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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Postcard from Micklegard

To Oswin King of the Hwicce, from his brother Osred: Greetings!

Well brother, Micklegard is a fine town, and no mistake. No matter what (or who) you want to buy, eat, or screw, they've got it here. Strong ale for the likes of this honest Hwiccan lad. 

Check out this dome. It's the city's chief temple. They worship the Moon here, just like we do back home—she's the city's patron goddess, in fact—only they call her Hekate. This is her temple as Lady of Wisdom. (Sound familiar?) Quite a sight, but I still can't figure why they go in under a roof to worship the Moon. Strange folk, Greeks.

Turns out that wandering gleeman was right after all: the High King here really does keep a special war-band of Westerners as body-guards. He calls it his "barbarian guard." Funny: he can't trust his own to protect him, yet we're the barbarians!

Thought maybe I'd give it a try, though. Fighting's fighting, wherever you go. I hear the pay's good, and like I said: You want it, they've got it.

My love to mother and the girls. Wine's fine, but what I wouldn't give right now for a beaker of good, honest Hwiccan ale.

Be hale, drink hale, brother.

More soon.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Minoan Ecstasy: Filling the empty spaces

What's missing in modern life (and most modern western religion) that sends people in search of everything from Peruvian ayahuasca rituals to Native American sweatlodges and peyote ceremonies? Ecstasy.

No, I don't mean the street drug, but the state of consciousness that takes us out of the ordinary and transports us closer to the numinous, the divine. A while back I wrote about how most of the modern world is ecstasy deprived. We're so steeped in the post-Enlightenment materialist mindset that we forget to look beyond the physical to see what else is around us. We also forget that each of us is more than just physical, that we have amazing abilities to transcend our "daily grind" state of consciousness.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Years ago I took my mother to a Maundy Thursday service at her church. I could feel the energy rising and I looked forward to a m
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    That kind of experience is all too common, especially among the Protestant traditions, where 'a bunch of people sitting around in

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_EmKellBLOG.jpg

The tides are turning and I am sure we all feel the waves shaking underneath us.This eclipse is a great time to continue the momentum of raising up our voices!

A Lunar Eclipse can be a reminder to release ourselves and ground into our strength.

Feel the power flowing around and through us.

Being a full moon in Leo, this moon encourages us to manifest our creativity and arts. Leo says, "let yourself SHINE!" Allow the fires of Leo to charge us up and volcano ourselves through these times of change.

Blessings and Happy Howling!

Leah

Notorious Women

we are notorious women
spectres of the male imagination
anima working in the half-light
scorned muses
weaving memories from our hair

furies they call us
wtiches and nymphs
banshees wailing down the halls of our fathers
gazing at dusk into mirrors and chanting
calling our voices back
into our howling throats

forgotten goddesses rise
pulling swords from their breasts
setting fire to the temples
etching the names of our dead into skin
heavy as granit

emma, audre, adrienne
wilma, harriet, magdlene
virginia, leslie, valerie,
sacagawea, sojourner, eve

summon them into the circle
the rituals have begun.

¤ Raye Stoeve 2014

Emily Kell (Portland, OR) I am a visionary artist whose work takes root in ideals of divine feminine and a return to the energy of the primordial goddess. I created a language to write secret poems and messages that I include in my female empowerment series that honors women in their many unique manifestations of beaut.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Witchbury

In the tribal territories of the Hwicce, the old Anglo-Saxon Tribe of Witches, stands a hill called Wychbury Hill. The name means “Hill-fort of the Witches.”

It was once our tribal capital.

The old Northern ancestors didn't live in cities. Most people lived dispersed on their own holdings, but in every clan territory there would be a burg or hill-fort (= Keltic dún): a hilltop fort surrounded by high earthen walls topped with a wooden palisade. At the foot of the hill stood the village, the thatched houses of those of us who were not warriors.

In the burg itself stood the main hall of the drighten, the chieftain, and the homes of the dright, his war-band. The dright prided themselves on having been born within the walls; it meant that you were nobility. But during times of war, the entire village would take shelter behind those walls.

As, whenever we cast a circle, we still do.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Alas, Haley, the answer to your question is lost to the ages. Really, though, one has to imagine a certain amount of ribbing on th
  • Haley
    Haley says #
    So, then, would those born behind the wall in wartime be noble as well?

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

After walking the labyrinth on New Year’s Day my magic group was inspired to continue the ritual the next day. Oh, and the day after that and the day after that… actually for another eight days. We went to every direction in our Circle of Eight, one after the other, in order. At the end of that we couldn’t quite bear to end, so we committed to another round of visits, this time weekly so we could fit it in to our busy lives. One of the most amazing things was the amount of time we spent sitting around outside having breakfast or dinner picnics or late-afternoon homemade strawberry cocktails. It was Blue-Mountains-in-the-summer weather. It rained on many of these excursions, usually a light passing rain or heavy cloud arising or descending. It didn’t stop our picnic, trance or conversation.

Some of our Circle came on every excursion, the whole nine days in a row. Others came to several, or one but either way we spent a lot more time together than we usually do and that was wonderful. It felt like a spell for 2017 – if we begin this year with nine days of ritual (ten really, as we had done a ritual together on New Year’s Eve) – what a potent and deepening way to enter into the year. Surely our whole year will be filled with ritual? – and with each other? – and at the moment, we can’t think of anything better. 

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How Does a Coven Manage to Stay Together for Nearly 40 Years?

 It takes three witches to make a coven. Two witches is just an argument.

(Craft proverb*)

 

Come Harvest Home, we'll have been together for...well, for nigh on 40 years.

(“That's 90-something in cowan years,” my friend and colleague Sparky T. Rabbit would have quipped.)

In the fractious and ephemeral world of contemporary Witchdom, where covens tend to come and go, this is a pretty remarkable achievement.

So how have we managed to do it?

Well, every group is different. What works for us might not necessarily work for you.

But it might.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Dragon Dancer
    Dragon Dancer says #
    All excellent points to remember. Thank you for sharing this!

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
I'll Tell You

 

It is a fairly common custom for Traditions and Schools to have materials that are oathbound, teachings or practices that can only be shared with members or initiates. I have friends that are old school Witches, or Masons, or one of any number of systems that can eloquently explain why they have oathbound materials. I will not speak for them, and I honor their right to follow their ways. The Tradition of which I am a member, the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, does not have any teachings or practices that are oathbound, in fact it is more accurate to say that we are openbound. It is not my intention in this post to assert that oathbound, openbound, or any other approach is better than the other. What constitutes better is a matter of your perspectives, values, the purpose of your system, and the nature of your goals. What I’d like to offer here is information on how we manage boundaries for our lore and practices. The Assembly has been around since 1984 and we are 13 covens with a 14th in the process of formation.

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