Concerns rise about oxygen depletion in the world's oceans. A mysterious and weird animal from the distant past is identified. And what exactly does "natural food" mean? It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment on science and Earth-related news! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
To understand Celtic literature and the parts of that literature that may represent Celtic mythology, we must have at least a basic understanding of who the Ancient Celts were (and along the way, clear up some misconceptions that are quite prevalent in popular culture these days). First, we must emphatically state that there is not a Celtic 'race' - this is a mistaken concept promoted by the Victorians (or earlier), passed along through early 20th century writings, and still (sadly) used by some hate groups today. Being 'Celtic' has more to do with language and culture, than it has to do with DNA.
This is not to say that people today are not descended from the Celts (they are!) or that someone does not have Irish ancestry when their grandmother is Irish (they do!). There is not a lone genetic marker for being 'Celtic' (although some interesting patterns emerged over the millenia) - and much of the genetic research shows that in many regions we associate with Celtic culture, the primary genetic makeup of the people who live there is the same as those who lived there before Celtic culture arrived or emerged. This is not true everywhere, but it does show that for various reasons the people who were already living in these European regions adopted Celtic language and culture....
Our shadow animals are the dynamic that brings change to our lives. They test us, and give us the energy to change ourselves. They break us out of our comfortable places, and push us out into the world. Our shadow animals help us to integrate ourselves. Without our shadow animals, we would be incomplete.
By challenging us, shadow animals also teach us many life lessons. They help us with family legacy issues, and resolve feelings of shame and guilt. Not only that but they guide us through a life of chaos to one of empowerment....
I was regaling a friend of mine with Old Craft tales of the god of the witches. Being Wiccan, she hadn't heard most of them before.
“Wait a minute,” she says. “So: he sees that we're cold and hungry, and he steals the fire of heaven to warm and to feed us?”
“And he kills his own brother because they're both in love with the same woman?”
“That's what they say.”
We look at how Pagans in Glastonbury celebrated Beltane! A writer shares a sermon for politically-oriented Pagans! And the long tradition of African-American folk magic in the United States is celebrated! It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment on news about the Pagan community. It's all this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
The Horned goes everywhere, all the stories agree on that.
And where he goes, he listens.
Shown above is a striking Mississippian mask found in Craig Mound (one of the famed Spiro Mounds) of Leflore County, Oklahoma, carved ca. 1500 CE.
Note in particular the ear-spools, originally probably inlaid (like the eyes and mouth) with mother-of-pearl.
The ear-spools denote status, no doubt. But they also serve to emphasize the ears. This is a being who listens.
It can be hard to figure out what kinds of rituals and traditions people of the past had, especially if we don't have any written records of them. But sometimes art can help. The image at the top of this post is part of the Camp Stool fresco from Knossos, the largest of the ancient Minoan cities. It shows a banqueting scene that includes ritual toasting, a common activity in many societies from that time. Here's a reconstruction of the whole fresco, with two rows of people participating in toasts and possibly libations (poured offerings) as well: