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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 Paths Blogs
Powers That Changed Gender

One of the things people coming from either Wicca or Christianity to Asatru notice is that the idea that the sun god gets resurrected at Yule doesn't fit in our culture, because to heathens the sun is she. Yet, people still try to wedge the sun god into heathenism, and go looking for a sun god, and identify Baldr as a sun god-- correctly! -- and end up trying to celebrate Baldr's resurrection at Yule, although the lore says he won't come back until the after the end of the universe. 

I have novel gnosis on this topic, that is, gnosis that I received while writing my overgrown unpublished novel Some Say Fire. In the Fireverse, powers that are transferred to another host upon the previous host's death always swap to a host of  the opposite gender. Thus, when Baldur died, the sun power was transferred to Sunna, who became the sun goddess. When Baldur's wife Nanna died, the moon power was transferred to Mani, who became the moon god. Like many things in the Fireverse, that's an oversimplification of the process, but has a kernel of truth in it.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Hi Anthony, that's cool, I didn't know about that manga. Yes, heathens did "Thor loses his hammer and then gets it back" AND "Thor
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    In the manga series Oh, my Goddess the three Norns become goddesses and the middle one Verdandi (called Beldandi in the series) se
Periodic Cicada: The Nexus of Time

Right now, my area is experiencing a cicada emergence. I have found these insects to be magical in their own way. Even their singing has an otherworldliness to it.

In the eastern half of North America, Periodical Cicadas from Brood X invade the countryside every 13 and 17 years. Crawling up from the ground, They emerge at once, in May and June, leaving behind their exoskeletons. For a brief month, Male Periodical Cicadas fill the air with a deafening sound, advertising for a mate. These large Insects spend their brief adult lives with only one thing on their minds – mating. When a Female Periodical Cicada is ready, She will “click” to the Males, “Here I Am!” After mating, She lays her eggs in trees. When They hatch, the Offspring will move underground for another 13 to 17 years.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Hanging Joan Prentice

They took down the gallows in the park today.

In some ways, that's too bad.

Sculptor Sam Durant's 2012 wood and steel installation Scaffold had been acquired by the Walker Museum for its newly-renovated Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Intended as a commentary on racial inequities in capital punishment throughout American history, it sparked protests among traditional Dakota, who found it offensive.

So they took it down.

The entire mishandled situation has been, frankly, a tragedy of errors from beginning to end, starting with the fact that the sculpture garden has long been known locally for—how shall I put this charitably—its “content-free” nature. What the Walker was thinking by plunking down something with actual serious content into the midst of its half-acre of vacuity, like some farmhouse crashing down out of the clear blue into Muchkinland, I honestly don't know.

But controversy aside, I've been thinking about the piece itself.

You could say that it's put me in touch.

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Modern Minoan Paganism: Is there a rule book?

When people find out that my main spiritual path is Minoan, they usually want to know more. And somewhere in that round of questions, they'll ask how to "do" Modern Minoan Paganism - what the rules are, the forms each practitioner must follow, and so on. When I tell them that it's a largely spirit-led practice, some people balk. That's understandable.

We live in a society whose most influential religions have whole books full of rules to follow, required forms of worship that are prescribed down to the exact words you must say, the exact ideas you must believe. We're taught from an early age that deviating from these rules will consign us to the flames of Hell or some equally horrible fate. It can feel positively heretical and even frightening to walk out onto a spiritual path that doesn't tell you what to do each and every step of the way. And of course, if there are rules, that gives a certain type of person the opportunity to notify others when they're doing it wrong.

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[Rules of Exile] Rule No. 2: Your Resources Are Limited, Plan Accordingly

 

Everything around me is dying.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
In Search of Perfection

Is the quest for perfection a worthy one?

No matter what form of art I've explored, there are always people trying to hold up a mirror of perfection.  Some use it as a moving target for them to aim their practice to, motivating them to work harder, pushing them along.  Some people take that to an extreme, and never find satisfaction in anything they do because it falls short in their eyes.  They deny themselves credit and possibilities because they feel their work doesn't measure up. Their work might never see the light of day because of their fear. 

Why fear? Because others use an elusive ideal as a means to tear down others who don't fit THEIR idea of what "perfect" is.  Even if they wouldn't even attempt to try it themselves.  They too are trapped by fear and insecurity - of failing short.  But it's easier to talk the talk than walk the walk. 

But the reality is this: There is no perfect film, song, book, dance, building, or work of art. Nothing we create is ever truly perfect - it is all inherently flawed, because that is both our nature and the true disease of time. A work can never be all things to all people. It's not meant to be.

Yet within this unavoidable imperfection, a work IS perfect. It is a pinpoint perfection of that moment in time, that decade, that experience - of the creator and those who interact with it. Perfect dwells in the liminal, the intangible, the shifting land of hopes, dreams, desires, and memories.

What works for one moment may not work for the following one.  That's how time works.  Society is always moving, we as beings are ever-growing and changing.  What we deem worthy or commendable in one situation or timeframe may fall out of favor in the next.  And vice versa. 

Working artists know this.  They know perfection is a lie.  We fall in love with our latest work of art, and then move on to the next one.  We see our work as a series of steps in a spiraling staircase that only ends when we end...or the work ceases to exist.  Each piece of work is part of a larger pattern - and if we rip out those threads solely because we later deem them imperfect, then we fail to see the beauty of the pattern. 

It's important to keep this in mind whether you're considering an artistic, metaphysical, or spiritual practice.  (And often all 3 may find common ground!). 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
In Praise of Guys Without Shirts

A friend of mine has a chalkboard: Things to Be Thankful For.

Yesterday, going past, I took up the chalk and wrote:

Guys Without Shirts.

It's the kind of weather that they named the Summerland for, and finally, after a long winter of visual deprivation, the shirts are coming off.

Thank Goddess.

Don't get me wrong: I appreciate rippling pecs and box-grater abs as much as the next (gay) guy.

But they're not required. Young or old, rounded or taut: it's all beauty to me, and yes, I always look. As the sage once said: The contemplation of beauty is its own reward.

When peonies bloom and shirts are shed, it means that Summer, our beautiful, poignant Summer, is come: burgeoning, urgent, and always O so brief.

And so with poet Dan Pagis I see, and I say:

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Haley
    Haley says #
    Hear! hear!

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