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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 SageWoman Blogs
Pagans Must #StandWithStandingRock

I've been following the events on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, where hundreds (if not thousands) have gathered to protest the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL for short) for the better part of two months, though I've been dimly aware of the issue since last spring. As a native South Dakotan transplanted to Texas, I still follow news outlets from my beloved prairies, including several independent Native news agencies. When I started sharing posts about the growing camps of protectors -- community members prefer this term to protestors -- I was shocked and amazed when friends told me that my Facebook feed was the only place they were hearing about the situation. (The 1,172 mile pipeline, which will carry oil from North Dakota's Bakkan region, crosses the Missouri River in a number of places, threatening the only source of drinking water for many indigenous communities. Construction also threatens burial grounds and other culturally important sites for the Standing Rock Sioux. For a quick primer on the situation, go here and here.)

I've been heartened to see that the Pagan community has spoken out about the DAPL and has offered support to the protectors at Standing Rock. While I understand that many Pagans "don't like to be political," there is no question in my mind that we have a duty to stand with indigenous peoples everywhere, and in particular with Native American/First Nations peoples. For Pagans in the United States and Canada (and elsewhere in the Americas), the very land on which we stand and which we purport to venerate is the same land (and water, and air) threatened by the DAPL and projects like it. The environmental stakes alone should give us reason to stand up and say #NoDAPL and to support those seeking to prevent the "black snake" from being built across the nation's prairie heartland, from North Dakota all the way to Illinois. As earth-venerating people, I believe that it is incumbent upon us to stand up against environmental degradation -- as Al Gore famously said in Earth in the Balance, Paganism is the spiritual arm of the environmental movement. 

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I know about a pipeline being built here in Virginia, there have been a lot of newspaper articles on it. It looks like the state

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Spider Season

One of the joys of autumn is the finding of webs, dew decked and glinting in the early morning light.

Spider webs are amazing constructions, and the whole spidering business is fascinating – all spiders produce 8 or more kinds of thread, and they only don’t get caught in their own webs because they remember where to stand.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
“…There, he found a piece of glass and began to tell a story. He was telling one of his tribe’s men’s stories. It was a story for boys to become men, and it was not shared with women. The women had their own stories, not for men to know. I read that and thought, no one took me out into the desert; no one told me stories. That’s what I needed, a passing of history and the ways of living, from one man to another.”

–Christopher Penczak, Sons of the Goddess, p. 51

Our oldest son is rapidly sliding into manhood. Creaky voice. Height stretching on a near-daily basis. Fuzz on upper lip. It is hard to hold space for August 2016 096this transition while still caring for a not-quite-two year old small boy as well, one who reminds me regularly of my first baby boy and what it was like to be a mother to only one, focused on each stage of development, each new word, each successful identification of a new color. Now that first baby boy swings that last baby boy onto one hip with practiced ease, washes dishes, helps to cook, pours milk for his sister.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you for this!!!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Does Evil Exist?

Does evil exist?

The ancestors certainly thought so. Looking around me in the world, I can't help but think that they were right.

I sometimes hear pagans dismissing the existence of evil with a cavalier wave of the hand. (I've been there myself.) As, many of us, people of privilege living in a society of privilege—some of us reacting against upbringings obsessed with metaphysical evil—it's easy to be dismissive.

But the ancestors knew about evil long before the coming of the missionaries. 5500 years ago, speakers of the Indo-European Mother Tongue knew evil as *upelo-. 3000 years later, the speakers of Common Germanic spoke of *ubilaz. The Anglo-Saxon tribe known as the Hwicce, the original Tribe of Witches, called if yfel (Watkins 98).

I'm not arguing for the existence of evil as a principle or a metaphysical entity. Although—linguistically speaking—evil may be a noun, it's not a thing in se.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    My working definition of evil is "superlative wrongdoing." Nobody does the right thing all the time; most (if not all) of us somet
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I once read a book by Lyall Watson titled: "Dark Nature" in which he talks about the biology of evil. I took some notes. "7 mor
Pagan News Beagle: Fiery Tuesday, September 6

The political atmosphere in Turkey continues to grow more repressive in the wake of the failed coup. The Wild Hunt takes a look at the role of religion in the U.S. election this year. And a look at why Virginia's governor is trying to restore the voting rights of several thousand ex-prisoners. 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!

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Winnowing the Soul

I’ve been collecting wicker. Well, garbage-picking it actually. In my neighbourhood it’s gone out of style and so it ends up on the curb. And I can’t resist it: wicker hampers, baskets, bowls…nothing I need but everything I want. There is something enchanting about the weaving and wending, the writhing willow branches held in tension to create an object of beauty and use. I have to have it.

 

It’s intricacies are engaging to the eye, tempting to the touch. It is sturdy, but not solid: air and light flow through, keeping it fresh. It is Athena’s work, and the work of the women of Vinci, an Italian river town by full of willows—their branches worked into baskets by the mother of the artist Leonardo, he who would never cease to be fascinated by the woven patterns in the purling of water, the braiding and coiling of hair, the endless interlacing of twining branches and decorative knot work. One can see this obsession working itself out even in his intricate inventions, full of winding ropes and springy slats held in tension. There is magic there, in the weave, in the willow.

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Click on image for source. Sacred Stone Camp, North Dakota.

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