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 Culture Blogs
The Swastika and the Flag

 

Some  Southern Pagans, have criticized  comments I made elsewhere on W&P and on Patheos supporting removing the Confederacy’s battle flag from all public displays in the South.  They thought I unfairly maligned Southern culture by saying it was inextricable from racism.  Some thought I must not know anything about the South. For the record I was born in Southwest Virginia, raised in the half-Southern state of Kansas with relatives whose views ranged from a relatively benign racism to endorsing Southern slavery.  For much of my life I frequently visited my Virginia and Arkansas relatives. I am not a Southerner, but I have fairly substantial experience with Southern culture, usually in a positive context. That experience plus their defense of the Confederacy's battle flag as a symbol of Southern culture has led to this post, dedicated to Southern Pagans.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Thank you Heather. I don't know how important they are within their community because I am not a Heathen and rarely attend their d
  • Heather Freysdottir
    Heather Freysdottir says #
    As a Southerner who also whole heartedly approves of the removal of the confederate flag from public spaces, I very much appreciat

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Obsession X

Oh gods. Yet another ex-Christian wants to tell me who Jesus really was.

(There's no mistaking them. Oh, they may call themselves something else now, but their first and foremost identity is Ex, with a capital X: the Jesus obsession gives them away every time.)

I've seen the scholarship. (It's hard for anyone in the field of religion to avoid seeing it.) The scholars agree on virtually nothing. Over the years, I've drawn three conclusions of my own.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Sweet Calendula

Two years ago, I bought a couple of calendula plants and tried to grow them in my container garden. They fared all right--I was still learning what conditions calendula likes--and I managed to make a batch of moisturizing balm out of their oil. When they died, though, I figured I wouldn't repeat the experiment. They hadn't seemed to like the hot, dry weather on my roof. I decided that next time I made oil, I would buy calendula blossoms in bulk.

Imagine my surprise when, last winter, a couple of interlopers sprouted in my garden: two new calendula plants, born from the seeds of the first two. In completely different pots, no less! Well, obviously one doesn't reject a healing plant, so I started to tend them. To my delight, they thrived.

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Body Painting in the Wild by Gerhard Lipold.  Courtesy http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/.The Pagan Festing season generally runs from May until October and usually takes place in campgrounds that are reserved for this purpose for anywhere from a weekend to a week. In Ontario, notable campgrounds that host Pagan Festivals include Raven's Knoll,Mythwood, and Whispering Pines.

Some of these Festivals feature Clothing Optional areas so that people have the option to be naked if they so wish. This is because some Pagans like to cast-off their wrappers and be caressed by the sun and the wind, while others consider their nudity to be part of their sacred relationship with the Gods and a Pagan event is a place where they can feel comfortable enough to explore that relationship.

However, because not everyone is comfortable with that, Clothing Optional areas can be restricted to certain areas, including:

  • campsites
  • the beach
  • the firepit area after 10pm

The important word in "Clothing Optional" is the term "Optional". A Clothing Optional area is not zoned as a Strip Club. You have the option to be as naked, clothed, or a variety of both as you wish and it's nobody else's business.

I cannot believe I must state this so blatantly, but this is also means that no one has the right to pressure you to be clothed or naked. No one has the right to tell you how naked or dressed you must be based on other people's decisions to be naked or dressed. No one has the right to express opinions about your character, your values, or your sexual identity. No one. No exceptions.

Now I know that sometimes people can unintentionally cross this line. In their minds, they want you to know that you are beautiful and valued and they want you to know that they are not judging you for any reason, so if you want to strip down, they are ready to support you in this decision. The problem is that it's very difficult to express this idea without it sounding like they are pressuring you into coming to this conclusion.

A person's state of nudity is NEVER an invitation for people to touch, stare, or make sexual references about. EVER. A person's nudity can be an expression of their relationship with the Gods, but it is not meant to be a show for other people to ogle or make snide remarks upon. However, if you want to quietly appreciate the beauty of the human body, that can be okay, but you need to be subtle in your appreciation.

Unwanted, unwarranted, unasked, uninvited contact with a person in a state of undress can constitute assault or sexual assault. The fact that the person is naked does not justify anyone's actions without EXPLICIT permission being given. It also does not give you the right to pressure anyone into being more naked or less naked, for any reason, even in jest. If you think you have accidentally crossed this line, take the person aside (probably better when they are dressed), apologize sincerely, and then learn from it.

Whether it is intentional or unintentional, here are some statements you should NEVER make to someone about their state of dress or undress:

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    "this is also means that no one has the right to pressure you to be clothed or naked" Does that actually happen? It sounds uber-c
Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, June 26

China. The world's largest country by population, third largest by area, and second largest by production. What's spiritual life like in this rising power? Although the state publicly disavows religion and most of the population is officially irreligious, it turns out there's a deep current of spirituality and religion throughout much of the country, beneath the surface. This week for Faithful Friday we take a look at the religions of China, the Middle Kingdom, and where they stand today. Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and even new religions like Falun Dafa (Falun Gong), all this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Perks of Self-Marriage

This past Valentine’s Day I wrote about celebrating Valentine’s As a Self-Married Woman, and in that post I quipped that I’d never forget my anniversary.

Well, I did.  So much has happened this year, and I filled my birthday with so many activities, that celebrating my first anniversary as my own wife completely slipped my mind.  Fortunately, I forgave myself…no flowers, chocolate, or wine necessary.  Okay, there may have been some chocolate...

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Solstice-2015-photo-Adrianne-Ryan-group-by-sea.jpg

For me, Litha is about balance and light. For others—as I found out when I gathered with a fiery group of ladies at our Midsummer Celebration here on Martha’s Vineyard—it’s about the color yellow, fire, beauty, happiness, joy, and potential. That last one interests me in particular, because I’ve been studying quite a bit about potential lately; specifically, the possibilities that lie dormant in our minds and hearts that surface when we are ready for them.

   We connect with these possibilities through the rhythms of our lives, and I’m especially called to the rhythms of descent and rising, such as what Kore experienced when she descended and arose new and fresh as Persephone. We all know her story—she goes down as an innocent virgin and arises a woman, Queen of the Dead. She now knows about sex and maturity and life and death; she’s tasted of the pomegranate, or like Eve, of the apple. In other words, she’s tapped in to her potential, opened it up like a fruit to see the shape of the seeds inside. She’s pulled from the depths and the dark and has brought the juicy knowledge of her own being out into the light.

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