PaganSquare


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

On New Year’s Day we walked our local labyrinth. It was raining. We took our clothes off in the carpark, to keep them dry and walked, wrapped in a sarong, a towel across the small footbridge and along the avenue of apples, in full leaf by now and with discarded baby green apples, half eaten by the birds crunching under our feet over the bark mulch covering the path. The rain was light, gentle, not warm exactly but not fiercely cold either, it’s high summer here though most of the time you wouldn’t know it. When we arrive the labyrinth looks washed clean, its coloured mosaic tiles gleaming and small puddles across the surface of it.

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I confess: I am a book addict. Some people buy shoes, or clothes, or watches. I buy books. They are my go-to for comfort and inspiration. Digital, mass market, paperback, hardcover; picture book, reference book, fiction, nonfiction, poetry -- doesn't matter. I devour books, absorbing stories and information and artwork.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

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“Beginnings and endings are so very sacred, to give honor to all that has transpired, every experience, every joy, every pain, is a doorway to the magical. Hold your entire year between your hands, every day, every thought, every breath. Now bless it with gratitude, love and humility. You have done more to transform this new year than a thousand resolutions.” 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Embla

My practice of honoring the First Woman started with a weed. A weed is a plant growing where one doesn't want it. 

In June of 2016, I found a four foot tall plant in my tomato bed. Online friends on the Plant Identification group helped me positively identify it as a Siberian Elm, which is not the same species as the American Elm. Siberian Elm is an invasive non-native species, so it had to go. But, it was an elm. Elm is the tree the threefold Odin made the first woman from. Embla was her name, and was also the word for elm. I was unlikely to have an elm sapling again, so I had to make good use of it. I pulled it up roots and all and whittled it into an Embla doll with my pocket knife.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Making it Work

     Yule this year passed in a blur of work and school. We sent the little boys off to school Tuesday, giving ourselves one final day to finish holiday preparations: breads and cookies baked, packages wrapped and decorated, the sunfire collected by my husband and the Hestia candle on the stove top lit, ready for the rush of children and the Mystery of the longest night.


     As each year passes faster and faster, it seems, I am continually caught unaware, needlessly so, I feel. I know in January when the Solstice will occur: all I need to do is flip to the back of the calendar and look. In fact, I already know that next Yule will be December 21, 2017, and that the solstice will occur at 11:28 in the morning. This knowledge should prepare me, but the reality is that I will be so caught up in the day to day details of secular living that spiritual observances are often pushed aside until the last minute. I often feel I am shortchanging myself.

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"I no longer steal from nature" -- An ancient poem from Aleppo

I'm not sure if it's realistic or not, but the New Year always fills me with hopes for peace. The Winter Solstice starts that process, and the cathartic idea of the new year follows up with an "out with the old, in with the new" type of energy. But sometimes, a voice that is "old" brings us "new" insights. 

With all the hub-ub about diversity, immigration, refugees, and religious dialogue, I thought it would be nice to share a poem from a very renowned, very ancient Syrian poet. His name was Abu 'L'Ala Ahmad ibn 'Abdallah al-Ma'arri. Not surprisingly, he is most often referred to only as al-Ma'arri. He was born in Aleppo, and lived from about 973-1057 CE.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
13 o' Clock

 Thirteenth Night,

when time runs backwards,

and the world whirls giddily widdershins.

Happy Feast of Fools!

 

Htrae eht nopu tuo deruop si evol ym dna,

Gnivil lla fo Rehtom eht ma I, dloheb rof,

ecifircas ni thgua dnamed I od ron.

Erofeb enog evah ohw esoht htiw noinuer dna,

modeerf, ecaep, htaed dnoyeb dna;

lanrete tirips eht fo egdelwonk evig I, htrae nopu....

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