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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
Imperfect Canes

As we learn—or relearn—our native paganisms, the lessons sure do come from some strange places.

After surgery, a friend needed a cane. He told me what he wanted and I went down to the store to get it for him.

It soon became clear to me that his dream cane didn't exist. Eventually I bought the one that was closest to what he wanted, on the principle that, when you need a cane, it's better to have an imperfect cane than not to have the perfect one.

Planning this year's Samhain, we needed a song to call the ancestors.

In a traditional society, of course, we would call the ancestors with the song that they themselves had handed down to us. We'd all know this song, and it would have the quality and the worthiness that centuries of honing can give.

Alas, that song—along with so much else—is now lost to us.

Instead, we have a new song which, frankly, isn't as good as I would like it to be: the dilemma of much modern paganism.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
For the love of leaves

I’ve known years when the trees were bare of leaves by the end of September. In recent years I’ve seen leaves still on trees during my habitual Christmas day walk to my mother’s house. No two autumns ever have quite the same shape, and what turns when has a lot to do with the shape of the land, and where exactly your land is, as well.

This year, some trees started showing autumnal colours fairly early in September. I write this blog at the beginning of October, with an array of yellow, copper and happily photosynthesising greens outside my window. The story of leaves is not one that fits tidily into the wheel of the year, not least because during the part of the winter when the trees are supposedly sleeping, they make their buds, all ready for next year’s growth. the falling of leaves is a process that can start before the autumn equinox and go through to midwinter.

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Pagan News Beagle: Airy Monday, October 2 2017

How do you get modern audiences to connect with mythology? How do you reinvent a classic but obscure comic book character? And can a video game adaptation of one of the internet's quirkier creative works capture its original appeal? These are just some of our stories for Airy Monday, our segment about magic and religion in popular culture. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Rite for Nevada's Dead

Oh goddess of the welcoming embrace, may you reach out your gentle arms for those who died in the massacre. Oh sweet goddess, cradle the dead to your bosom. Help them find their way to peace. If they belong in your hall, let them have a soft place to be therein. If they belong elsewhere, help them on their way to where best suits them. Oh Death, whom we in Asatru call Hela, be kind to them.

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Minoan Seal Rings and their Mysterious Floating Objects

If you look at one of the amazingly detailed Minoan gold seal rings, you might see a tiny human figure hovering as if it's descending from the heavens. These are usually interpreted as a god or goddess coming down to their worshipers: an epiphany scene. But what about all the other strange shapes that float in the air on the seal rings?

Given the Minoans' focus (obsession, maybe) with astronomy, there's a strong possibility that those floating objects represent constellations. One clue is that they always show up in the same position relative to each other, no matter how many or few of them are on the ring.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Samhain: Ancient and Modern

Calan Gaeaf (Welsh) or Samhain (Irish) begins at sunset of 31st October and runs to to sunset 1st November according to most Western Pagan traditions. If working by the moon, it is the first full moon when the sun is in Scorpio. If working by the natural landscape, it is when the first frosts bite. Samhain was termed the Celtic New Year, as it marked the ending of one cycle and the beginning of another. The Celts reckoned their days from sunset to sunset, and so the start of the year would begin in the dark time at the beginning of winter. Samhain marked the first day of Winter.

Calan Gaeaf, however, is a time that is not a time, and therefore some Pagans honour this tide and season from 31st October right through to the Winter Solstice. It is a time after many things have died, and there is a stillness to the air, an Otherworldly feel in the silence. It's a dark time here in the UK, with long nights on our northerly latitude, and usually a very wet time as well. It's not hard to see how these months could be seen outside of time, outside of the cycles of life, death and rebirth.

Calan Gaeaf, Samhain, Hallowe'en, All Soul's Night - for many pagans this is the ending of one year and the beginning of another.  It is often seen as the third and final harvest - with the last of the apples harvested, the cattle were prepared for winter and the grain stored properly.  It is also a time when it is said that the veil between the worlds is thin, and the realms of the living and the dead are laid bare to each other. We are approaching the darkest time of the year, and the killing frosts and snows await just around the corner.  It is a time of letting go, of releasing into the dark half of the year, and getting rid of the dross in our lives so that we do not have to carry them with us through the long winter nights.  We consciously make the effort to live better, meaningful lives and let go of all that holds us back - our fears and worries, our anger and hatred.  We nurture the beneficial and the good that we have in our lives, ensuring that they are well kept for our plans to come at the winter solstice. So the cycle continues.

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  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    A very lovely and evocative description. Thanks for sharing, blessed be, Tasha

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Okeanos Speaks

Okeanos’s Story

 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Kim
    Kim says #
    What a lovely telling of the myth & spell. Thank you.
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Looking forwaaad to it, many thanks! Enjoy your conference. Blessed Be, Tasha
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Really nice! Thanks for sharing. Blessed Be, Tasha
  • Sara Mastros
    Sara Mastros says #
    You're quite welcome, Tasha! There will be more about his wife, Tethys, in the next week or two. It might be later than usual, bec

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