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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"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has." 
~ Margaret Mead

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    In my dream journal for June 19, 2018 I wrote: "Deities of Love, Friendship, and Community to guard against trolling." In the dre
“Some Day We'll Have Sacred Dances Again”

“Some day we'll have sacred dances again.”

When my friend Doc said this to me more than 20 years ago, his tone was wistful.

Today, decades later, though we may not quite be there yet, we're closer, closer, to the day that he foresaw.

 

In 1890, avant-garde French composer Eric Satie (1866-1925) published a mysterious, haunting piano piece that he titled Les Gnossiennes.

The word is Satie's own coinage. What he meant by it is unclear. At least some commentators have derived it from Knossos—in Latin, Gnossus—the First City of Minoan Crete. If so, it would mean either “the Knossian Women” or “the things (fem.) of Knossos.”

American dancer-choreographer Ted Shawn (1891-1972) read a Minoan reference in the term. Accordingly, he choreographed a dance for solo male dancer to Satie's music that presented—in Shawn's own words—“a priest of ancient Crete going through a ritual at the altar of the Snake Goddess.”

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  • Paul B. Rucker
    Paul B. Rucker says #
    Let me also recommend this DVD-- "Denishawn: The Birth of Modern Dance"-- which highlights the cultural elements incorporated by
  • Paul B. Rucker
    Paul B. Rucker says #
    Before a dance corps can exist (let alone a body of visual and plastic arts that iterates a common language of culture with any de

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
In Search of the Sun

How does one weather a soggy Summer Solstice, anyway? Looking forward to one of the big Sabbats of the year is what most Wiccans and Pagans eagerly anticipate reveling in. As I peered out my bedroom window this morning, however, my brow furrowed. Overcast, cold, and rainy. Again. Granted this is Wisconsin, as everyone here loves to repeatedly point out, as if that makes it alright. News flash: it doesn't. My allergies have not appreciated this unduly wet and cooler year thus far. If it wasn't so damp, it wouldn't be a big deal. Even though I'm prone to heatstroke, I don't begrudge the truly hot temps, even when you get the double-whammy of humidity (more extreme wet stuff). I just pace myself accordingly, and don't attend the Ren Faire in a heavy costume, lest I be carried out on a stretcher. I'm beginning to suspect I would do much better in an arid climate, but that's a story for another time.

Back to the Solstice. I often nostalgically recall my first and only attendance to the PSG in 2000. It started out bright and sunny that day, but by mid-afternoon, we all had to seek shelter in our tents due to the thunderstorms rolling in. It wasn't so terrible. Wine, cheese, and a cozy atmosphere all helped. Earth-minded folk tend to be resilient. Things finally cleared up around nine that evening. Eventually, curiosity seekers began to creep and crawl out of their tents to the damp grass, lured by the sound of drumbeats. The natives were restless from being cooped-up the better part of the day and needed to get their dance on. So drum and dance we did, as planned, around the bonfire, until the wee wee hours. It was ecstatic and frenzied and sweet. It was continuing our celebration as planned, and not allowing Mother Nature's mood swings to rain us out completely.

So my best advice today, if it looks dicey outdoors, is to go about your plans the best you can and not lose hope. I'm determined to set up my annual outdoor "Zen Den," whether my hammock gets soaked, or not. If my partner and I can't sit outside and enjoy the sunset later, I will still cook up the ritual din-din as planned, and we can crack the windows and listen to the raindrops. Candles and incense will be lit regardless. I will still bake homemade cornbread and perform my yoga sun salutations on this day, because, why not? I believe it remains important to honor the significance of the actual sacred day and the deities associated with it. The main thing to keep in mind when following an earth-based belief, is that being flexible with Book of Shadow plans and adjusting them when necessary is key. Happy Solstice, everyone, whatever plans that you honor today.

References:

Photo by Victor Freitas from Pexels

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Peace
Power
Passion
and Plenty...

(Summer Peace Chant by me)

Today, we stood in the swift waters of the creek with our children. As we sang together, the breeze swirled around us, scattered raindrops kissed our shoulders, and then the fire of the sun peeked out of the clouds to warm our skin. Standing there together on the wet rocks, where the water emerges fresh from the body of the earth, we felt immersed in a union of the elements.

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Posted by on in Signs & Portents
Summer Is Here!

There’s not much mistaking it anymore is there? Summer is definitely here! Depending on how you count it, today is either the first day or the midpoint of summer, the longest day and the shortest night. In Britain, the summer solstice has been known traditionally as both Litha and Midsummer, with the former coming from the ancient Celts. Included below is all our content related to the festival as well as various cool tidbits we found around the web. We hope you have a great summer!

--Aryós Héngwis

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Canadian Seasons

The Sabbat Wheel made a lot of sense for our Pagan ancestors, for whom the seasons and their mid-points roughly corresponded with the Year-Wheel as we know it.  But more and more, I'm finding that it makes little sense in other places, especially where I live.  When I was growing up, the Wheel had only the loosest correspondence with the seasons I knew anyway. The snow was starting to melt by Imbolc, for example, and we had mud season a lot, but crocuses were still at least two weeks away. You knew it was Ostara because there were bees.  The hawthorn and fruit trees were usually blooming by Beltane, but it was still too cold (and often too wet) to camp outside. And so on.

With climate change taking hold, this has become less and less true.  With each passing year I find it more difficult to find meaning in the symbols and landmarks that are supposed to be associated with each Sabbat. The last few years, it simply hasn't felt like the Sabbat at all.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I live in Virginia. On June 19th I woke from a dream telling me to "Call upon the gods of love, friendship and community to guard
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I totally get not feeling it with the Sabbats. When I have tried it, it felt contrived and artificial. Working with the calendar
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    Makes sense to me, Anthony! Whereabouts are you in the world, and when do you choose to celebrate?
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Great idea -- we've been kinda doing this for years in my house. I *do* suspect that Ostara may give you some trouble since (Chri
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    I thought about that, but a) yeah, I think the lunar/solar calendar juxtaposition is very Pagan anyway, and I understand they base
A Midsummer Invocation to Earth and Her Two Husbands

Midsummer dark, Midsummer bright:

the longest day, the shortest night.

 

(Horn)

Let us lift up our hands.

 

On this Midsummer's Eve we call

to Earth, mighty mother of us all,

and we praise you for your great good gift of fruitfulness.

We ask that through the summer to come

our gardens may bear abundantly,

so that through this season

and through the winter to come

we, your people, may have plenty to eat.

So mote it be.

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