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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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Solstice at the stones and sacred wells- two ceremonies upon our ancient sacred land.

Solstice Blessings everyone! On the 21st, in the northern hemisphere, we celebrate the winter solstice, the shortest day when the Sun appears to 'stand still' while at its lowest  point in its yearly cycle. From then until the summer solstice in June the sun will shine for a little longer each day, in time bringing back the light and warmth.

In Britain this sacred time is said to be overseen by an ancient figure known as the Holly King- a counterpart to the Oak King who rules over the summer, both perhaps aspects of the Green Man, that mysterious divine figure which features in so many ancient Celtic tales. These beings have most evidence in the Middle Ages, but hark back to far older pagan traditions, reflecting both the importance of the oak to the druids, and the evergreen holly as its protective 'other face' during the winter months. The holly is said to have many magical powers, protecting from storms and ill wishes hence is presence as a decoration in the home over the darkest time of the year. It is also helpful as a Celtic 'power plant' in overcoming our own darker issues; pain, anger, jealousy, fear, grief, the darkness of the underworld within our own spirits. It achieves this by raising our life force, our kundalini, to give us the strength to overcome adversity within. The Holly King is a guide and guardian of this inner and underworld, known as Annwn in Celtic lore, which aligns energetically as well as psychologically with the mortal realm over the winter months, calling to us to seek stillness and sink into the cave, the great cauldron of the earth, to look within and seek rest and renewal...

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  • Jeremy Lopez
    Jeremy Lopez says #
    I have been trying to reach you by e-mail and gotten no response. Not sure if you are not receiving the e-mails.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Usually I post my own stuff here, but an old friend, and very long time Pagan who wishes to be known to the outside as Priestess Aurora Borealis Medicine Turkey, has written a wonderful poem celebrating Mid-Winter Eve and I want to share it...

The Eve of Midwinter

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  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Aurora Borealis is truly a genius in her work.
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. diZerega, Hilarious poem! My thanks for sharing it.
  • Sophie Goldstein
    Sophie Goldstein says #
    Couldn't have said it better myself! Sophia Goldenstone Langwitch Ilkley Moor, W. Yorkshire

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_800px-Winter-Sonnwendfeuer_in_Senden-Wullenstetten.jpgPer corroborated gnosis/doxa, the winter solstice in Vanaheim is Rasthuas Essonsaras (RAHSthoo-ahs es-son-SAH-rahs), or Lights of the Serpent (in Eshnesk, the language of the Eshnahai [the Vanir]), where the "fire within the earth" is given to begin awakening the land.  

On the night before the winter solstice, the King and the Lord of the Black "battle" with the King "winning" to gain control of the land again. As the men "battle", women enact the union of Star Mother with her reflection in the Void, exploding the Multiverse into being.

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  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    Sounds lovely. Happy Rasthuas Essonsaras to you!
Why Can't We Be Friends? The role of friendship in a coven

What is the role of friendship in a coven? What is a coven’s purpose? Must you be friends with the members of your coven for it to function properly?

A few months ago, we released a member of our coven and resolidified/unified our coven in preparation for the coming year, and to reassert our group mind without gaps or division in it. Things were brought up (things always are) when a member chooses to leave a magickal group, and this was no different. In it, it was said that this person was looking for friendship instead of a coven... that they didn’t want a coven in the first place. Which begs the question: is friendship/fellowship a requirement for coven life? MUST you be friends with your covenmates? Is this the role that the coven is supposed to take on?

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PaganNewsBeagle Faithful Friday Dec 19

Today's Faithful Friday post concentrates on stories of the upcoming Winter Solstice (with one celebrating the corresponding Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere). Stonehenge for Solstice?; Manchester (UK) streets salute the winter sun; Solstice at Native American site Cahokia Mounds; Solstice parade in NYC; Christmas in New Zealand.

Want to go to Stonehenge to celebrate Winter Solstice? English Heritage has the official scoop on what, when, and where. (The "why" you'll need to come up with yourself.)

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Our Lady of Blue Glass

A few winters ago, I was lucky enough to spend the end of December in Europe, and one of the most beautiful, sacred sites of my trip was the Chartres Cathedral in France, outside of Paris. I’d long been fascinated with this spot, since it turns up again and again in Grail lore and stories of the Magdalene heresy, but what I  didn’t know before making this pilgrimage was that the cathedral stands over a holy well, and before the current stone structure was built, the site was possible a Druidic grove or Celtic holy site.  Wherever the magic comes from that infuses Chartres, it’s tangible, and the visit lingers with me as one of profound peace and personal exploration.

b2ap3_thumbnail_927.JPG

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Solstice Comes But Once A Year, Now It’s Here! by Carol P. Christ

Actually it comes twice, once in midsummer, the longest day of the year, and once in midwinter, the longest night.  Winter Solstice is also known as the first day of winter.

For those of us attuned to the cycles of Mother Earth, Winter Solstice is a time to celebrate the dark and the transformations that come in the dark. Many of the customs associated with Christmas and Hannukah, including candles, Yule logs, and trees decorated with lights were originally associated with Winter Solstice.  The extra pounds put on during winter feasting were insulation against the cold winter nights.

Those who fear that many of the customs of the Christmas season might be pagan are right.  As we learn again to honor our place within the cycles of birth, death, and regeneration, we return these customs to their roots in the circle of life.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Wonderful post - I'm looking forward to celebrating the return of the dark at Summer Solstice!

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