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 SageWoman Blogs
The Divine Mother

Happy Mother's Day - to those who have biologically procreated, to those of us who failed in that quest, to those who had to let go and say goodbye to children for a multitude of reasons and circumstances, to those of us who cherish and mother projects, humans, animals and the Earth Mother Herself.

On my pilgrimage around southwest England I noted images of the Divine Mother at Chalice Well Gardens and various churches and cathedrals. For many pagans, and those who have harsh experiences of institutional religion, visiting Christian sites may be anathema. I have my peace, most times, with my religious upbringing. And, truth be told, in England and Ireland, you would miss interesting traces of the old religion as it mixed in with the new. So I was happy to chase around cathedrals trying to discover Sheela-na-gigs and Green Men, as well as witnessing the Madonna at pagan sites of pilgrimage like Chalice Well Garden and the White Well in Glastonbury where there is a Black Madonna 'Lady Chapel' in an alcove.

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[Rules of Exile] Rule No. 9: You Get What You Get and You Don't Get Upset

I'm leaving for Sicily on Friday.  I'm grateful to go back to the Motherland I have never known, my exile so deep I only know her face from a glimpse in a movie.  It's vague in my head, it's vague in my mother's head too.  We imagine sketched outlines of churches, food that will be sort of familiar, a volcano .  . . .somewhere.  My sister remembers bright glimpses from her time as a flight attendant but nothing overly substantial.  A wine she had liked when she still drank, a particularly pretty town.  The details have lost their sharpness over time and have been replaced with a whirlwind of elementary school activities for her son.  

It's the first time we will travel, the three of us together in well over a decade without any husbands, children or our uncle.  I am nervous about everything - the fact that I only know one phrase that I doubt will endear me to my estranged homeland, the amount of travel required to get there and get around there, being trapped on someone else's schedule for we will be on a little old lady tour, something I swore I would never do.  It felt very far away for me, it still feels very far away despite being six days away.  I'm not packed, Amazon boxes full of travel pillows, brita water bottles, homeopathic jet lag pills, pashminas, walking sandals that I'm trying to break in, space bags are strewn around my living room.  It has not yet been a month since tax season ended, I'm still desperately running, trying to check off a never ending list of things that had been put off but now must be put on, I'm trying to keep up with going to the gym and meal prepping.  I'm trying to read, I'm trying to write.  

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Gifts From Mother Earth to Give: Craft a Crystal Choker

This “floating” crystal choker seems magical because the gems appear to hover around the lovely neck all by themselves. And maybe sometimes they do! The secret, aside from the magical gems, is the invisible thread, easily obtained at any craft store. The purpose of the Crystal Charm Choker is to make you the wearer simply irresistible to whomever you wish to attract. You may well want to craft one for yourself while you are at it!

 

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Substance Use, Background Noise, and Reenchanting the World

I’m drinking a beer as I write this.

That’s not a big deal. I’m not drunk and I don’t intend to have another. But I’m sitting at my local with a laptop, and I’m surrounded by a typical Friday afternoon crowd, which will swell considerably after 5:00.

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If Pagans Had a Food Taboo, What Would It Be?

By and large, the pagan religions are not known for their food taboos.

Oh, we may have our dietary preferences, but it's worth noting that, when food taboos are present among pagans, they tend to apply only to the priesthood, or to be observed only for a certain period of time. Otherwise, generally speaking, the default food setting for pagans is Omnivore.

But if, say, Indo-European-speaking pagans did have a food taboo, what might it be?

Please note that what follows is neither prescription nor suggestion. It is, merely, three points of historic data.

West

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Foundations of Incense: Oak

When I think about making incense cones and sticks, I usually see wood (a base material) as the simplest and most reliable ingredient in the blend.  After all, it’s the base material that provides the heat to evenly burn the other ingredients.  I generally use a simple formula when creating a pure wood incense: 2 tablespoons of wood powder, 1/8 teaspoon of gum binder, and about 1 tablespoon of water.  Simple right? 

When it comes to woods, Oak is a wood seen as sacred by multiple cultures.  It is fairly easy to powder and has wonderful burning properties.  Most of us are familiar with the pleasing smell of Oak burning in a campfire.  These facts make Oak seem like a natural base material to use for many different types of incense.  Occasionally, Nature likes to teach us humility by showing us that we aren’t nearly as smart as we think.  Oak has been chuckling at me for decades, but I think we have finally found our middle ground.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Pilgrimage: Earth

Oxford Dictionaries defines "Pilgrimage" as a pilgrim's journey, or a religious journey or religious expedition. I have gone of several pilgrimages myself, self-described, most likely, but pilgrimages nonetheless. I ventured to Brittany in France and visited Carnac, with its row and rows of standing stones. I visited a number of off-the-beaten tracks places like "Merlin's Grave" (I am pretty sure he wasn't buried there), the Val-sans-retour, the Fountain of Barenton, the Forest of Broceliande, the odd Celto-Christian Church at Trehuerentec. All of these places were known to others, all of them had some history, a few of them had some authenticity.

Last year, at the OBOD Summer Gathering, I made the trip up Glastonbury Tor, indeed an effort and a pilgrimage all in one. To do ritual in a holy places makes the religious journey or religious expedition even more powerful, all the more memorable. The journeys are all the more memorable because they require a journey of distance, of effort, and of time.

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