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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 Studies Blogs
The Recognition Trap

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always craved recognition. It’s not a surprise really. I grew up in a situation where the majority of attention I got was negative. I’d get grounded on the drop of a coin, or was told I was a disappointment on a regular basis and no matter what I did, it was never enough. That was the seed for my desire to be recognized.

 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jet
    Jet says #
    Greetings. Great article. I also have done many things because of recognition, and I realize now that it is because I am jealous
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    It sounds like you had a good realization. Thank you for sharing with me.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
'Ulei: A Tale of Madame Pele

During the 1955 eruption of Hawai'is Mount Kilauea, a large section of Puna was cut off from the rest of the island by two massive lava-flows. As a safety precaution, the authorities evacuated the entire area.

Three men from a local sugar company chartered a plane to check on canefields in the impacted area. The plane set them down between the two lava-flows. Much to their surprise, they came upon a striking native woman in a red dress, with a great cloud of black hair down her back, sitting at the edge of the cane-field.

“Hi,” said the men.

“Aloha,” said the woman.

“What are you doing here?” they asked.

She smiled. “Just resting here in the shadow of the sugarcane.”

“This area was evacuated two weeks ago,” the men told her. “You're in terrible danger: you're between two lava flows here.”

The woman just smiled.

“What is your name?” they asked her.

“'Ulei,” she said. 'Ulei is a Hawai'ian shrub with small, white, rose-like flowers.

The men offered to take her to safety with them on their plane.

“Oh, I'm not leaving yet,” she said, “At least, not today; I still have work to do here. Perhaps I'll be ready to go next week.”

The men warned the woman that they would have to report her to the authorities, as her presence in the area was illegal. "These laws exist to protect people," they told her.

For the first time, the woman looked displeased.

“I follow my own laws,” she told them.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

In medieval England, before the reformation, there existed in many parishes a powerful spiritual practice called “beating the bounds”.  Toward the end of the the Easter season, in rogationtide, members of the community would spend a day walking the borders of their parish (a parish is a geographical territory, mapped out by the church but used also for civil boundary measurements).  The parish priest would lead the people, singing hymns, saying prayers, sprinkling holy water, and “beating” the boundary line with walking sticks as they perambulated the area.  The purpose of this somewhat odd annual ritual was twofold:  it was a reminder to the people of what the actual parish boundaries were (maps were a bit iffy in those days), and it drove out any evil spirits which might have accrued over the long winter.

This spring, our own farm community tried it out!

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Exorcise the Demon of Perfectionism

Self-love and self-expression threaten tyranny. Perfectionism threatens self-love and self-expression. 

 

Perfectionism is a demon that oppressors invoke and send out to harry everyone but themselves. The demon haunts someone until that individual sees no merit in their own accomplishments, is paralyzed by insane expectations of themselves, and loses self-worth. 

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Cryolophosaurus: Use Your Imagination

In 1991, the first dinosaur to be found in Antarctica was Cryolophosaurus. This opened up a new continent to dinosaur discoveries. Named for the geologist David Elliot, who first excavated this dinosaur, Cryolophosaurus’ full taxonomic name became “Cryolophosaurus elliotti.” In 1994, He became the first Antarctic dinosaur to be named. This dinosaur’s name means “frozen crest lizard.”

 Life in the Antarctic during the early Jurassic was much different than today. At that time, Antarctica was further north and closer to the equator. Also, the warm Jurassic oceans allowed for plant and animal life to flourish there. However, there were still long periods without a sunrise. This continent was also cooler than other places. Not many large dinosaurs of the Jurassic could tolerate either condition very well. Medium sized Cryolophosaurus did and thrived. This meat-eater had little completion for the Pterosaurs and Prosauropods that He hunted.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Goddesses in the News

Since Kilauea began its most recent eruption a fortnight ago, we've been hearing a lot in the news about Madame Pele, Lady of Kilauea.

Every pagan should sit up and take notice.

Even from here in Minnesota, I've heard Hawaiians of many different ethnic backgrounds talking about Her. It's well worth listening closely to what they say.

No one tries to explain Her away as a metaphor or an archetype. No one mounts a defense of Traditional Hawaiian religion. They simply speak of Pele as an indisputable datum, as real as the old lady next door.

In fact, people do see Her in human form all the time. “With great regularity Pele stories appear, usually on Page One, of every Hawai'i newspaper from Hilo to Hanalei,” writes Rick Carroll, editor of the anthology Madame Pele: True Encounters with Hawai'i's Fire Goddess. “Over the years, I clipped Pele tales from Time magazine, the New Yorker, National Geographic, and mainland newspapers” (Caroll xiii-ix).

I've noticed that people usually (although not always) give enough qualifying explanation for us non-Hawaiians to understand what they're saying: “the goddess Pele,” “Pele the volcano goddess.” Information needs to be contextualized, after all; your hearer needs to know enough to be able to understand what you're saying.

I doubt that most of the folks that I've heard speaking of the Red Lady to reporters would describe themselves as practicing Traditional Hawaiian religion.

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The Secret to Thomas Edison's Genius: Crystals!

Thomas Edison carried quartz crystals with him at all times and called the stones his dream crystals. He believed they inspired his ideas and inventions. Literary legends George Sand and William Butler Yeats also relied on crystals to help spark their considerable creativity.

Data has also been gathered to show the effectiveness of quartz in certain healing techniques, such as chakra therapy, acupressure, and light-ray therapy, as we will discuss in depth later. But the simplest way to promote healing with crystal is to wear a stone.

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