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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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

2017 was a rough year for many of us.  The year seemed to fly by and yet it seemed to crawl so slowly.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Wish_You_Happy_New_Year_YS.JPG

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Tribe of Deicides

The world began with a sacrifice.

That's how the ancestors saw it, 6000 years ago.

6000 years later, that's still how witches see it.

Throughout Indo-Europeandom (and beyond it as well), one finds tales of the Primal Sacrifice. A divine or semi-divine being is killed; from his body, the world as we know it is created.

And so sacrifice becomes the central rite of public worship. Every sacrifice reenacts—reembodies—that primal, cosmogonic sacrifice.

Every sacrifice recreates the world.

Moreover, this is a true story. Truly, life lives on life. No matter what kind of -vore you are, others die so that you can eat them and live.

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A Quaker Pagan Day Book: Testimonies and Queries

Pagans often argue about how to define who we are.  What are the boundaries--between Wicca and Witchcraft, between Heathens and Pagans, between polytheists, pantheists, and non-theists...  While I could do without the acrimony, we're a new as well as an old religious movement, so it makes sense that like any adolescent, we are fascinated by questions of identity.

I will admit to preferring the Quaker approach to identity, though: rather than trying to create the definitive checklist of belief that make someone a "real Quaker," Friends typically share a body of testimonies and questions for reflection with those who are drawn to the Religious Society of Friends. "Do you feel this same sort of spiritual leading?" Friends ask one another.  "Does this speak to the condition of your soul, as it does to ours?"

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Lesbianistic

“Steve?”

It was the high priest of one of the local Wiccan covens on the line.

“We had an inquiry from a woman who's into...uh, feminism. I thought she might be...uh, a better fit for you guys.”

It was the early 80s. We were the new coven in town back then, still in the days of our coven household. (Barring time spent in utero, those were probably the most intense nine months of my life.) The local Wiccan scene still being pretty hetero at the time, with three bi women and one gay man, people naturally thought of us as the “gay group.”

(In fact, sexual preference just wasn't an issue with us. It still isn't. When our first straight member joined some years later, no one even noticed until months after that we had, so to speak, expanded our demographic.)

“Sure: give her the number, we'd be happy to talk with her,” I said. Riding the crest of the Second Wave at the time, we were proud of our unabashed feminism. We still are.

There was an awkward pause.

“Uh....”

He was fumbling for words. Clearly, this was going to be interesting.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Does Aphrodite have Minoan connections?

I'm regularly asked if there's a counterpart in the Minoan pantheon to some foreign god or goddess. It's a game many of us play, trying to make connections and see where beliefs and practices were similar around the ancient world. Heck, even the ancients did it, especially the Greeks and Romans, trying to figure out which one of their deities each foreign one was the equivalent to.

One of the most common ones I'm asked about is Aphrodite. If you think about it, she is pretty likely to have some kind of Minoan connection: She dates back at least to the Bronze Age, the time the Minoans flourished. Her mythos tells us that she's from Cyprus or Kythera, both islands within the Minoan sphere of influence (Cyprus even had a script that derived from the Minoans' Linear A). And she was probably much more complicated than her later depiction as a shallow sex/love/beauty goddess suggests. At the very least, the well-traveled Minoans are sure to have known about her.

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Beating the January Blues. Druid Style.

The period just after the midwinter holidays can be difficult. For our ancestors this time of the year, before the chickens, ducks and geese began laying again and before the sheep and cattle began lactating, was a hungry time. Nowadays, when we don't appear to be so dependent upon the cycles of nature and farming for our very sustenance, the difficulty of the time of year settles into our souls in a different manner.

For those living in cold, northerly climates, this is when the deep freeze settles in (though with climate change, as we can see from Canada throughout the end of December, it can come earlier and stay longer). For those in more temperate areas such as here in the UK, it's the darkness of the grey, cloudy days and long nights that become hard to bear. It's also a time when money can be scarce, and we are paying our bills not only for the holiday time, but also higher bills for heating and electricity. We can feel overwhelmed, depressed, apathetic and more. This is the time when we just can't shake off that cold, and the colds and flus that have been going around since the holidays are getting stronger and stronger.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
A Little Help

 

Help isn’t always helpful is a lesson I learned from Annie Lomax of blessed memory back in the 70s when she was training me to work on a hotline. Sometimes, help is offered as a sedative when someone else is having strong emotions that make you uncomfortable. Sometimes, help undermines another person’s sense of autonomy or sense of accomplishment. Sometimes, help makes it more comfortable for someone to stay stuck in a situation that is slowly but surely diminishing them. And yet despite all the potential pitfalls involved in the offering of help and support, Annie taught me that when help is offered with a clear mind and an open heart it has the potential to encourage not just comfort or healing but true growth. Let me reiterate the part about the criterion of having a clear mind and an open heart. The mind and the heart don’t always agree, but if both are in agreement you might be doing the right thing. My time on the hotline at the Wellspring program taught me many things that I still use to this day.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Wow! Ivo, I am moved beyond words by this post. Now that you are writing a regular column for W&P, I'd love to see this sort of ma
  • Ivo Dominguez Jr
    Ivo Dominguez Jr says #
    Thanks!

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