Refugees face increasing legal challenges in Europe. An Indian woman turns the tables on the country's witch hunters. And the Palestinian president makes his case to the European public for his nation. It's Fiery Tuesday, our weekly segment on political and societal news from around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
A writer explains what fairy tales can reveal about our heritage. We take a look at witchcraft in Japanese popular culture. And a reviewer explains the appeal of The Librarians. It's Airy Monday, our weekly segment on magic and religion in popular culture! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
It's 1966. A little tow-headed boy is sitting cross-legged on the living room floor, reading the Sunday supplement of the Pittsburgh Press.
He doesn't know that his life is about to change forever.
There are real witches! There are real witches right here in Pittsburgh! Real witches doing real magic!
One detail from the article hit hard enough to stay with me 50-some years later.
I am always being gifted with feathers when I am out usually pigeon ones but I have also been given crow and magpie ones too. If you are in the forest you may find all sorts of bird feathers and on the beach it will probably be seagull feathers. Whatever kinds they are feathers carry their own very special magic with them.
When I find a feather I usually take it home and pop it in the freezer overnight, just as a precaution really because the cold temperature will get rid of any nasties that might be lurking therein. Obviously keep the feather away from your frozen food! Alternatively you can place the feathers in a solution of five parts warm water, one part vinegar and one part witch hazel, leave them to soak for twenty four hours then dry them by laying out flat on a towel....
When I first returned from my ancestor quest in Germany, I fell ill with a bad cold and cough and had little physical energy. For two weeks I lived in the dreamtime, communicating with the ancestors and trying to make sense of the information about their lives I had discovered. After I got better, I had difficulty returning to daily life. The ancestors wanted to speak through me. Their stories, based on facts, come to me in waking trance.
Agnes Lattauer Sweitzer : I was born in Ober-Floerscheim (Hessen Darmstadt) on July 9, 1812. I was the first in a family of five children. Four years after me came Jakob, named after Father, and three years later, Rudolph. It was nice to have brothers, but my dream of a sister came true when Catherina was born a month and a day after my tenth birthday. My mother was busy with Jakob and Rudolph, so I became a second mother to Catherina. I could not nurse her, but I could sing to her and rock her to sleep. I changed her diapers and gave her a bath. It was so wonderful to have a baby to take care of. Three years later little Johanetta was born two days after my thirteenth birthday. Another baby for me and Mother bring up together. I was in heaven. I was both mother and sister to the little girls. When they got older, I took my little sisters to play by the stream, where they giggled and cooed as we fed the ducks and the geese. In the summer, Mother and I brought them with us to the fields where we hoed and planted, weeded and harvested. They tried to pull weeds with their little fingers. It was my job to keep them from pulling up the plants too.
Tara, Goddess of Inspiration, sometimes known as The Liberator, brings her message that we are not alone. She encourages us to remember that we can always ask for help, and it is through asking for help that our wishes can be granted and our troubles surmounted. Tara's message is especially powerful for women -- our culture encourages us to see ourselves as weak if we need to ask for help or if we are unable to handle all of our various tasks, obligations, and burdens alone. I know I have certainly fallen prey to the Superwoman syndrome throughout my own life, and have been struggling with feeling like my life was unmanageable on a practical level of late. And yet I have been afraid to ask for help -- even as I find myself resentful of the fact that no one's helping!. Tara comes dancing into my life right now to remind me that I have help available, human as well as Divine, if only I will ask for it.
Tara appears in many forms in Buddhist cosmology -- White Tara is the sacred star, the liberator and wish granter; Green Tara, the Buddha of enlightened activity; Blue Tara, the transmuter of anger; Red Tara, whose power magnetizes all good things; Black Tara, who helps us access our power; and Yellow Tara, who brings prosperity and wealth. While the card depicts White Tara -- and my sense is that I myself will be walking with White Tara this week -- you may find that another one of these Taras calls to you. In the Goddess Tarot by Kris Waldherr, Tara takes the place of The Fool in the Major Arcana and is called Beginnings. I love this idea, that when Tara comes dancing into our lives, she is inviting us on a journey towards enlightenment, towards joy, towards our power -- and also reminding us that we do not walk alone. She is always with us....