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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 Culture Blogs
The Woman at the Window

A recurrent iconographic motif of Phoenician art during the early 1st millenium BCE is the “Woman at the Window.” Sometimes called by researchers “Astarte at the Window,” the motif occurs with such frequency—known examples number in the thousands—and in so many different mediums (ivory, stone, wood, bone), that it is well worth asking what it may have meant to the ancestors.

Although minor variations occur, the type is surprisingly consistent. A woman's face peers out from a window. The window itself is generally back-set in a triple recess; she looks out over a balustrade supported by four (occasionally three) elaborately-carved columns. The woman is characterized by an elaborate ringlet coiffure—perhaps a wig—bekohled eyes, and prominent ears.

Early researchers associated the motif with a cult of sacred prostitution, but contemporary scholars have laid this sacred cow of Biblical research to rest. No evidence exists for such an institution in any ancient Semitic culture; such claims in antiquity have proved to be at second- and third- hand, and are invariably attributed to other people. Whoever the Woman at the Window may be, she is no “hierodule.”

The monumental architecture of the window clearly indicates that this is a very special woman indeed; the window is an elaborate frame for what seems most likely to be a divine epiphany. Although no known examples are inscribed, it is not unreasonable to think that we may here be gazing upon the face of a goddess, and although the cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean coast knew numerous goddesses, we may well suspect that this may be the goddess known variously as Astarte, Ashtárt, Ashtéret, and Ashtarót.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Love this. In my play, "Stories Seldom Told: A feminist retelling of some familiar and not so familiar Biblical stories" one of t
  • Bruno
    Bruno says #
    I don´t know her Phoenician name, but was posibly Astarte, since in the myth she and Zeus fathered Asterion (the famed Minotaur),
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Ah, right, I'd forgotten: the Phoenician princess with the surprising Greek name. (I wonder what her Phoenician name was?) A tanta
  • Bruno
    Bruno says #
    Thank you! Very interesting reading and connections. Perhaps this has to do with Europa ("Wide-Eyed") who was kidnnaped by Zeus fr

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Get to Work

I don't know if it is the insistent trudging of February, my time of life or the world of the world but I am weary of words. Your words. My words. All the words.  The Pagan community is arguably one of the most educated in the country and we have so much to discuss as the religious movement changes and grows. We parse language, we foment revolution, we whine, we rejoice.

But we do rather a lot of arguing. About all sorts of things large and small.

...
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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Thank you both for your thoughtful responses. Leandra, how can we encourage and support the kind of leadership you've outlined? Co
  • Leandra Witchwood
    Leandra Witchwood says #
    I am also tired of the “internet pissing contests”. There is far more bickering and judging going around compared to good solid co
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    I get emails when several W&P blogs are published. It always amuses me how I can tell which ones are yours before I even open the

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Embracing Love with the Major Arcana

I tried this exercise as an experiment with a tarot class around Valentine’s Day. It turned out to be a powerful way to heal the heart and open yourself to the high vibration of unconditional love. That’s something we all need!

 Here’s what to do.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Preparing for Spring

Rituals for Spiritual Revitalization

It starts for me just after Imbolc, I get that itch. That twinge of restlessness and that eager feeling every time the sun peeks through the clouds. Spring is near! Mentally I exclaim, “There’s only about 6 more weeks of frigid temps, coupled with mountains of ice and snow! Hooray!”

When the feeling begins to take hold of me, I need to make myself busy. I need to begin planning my spring activities right away. There is so much to do, I often find myself feeling overwhelmed and perplexed. However, it isn’t a bad kind of overwhelm, instead it is fun and exhilarating to consider the possibilities.

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  • Leandra Witchwood
    Leandra Witchwood says #
    It seems there is plenty of time to ponder. We are about to get hit with another 10" of snow, so planning and thinking exactly wha
  • Courtney
    Courtney says #
    Nice post! It gives me some things to ponder.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Synchronicity

I don't believe in coincidences.
I do believe in synchronicity.

Though I'm not one to see meaning in everything, and I'm skeptical about fate, the little events of life don't seem trivial to me the way most others view them.

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PaganNewsBeagle Faithful Friday Feb 27

In today's Faithful Friday, we include a new study of American religious values; inspiring ritual photos; Afro-Brazilian religions face discrimination in Brazil; Mormons and LGBT rights; "living gods" in Tibetan Buddhism.

This in-depth report on American religion has some surprises, for example: in what 13 states are the "spiritual but not religious" the largest religious group?

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs

Last week, my wife and I were blessed by a visitation of the Goddess in physical form. 

Ravyn had been ill for a long time. In addition to intractable body pain which may or may not be caused by auto immune illnesses or spinal compressions, she had undergone questionable dental work which left her mouth throbbing from an incompletely-removed root fragment. This had persisted for over a year, until she changed her insurance and was referred to a compassionate and competent female dentist in a different practice. 

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  • Bruno
    Bruno says #
    Awesome! Indeed God/ess must be present, if we allow them to manifest. Also recalled me of healing power of Apollo.
  • Debra
    Debra says #
    Really enjoyed this. Excellent suggestions to the medical field.

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