-esteem and empowerment. The strong commitment she shows both in pursuit of following her dreams and in support of her friends makes her an asset for workings of endurance, loyalty, and determination. Abby isn’t afraid to take risks, which can cause problems when caution is needed. Call on her wisely.
Patty is a municipal historian, blue collar worker, and possibly the human embodiment of common sense. Where many of the other ghostbusters live in a world of theory and academics, Patty’s feet are firmly grounded in the practicalities of everyday life. Patty is an ideal ally in matters of practical problem solving, creative resource acquisition, and working with people. Her practicality and resourcefulness also make her an excellent ally in matters of project planning, divining hidden difficulties, and general preparedness. Her grounding and connections to place also make her helpful as an intermediary in workings to bond with the spirit of place for a given locale. Her courage and willingness to try new things are well tempered by common sense, making her a very wise helper in determining whether to take a given risk. Patty may not be as flash as some of the others, but she is the rock that can help you with everyday life.
Jillian is the mad scientist of this bunch. She’s a brilliant combination of Marie Curie, Tony Stark, and Victor Frankenstein; a fearless scientist, a brilliant engineer, and a mad genius with little respect for safety or the laws of nature. Jillian is an excellent ally in workings for inspiration, creation, anything involving the manipulation of science or technology, as well as workings to bend the laws of physics. Where Abby is unafraid to go around authority or bend the rules, Jillian acts as if authority and rules are utterly meaningless and simply does as her brilliant mind tells her. Call on her when there are no f**ks to be given. Keep in mind that, while totally awesome, this blindness to caution or safety does make her a bit dangerous and more than bit reckless.