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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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Recent blog posts
Heathen Visibility Project: part 2 How to Participate

Step 1 Take photos of:

A. People (only include people who want to participate in the Heathen Visibility Project! ) including:

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Reflections on Melek Taus

Last week I attended an Interfaith Gala Dessert Reception to help the Yezidis Facing Genocide, featuring a delegation of Yezidis in exile here in North America and hoping to regain their homelands.

Held at Peninsula Sinai Congregation in Foster City, California, the room featured peacock feathers on each table and walls adorned with Yezidi (Yazidi) flags.  The screen upon one wall featured a large image of Melek Taus, the Peacock God of the Yezidis.

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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, September 14 2017

Will scientists soon learn the nature of dark matter? How did one of Saturn's moons come to be? And is a future of cybernetic limbs ahead for us or not? It's Earthy Thursday, our segment about news relating to science and the Earth. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Heathen Visibility Project: part 1 Why Heathen Visibility?

Last month I had to search for public domain or creative commons license images of heathen or Asatru related rituals, gods, altars, etc. to fill up the upcoming Heathen Calendar 2018 because I didn't manage to get 12 images from living artists for various reasons. (Some artists didn't finish on time, some didn't want to sign the tax form, whatever.) I had searched for public domain classical art last year for this year's calendar, and I had previously searched for some public domain heathen related images to illustrate my blog, but this was the first time I had searched for contemporary images that might be photos of actual people. I did not find much. Artists have uploaded tons of various images to sites where people can license their images, either for money or for free as the artist prefers, using a creative commons license or another type of license. So there are places to put such images where the artists could possibly get something back for their work, if they wish. I don't know yet whether I will do another Heathen Calendar next year; it depends on how many people want one. But if I do, it would be great to have some good stock photos of heathens doing heathenry to choose from. 

Just before I did those image searches for the Calendar, I had been doing image, text, and guide searches for guides to how to tell heathen symbols from hate symbols, to create the Trollslayers' Guide, which is a guide for the group moderators of the American Asatru group on Facebook to use to do background checks on people applying for membership. (We have a strict no-Nazis rule.) The publicly available guides all have various flaws and none of them were written by heathens. I'm actually thinking of trying to expand the Trollslayers' Guide into a full blown public guide to how to tell heathen symbols from hate symbols, written by heathens for heathens. The terrible thing that I discovered while looking at all that is that some of our actual religious symbols that are not inherently hate symbols are being used by haters, publicly, where they are being photographed as news and the images propagated at the speed of news. I'm tired of the loudest voices using our symbols being the hate groups. I want to drown them out in a sea of louder voices. 

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
A Story of Awakening-X'anyuae

The following is a story I wrote almost five years ago and posted to my first blog, The Magickal Pen. I love to read the works of Dion Fortune, and especially am intrigued by her use of fiction as a tome of teaching the mysteries. She is not the only author who makes use of this vehicle for studies and so, as one who seeks inspiration from many sources, I thought I would give it a try. 

I have waited until what I believed to be the right moment to share it again and to a broader audience and now seems to "it". There are so many things at this point in time that are pulling us in many directions and the footing and foundations that we may have worked so carefully at being the staples of our spiritual diets may be shifting and uneasy. So, we need to find new ways of engaging our learning and be open and receptive to all that can serve as lessons along our chosen paths. Maybe all that is needed to renew and shore up those foundations is a foray into a world of creation and fiction that might turn a key to a new awakening within. You be the judge....

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  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Can't wait to see what happens next. Thanks for sharing, Tasha

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Gods That Save

Who's your Savior?

Let me rephrase the question. If the plane were going down, Who would you call to?

The original (i.e. pagan) meaning of salvation had nothing to do with “sin.” As pagan things tend to be, it was actually quite pragmatic; concrete, even.

You're stuck in a bad situation. You need rescuing. What god (or goddess) do you call on?

In most pantheons, there's a specific god, or sometimes several, who gain a reputation as being good at getting people out of jams. These are the Savior gods.

Just Who that might be for you, of course, you would know better than I. For witches, it's Him o' the Horns. It makes sense that the animal god would be most concerned with the doings of animals like us. He's strong, he's quick, and (like all horn-bearers) he fights for his own. That's why he's known to witches as “Red Champion.”

Savior, of course, is a foreign word that came in with a foreign religion.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Okeanos: The Waters Above

The most ancient Greek gods, the gods before the Olympians, are less anthropomorphic than we are accustomed to thinking of Greek gods as being.  They are huge and impersonal; more places or states of being than they are people.  Just as Gaia is the Earth, and Tartarus is both the Underworld and the Lord thereof, Okeanos, the eldest of the Greek water gods, is place and god and archetype rolled into one.  Some say he is the firstborn son of Gaia and Uranus, but in other tales, he self-created, like Gaia, arising out of primordial Chaos before time began.  

Okeanos is the great river (some say sea) that encircles the world, the source of all water on earth, from icebergs to rivers to the great seas, and even the clouds full of rain above.  The sun, the moon, the planets, and the stars all lie inside his embrace.  From his eastern reaches, the sun daily rises, and into his western waters it recedes at night.  He is the outer boundary of the universe; beyond him, there is only chaos and void.  Okeanos represents the boundary between the known and the unknown.  Originally, some scholars say, he was represented by the Mediterranean, with Poseidon the god of the Aegean.  Over time, as Greek navigational technology improved, and their geography became more accurate, he expanded to the Atlantic. He is the ever-expanding liminal zone between known and unknown. He is that place of which we say "here be dragons". Today, he is the depths of outer space.  However, it is important to remember that he is not a personification of any place in our world, because he is not fully of our world at all.  Like Tartarus, he stands at the boundary of our world and the Other Place.  In battles for supremacy on Earth, such as that between the Olympians and the Titans, Okeanos stays neutral.  And yet, he is the protector and defender of life on earth, standing guard between us and the Outer Darkness.

Thales, whom Aristotle calls the Father of Science, taught that Okeanos (here not just the mythological figure, but Archetypal Water) was the source of all that is.  Aristotle tells us that “Thales, the founder of this type of philosophy, says the archê (first principle) is water, for which reason he declared that the earth rests on water, getting the notion perhaps from seeing that the nutriment of all things is moist, and that heat itself is generated from the moist and kept alive by it (and that from which they come to be is a principle of all things). He got his notion from this fact, and from the fact that the semina (seeds, also semen) of all things have a moist nature, and that water is the origin of the nature of moist things.   Some think that even the ancients who lived long before the present generation, and first framed accounts of the gods, had a similar view of nature; for they made Okeanos and Tethys the parents of creation...”

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