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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Beating the January Blues. Druid Style.

The period just after the midwinter holidays can be difficult. For our ancestors this time of the year, before the chickens, ducks and geese began laying again and before the sheep and cattle began lactating, was a hungry time. Nowadays, when we don't appear to be so dependent upon the cycles of nature and farming for our very sustenance, the difficulty of the time of year settles into our souls in a different manner.

For those living in cold, northerly climates, this is when the deep freeze settles in (though with climate change, as we can see from Canada throughout the end of December, it can come earlier and stay longer). For those in more temperate areas such as here in the UK, it's the darkness of the grey, cloudy days and long nights that become hard to bear. It's also a time when money can be scarce, and we are paying our bills not only for the holiday time, but also higher bills for heating and electricity. We can feel overwhelmed, depressed, apathetic and more. This is the time when we just can't shake off that cold, and the colds and flus that have been going around since the holidays are getting stronger and stronger.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
A Little Help

 

Help isn’t always helpful is a lesson I learned from Annie Lomax of blessed memory back in the 70s when she was training me to work on a hotline. Sometimes, help is offered as a sedative when someone else is having strong emotions that make you uncomfortable. Sometimes, help undermines another person’s sense of autonomy or sense of accomplishment. Sometimes, help makes it more comfortable for someone to stay stuck in a situation that is slowly but surely diminishing them. And yet despite all the potential pitfalls involved in the offering of help and support, Annie taught me that when help is offered with a clear mind and an open heart it has the potential to encourage not just comfort or healing but true growth. Let me reiterate the part about the criterion of having a clear mind and an open heart. The mind and the heart don’t always agree, but if both are in agreement you might be doing the right thing. My time on the hotline at the Wellspring program taught me many things that I still use to this day.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Wow! Ivo, I am moved beyond words by this post. Now that you are writing a regular column for W&P, I'd love to see this sort of ma
  • Ivo Dominguez Jr
    Ivo Dominguez Jr says #
    Thanks!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
What Do You Say to an Angry Lake?

Red Lake is Minnesota's largest lake.

Two months ago, two fishermen were drowned there. Their bodies have yet to be recovered.

In traditional lore, when a lake takes a life, this means that the lake is angry.

Why would a lake be angry? Because people take too much.

Since the drownings, there has been no fishing on the lake. Local media has mostly reported that the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe banned fishing on the lake, but that's not entirely accurate. In fact, there was no top-down pronouncement; people simply stopped fishing because that's the traditional way. Everyone knows what the deaths mean, and what you do and don't do in response.

Since then the Band has held a series of potluck feasts at the Lake. Each time, they have set aside food for the lake. When you take, you need to give back. That's the Old Way.

Each time, the elders have burnt sage and spoken to the lake. I don't need to tell you what they said.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Why I Am a Pagan

When we do most of our talking with other pagans, it's easy to get lazy about definitions, especially here in the Broomstick Ghetto.

So when the local Theosophists asked me to address their monthly meeting, it seemed a good opportunity to re-examine and re-articulate what I mostly take for granted when talking with the tribe.

I'd love to see you there. This won't be your mom's Pagan 101, I promise!

Why I Am a Pagan

A talk by Steven Posch

Monday, January 8, 2018, 7-9 p.m.

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  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Would love to see this, if and when you're willing to share, and privately or publicly. In September I spoke to the Sufi Women Or
Taking Possession: Home-Buying and Moving-In Traditions

The Jesse Pickens Pugh House via Wikimedia Commons

My husband and I recently bought a home in the Blue Ridge mountains – a dream we’ve held since we married eight years ago. It’s an old house with history, an acre and a half of land, and beautiful views of the mountains. I fell in love with the house and surrounding land almost immediately. As we look forward to moving in, I’ve been thinking about traditions to perform as we get established there – traditions that will familiarize and unite us with the spirit(s) of the house and ensure a long-lasting, productive relationship for years to come.

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Crunch Time: Pagan Priorities and the Otherworld

The fundamental difference between theistic Pagans and Atheopagans is that the former propose that there exists an "Otherworld": a parallel dimension of reality in which reside gods, spirits, fairies and other such beings. Atheopagans, having a naturalistic worldview, don't subscribe to this idea.

As I look around the community, I think there are questions about this kind of belief that haven't been asked, and really ought to be.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
If Paganism Had a Motto...

In the Old Language of the Witches, a verbal artist (i.e. a bard) was called a sceop: literally, a “shaper.”

Likewise, “creation” was sceopung, shaping; “creator” scieppand, a shaper. (In Modern Witch, we would say sheppend.)

For the ancestors, to make was to shape: to mold what already is. This view of art—and of creation generally—stands at variance with the more recent notion of creation ex nihilo: from nothing.

As myself a shaper, and long-time observer of the creative process, I find it axiomatic that, in fact, nothing comes from nothing. Even the most original art always derives from what went before, if only by reaction.

As the ancestors saw it, the artist's work is to shape the old to the new, and the new to the old.

In this way, the present becomes a conversation of past with future.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    No indeed. As the Egyptian tells Big Anna in Edgar Jepson's Horned Shepherd, "All the world is the country of the Wise": there are
  • Andrew
    Andrew says #
    "In the Old Language of the Witches" Witches weren't confined to speakers of Old English.

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