PaganSquare


PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Recent blog posts
Early Net Experiences Part 2: The Writing of Asatru For Beginners

I had only been a member of MSN ASATRU for a few months when suddenly one day I logged in and discovered I had been made the group's manager. The previous manager was nowhere to be found. There were no other managers, moderators, or admins. I was a still a near-total net newbie and I didn't know how to make a thread show me previous comments, let alone how to manage an internet forum. I had to learn how to use the back end controls of the time period. I had to learn some html programming so I could put text and graphics on the landing page and other pages, and create live links to photos hosted on host sites (yes, you had to known html to do that back then.)

When it came to actual content, though, I was on firm ground, having been heathen since 1986. I was always seeing newbies come on the group and ask for a beginner's book and people directing them to read the Eddas or academic papers, which can be intimidating even for adult readers, and a lot of the newbies were in their early teens, and just did not have the educational background to understand classical literature or college-level papers.

I started compiling a FAQ file on the group site. The FAQ page eventually became the first chapter of Asatru For Beginners.

At the time, my mom was a public high school English teacher. Sometimes she had free reading time in her classroom, and she kept a rack of books and other reading material for the students. I asked her what the typical American 14 year old boy read for pleasure during free reading, and she said Motor Sports Magazine. That's the reader for whom I wrote my book.

I kept Asatru For Beginners down to 20,000 words because mom told me that many average level teen readers found books longer than that so intimidating that they would not even start them. I kept the book entirely free of footnotes and quotes from foreign languages, both of which were typically found in any given Asatru related paper of the time period, since almost everything available was written for an academic readership. I wrote in American Family Newspaper style, with which I was familiar because I had written for newspapers.  I also filled my book with handy lists, so that as the book's owners became more advanced, they would still find it useful. I made my book non-sectarian, which set it apart from any other beginner's books available at the time, the others having been produced by sectarian organizations.

Since I first wrote it, Asatru has experienced some generational change, and some change sparked by the changing technology of the internet.  I'm working on a new edition to reflect these generational changes, which I hope to publish in 2017 when the book's current contract runs out. In the meantime, I still think it's the best and the easiest to understand of the beginner's books on Asatru.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Thinking in Pagan

 “Think what god it may be."

(Ezra Pound, Religio)

 

In the Baltics, conversion came late and memory of the Old Gods lingered long. Some of Europe's first New Pagan Movements got their start there during the period of national and cultural efflorescence between the First and Second World Wars known as the Baltic Renaissance. Like ourselves, the pagans of Latvia and Lithuania are new pagans, but they have been so for a generation longer than we have, and their experience has much to teach us.

 

The small (11½ x 8 x 3½ inches) inlaid wooden box shown above, from Latvia, dates to the 1920s. It is a cash box, with interior compartments for coins, banknotes, and bills. The inlaid pattern on the outside lid represents the phases of the Moon.

 

Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Early Net Experiences Part 1: MSN ASATRU

In 2001, I moved to a house where I could get internet access at home. I had been using the net at the public library, but the time rationing system meant I never had time to learn much. Search engines like Google didn't exist yet, but there was a search capability within the MSN Groups website, and one of the first things I did with my home net connection was join MSN ASATRU.

It was exciting to be able to connect with other heathens, and for the first time I encountered other heathens who lived outside of the USA. An Icelandic Asatruar joined the group and told us we were using Icelandic words wrong and we sounded ridiculous. American Asatruars had been greeting each other with "hailsa" for as long as I'd known any other Asatruars, but now we learned it was grammatically incorrect. Although it was hard to break a habit of using a word I'd been using for over a decade, I started using terms in my own language instead, and adopted the traditional "hail and well met."

Among my other early internet experiences was encountering the word Vanatru for the first time. I considered using it myself because of my dedication to Freya, but ultimately decided to stick with the word Asatru to describe my path because I consider all the gods who live in Asgard to be my gods. I'm very happy with that decision, as since then Vanatru has become its own sect very different from Asatru, and I have broadened and deepened my relationships with the gods of Asgard and have remained firmly committed to Asatru.

Last modified on
Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, April 10

It's that time of the week again, when we look around the world to see how religion is affecting and being affected by peoples' lives all over the globe. This week in Faithful Friday we take a look at the intersection of religion and activism—for both good and ill—from the revival of traditional Norse religion in Iceland to the oppression of ethnic minorities for their religious beliefs.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
AuraScopes Zodiac Cards and Prints

Aries the Ram, Taurus the Bull, Gemini the Twins, Cancer the Crab--Zodiac symbols are arguably one of the most recognizable motifs in the world.

Kayti Welsh, who brought us the 78 Tarot collaborative deck, has teamed up once again with different designers to create a fun, sparkly take on the 12 Zodiac symbols with AuraScopes--a set of greeting cards, metallic prints and T-shirts. 

...
Last modified on
The Everyday Sacred--transcending "the illusion of mundane"

We are perfectly free to think of our everyday life as mundane and label only those moments in which we are doing something out of the ordinary as magical, but that would be based on an illusion. I call it "the illusion of mundane." It's quite a pervasive illusion in our current cultural climate, and it's one that we're all bound to be seduced by now and again (like when we're washing the dishes or standing in line at the DMV), but it's still an illusion. In truth, there is no such thing as mundane: this life experience is completely and utterly wondrous. What's more, it's mysterious, magical, magnificent, astonishing, and transcendent. Yes, we will forget that sometimes, but that doesn't mean that it's not always true.

In essence, this is the heart of my spiritual path: to recognize the magic in everything and to express and channel the power contained within this recognition as much as possible, all the time. This means that not just our obvious magical workings, but also everything we do - no matter how habitual or commonplace - is an opportunity to celebrate the Great Holy Mystery, to express our power to create positive change, and to honor the enchantment in each moment and in everything.

...
Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • BlondieWitch
    BlondieWitch says #
    What a fabulous article! Magic should be a part of everything we do, for we live in a magical world! Have a freaky fantastic weeke
  • Tess Whitehurst
    Tess Whitehurst says #
    Thank you so much, BlondieWitch! You have a great weekend too.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Earthbound Oracle Deck

Here's another wonderful deck currently crowdfunding: The Earthbound Oracle Deck by Amy Swartz. I own her Majors-only Wooden Tarot, and it's gorgeous. She paints on wood, and those images are then turned into cards. 

You can support Amy's latest project on Kickstarter at this link (I did).

...
Last modified on

Additional information