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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, September 25

Cubans celebrate their dual faiths of Catholicism and Santería. The dwindling Parsi (Zoroastrian) community of Pakistan struggles to survive. And online atheists grapple with sexism in their movement. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly discussion of religion and religious communities from around the globe. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Eurasian Red Squirrel: Living With Ordinariness and Wonder

Smaller and shier than Grey Squirrel, Eurasian Red Squirrel prefers living alone in the pine forests of Europe. After searching meticulously for food, He takes his pine cone to a secure branch for safety. Holding the cone in his front paws, Eurasian Red Squirrel rotates it while biting off the scales to get at the pine seeds.

People have admired Eurasian Red Squirrel for centuries. According to the Norse of Scandinavia, Ratatosk lived in the Tree of Life. He carried messages to Eagle, perched at the top, and to Snake, coiled around the roots. For his efforts, Ratatosk enjoyed the special protection of Thor, the God of Thunder.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs


b2ap3_thumbnail_raven-on-wall-in-fulll-moon.jpgOK, so I’m sure you’ve heard all about this upcoming FULL SUPERMOON ECLIPSE BLOOD MOON TETRAD OMG! WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!! that’s happening on Sunday night, right? Yeah, I thought so. As you may have surmised, I am not hiding in a bunker preparing for the end of the world — in fact, I’m busy figuring out the best ways to let people know about my upcoming online class while Mercury is busy doing the Moonwalk.
So let's take care of that part of the post first (with a hat tip to Mercury)...
Because I think knowing at least a little astrology is important for anyone who is interested in what their soul planned and dreamed and intended for this lifetime, I’ve developed a nine-week, online class with training videos and live question and answer calls and a ton of handouts and a private Facebook group and a live webinar and (whew!) what have I forgotten? Oh, yes, it includes my personal “Beginner’s Astrology Bibliography” and the class is called Chart and Soul: Astrology for Yourself. You can read all about it and register for it here. It will be fun, and I’m pretty sure we are all going to still be around when it starts on October 19th, so I hope you’ll join me!
Now, let’s take a look at this upcoming Full Moon -- and yes, it is a powerful one even if we aren’t all going to die quite yet. First, a bit about what is actually going on astronomically. It’s the Harvest Moon, the Full Moon closest to the Autumn Equinox, which means that it can seem bigger and brighter, and it rises earlier due to the angle of the ecliptic to the horizon at the equinoxes. Read all about that here.
This Full Moon is also a Supermoon, and there is a total eclipse — click here to see where and when it will be visible, and here to understand the mechanisms of an eclipse and get insight into all that annoying pseudo-Biblical blather about a “Blood Moon”.  
Astrologically, Full Moon eclipse charts resonate for up to 6 months or so. Let’s look at the opportunities it brings.
The key to this chart is relatedness — but it’s not only about relating to others. We need to look carefully at how we relate to ourselves. I am often astounded by what I hear in astrology consultations and Tarot readings. People say things to themselves and about themselves that they wouldn’t DREAM of saying to a loved one — or anyone else. Sometimes, they aren’t even aware of how hard they are being on themselves.
So I suggest you pay close attention to how your talk to yourself over the next few months, and have some positive, self-affirming phrases/prayers/mantras/whatever that you can repeat when you catch yourself thinking those unkind thoughts. Repeat the affirmation and engage the emotion behind it until you’ve gotten the bad taste of self-criticism out of your mind. This does NOT mean that you should not do your best to accurately assess your faults and weaknesses and understand what needs to change. It means you don’t needlessly beat yourself up about your faults, perceived or real. Know you are not faultless, just like all the other people in your life, and love yourself anyway.
There’s a suggestion in this chart of sacrificing truth on the altar of practicality and productivity. One of the issues is that truth is inclusive and expansive, and there is an awful lot of fear in the air right now, which means people tend to shut down and exclude instead. Your ideals and ideas, your highest goals and dreams are going to be challenged, and you get to decide if you choose to manifest them, or sacrifice them because you’re afraid.
When this chart is cast for the USA (Washington, DC), this confrontation between idealism and practicality will be particularly noticeable, with Saturn in the 6th house of public service and public health, tightly squaring the MC, and Mars, ruling the legislative 11th, opposing the MC. There will probably be some serious “faith in government” issues. With Mars and Jupiter opposing Neptune, and Jupiter’s trine to Pluto, major political scandals are always an option.
We also need to be careful of the Truth Trap. Truth can be hard to grasp, and often depends very much on one’s perspective (is that an old woman or a young woman in the picture on the right?) Staying open to hearing from others about their truth can help you determine where facts and authenticib2ap3_thumbnail_oldyoungwoman.gifty can be found in any given situation. Just because you think something is true or want it to be true doesn’t necessarily mean it is true — you may discover that you need to let go of some of your cherished fantasies. Let them go with grace, and look to your soul’s dreams to bring you inspiration.
You’ll find it helpful to be more discerning and truthful in your relationships. How do you determine what is true and what is not? Are your fears keeping you from clearly seeing a truth? Are you holding on to someone else’s truth like a lifeboat, or trying to convince others to believe your truth? This may sound a bit academic, but there’s a strong probability that these issues will take center stage in our lives. If you give these concepts some thought ahead of time, when conflicts arise you’ll be able to handle them with integrity.
There are very difficult weather/environmental aspects in the chart, particularly for the USA, with Mars in the fourth tightly square Saturn co-ruling the 10th, among other aspects. So if you are told to evacuate, or take certain precautions, don't hesitate.
Since we can be pretty sure that we are not all going to die from this eclipse, the question becomes “How do we live”? Will you live in a place of greed and self-centeredness, or from a foundation of knowledge and determination that we can help make the world a better place? Your choice…
If you want a weekly astrological update, subscribe to my newsletter (and get your copy of my booklet “Planning Your Day With The Moon”.) And if you want a lifetime astrological update, don’t forget to check out “Chart and Soul”! 


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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, September 24

Could humble mushrooms save the bees? What do you think of scientists' plans to employ robot assassins to protect the Great Barrier Reef? Get into the thick of it with us for Earthy Thursday, our weekly take on science and Earth-related news. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Polytheism: The Solitary Vice?

It's a Golden Age of polytheist publishing.

To incisive works such as John Michael Greer's World Full of Gods and Steven Dillon's A Case for Polytheism, we can now add W. D. Wilkerson's Walking with the Gods, in which 24 (counting Wilkerson herself, 25) contemporary polytheists tell their own stories. It's a pioneering, and invaluable, study of Polytheism-as-Lived in the modern world.

Sigh. If only the news were better.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    We have several ethnic churches in my area. Lebanese, Greek, and Armenian; all of them hold annual food festivals that are well a
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you. Insightful and helpful to me as someone working in a multi-faith/interfaith institution. Both as a writer and theologi


This past summer, Morpheus Ravenna delivered the keynote speech at the Many Gods West polytheist conference. Her speech was entitled, "Deep Polytheism: On the Agency and Sovereignty of the Gods". It was later published at, and I encourage you to read it in its entirety. I’ve been meaning for some time to write a response to Morpheus’ speech, for a couple of reasons. First, I am always interested in the intersection of Jungian psychology and polytheism. In fact, it was the pairing of these ideas in Margot Adler's 1979 Drawing Down the Moon that drew me to Paganism in the first place. Second, I think Morpheus is one of the most interesting polytheist writers out there, and I am often surprised at how much of what she writes I agree with. Her keynote speech was no exception.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Billybareblu
    Billybareblu says #
    Another great article concerning these concepts.
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you. Insightful, clear, and helpful!

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_tggcover.pngThanks to Maureen Corrigan and her excellent So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures, there's another upsurge of interest in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel.

I've been seeing images of the novel's original cover on tote bags and t-shirts. In fact, I’d just finished an immersion — reading So We Read On and then The Great Gatsby — when I was browsing in the regional authors section at Malaprop’s Bookstore in Asheville, NC. Glancing down at the table there, I see a scrap of paperboard with the cover pictured here, complete with a cryptic "95 R" jotted on the back.

As bellyqueen, and in The Woman's Belly Book, I champion our body's center as the energetic sourcepoint of our courage, confidence, intuition — and creativity. Fitzgerald's words about writing Gatsby add his own evidence. After completing the novel, he recalled:

I'd dragged the great Gatsby out of the pit of my stomach....

After thoroughly considering the manuscript, Fitzgerald's editor at Scribner, Max Perkins, sent the author a long letter. He wrote:

And all these things, the whole pathetic episode, you have given a place in time and space,…you have imparted a sort of sense of eternity. You once told me you were not a natural writer — my God! You have plainly mastered the craft, of course; but you needed far more than craftsmanship for this.

That's the body's center — the sourcepoint of our creative energy, our connection to transpersonal power.

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