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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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Act Two: The Beauty of a New Darkness

“My love, we share the measure of the scales and we have danced in this embrace of veiled and light may times before. My time of command over this space of harmony is nearing its end and soon I will pass into a light that is darker and more intuitive in its work. But, tonight we move closer to one another, I am a blind lover in your darkness and you the holder of the key to that love.... “

Read more of Act One here…

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Jackalope: Barbed Humor

One of the symbols of the American West, the jackrabbit lives in open areas such as grasslands and deserts. With his strange ears, this hare is one of the animals of the American West that people will often remember.  The biggest, fastest, and flashiest of this Family of Hares is the antelope jackrabbit, who can outrun run everything except the antelope (i.e. pronghorn).

The antelope jackrabbit is the source of jackalope (horned rabbit) legends. One joke that Westerners play on new people is to tell them about the jackalope (a large jackrabbit with deer horns). This legendary animal is often seen by people who have had too much to drink.

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Quaker and Pagan Means What, Exactly?

Since I began describing myself as a Quaker Pagan, I run into people who are suspicious of my claim to be both Quaker and Pagan. To these folks, Peter and I look like spiritual cheats, trying to sneak fifteen items through the clearly labeled Twelve Item Express Lane of a spiritual life.

“Cafeteria spirituality,” I’ve heard it described, expressing the notion that my husband and I are picking and choosing only the tastiest morsels of either religion, like spoiled children loading our plates with desserts, but refusing to eat our vegetables.

This isn’t the case. The term “cafeteria religion” implies imposing human whims over the (presumably) sacred norms of religion.  But Peter and I are both/ands not out of personal preference, but because we were called to our religion… twice.  By two different families of Spirit.

I can explain this best through my own story.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Thank you for sharing. I find the indifference gods and spirits have toward theology to be quite entertaining. Back when I was
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Very interesting and a lovely authentic piece of exposition concerning your faith. Thank you for sharing. I believe that the most

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
RuneSoup Podcast Interview

Deborah Castellano and Gordon White talk ritual, death customs, learning magic by doing magic and -of course- glamour in the twenty first century.

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Autumnal Tasseomancy

Ah, fall!  The time to do as our inherited Puritan (women) ancestors would do – drink excessively, wear some scarlet petticoats/yoga pants and invite our besties over to do some divination that we will all swear each other to secrecy about.  While Tarot was possible for our Puritan sisters, it was a lot more likely you’d get ratted out by your father/husband/brother for doing that.  No, instead you needed to keep it casual like you were just kicking back for some competitive Bible reading with your BFF.   So let’s get into the exciting world of Tasseomancy, also known as tea leaf reading!

The first thing you ideally need to do here is to pick out a teacup and saucer.  You could use a mug, but let’s get a little drama here.  If you don’t have one, a thrift shop is the perfect place to get one.  Select a loose leaf tea for your reading, I recommend something dark and juicy.  Put a teaspoon of tea at the bottom of the cup and pour boiling water over it.  Let it cool.  Drink the tea while not eating the leaves (it’s a little tricky, but with practice it’s doable).  While you are drinking your tea and holding your cup in your hand, think about whatever questions you have about the next year.  It may be easier for you to read your friend and for your friend to read you when starting out, so swap cups once you’re finished.  Point the teacup’s handle towards yourself.  Imagine the teacup divided into twelve segments like a clock.  The segment closest to the left side of the teacup is one month into the future and it goes around until you’re back at the handle at 12 months into the future.  Look at the tea leaves.  Do any of them look like a shape or symbol?  A heart or a number, perhaps?  Interpret the symbol however feels right to you.  A boat may mean a trip or journey for instance.  Don’t be afraid to be creative with it!  Tea leaves closer to the top of the rim means that symbol may be more important.  Take notes and see what comes to pass!

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Act One: The Beauty of a New Darkness

An Astrological Tale

…… (Luna) stepped onto the center mark of the stage, picked up the scales and waited in the darkness as a hush fell over the theater. Luna heard the familiar first notes of the prelude coming from the pit played masterfully by the Planetary Orchestra, and carried on the otherworldly sounds, she slid easily into her role as the beauty of the harmonies flowed through her. The curtain opened and the stage was pitch black, save for the starlit diamonds on Luna’s gown……

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
By now the Route 91 shooting in Las Vegas is old news, the shooter a mystery who will never have to answer for his actions in a courtroom since he chose suicide after murdering 58 and affecting thousands more.
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_vigil.jpgVegas was not a vacation destination I ever would have chosen. And I did not need to play the hero by rushing to volunteer in the aftermath. But I was asked to be part of the Red Cross team, so I packed my suitcase on Monday night, rose in the dark and landed at noon local time barely a mile from the concert/shooting site.
 
One cannot drive from the airport into town without passing the Mandalay. Two broken out windows with ragged plastic blowing out are a jolting reminder that this is not a made-for-tv photo shoot or footage from a documentary, but the real thing. Yellow crime scene tape reinforced the surreal knowledge that less than 48 hours ago this had been an apocryphal scene.
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_20171008_184613180.jpgSurreal may be the best adjective to describe Vegas, generally and in better times. The lights on the Strip are eye candy that one cannot ignore. But behind the good-times face put on for tourists, not one person I encountered was not grieving or at least shaken to the core. A woman in a business suit waiting on her order at Panera Bread who broke down when she saw our Red Cross badges. The person checking me into my hotel room, who quietly admitted that one of their staff was killed, her friend, but still unnamed at that time. The paramedics who wondered out loud to me whether they would have been as brave as their coworker who was off duty that night but raced to the scene, rescued people, rushed them to a hospital, then repeated the process over and over again.

b2ap3_thumbnail_cops-with-posters.jpgAfter being on site a few days I became acutely aware that in our time we have created a new "client population," a diaspora of those who endure a tragedy like Route 91, then return home and try to go back to work, to families, to whatever was normal for them before. Because nothing will ever be the same again. Normal is no longer a relevant word for them.

A chaplain (or Disaster Spiritual Care volunteer, as Red Cross calls us) does not dispense anything that will neutralize what victims have been through, what anyone connected to a tragedy will wrestle with for a long time to come. Our role is to be there, to listen, to ensure that no one has to live through the aftermath alone, to offer prayers if asked, to connect individuals with that which best serves their soul.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_20171009_114038308.jpgWith 22,000 people present at just this one shooting, you can be sure, wherever you live, that someone connected to you has been affected. In fact, every one of us has been affected. In Red Cross spiritual care, we say that our goal is to be changed but not wounded by our work. But I see that our society, our nation, the entire world, is wounded by the violence. As Pagans who feel compelled to serve others, we can be prepared through solid training at Cherry Hill Seminary. I never planned on being a chaplain, but I'm so glad studied and did the work.  
 
We can also make healing and peace our personal mission. Temple Osireion (my local group) has been holding an interfaith circle every few months since 2016. Our goal is to give people of various and no religions a safe and sacred space in which to grieve, ponder, heal and build peace. (I'm happy to share our ritual with you if you are interested, just email me.) 
 
This Samhain I will be thinking of the many who were unexpectedly, prematurely, shoved beyond the veil this year. I will not call them to me, but I will wish them peace that passes all understanding, because I certainly do not understand.
 
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