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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Summer Solstice: Celebrating Modern Minoan Paganism

Here in the northern hemisphere, we're coming up to Summer Solstice, the height of the Sun's power over the yearly solar cycle, a time to celebrate the Minoan Sun goddess Therasia and the solar year-king Dionysus. In the Mediterranean, where the ancient Minoans lived on the island of Crete, this was (and still is) an incredibly hot, dry time of year - the Sun's power is overwhelming.

As modern Pagans, we have multiple options for what to focus on and how to celebrate this special point in the year. Most of us probably don't have the resources to put on a huge Midsummer mystery play the way the ancient Minoans probably did at their big temples. But we can celebrate with modern-style ritual that focuses on the Minoan deities who are associated with this time of year.

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Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Red Thread

Back when our youngest coven kid was first learning to talk, the two of us went over to the park one day to watch the rehearsal for the big May Day ceremony. As the costumed performers came in one by one, we played Name the Animal.

“Who's that?” I ask.

“Bear,” he says.

“Who's that?” I ask.

“Wolf,” he says.

“Who's that?” I ask.

“God,” he says.

It was Deer.

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Asatru FAQ: Which Gods Are the Actual Gods?

A question asked in my group, the Asatru Facebook Forum: Which gods are the actual gods and which ones were just made up over the years?

My answer:

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Take a Walk on the Wild Side: Connect With Your Animal Totem

Oftentimes, messages come with animals, either live or in spirit realm. If this happens to you, you should study the meaning of this animal, as it may well become your personal totem or power animal. Bear in mind, too, that your animal totem might be a real surprise. You may be a 300-pound linebacker, and your totem might be a mouse. Remember, the totem picks you; you don’t pick the totem.

 

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Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Dance of Oak and Linden

If you're looking for a magical dance with which to crown your Midsummer's Eve, here's a new one made of ancient parts: the Dance of Oak and Linden.

In Baltic lore (in the Baltics, Midsummer is still the biggest holiday of the year, bigger even than you-know-when), Oak is considered a male tree, Linden a female: two trees, two genders of beauty and strength.

The Midsummer connection is strengthened by the fact that Oak is also held to be the tree of Thunder, most virile of gods, and that the Linden—known as Basswood in the US—perfumes the White Nights of Midsummer with her spicy flowering. You could think of them as the Midsummer equivalents of Midwinter's Holly and Ivy.* 

The Dance of Oak and Linden is a simple round dance, and better it be if danced around a bonfire, or one of its eponymous trees. At its most basic, men bear oak sprays, women linden. (I'm sure that you don't need me to tease out the various possible permutations for you.)

Bearing your oak and linden, then—or whatever the equivalent trees in your landscape are—you join hands and dance.

Here's a song to go with it, dating from circa 1300, the oldest song in English to which we have both words and tune.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Birch: The Tree of Midsummer

 

 

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Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Blood Pact

Registrations are coming in for this year's Midwest Grand Sabbat.

(The firelight on the trees. The Stag That Walks On Two Legs, come down from the altar. The frenzied dancing. The love-making in the shadows.)

Yesterday one arrived that had actually been signed in blood.

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