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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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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Of Gates and Veils

At certain times of the year—especially around Samhain—you hear that “the Veil between the Worlds grows thin.”

This language speaks to something that many of us, I suspect, have ourselves experienced: those times when our Known World becomes an Otherness to us, often with such intensity—perhaps in response to that same Otherness within ourselves—that it seems we could step through and enter into the Interiority of things. In the lore this sense is frequently associated with the temporally and spatially liminal ( <Latin limen, “threshold”), the times and places of the In-Between.

As a quick web-search will demonstrate, the notion of the Veil Between Worlds comes to the Craft from Spiritualism; mediums are said to “part the Veil” to enable contact with the dead now in the Other World. Most likely Spiritualism derives the metaphor of the Veil (probably via Freemasonry) from the Veil of the Jerusalem temple, the curtain (Hebrew parókhet) that separated the “nave” of the temple from the Holy of Holies.

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Reach for the light, rooted in the earth...

The swirls and eddies of the rising tide pull us ever closer into the dizzying dance that is summer. Here in the British Isles, summer is when everything happens: festivals appear from May to September, weekend events and week-long retreats.  It’s a busy time of year, when we ride the solar energies to the point of highest light. We feel our spirits rising with the sun, and let its rays illuminate our paths and nourish us body and soul. 

It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy.  My schedule is packed until October, with pagan events, priestly duties and more.  By the end of May I can already begin to feel a little burned out, and summer hasn’t even really gotten into its stride yet.  What I have to do is look to nature for inspiration.

The growing tides of light can entice us to do more than we should, to overbook or overcommit ourselves.  What we don’t want to happen is to have the summer solstice upon us and be too tired to celebrate it.  We need to harness our energies, to pool our resources so that we can access those lush depths when the time is right. 

Our agricultural ancestors welcomed this time of year: it was warm, and if they were lucky the crops were planted and growing well.  Vigilance was still needed, yes, but at this point what will happen will happen.  The hardest work was yet to come, during harvest season.  So too do we need to see that at this time near the highest light we need to remember not to burn too brightly, or we will have nothing left when it is time to reap what we have sown.

Take some time out, time to regroup, time for stillness and reflection.  Enjoy the present moment.  Spend time alone with yourself to check in on how you are feeling, emotionally, physically, mentally.  Have you over-committed? Are you doing too much? Really feel how you are in this present moment, and use that knowledge to help you find that balance point between motion and stillness.  Ride the energies up to the solstice, yes, but ride them with care.  Riding headlong and reckless can lead to you being unseated, and you might never get where you wish to go in such a manner. 

The earth hums with the tides and times of life.  At this time of year she is reaching upward, and so too can we reach upward to find our heavenly bliss.  But we must keep our feet rooted in the ground, in order to feed our roots with that wonderful light and warmth streaming across the land.  We can’t run on an open circuit; we need to be grounded.  Deep relationship nourishes both parties.

Blessings of the summer to you all!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Size Matters

The Pagan Unity Festival was about ten days ago and I had the honor and the pleasure to teach some classes there this year. I've taught at this festival for several years and the people who attend the workshops are attentive and curious--what teacher could ask for more?  I taught a class on Basic Practical Magic, another on Healing Magic and a late night session on banework.

Before we went out to the CCC-built state park that houses the festival, my friend Star and I went to the Parthenon.  I'd been there a couple of times before and always enjoy the thrill of it all--the Parthenon in Nashville. It's also fun to watch the other visitors' reactions to the Grey-Eyed Protector of ancient Athens.

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Pagan News Beagle: Fiery Tuesday, May 26

Politics and religion: difficult subjects which many consider unsuited for polite conversation. What happens when they mix? In many ways its inevitable; people care passionately about politics and they also care passionately about religion. That doesn't mean it's always easy though. This week we take a look at the different ways in which political and religious values are clashing over the world and how, in many cases, that bleeds over into discrimination and bigotry. All this and more for this week's Fiery Tuesday.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Fire the Fool

For those of you following the adventures in clay, here's the Fool. I've got a lot of work to do on these, and I think I'm going to be moving away from using the forms in order to start to craft my own. That's going to take time, but the awesome thing is that once I have made the original, then I can make my own sprig molds from that. This means I can keep my originality, but also keep the price down. Win win, right? Watch this space. I think I rather fancy doing the Tower next... and maybe working on some more creative pieces, too. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Fool.jpg

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Pentecost and the Underworld

Exactly three years after a Pentecost service helped me see that I was a Pagan, I descend into the underworld. I spent last weekend in ritual with a group of Witches, most of them oblivious to the fact that it was Pentecost in the Christian tradition. Pentecost, the day when the Holy Spirit fell upon the followers of Jesus, tongues of fire upon their heads. They were filled with courage and started preaching, they spoke in languages they didn’t know, sang in the tongues of angels, and prophesied. Pentecost is usually seen as the birthday of the Christian church.

 

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Have Pagans Failed at Environmental Activism?

Many Pagans define themselves as "Earth-centered," and yet, so many of us fail to actually live in harmony with the earth. I've written before on the Pagan Activist blog about environmentalism. And I admit that--in my frustration--I've written a few harsh and perhaps even incendiary posts on the topic. I don't know that those have done anything to change anyone's mind.

However, environmentalism is a part of Pagan leadership and community building, which is why I'm writing about it here.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Leslie J Linder
    Leslie J Linder says #
    Thank you for your thoughtful blog! I am an Eclectic Vegan Pagan, and I signed the statement. I had given the authors some info fr
  • Rick
    Rick says #
    Shauna, yours is one of the better posts on the subject. In terms of what can be done and what should be done, the entire race, n
  • Rick
    Rick says #
    And that doesn't even address my pet peeve of over-population!
  • Richard Wachenheim
    Richard Wachenheim says #
    Hello, I consider myself as a reasonable environmentalist pagan. That said, I have been close to the earth for many years and wa
  • Soli
    Soli says #
    I'm one of those people who ended up not signing the pledge, and the "small actions" post I did on Pagan Activist in early April i

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