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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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Resource Review: Patricia Monaghan's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF GODDESSESS AND HEROINES

My initial entry to the goddess path began with a deep intellectual bent; I soaked up myths and studied archetypes like crazy, waiting until the day when I was ready to talk to goddesses on a more tangible, personal level. Because I’ve always been a bit of a myth junkie, and because I’m a scholar at heart, I jumped at the chance to read the late Patricia Monaghan’s revised and re-released Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines, published by New World Library. The book didn’t disappoint my thirst for information.

This large tome differs from Monaghan’s out of print title The New Book of Goddesses & Heroines in both its structure and its scope. Echoing Merlin Stone’s Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood, the Encyclopedia is arranged by continental region, with sections on Africa, Eastern Mediterranean, Asia and Oceania, Europe, and the Americas. Each section begins with a brief overview of cultural and historical information about the region in question, and as can be imagined, the regional sections are subdivided for clarity (and to offer more specific information about, say the Egyptian tradition within the African context).

In addition to the cultural context, Monaghan provides an extensive bibliography, plus a detailed description of how and why she chose to include the sources she did. Despite acknowledging the cultural limitations, Monaghan opted to draw her information only from works available in English, but the bibliography includes information about translations for the serious goddess scholar to track down on her own.

Chock full of information about both goddesses and heroines (historical female figures, or those with supernatural powers that don’t quite elevate them to goddess status), this is an excellent resource for anyone with an interest in goddess lore and the divine feminine. Scholars and casual browsers will both find something to appeal to them, since, as Monaghan notes in her introduction, the faces of goddesses around the globe are incredibly diverse; they “can appear as young nymphs, self-reliant workers, aged sages. They can be athletes or huntresses, dancers or acrobats, herbalists or midwives. We find goddesses as teachers, inventors, bartenders, potters, surfers, magicians, warriors, and queens. Virtually any social role women have played or are capable of playing appears in a goddess myth.” The vastness of goddesses, and, in truth, women, is represented in this volume, and it’s a resource I’m sure I’ll return to again and again.

Image retrieved from New World Library, http://www.newworldlibrary.com/BooksProducts/ProductDetails/tabid/64/SKU/82171/Default.aspx#

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
End Bullying By Changing Yourself

Recently, a 14 year old boy shot himself in the head in the boys’ restroom at his central Florida middle school.  His family had moved here all the way from New York to escape bullies. Turns out you can’t end bullying by moving hundreds of miles.  You can’t end bullying by talking to school administrators or teachers.

You can’t end bullying by fighting and punishing bullies because fighting and punishing IS bullying.  Imagine firefighters trying to put out fires with flamethrowers instead of water hoses or buckets of earth.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • C.S. MacCath
    C.S. MacCath says #
    Thank you for this post. It was particularly timely for me.
  • Ashley Rae
    Ashley Rae says #
    Thank you for taking the time to leave me a bit of feedback! ((HUGS))

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_Oregon_coast.jpg(an excerpt from my book, Visions of Vanaheim)

As mentioned in my post Who are the Vanir?, the Vanir are more than the Big Name Deities, such as Frey, Freya, Njord, and Nerthus. Vanaheim is an entire realm, full of people, the overwhelming majority of whom were never named by lore. This doesn’t mean they’re unimportant, as we will revisit in a moment. I also understand the Vanir to be elves (corroborated by others), and in private conversations I prefer referring to them as elves (or Eshnahai, which is their own name for their people, “Vanir” is an outlander’s term), though they are not the same entities as the Ljossalfar and Dokkalfar (who are related, but ultimately their own people).

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Magic of the Labyrinth

I recently began building my own labyrinth in the back yard of our RV long-term parking spot in the mobile home village where we currently live.  It is my way of creating my own sacred space. The photo above shows it now currently under construction.  I am making the construction an act of meditation, as I find an add stones two or three at a  time.  I think when it is complete, it will likely be time to move!

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When Magic becomes mainstream (sort of): Tulpamancy

The other day a friend pointed me to this link, where I ended up learning about Tulpamancy. Tulpamancy is essentially the creation of an imaginary friend who shares your body with you. The practice reminds me a bit of otherkin, only in this case instead of the person claiming they are some type of non-human entity, they instead claim that they are creating a spirit being and hosting that spirit being. Most of these Tulpamancers think of the tulpa as a psychological construct, though some ascribe metaphysical aspects to their tulpa. None of them, so far, as I know, seem to practice magic and this is only significant because they've taken a technique which is magical and applied it to their own lives without focusing on the magical aspects of the practice. 

The concept is actually a familiar one in occultism. The word Tulpa originates from Tibet and refers to the practice of creating a thought-form. Whether you know the concept through the label of thought-form, servitor, magical entity, or for that matter Tulpa, what the concept boils down to is the creation of an entity that becomes a spirit ally or performs a specific function for you. The main differences are that the magician typically doesn't house such an entity within themselves, isn't necessarily setting out to befriend such an entity, and may set up a deadline for certain task to be performed, or for the entity to be dissolved.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lee Pike
    Lee Pike says #
    Great article - it's interesting to note how ideas develop on Tumblr seemingly in (mostly) isolation and become paradigms unto the
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    I could see how tumblr could be part of it though from the one article reddit also seemed to play a role.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

A few days ago, Shirl Sazynski (author of the awesome One-Eyed Cat blog here at PS) recommended a new science fiction novel that she was enjoying: Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach. While I read a lot of sf, I don't read much military sf, but this sounded interesting. So, I clicked over to B&N and scrolled through the customer reviews.

Most of the reviews were quite positive. One negative review caught my eye, though -- not because it was negative, but because of the anonymous reviewer's reason for giving Fortune's Pawn a single star: 

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PaganNewsBeagle Watery Wednesday Community News Sept 24

In our Watery Wednesday post today, we cover community news for Pagans & their allies including: a discrimination claim filed by a (Pagan) Auburn University professor for wrongful termination due to religion; the Air Force no longer requires "so help me God" in enlistment oaths; a UK paper profiles a local Witch; a great article on Canadian Pagans; and the Wild Hunt Pagan news site launches its 2014 Fall fundraising campaign.

Dr. Katharyn Privett-Duren was an award-winning English professor at Auburn University -- until she was terminated suddenly and inexplicably. Now she's filed a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission because she believes she was fired for being Pagan. The Wild Hunt has the story.

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