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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 Sign of the Hoof

A mudra that links Star Trek, Orthodox Jewish liturgy, and the god of witches.

Fascinating.

The “Vulcan salute” premiered in 1967 during Star Trek's second season. Series creator Gene Roddenberry felt that the words of the newly-invented Vulcan greeting needed some sort of physical gesture to go with them. Actor Leonard Nimoy held up his hand, palm facing out, thumb extended, fingers divided between the second and third fingers. In that moment, a pop-culture icon was born. Live long and prosper, folks.

Nimoy knew the gesture from his childhood. Six times a year in the Orthodox synagogue that his grandfather took him to, the kohanim—men from priestly families—would face the congregation, raise both hands before their faces making the same hand-sign, and pronounce the ancient Threefold Blessing:

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Deus eduxit eum de Aegypto cuius fortitude similis est rincerotis. So, a god whose strength is like unto a rhino's. Well.
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Yikes. My first thought was, "they must have been working from a different underlying Hebrew text," which, given the difficulties
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I would agree that your reading makes sense of 24:8 with its singular object, Brian, and would add that some MSS. read motsi'o for
  • Brian Niskala
    Brian Niskala says #
    One thing I find funny is the Septuagint's translation here: ὡς δόξα μονοκέρωτος αὐτῷ, taking the Hebrew's תוֹעֲפֹת רְאֵם as 'glo
  • Brian Niskala
    Brian Niskala says #
    I would question that translation of Number 23:20/24:8. That reading of 'lo' לוֹ as a possessive here doesn't quite work; I read i

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Big Ritual for Solitaries

The ancient Minoans had a lot of opportunities for what I like to call Big Ritual. The priesthood of the temples at Knossos, Phaistos, Malia and Zakro put on Mystery plays for the public, enacting stories from Minoan mythology at the solstice and equinoxes as well as at other festival dates. The cave shrines and peak sanctuaries were staffed by priestesses and priests who provided ceremonies for the public at the sacred times throughout the year. The more important inhabitants of the towns even had the prospect of attending large rituals within the temples themselves. But we modern folks don’t generally have access to that sort of event.

Sure, we have our altars and shrines at home, just as the Minoans and other ancient peoples did. But sitting in meditation with an altar is its own special kind of activity and doesn’t push the same buttons, if you see what I mean, as Big Ritual does.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Apologies for the long time between posts--but I have some news to share: Llewellyn Worldwide is publishing my project--MAPPING THE MAGIC!

 


The book is about sacred sites in America (along with other related goodies) and will explore the magic of Washington, D.C. and the states of the Northeast: Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine--as you can see it will hopefully be the first of four books, each covering a different area of the country. HUGE thanks goes to Anne Niven at BBI Media who's been publishing my Wandering Witch feature at Witches & Pagans magazine since around 2007 ♥ 
 
To celebrate and spread the news about Mapping the Magic I'm hosting a GIVEAWAY! You can win a TWO year subscription to Witches & Pagans magazine or one of four copies of the current issue of the magazine. Click the link below to enter the rafflecopter giveaway (also on my blog at http://nataliezaman.blogspot.com):
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please enter, share and spread the word :)
♥ Thank you so much for your support! ♥
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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Genii Loci: Communal Spirits of Place

Having returned a few years ago to the general vicinity of my birth, I found myself more than ever considering regional cultus. There's something magical to the land touched by the Missouri River for me; it sings to me about it being my home and blood. I am the 5th generation of my family that has called this space home, and I marked the birth of the 6th generation with my daughter here as well. My husband jokingly refers to this as my spawning ground, but I sometimes wonder if there's truth to that.

I've set to trying to learn what I can classify as the Genii, an ambiguous term for the divine part of spirit in all things with souls. These may be Lares, heroes, natural spirits, or minor Gods; they may be Manes, the spirits of the Dead not quite elevated to the status of Lares yet. They may be somewhere in between, indefinable when not stretched under the pull of over-rationalization that I'm sometimes prone to.

This isn't always an easy task, but it's one I feel is important to undertake. So many times I fall to the trap of keeping my mind intellectually pinned into the space and time that the Roman Empire touched that I build solid walls that trap myself in. So I find myself asking regularly Who are our American Gods? Where do we find Them? And not simply the Spirits and Gods who were here before my European ancestors got here, but those we have created and transplanted as we've settled in this space.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Sex. And Kitty Cats.

What do people really want to read about on the internet?

Well, Sex, of course.

And Kitty Cats.

So (Carnival's reputation being what it is) forthwith: a twofer. (In the long, twisted history of the Anguish Linguage, have ever those two words been used in the same sentence before?) A Mardi Gras tribute to Mr. Rudycat, the bad-most, pukin'-est kitty that ever missed the litter box. Sung, of course, to the tune of the immortal Dr. Longhair's classic Go to the Mardi Gras.

 Says the Rude: Aw, just pick me up, click the damn link, and dance, already.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Don't be deceived: it's all a ploy.
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Cute kitty.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_turquoise_moon_and_stars.jpg"All our relationships are person-to-person. They involve people seeing, hearing, touching, and speaking to each other; they involve sharing goods; and they involve moral values like generosity and compassion."
Brendan Myers

The New Moon happens on February 18 at 6:47 pm EST, right on the knife’s edge between Aquarius and Pisces, and brings attention and awareness to ideas about the collective and how we treat each other. The importance of technology — everything from breakdowns to privacy issues to technology saving the day — is another topic likely to be front and center. In this upcoming month you may want to focus on considering how you can work with others and create effective change within a group. What can you do together that you can’t do alone? Who is your tribe, and how do you support each other? Who are your spiritual kin, your “fellow travelers”, and how do you connect with them?

The term “tribal mentality” is tossed around a lot these days as though it were something to be avoided — and in the implied meaning of restricted, fearful, insular thinking, no doubt it is. But human brains are wired to live and work in small groups, so we also can find a number of people who are exploring a tribal template as a basic unit for a healthy economic and social system.  As the cracks in the industrial civilization we have built become more and more apparent, some are looking at tribal society as a promising, egalitarian model for a fossil-fuel-restricted, environmentally-challenged future. (See this and especially this) Others feel that “New Tribalism” is destructive of the values of a democratic society. (More about that here). We’ll be seeing ideas like these up for discussion in the coming month, and they will be well worth considering on a personal level as well. What communities do you belong to? How do you support them? How do they support you?

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Metaphysical Quartz Crystal Description: DOLPHIN

This week we’ll discuss the metaphysical properties of Dolphin quartz crystals; what they are, how to determine if you have one, and how to work with their unique energy.

Physical: Dolphin crystals are crystals which have a smaller crystal attached to (riding along) the side, not quite big enough to be a Twin or Soulmate, but aligned similarly. They are sometimes called a baby or a sidekick. If you picture a dolphin with a baby swimming very near it, this is what the Dolphin crystal looks like - a larger crystal with a smaller crystal riding alongside. dolphin crystal with long, thin 'baby' The "baby" in the Dolphin crystal may be long and thin as they are in the crystals above, or they may be shorter and fatter as in the crystals below: dolphin crystal with shorter 'baby' Alternately, the "baby" may be quite a lot smaller than the main point, as in these crystals: dolphin crystal with very small 'baby' Sometimes the smaller or "baby" crystal will look like a baby jumping. As you can tell, not every Dolphin crystal will look the same, and some will look quite different than you might expect.

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