The definition of "karma" is detailed. Japan's native religion of Shinto finds itself in trouble financially. And the Islamic ritual fast of Ramadan is explained. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment on faiths and religious communities from around the world! 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.
The Sif doll seated on the harvested wheat. This is a Lithuanian doll that I bought in an amber shop along with some amber in 1989. Shortly after I dedicated part of my garden to Sif last year, I was walking past the display of folk art in my house where I used to display this doll and it called to me to dedicate it to Sif. So I did a dedication ritual, which I related in my post A Doll for Sif. I moved the doll to my Spiritual Souvenir display, which is kind of a wall altar.
I almost always make, remake, or repurpose things to dedicate rather than buying things new for that purpose. I feel that conserving resources is part of how I live as a heathen....
“When all is said and done I think every Witch should, at some time, face the moon alone, feet planted on the ground, with only his or her voice chanting in the starry night.”
–Laurie Cabot, Power of the Witch
I will never forget the first time I heard someone recite the Charge of the Goddess from memory. Bare-breasted, she strode around the fire in sacred circle at a large goddess festival in Kansas, delivering the words with power, grace, and confident resonance. I thought: I will do that someday.
In February of this year, we took a family trip to Dauphin Island. While there, the afternoon of the full moon, I decided that the time had come: I was going to memorize the Charge of the Goddess. First, I thought I would only memorize it a piece at a time. It seemed “too big” to do in a single sitting. I had it printed out on a piece of paper that rapidly became damp with the salty sea air. I drew a labyrinth in the sand with my toes, set one of my goddess sculptures at its entrance, and drew a Womanrunes card.
Midwinter is to Midsummer as Yule is to —?
If you answered Litha, well...you're mostly right.
Midwinter and Midsummer are ancient. Cognate names survive in every living Germanic language, so they must have been known back in Common Germanic times, more than 2500 years ago.
Both holidays have by-names as well. The Hwicce—the Anglo-Saxon tribe ancestral (some say) to today's witches—also knew Midwinter as Géol and Midsummer as Líða.
Down the centuries Géol morphed into Yule. Líða didn't survive the passage of time, but during the 80s pagans rediscovered the word and gave it a new lease on life.
It's unclear what either word originally meant. Some have suggested that “Yule” may be kin either to gel—because it marks the coming of winter—or to yell, because “crying Yule” is a fine old midwinter's custom. In northern England, after Christmas services, people used to join hands and dance through the church shouting “Yule! Yule! Yule!”
I'll bet the vicar just loved that.
I was in my dining room, sorting out bills, when the phone rang. It was a dear friend. “I’m just looking into booking a ticket to Lima, do you want to come?" It was 2006 and I had recently retired from work at a bank and was looking for things to do. I called my New York boyfriend and left a message. “I’m going to Peru!”
In two days we were off and tour guides hired. What a thrill! I had always dreamed of going to Peru, knowing I had a spiritual home there to be discovered, uncovered, and analyzed. What would my insights be this time? Having researched Peru and its connection to the Pleiades star system, I knew the significance of Lake Titicaca, Cusco, and Machu Pichu. My own connection to the Pleiades has been strong since I took Reiki classes. During the first class, I saw myself walking on another plane of existence among Greek-like columns. There were beings in long white robes walking about a beautiful rectangular pool. Crystals sparkled at a water fountain. I discovered that I had been transported to the Pleiades star cluster, to Alcyone, a place of golden Light, and it is my home for 500 years when I return. My first Reiki class also happened to coincide with the Harmonic Convergence in August of 1987....
Scientists and engineers try to solve the problem of pollution in the world's oceans. Evidence is uncovered that Neanderthals were more sophisticated than generally assumed. And the value of zoos is weighed and considered. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment on science and Earth-related news! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
The Wheel of the Year is different for me than it was for the ancient Northern Europeans. I live in the Mojave Desert in southern Nevada. Part of respecting nature is respecting local conditions rather than trying to stick to what a book says should be because that's the way the ancestors did it.
Last December, as I related in my blog post Planting Heritage Wheat for Sif, I planted locally adapted arid-lands wheat in a small garden area dedicated to her. Here are my results. I harvested this wheat in early June....