PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
Australian Pagans in Tasmania plan for a midwinter festival (yes, it is winter in the Southern Hemisphere). A prominent Pagan critiques her spiritual brethren's misuse of science. And a Shinto-Pagan writer considers the nationalistic associations of her religion. It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment on news about the Pagan community around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
A doctor in Syria provides information on the conflict ravaging the country. Controversy strikes in Brazil regarding the recent suspension of President Dilma Rousseff. And the implications of the recent internet outrage surrounding the death of Harambe the gorilla are considered. It's Fiery Tuesday, our weekly segment on political and societal news from around the world. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
Taste the milk, the milk of the Mother:
drink from the fountain, the fountain of life.
Roughly 9000 years ago, some of my ancestors underwent a genetic mutation that enabled them to continue drinking milk into adulthood.
Boy, am I ever glad that they did.
I first found out about Eliza Gauger's "Problem Glyphs" project through my partner Nathaniel, and I was instantly fascinated and intrigued. They had been in a band together years previous, and he continued to follow her artistic pursuits after that on tumblr and Patreon.
How it works is that since 2013, people have anonymously submitted to her some sort of problem or issues they have been facing. She in turn creates an image to ward against that problem. In her words, "These symbolic illustrations draw on my background in esoteric occultism, aesthetic symbolism, mythology, psychology, and hedge "magic" to encourage, support, and counsel the people who seek them out."
Nathaniel had anonymously submitted to Eliza his lifelong struggle with a faulty memory and its possible ill effects on his health. (I lovingly call him my goldfish.) He is a diabetic, and had a hard time remembering to take his medication, despite a variety of tactics. Eventually, his turn came and the Glyph was created. He decided to get it tattooed on his right arm, where he can see it every day, and I'm glad to say it's worked beautifully. (It was also his first tattoo, and we're working on his next one...)
The Problem Glyphs have a strong style and imagery all of their own, yet pull from a diverse mythology and encyclopedia of symbols. As an artist, designer, and sigilmaker, I love the amount of symbolism and movement she packs in to a single image, without overdoing it. It's just the right amount of linework, balanced, and clear.
Besides the effective use of line and contrast, it's the process of making them from start to finish that pulls in the magick. The querent expresses their problem, the artist considers it and carefully crafts the glyph, and releases it. The querent is not only rewarded with an image to reflect upon, but it's the core fact that someone else, outside of them, contemplated their plight, and produced a piece of artwork based upon it. Just that exercise in itself goes a long way to helping someone overcome an issue, regardless of the art itself. That someone else took the time to care, to think about THEM, and gave them a physical reminder of that process goes a long way in strengthening the spirit.
In this blog, I've talked about the magick that can be involved when an artist creates something for their own needs and visions, as well as for the Gods. There's another level of fascinating interaction that occurs when the work is created specifically for someone else. And in the case of the Problem Glyphs, we can add on the additional level as us, the bystanding audience, who upon viewing the images and their source issues become involved as well. Suddenly, we too are thinking about the querent, their issues, and our own relation to it. Which I believe adds more energy and power to the image and those who it is made for.
There is a currently a kickstarter for making a book featuring 200 of the Problem Glyphs that Eliza has created so far. Check it out here, it's almost funded with a week left to go.
Every space whether it is your back garden, your living room, the city park or the middle of a field it all has its own unique energy and history.
I live on the edge of a large city in a terraced house. My house was built in 1920 but before that there was another house on the land and before that and before that. In fact as I also live near the sea, the city being a port it has attracted dwellings probably since man needed a roof over his head and somewhere nearby to catch food (i.e. the sea). The first recorded dwellings date back to the late 9th Century and we have apparently had Romans, Normans, Saxons and all and sundry living here. So the land itself holds a huge amount of memories and echoes from our ancestors, oh the tales it could tell…...