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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
The Cycle of Death into Life

 

Scientists motivated by a deep love and fascination for the natural world share with most Pagans a recognition of the world’s intrinsic value, but without our metaphysics. However they bring skills of observation and analysis many of us lack to deepen in their own way their love and fascination. This was a happy insight I had while researching the role of Pagan religion in the modern world.  Biologists are important teachers who can help us deepen our own understanding.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Thank you both. If you read it I hope you like my book, Jamie. Carol, I think Pagans are unique in that we can honestly argue th
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    Love this post. I agree with you that there is no reason for "religion" and "science" to be at odds, at least not if each is aware
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. DiZerega, Great post! The book sounds fascinating. Death and life are so intertwined...

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Samhain Song Everybody Knows

For all its liturgical and cultural importance, Samhain has yet to inspire much popular music.

So when we end our big public Samhain ritual by joining hands and announcing, “Let's finish with the Samhain song that everybody knows,” you'll see eyebrows go up all around the circle.

When you first start in, you'll get a nice laugh, and then folks will belt it out like they mean it. After all, what's Samhain for, if not for Old Long Ago?

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Pulpit Rock is the North point in my Blue Mountains Circle of Eight. A pulpit is a raised place within a church, where a speaker stands. Standing on Pulpit Rock and looking around me I see a church built not by humans but by the earth itself. We call this place the Blue Mountains but actually it’s a plateau, lifted up by volcanic activity around 170 million years ago. Pulpit Rock has nearly 360 degree views of vertical cliff, deep folded valley and curving lines of tree tops. I feel small there, but also expanded, reminded of my capacity for the appreciation of beauty and my connection to this living planet we are all a part of.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Pulpit-Rock-2.jpg

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

In 2013, I engaged in a year-long Woodspriestess experiment in which I visited the same place in the woods behind my house every day for an entire year. The experience described in this post occurred eight months into my experiment...

I continue to be surprised by this same small patch armadilloof woods. Last night, if you chanced to overhear me in my sacred space, you would have heard me scream:

“Oh my GAWD!!!!! I just STEPPED ON an ARMADILLO!!!!!!”

Yes, that is correct, I stepped squarely on a genuine, real live armadillo on my way through the woods last night. I’d gotten “too busy” to visit the woods during the day and by the time I made my way down there, it was totally dark. I opted to go out without a flashlight, feeling a bit smug, if I do say so myself, that I know these woods so well and am just so connected that I don’t even need a flashlight to find my way and then…STEP…bizarre-growling-squeal-grunt-and-scuttle and me screaming the above. My first thought as I grasped what had happened was actually to try to take a picture for a blog post, but by then it was too late and only the scaly tail was dimly visible under a nearby shrub! By the time I stood on the rocks, I was laughing semi-hysterically and my heart was pounding with the adrenalin and surprise. I reflected again on how very many creatures share these woods with me and I wondered how many other woodspriestesses of various species cross these very stones each day. I think of this space as “mine,” but clearly an armadillo also finds it a useful nighttime exploration place.

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The Astrology of Chiron:  The Wounded Healer Within

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PaganNewsBeagle Faithful October 17

Halloween/Samhain Special Edition:

In today's faithful Friday post, we are concentrating on the upcoming season of Samhain -- high holy days for Wicca- and Wiccan-influenced Pagans. In today's Beagle, we highlight posts from outside our PaganSquare channel -- watch for our PaganSquare Samhain special edition next week, where we will highlight the Samhain posts of our in-house writers.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Great Quake of '89

My senior year of college at the University of California at Santa Cruz was the Loma Prieta earthquake.  It was not a spiritual experience, but it greatly affected the course of my life, caused me to invest magic in my truck, and led to a significant event in my life as a heathen. This year is the 25th anniversary of this event.

Quotes from my memoir:

     “Most of my memories are fuzzy about the time and date on which they took place, but there is one I can date to the minute:  October 17, 1989, 5:04pm.”

 “…the plate glass sliding doors in the living room rippled like water…”

It was the great quake of ’89, its epicenter in Santa Cruz County. I have a detailed description of what happened in my memoir, Greater Than the Sum of My Parts. After a week of sleeping outdoors because the buildings were not certified safe, I thought:

      “If I had dad’s truck with me, I could sleep in it.  No freezing soccer fields.  No worries about rain.  I could have all the supplies I needed right in there, ready for me any time I wanted them.” 

      “…The only coherent thought I had all afternoon was, “This is not going to happen to me again.  I am not going to depend on anything or anyone outside myself.  I can’t depend on the water always turning on and being fit to drink.  I can’t depend on the buses always running and the stores always being open.  I was depending on the government.  Now I’m going to depend on myself.  Alone.”

When I returned to Santa Cruz from the family home in Sonoma, I was driving the truck. The same one I still drive, which my mom had named The Warhoop Wagon while it was still my dad’s: an ’84 Chevy Silverado. Longbed. Two-tone brown and cream paint job like a palomino. Camper shell on the back. Freshly stocked with supplies from survivalist catalogs. Not just a vehicle: a place I could live in.

      “Before we left I walked around the truck, simultaneously conducting a safety check and casting a spell of protection.  I imbued the truck with energy to journey safely and to prevent harm to myself and others on the road.  To my inner eye it glowed with the armor of my directed will, but beneath that was its own personality, a protectiveness like the best qualities of its previous owner.  Driving my truck—my father’s truck—was a holy act of inheritance of ability.”

Over the years, I have reinforced and enhanced the safe-journey magic and the truck's own personality grew stronger. Its formal name is still the one my mother gave it, but I more often think of it as My Faithful Truck. It's hard to explain to non-pagans why I won't give it up; I usually just tell them it's lucky.

The first place I drove it was to a pagan ritual in the middle of rubble-strewn San Francisco, in the hard-hit Marina district which was still blackened and choked from gas main fires: the Spiral Dance. I brought my mom with me, and that was how I came out as pagan.

Back at college, I found myself in a spiritual battle for which I did not feel at all prepared. That is another story, coming in the next post.

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