PaganSquare


PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Recent blog posts

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

So, last week I skipped my Pagan Experience post. Partly because I was in full production mode over at FiberWytch (still am, in fact), which tends to make me feel overwhelmed; as I still work at an outside job part time, and I have invisible illnesses, multitasking can be a challenge. I also have a tendency to become nonverbal when working full steam ahead on crafting projects. But if I’m going to be honest, a bigger reason I skipped it was that my reaction on reading the prompt was more or less “meh.” Because as a godspouse and spirit worker, I’m a spirit-centered pagan, not an earth-centered one. Or so I told myself.

Well then. A day or two later (while I was in the shower, as it happens), Odin set me straight on this notion. “Not earth-centered, is it? What about the Making? What about all of the plant oils and herbs you work with? Those plant spirits have a home, you know, and it isn’t out in the ether somewhere.”

Last modified on
New Moon on the Aquarius/Pisces Cusp: At the Water's Edge

The New Moon this month occurs on Wednesday, February 18th, at 3:47 pm (PST) on the cusp of Aquarius and Pisces (at 29°Aquarius 59.9' to be exact!)  I talked about Aquarius in my last month’s New Moon post, so this month, although technically the New Moon is in the last gasps of Aquarius, I want to focus on Pisces.  This is also my last in a year long series of New Moon blog posts which started with Aries, and naturally, should conclude with the last sign of the zodiac, Pisces, bringing us full circle.   

Pisces is a Mutable Water sign, meaning that it is a threshold sign that bridges one season into the next – in this case winter giving way to spring in the Northern hemisphere.  It also resonates with the emotional and subjective element of Water.  Pisces is the Shapeshifter, the compassionate one, and sometimes, the escape artist.  It is a sign that is tuned in to the intuitive realm, and often has psychic flashes and uncanny ways of knowing.  As the last sign of the zodiac, Pisces often has a sense of somehow having been down that road before.  Pisces' compassion comes from knowing what it's like to walk in someone elses shoes.  Neptune rules this Water sign, and resonates with themes of the Rescuer/Victim archetype.  Neptune symbolizes our urge to merge, and sometimes those with Pisces strong in their chart have difficulty with boundaries.  Pisces must learn the art of not giving away the Self, at expense of the Other.   Under the guise of being altruistic, giving, and endlessly in service, there is a darker current that can run through the shadow of this sign, and sometimes there are threads of the martyr sewn into Pisces' apparent selflessness.  Some individuals with this sign or Neptune aspecting a personal planet or angle, identify with the archetype of the Saviour to the point where it is unhealthy, and they are in fact, giving for the glory of being the Redeemer.  This is a tricky one, and is often unconscious, and can show up as co dependence to the outside observer.  Pisces' task is to not become too identified with either the Redeemer or Victim end of the spectrum, and instead find a mindful balance of compassion for others and self care.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Nature of Blessing

What does it mean to bless something? To honour your blessings? How can we feel truly blessed?

Most of us only come across the term “blessing” after someone has sneezed, but for me as a Druid it is an integral part of my religion.  Alongside “prayer” however, the word can evoke memories of perhaps anti-pagan establishment.  If we can set aside these connotations and simply see the word for what it is, we can fill our lives with a wonder and enchantment, or perhaps re-enchantment that can otherwise escape us in today’s modern, secularised world.

So what is a blessing? A blessing is when we awaken, when we fully come to the here and now and see the wonder of life. It is to be absolutely awake and aware of who we are, where we are, and how we work in the flows, rhythms and cycles of life. It is being aware of the gods and ancestors, of how each part is played.  When we have awoken to this reality, life may flow easier, we may move through our days with more grace and compassion.

Being aware of our many blessings goes hand in hand with gratitude. If we give thanks for the blessing of lengthening sunlight, we awaken ourselves to the solar cycle of spring and the light half of the year. The sun gives freely of her gift, and this gift is a true blessing. When we give freely, when we are true to our selves and working for the greater good of the world, we too are blessing the world.  The rain that brings the flowers is a blessing. The person who helped us out of a dark place is a blessing.  A piece of music that sings to our soul is a blessing.

Being aware of these blessings takes us outside of ourselves, allowing room for a greater perspective that our narrow perception of the world can override. We have to shut off the internal monologue to be able to be aware of a blessing, to give and receive blessings with an open heart.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Sign of the Hoof

A mudra that links Star Trek, Orthodox Jewish liturgy, and the god of witches.

Fascinating.

The “Vulcan salute” premiered in 1967 during Star Trek's second season. Series creator Gene Roddenberry felt that the words of the newly-invented Vulcan greeting needed some sort of physical gesture to go with them. Actor Leonard Nimoy held up his hand, palm facing out, thumb extended, fingers divided between the second and third fingers. In that moment, a pop-culture icon was born. Live long and prosper, folks.

Nimoy knew the gesture from his childhood. Six times a year in the Orthodox synagogue that his grandfather took him to, the kohanim—men from priestly families—would face the congregation, raise both hands before their faces making the same hand-sign, and pronounce the ancient Threefold Blessing:

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Deus eduxit eum de Aegypto cuius fortitude similis est rincerotis. So, a god whose strength is like unto a rhino's. Well.
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Yikes. My first thought was, "they must have been working from a different underlying Hebrew text," which, given the difficulties
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I would agree that your reading makes sense of 24:8 with its singular object, Brian, and would add that some MSS. read motsi'o for
  • Brian Niskala
    Brian Niskala says #
    One thing I find funny is the Septuagint's translation here: ὡς δόξα μονοκέρωτος αὐτῷ, taking the Hebrew's תוֹעֲפֹת רְאֵם as 'glo
  • Brian Niskala
    Brian Niskala says #
    I would question that translation of Number 23:20/24:8. That reading of 'lo' לוֹ as a possessive here doesn't quite work; I read i

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Big Ritual for Solitaries

The ancient Minoans had a lot of opportunities for what I like to call Big Ritual. The priesthood of the temples at Knossos, Phaistos, Malia and Zakro put on Mystery plays for the public, enacting stories from Minoan mythology at the solstice and equinoxes as well as at other festival dates. The cave shrines and peak sanctuaries were staffed by priestesses and priests who provided ceremonies for the public at the sacred times throughout the year. The more important inhabitants of the towns even had the prospect of attending large rituals within the temples themselves. But we modern folks don’t generally have access to that sort of event.

Sure, we have our altars and shrines at home, just as the Minoans and other ancient peoples did. But sitting in meditation with an altar is its own special kind of activity and doesn’t push the same buttons, if you see what I mean, as Big Ritual does.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Apologies for the long time between posts--but I have some news to share: Llewellyn Worldwide is publishing my project--MAPPING THE MAGIC!

 


The book is about sacred sites in America (along with other related goodies) and will explore the magic of Washington, D.C. and the states of the Northeast: Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine--as you can see it will hopefully be the first of four books, each covering a different area of the country. HUGE thanks goes to Anne Niven at BBI Media who's been publishing my Wandering Witch feature at Witches & Pagans magazine since around 2007 ♥ 
 
To celebrate and spread the news about Mapping the Magic I'm hosting a GIVEAWAY! You can win a TWO year subscription to Witches & Pagans magazine or one of four copies of the current issue of the magazine. Click the link below to enter the rafflecopter giveaway (also on my blog at http://nataliezaman.blogspot.com):
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please enter, share and spread the word :)
♥ Thank you so much for your support! ♥
Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Genii Loci: Communal Spirits of Place

Having returned a few years ago to the general vicinity of my birth, I found myself more than ever considering regional cultus. There's something magical to the land touched by the Missouri River for me; it sings to me about it being my home and blood. I am the 5th generation of my family that has called this space home, and I marked the birth of the 6th generation with my daughter here as well. My husband jokingly refers to this as my spawning ground, but I sometimes wonder if there's truth to that.

I've set to trying to learn what I can classify as the Genii, an ambiguous term for the divine part of spirit in all things with souls. These may be Lares, heroes, natural spirits, or minor Gods; they may be Manes, the spirits of the Dead not quite elevated to the status of Lares yet. They may be somewhere in between, indefinable when not stretched under the pull of over-rationalization that I'm sometimes prone to.

This isn't always an easy task, but it's one I feel is important to undertake. So many times I fall to the trap of keeping my mind intellectually pinned into the space and time that the Roman Empire touched that I build solid walls that trap myself in. So I find myself asking regularly Who are our American Gods? Where do we find Them? And not simply the Spirits and Gods who were here before my European ancestors got here, but those we have created and transplanted as we've settled in this space.

Last modified on

Additional information