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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 SageWoman Blogs

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The 30 Days of May ecourse has come to an end and the month of May itself is drawing to a rainy and humid close for me here in the Midwest, but one of the lessons that lingers for me was identifying the call of the "May Queen" in my life this month.

I have been working on a lot of projects, many exciting and some stressful, and I was feeling tense, taut, stressed, unhappy, unsettled, depressed and discouraged. On one of these stressful days, The Judgmental Committee in my head not only decreed that I was a bad mother, but also a bad friend, wife, daughter, and overall person.  I was feeling pulled between the needs of my older children, my baby, my work, and my business and ended up feeling as if I was not doing a good job with anything. And, then in response to the prompts from 30 Days of May, the May Queen delivered her message: Discernment. Much of life about wise discernment. I have a tendency to become dualistic in my thinking, either I DO IT or I QUIT IT FOREVER. At the same time, I am very harsh with myself at my perceived inability to “flow” and surrender. 

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Ahimsa Grove: Is Veganism “Extreme?”

 

Hello again, and thanks for reading. Occasionally, though not always, I hear from my Pagan peers that veganism is extreme, or more to the point, extremely uncomfortable to talk about in omnivorous company. In general, I believe that the discomfort comes from simple lack of familiarity. I came across this quote today, shared by “The Thinking Vegan” (http://thethinkingvegan.com), and it helped me to find my way into this topic. First, the quote:

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
What's in a name?

One of the issues we face when reviving ancient spiritual practices is that we often don’t know exactly what the original people called their gods and goddesses. In the case of the Minoans, we don’t even know what language they spoke, and their deity names have come down to us only through the Greeks. Today I’m going to toss out some thoughts about some of the god and goddess names from ancient Crete. Maybe, if we put enough ideas into the pot, we can brew up some useful bits for modern Minoan Paganism. Let’s start with Rhea, the Minoan Earth Mother goddess.

First of all, there is no generally-accepted etymology for the name Rhea. It may be the Greek interpolation of the native Minoan name for their Earth Mother goddess. The Greeks often attempted to transliterate the names of foreign deities into their own language, but as so often happens in this kind of situation, the pronunciation changes to feel more comfortable to the speakers. Through this process we ended up with the Greek name  Isis for the Egyptian Aset and Greek Osiris for Egyptian Ausar. The Greeks said Rhea was the Mother Goddess of Crete; even among the Olympians, she was still considered Cretan. I’ve always felt that her name, however it was originally pronounced, was the word the Minoans used for the island of Crete, which was the embodiment of their goddess.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    I truly hope that someday Linear A will be translated.
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    I hope so, too. The biggest obstacle right now is that the amount of Linear A text we have is really too small to do any kind of d

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Of Gates and Veils

At certain times of the year—especially around Samhain—you hear that “the Veil between the Worlds grows thin.”

This language speaks to something that many of us, I suspect, have ourselves experienced: those times when our Known World becomes an Otherness to us, often with such intensity—perhaps in response to that same Otherness within ourselves—that it seems we could step through and enter into the Interiority of things. In the lore this sense is frequently associated with the temporally and spatially liminal ( <Latin limen, “threshold”), the times and places of the In-Between.

As a quick web-search will demonstrate, the notion of the Veil Between Worlds comes to the Craft from Spiritualism; mediums are said to “part the Veil” to enable contact with the dead now in the Other World. Most likely Spiritualism derives the metaphor of the Veil (probably via Freemasonry) from the Veil of the Jerusalem temple, the curtain (Hebrew parókhet) that separated the “nave” of the temple from the Holy of Holies.

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Reach for the light, rooted in the earth...

The swirls and eddies of the rising tide pull us ever closer into the dizzying dance that is summer. Here in the British Isles, summer is when everything happens: festivals appear from May to September, weekend events and week-long retreats.  It’s a busy time of year, when we ride the solar energies to the point of highest light. We feel our spirits rising with the sun, and let its rays illuminate our paths and nourish us body and soul. 

It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy.  My schedule is packed until October, with pagan events, priestly duties and more.  By the end of May I can already begin to feel a little burned out, and summer hasn’t even really gotten into its stride yet.  What I have to do is look to nature for inspiration.

The growing tides of light can entice us to do more than we should, to overbook or overcommit ourselves.  What we don’t want to happen is to have the summer solstice upon us and be too tired to celebrate it.  We need to harness our energies, to pool our resources so that we can access those lush depths when the time is right. 

Our agricultural ancestors welcomed this time of year: it was warm, and if they were lucky the crops were planted and growing well.  Vigilance was still needed, yes, but at this point what will happen will happen.  The hardest work was yet to come, during harvest season.  So too do we need to see that at this time near the highest light we need to remember not to burn too brightly, or we will have nothing left when it is time to reap what we have sown.

Take some time out, time to regroup, time for stillness and reflection.  Enjoy the present moment.  Spend time alone with yourself to check in on how you are feeling, emotionally, physically, mentally.  Have you over-committed? Are you doing too much? Really feel how you are in this present moment, and use that knowledge to help you find that balance point between motion and stillness.  Ride the energies up to the solstice, yes, but ride them with care.  Riding headlong and reckless can lead to you being unseated, and you might never get where you wish to go in such a manner. 

The earth hums with the tides and times of life.  At this time of year she is reaching upward, and so too can we reach upward to find our heavenly bliss.  But we must keep our feet rooted in the ground, in order to feed our roots with that wonderful light and warmth streaming across the land.  We can’t run on an open circuit; we need to be grounded.  Deep relationship nourishes both parties.

Blessings of the summer to you all!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Size Matters

The Pagan Unity Festival was about ten days ago and I had the honor and the pleasure to teach some classes there this year. I've taught at this festival for several years and the people who attend the workshops are attentive and curious--what teacher could ask for more?  I taught a class on Basic Practical Magic, another on Healing Magic and a late night session on banework.

Before we went out to the CCC-built state park that houses the festival, my friend Star and I went to the Parthenon.  I'd been there a couple of times before and always enjoy the thrill of it all--the Parthenon in Nashville. It's also fun to watch the other visitors' reactions to the Grey-Eyed Protector of ancient Athens.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Have you seen it, Elizabeth? If you're ever in the area, I highly recommend it. Obviously.
  • Elizabeth Kleine
    Elizabeth Kleine says #
    I could not possibly agree more.
Pagan News Beagle: Fiery Tuesday, May 26

Politics and religion: difficult subjects which many consider unsuited for polite conversation. What happens when they mix? In many ways its inevitable; people care passionately about politics and they also care passionately about religion. That doesn't mean it's always easy though. This week we take a look at the different ways in which political and religious values are clashing over the world and how, in many cases, that bleeds over into discrimination and bigotry. All this and more for this week's Fiery Tuesday.

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