PaganSquare


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

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Recent blog posts
CRYSTALS AND SIZE - IS BIGGER REALLY BETTER?

I've had this question more than once, so thought I would address it here... What do you do when you buy a crystal online, but when it arrives, it is much smaller than you expected? Will it still work?

Obviously if you are looking for a crystal for jewelry or to fit in a certain place (say a desk or coffee table), size might matter. In this way, convenience and use play a part in the question of size. But, energetically speaking, is bigger really better? Does a large point put out more energy than a small point?

...
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Was There a "Golden Age" before Patriarchy and War?

Marija Gimbutas coined the term “Old Europe” c.6500-3500 BCE to describe peaceful, sedentary, artistic, matrifocal, matrilineal and probably matrilocal agricultural societies that worshipped the Goddess as the power of birth, death, and regeneration in all of life. Gimbutas argued that Old Europe was overthrown by Indo-European speaking invaders who began to enter Europe from the steppes north of the Black Sea beginning about 4400 BCE.  The Indo-Europeans were patrilineal and patriarchal, mobile and warlike, having domesticated the horse, were not highly artistic and worshiped the shining Gods of the sky reflected in their bronze weapons.

In the fields of classics and archaeology, Gimbutas’s work is often dismissed as nothing more than a fantasy of a “golden age.” In contrast, scholars of Indo-European languages, Gimbutas’s original specialty, are much more likely to accept the general outlines of her hypothesis. The German linguist and cultural scientist Harald Haarmann is one of them.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Nothing is Ever Forgotten

 “Nothing's forgotten. Nothing is ever forgotten.”

(Robin of Sherwood)

“New ink,” I say.

It's the annual Beltane cookout, something of a family reunion here in local Pagandom. Catching up with a friend, I notice two staves of ogham on his forearm.

I can read nine different alphabets, including Phoenician, but (alas) my ogham is rusty.

He helps me out.

“'Nothing's forgotten. Nothing is ever forgotten.'”

I know the quotation, of course. It's the tag line from Robin of Sherwood, the BBC's overtly pagan iteration of the Robin Hood mythos, the 1980s series that brought Herne back to Sherwood.

“It's for N,” he tells me, naming a beloved and much-missed local priestess, now with the ancestors.

It's a fitting tribute. She loved the series well, and in fact came into the Craft because of it. (Discussing it with a friend at work one day, she happened to remark: “...but what's with the guy with the antlers?” “Ah,” said her co-worker, “I think I can help you out there.”)

Our conversation continues, but through the days that follow, I find myself thinking again and again of those words, the words of (among others) Herne.

Nothing's forgotten. Nothing is ever forgotten.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    +1 for the ROS reference. That show rocked. By the way, I very much agree with your comments.
Pagan News Beagle: Airy Monday, May 8 2017

What's Marvel's Iron Fist have to do with Buddhism? Thoughts on what it takes to make erotic fantasy work in a video game. And a look at what The Magicians has to say about magic. It's Airy Monday, our segment about magic and religion in popular culture! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Every Altar Is a Door

As keeper of the coven temple, it's my responsibility to make the daily offerings and prayers there on the People's behalf.

This I do twice daily, morning and evening.

(In an ideal world, with a full temple staff, there would be four offerings each day: at sunrise, solar noon, sunset, and solar midnight. Oh well. We do the best that we can with the resources available.)

A fortnight back I was staying at Sweetwood Sanctuary in the heart of Midwest Witch Country. While I was there, I made the daily offerings and prayers before the main altar in the Grand Circle.

There I noticed something very interesting indeed.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    So to light the candles is to pass through the doorway. Nice.
  • Ian Phanes
    Ian Phanes says #
    This is why I always put a pair of candlesticks on an altar (but not a shrine)...the candlesticks mark the doorposts.
Know Your Enemy: How the Quick-Thinking Pagans of Harran Outwitted the Caliph's Army

It's probably an apocryphal story.

Even so, it's so delicious that you really do have to relish it.

The people of Harran in Mesopotamia had managed to hold on to the Old Worship long after all the other cities in the area had been baptized.

But then, in late 639 or early 640, the Muslim army of 'Iyadh ibn Ghanam approached the city.

According to the Qur'an, all pagans are to be be given a choice between conversion to Islam or death. People of the Book, however, are permitted to retain their religion and live, under Islam, as second-class citizens.

Who, then, are the Peoples of the Book? Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians, says the Qur'an. And in one passage it adds: “...and the Sabaeans.”

Who were the Sabaeans? Nobody knows. To this day, there's no scholarly consensus.

As 'Iyadh neared Harran, the gates opened and the city elders rode out to greet the caliph and his army.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Um...M. L. West's Indo-European Poetry and Myth counts, right?
  • Ian Phanes
    Ian Phanes says #
    To qualify, a community needs a book revealed by a prophet. "Um, yeah, our prophet is Hermes Trismegistos. And our book is anyth
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    There are always precedents for Living Together, always. In these days of deep division, it's important to remember.
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    I love the story of Harran, the last haven of Pagan religious freedom in the Middle East...ruled by a dynasty of liberal Muslims!
Is Paganism Dying? (Atheopaganism and the Future)

For thousands of years, since the very advent of human existence, there has been an evolving trajectory of religious history in Western societies.

The story passes from the earliest animism and ancestor worship to the rise of belief in gods, the consolidation of authoritarian power under monotheisms, and the complete domination of Western societies by Christianity. It continues through the Enlightenment, the steady gains of science shattering the cosmological monopoly of the Abrahamic monotheisms, the increasing tension between orthodoxy and individuality splintering these monotheisms into thousands of sects, and finally, most recently, to the rise of the Nones: those who describe themselves as having no religious affiliation at all, which is well established in most of the rest of the developed world and advancing quickly in the United States.

...
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