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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 Paths Blogs
A few spokes shy of a wheel?

The Wiccan Wheel of the Year is a wonderful thing. The eight evenly-spaced sabbats provide a balanced, coherent view of the seasonal cycles over the course of a year. The Quarters and Cross-Quarters are a great way for modern pagans to connect with nature and to become more in tune with the shifts and changes of the natural world, particularly in temperate climates. But the Wheel of the Year is a recent invention, compiled from a wide variety of sources. Ancient cultures didn’t follow the Wheel, or at least, not all of it.

For instance, my Celtic reconstructionist friends tell me that their historical sources mention only the Cross-Quarters sabbats: Samhain, Imbolc, Beltaine, Lughnasadh, often called Fire Festivals in their tradition. Hilda Ellis Davidson’s work on the ancient traditions of northern Europe suggests that some cultures celebrated the solstices but not necessarily the equinoxes, and harvest festivals fell whenever the crops were ready and not on a particular calendar date. The ancient Roman sacred calendar contained more festival dates than you can shake a stick at. So what about the ancient Minoans?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Robin of Sherwood: An Appreciation

12th century England, the yeomanry crushed beneath the heel of their Norman overlords. Shooting a deer to feed your family is a capital offense. The people cry out to their ancestral god to free them.

And Herne, ancient god of the forest, hears his people's cry. He calls a dispossessed young English nobleman, Robin of Loxley, to be his son and to lead his people in their struggle against Norman oppression.

This is the heady premise of Richard Carpenter's landmark Robin of Sherwood, which aired in the UK from 1983 to 1985, the first television series to be shaped by the newly-emergent paganisms of the West. In the process, it transformed forever both the Robin Hood mythos and modern paganism itself.

That's a lot to say for one TV series.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Well, I don't usually endorse non-pagan businesses, but...um, there's this company named for a large South American river.... Loo
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Steven, where the heck did you get ahold of the series? I've been looking for it on DVD or Blu-Ray for ages, to no avail.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

So for the last two weeks, I find myself spinning in place, a bit bewildered by mundania. In comparison to where I've been, the mundane world seems cold and barren.  

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Pagan News Beagle: Fiery Tuesday, August 18

Welcome back to Fiery Tuesday, our weekly take on political subjects relevant to our community. How important is it to be intersectional in your community? What groups around the world right now are being persecuted for their religious beliefs? And should prostitution be decriminalized? All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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RECORD KEEPER or RECORDER - Messages From the Past/Access Hidden Knowledge

Record Keepers (also called Recorders) are special surface features found on some crystals. They aren't super rare but they aren't common, either. I remember when I first started learning about crystals and sorting them for the website, the crystals I had found nearly ALL had Record Keepers on them. Dozens and Dozens. I thought, man, Record Keepers must be a very common thing! So if a crystal had Record Keepers and also any other configuration such as Barnacles or Rainbows (fairly common), I would sort it in the Barnacle or Rainbow box. I soon discovered that Record Keepers AREN'T that common and I had been gifted a very rare gift, indeed, to have found so many crystals covered in Record Keepers!!

First we'll start with what Record Keepers are. They are triangular shaped features found on the faces of some crystals. Because they are surface features, you have to know how to see them. I have covered this before, but I will repeat it here. To view the surface (to keep from looking inside of the crystal), you hold your crystal with the face you are looking at parallel to a light source so that you can use the glare that the light creates in order to see what is on the surface. Here's a picture of a couple of crystals with and without glare (there aren't Record Keepers on these faces):

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
On Wicca as a Gateway Paganism

Some of us have the very great good fortune to fall in love for the first time, marry, and live (more or less) happily thereafter.

Many of us (most of us, I suspect) are not so lucky.

No, we crawl off into a corner to pout and lick our wounds.

And then (assuming no real abuse was involved) with time we do manage to heal and go out to meet other loves and try again. And sometimes, then, with luck and perseverance we do manage to find that happily-thereafter person.

It seems to me that we can then spend the rest of our lives feeling angry, hurt, and resentful that that first lover wasn't everything that we needed her to be.

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Pagan News Beagle: Airy Monday, August 17

How do environmental themes play a role in the works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien? Which fantasy roleplaying game is the best fit for you? Plus, how did the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki impact modern Japanese pop culture? All this and more for Airy Monday, our weekly segment at the Pagan News Beagle on pop culture and its relation to religion and magic!

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