I have mixed feelings about 9/11 remembrance every year on this date.
Before anyone breaks out the torches and pitchforks, let me give some context......
PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
"I have a surprise for you," my paternal Abuela Petra said with a broad smile. She pulled a set of cards out of her purse and placed it in my hands....
The omen could hardly have been clearer.
It was spring break of my junior year. I'd come to Minneapolis, ostensibly in search of a graduate program. Actually, I'd come in search of a community. In search of a people.
My friend had picked me up at the train station. Driving home down Lake Street, I saw it.
I guess you could say that a wall spoke to me. Minneapolis is a City of Murals. There it was, covering the entire side of a building.
Flowers, butterflies. (Hey, it was the 70s.) These words:
Planning a ritual, I was thinking about what sort of drink to offer to specific gods, and listening inwardly to see if my plans were acceptable. Freya said she wanted rose.
I had gotten into the habit of smelling the pink rose in the front yard for Freya. It's an antique breed with a wonderful scent. I clarified: Did she want more of that? Yes, that rose. To cut the flowers and bring them inside? No. To eat....
The feminine side of Buddhism is explored. A Hindu religious leader talks about love and intimacy in his religion. And we take a look at the sacred Islamic "Feast of Sacrifice." It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment on faiths and religious communities from around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
Could one solution to global warming be as simple as fostering forests? A new pterosaur is discovered that's the size of a cat. And a closer look at scientists' vision of the newly identified planet orbiting Proxima Centauri. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment on science and Earth-related news! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
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....