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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Recent blog posts
Comparison of Heathen and Romani Spiritual Words Part 1: the Soul

Comparison of Heathen and Romani Spiritual Words and Concepts

Part 1: the Soul

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  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Notes in response to criticism I have received off of this blog: 2. It should be obvious that if one is reading a blog subtitled
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Notes in response to criticism I have received off of this blog: 1. Despite stating in both parts of this report about the class
Music's Magic and Power

 I'm having my own private Stevie Wonder festival. 

When I'm giving clients shamanic treatments (click here for info about them), I might listen to his music. It is so happy that it makes my spirit soar, which feeds my magic. 

 

Or, when I'm doing physical therapy exercises, the sheer joy in Stevie Wonder's music loosens my muscles and joints, so the physical therapy is all the more effective. 

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MainStreet Media Lies ARE Domination & Exploitation...As Democracy Swirls Down the Drain

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  • Gaia Moon
    Gaia Moon says #
    Know that the solution is a Matriarchal Spirituality and a Matriarchal Society~ we are already seeing the start of this as a Globa
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Ms. Tate, Nice manifesto. I may not completely share your sociopolitical or theological worldviews, but I very much agree about t
  • Karen Tate
    Karen Tate says #
    Jamie, Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Regarding maybe the alternatives to our corporatist world would be worse, I think w
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Ms. Tate, That which is not sustainable must someday end. It's not doom porn to point out the obvious. It cracks me up that Obam
When the Wights Are Angry, Everyone Suffers: Mythologizing Climate Change

Imagine that we were to discover an ancient Keltic tribe living in three isolated valleys up in the Alps.

Imagine that, through all the intervening centuries of the Great Interruption, they had, nonetheless, somehow managed to hold on to their Old Religion.

Amazingly enough—specifics aside—this not an imaginary scenario.

As the Indo-European-speaking peoples first entered the Indian subcontinent, groups broke off the main migration and settled along the way.

That's how the Kalasha, the last surviving pagans of the Hindu Kush, came to live in three isolated mountain valleys in what is now NW Pakistan.

Their religion, practiced continuously since antiquity, strongly resembles the religion of the Rig Veda, modern Hinduism's oldest scripture; some of the gods are even the same.

Alone among the Indo-European peoples, the religion of the Kalasha has never been subsumed by one of the Big Name religions. This small tribe of 4000-some people is as close as we will ever come to touching the old paganisms of the European ancestors.

As such, they have much to teach us.

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The Mountain Mother: Reading the Language of the Goddess in Ancient Crete

Before he told the story of how his people received the sacred pipe, Black Elk said:

So I know that it is a good thing I am going to do; and because no good thing can be done by any man alone, I will first make an offering and send a voice to the Spirit of the World, that it may help me to be true. See, I fill this sacred pipe with the bark of the red willow; but before we smoke it, you must see how it is made and what it means. These four ribbons hanging here on the stem are the four quarters of the universe. The black one is for the west where the thunder beings live to send us rain; the white one for the north, whence comes the great white cleansing wind; the red one for the east, whence springs the light and where the morning star lives to give men wisdom; the yellow for the south, whence come the summer and the power to grow.

But these four spirits are only one Spirit after all, and this eagle feather here is for that One, which is like a father, and also it is for the thoughts of men that should rise high as eagles do. Is not the sky a father and the earth a mother, and are not all living things with feet or wings or roots their children? And this hide upon the mouthpiece here, which should be bison hide, is for the earth, from whence we came and at whose breast we suck as babies all our lives, along with all the animals and birds and trees and grasses. And because it means all this, and more than any man can understand, the pipe is holy. [italics added]

In this passage Black Elk illustrates the multivalency of symbols: the sacred pipe does not have a single meaning, but many meanings, in fact, more meanings than anyone can understand.

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The Whispering Hearth

The hearth has long been a place of power. We have already explored its position as a place of healing and protection. In many European cultures, it is also traditionally a place for communion with spirits, where offerings are left and knowledge from them can be gained. In Germany, the space between the back of the stove and the wall was called Hölle, “hell” (Lecouteux 70). It’s important to note that the words Hölle and hell originate not in Christianity but from a Proto-Germanic word meaning “a hidden place,” i.e. the underworld (Online Etymology Dictionary). People have long sought out the insight of the dead and other spirits regarding the future, and the hearth or stove was one common site for divination.

 

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The (witch's) Apprentice

I was a magician’s apprentice once.  True story!  I worked in a small metaphysical shop where I was employed as a personal assistant/store clerk/apprentice.  It was a fun and useful job in some ways, and terrible in many others.  I don’t want to get into too many personal details, but I can say that a few years later and after some valuable and hard lessons, I’m thankful for the overall experienced but so relieved that those years, that place, and those people, are far behind me.

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