PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
A comparison is made between Europe's current refugee crisis and the moral failings of a past age. Women in Japan struggle to achieve equality in the workplace. And the nature of "white privilege" is examined and explained. It's Fiery Tuesday, our weekly segment on political and societal news from around the globe! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
I am not just a Pagan author and Druid, my life has a extraordinary tripartite pattern to it, yes, I am an author, and I am a Druid, but I also work as a member of a Mortuary and Bereavement Services team. In a manner I am an ordinary person who has an extraordinary job. When I say Mortuary, to those in the USA, what I am referring to is a Morgue or a Medical Examiners facility as opposed to a Funeral Home, which you would commonly refer to as a Mortuary.
This week it is Dying Matters Awareness Week, a 7 day nationwide event facilitated by the National Council for Palliative and End of Life Care and the Dying Matters Coalition. The movement is dedicated to raising awareness about and discussing our wishes and preferences around care and treatment at the end of life. Hospitals, Mortuaries, hospices, community centers and all manners of other venues are hosting events all week to talk about death and dying.
We've got the honor of the coven to uphold, after all.
There's the name that you're given, usually by your parents.
And then there's the name that you earn.
And, as the ancestors knew, living by name—reputation—is a long-sum game.
Name is vulnerable. Everybody screws up or makes a bad decision now and then. One mistake can destroy a name that you've spent years building.
But that isn't necessarily the end. It all depends on what you did before and on what you do after. Name is about consistency.
The trees are almost in full leaf now, with only the ash and aspen yet to join in the greening. It's been an odd Spring, with the oak trees in leaf before the hawthorn has come into flower here in Suffolk. Only now are the first blooms of the May tree coming out, and with it the signs that herald for me the coming season. The warm days have certainly been a blessing, and the light rain that falls today is equally welcome after long hot days of full sunshine and cool sea breezes.
It's at this time of year that I am reminded of just how important trees are to me, not just in their life-giving properties but also in their spiritual presence. The deciduous trees with their lush foliage always bring a smile to my face, and after a long winter of sleep to see the beech tree at the bottom of my garden joining in the party that the younger birch trees have started fills my heart with joy. The grass is lush and green, and everything just feels so very much alive. I welcome the greening with all my heart and soul.
Trees are magnificent teachers. They are so much larger than we are, both spiritually and physically. They remind us of what it means to live a life in service to the whole, to live a life filled with integration and harmony, sustainable and at peace. Trees teach us of communion and integration, both at the deep root levels of our soul and reaching out towards the heavens of our soul's awakening. They teach us of symmetry and asymmetry, of co-operation and anarchy. They are a legion of souls across this land, swaying in the wind, living their intention and benefiting all those around them by doing so. There is no sense of "I" with a tree; rather, it can instigate a better sense of "You" (or "yew", pun intended).
When we develop a relationship with trees, we think about ourselves less, rather than think less of ourselves. We are reminded that we are a part of an ecosystem, that the ecology of our spirituality is all important to our everyday lives. This ecology is absolutely integral to who we are as a species, and part of a place and environment, as part of life on this planet. We cannot separate this ecology in any shape or form. It is in everything that we do.
We are not far removed from our cousins who still live in the trees. We're all just monkeys with car keys, after all.
“We are a society built on signs and symbols. Our ancestors recognized their significance, assembling powerful messages around the signs and symbols they noted in their surroundings. They looked to Mother Nature for inspiration, and they then took this to another level, choosing shapes and signs and turning them into physical symbols that they could use in sacred rites and rituals.” – From Discovering Signs and Symbols: Unlock the Secrets and Meanings of These Ancient Figures by Kirsten Riddle (Ryland Peters & Small, 2015)
From the triangle to the clover, the caduceus to the Eye of Horus, signs, shapes and symbols permeate our social, religious, artistic and commercial landscape. Recognizing such symbols and tracing their origins is one thing (the crux of most symbol books), but incorporating them into a meaningful, enriching and personal context is quite another....
The other day, in the Magical Experiments Facebook group, I asked the members of the group to share with me what challenges they are experiencing in their magical practice. One of the people shared that they were experiencing a slump in their magical practice. It just didn't feel exciting or shiny or magical like it had before. When I read what the person was experiencing, I really resonated with it because sometimes I've felt the same way about my magical practice.
The first time I experienced a slump in my magical practice, I was really surprised at how hard it was to motivate myself to do the daily magical work I'd committed myself to doing. It wasn't just an off day. It stretched into days and then weeks. I was seriously worried that I'd lost touch with the magic....