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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
Bear Dance

Well, Yule is well and truly gone.

Gone the tree, with all its treasures.

Gone the green: the mistletoe, the holly, the ivy.

All is stripped away now, burned away to ash.

What remains, essential, is the seed, the core, the center.

Fire: the pure, pure flame.

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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, January 21

The role of icebergs in climate change is explored. Lucid dreaming is discovered to possibly have a link to the secrets of consciousness. And a whole bunch of exoplanets get official names. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment on science and Earth-related news! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
A Ritual For New Beginnings

I adore ritual. I couldn't imagine going through my life without those wonderful moments of devotion and pause and reflection. Whether you look at ritual as a grand event shared by a coven or a whole tradition or the simple act of stopping to smell the roses on a walk, we humans tend to love our special moments. Interesting side note: Quite a few of our furred and feathered friends also engage in rituals, but that's another story.

January provides us all with the great opportunity to take a big breath in and hit the reset button. Every year for more than a decade, I've taken part in a sweet, private ritual to mark the passing of one year and the beginning of the next one. My partner and I look forward to this ritual each and every year. It's basic and yet contained in the simplicity is a tremendously profound act.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Thank you Lizann.
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Lovely ritual.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Folk Dance Magic

Dance can be an ecstatic experience. Folk dances tell stories, preserve cultures, and draw communities together. Some dances encode history, preserve martial arts moves, or mimic work such as planting and harvesting. Mixer dances serve a social function, as do dances for specific celebrations. Some dances are forthrightly fertility rituals, and some are magic spells.

The song and dance Mayim Mayim (Hebrew for "Rain, Rain,") is a rain dance. That is, it is a ritual performed to make it rain. Rain Dance is a short film I directed featuring the Ethnic Express Folk Dancers of Las Vegas, Nevada, performing Mayim Mayim. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Shadow Animals: Nahualli and Heyoka

Shadow Animals: Part Three

In my series on types of Shadow Animals, I am introducing two terms that may seem unfamiliar to many Pagans: “nahualli” and “heyoka.” People may have heard these terms as they are common to New Age beliefs. Nahualli and the more familiar “nagual,” are often discussed in New Age Toltec writings. I prefer nahualli as defined by Caelum Rainieri and Ivory Andersen in their discussions about Aztec religion. The common usage for heyoka is to denote “crazy energy.” However, this Lakota term also refers to the person, a sacred clown who is touched by Wankan Tanka (the Great Mystery). To the Lakota, the heyoka holds the sacred duality of the universe.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

 

THE TRADITIONAL WITCH’S CALENDAR: 15-21 JANUARY

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Lords and Ladies

According to Edred (“Bad Boy of Ásatrú”) Thórsson's ground-breaking 1999 work of revisionist witch history, Witchdom of the True, those seeking Keltic origins for Wicca are barking up the wrong tree of life.

They should instead, he says, be sniffing around the roots of Yggdrasil. Historically speaking, the Lord and Lady of modern Wicca, he holds, are actually none other than Frey and Freyja.

It's a contentious idea, especially among contemporary heathens.

We don't know whether or not the heathen English worshiped Frey and Freyja. It's certainly possible that they did, but we have no proof. (Anglo-Saxonist Stephen Pollington calls the evidence "circumstantial.") Considering how little we know about pre-Christian Anglo-Saxon religion, the lack of evidence doesn't prove much.

If, however, the Hwicce—the Anglo-Saxon tribe which, according to maverick archaeologist Stephen Yeates, gave rise to modern witchery—did indeed know Frey and Freyja, we can say what they would likely have called them. Both Norse names have cognates in the Old English word-hoard.

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