PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
Actual unedited footage from Ferguson, MO. The clip should start at 8:20, if not, fast forward to it, if you want to see how American citizens are being treated. Why do our police look like an invading force?...
Thursday is the holiday of Thanksgiving where I live in the U.S. As these things go, it’s a relatively modern one, instituted in the nineteenth century to help bring the nation back together after the Civil War (and please, let’s set aside the horrid historical revisionism about the Pilgrims and the native North American nations for the moment – I’m aware that many people choose not to celebrate Thanksgiving because of this issue). But the concepts on which Thanksgiving is founded are ancient. Essentially, it is the American harvest festival. And some of us find sacredness in that fact.
Across the world and throughout time, virtually every agrarian society instituted some sort of religious festival to celebrate the completion of the harvest. In many cases, these celebrations included the honoring of the Ancestors, both those recently deceased and those long gone. The Minoans were no different from any other ancient culture in this regard....
“Who you callin' 'cowan'?” (Marvin Kaye and Parke Godwin, Masters of Solitude)
Every community has one: a name for Them. You know, those “Not Us” People. In this, pagans are just like everyone else. Who are they, those mysterious non-pagans?
Non-Pagans. A term for when you need to sound neutral (or polite). Most non-pagans that I know are pretty amused to learn that they're non-pagans. Long-time resident in the pagan ghetto that I am, I appreciate the educative value of “non-pagan.” (Let's hear it for paganonormativity.) Mostly, though, this is an “inside-looking-out” term; I don't generally use it when speaking with fellow normos.
Twelve Healing Stars is a yearlong project in cooperation with the Temple of Witchcraft that explores social justice through the lessons of the 12 Zodiac Signs. This is part three.
The Kalasha are the last remaining pagans of the Hindu Kush. Numbering about 4000, in three adjoining valleys in northwest Pakistan, they are known for their proud polytheism, the freedom (and beauty) of their women, and their wine-drinking.
The Kalasha are a transhumant society. In the spring, the young men take the herds of sheep and goats up to the high mountain pastures, where they spend the entire summer and autumn. In late October, they return, just in time for the Prun, the three-day harvest festival that marks the end of the growing season, the return of the flocks, and the first drinking of the New Wine, led by a mysterious figure called the Budálak, the Goat-Man.
The Budálak wears horns and goat-skins, and on the third and final night of the festival, as drums throb around the bonfires and wine flows freely, the women garland him and he joins their wild dance. He is the embodiment of the purity, fertility, and rampant maleness of the high mountains, the realm of the peri (“fairies”), and his role is to transmit this fruitfulness to the entire community.
I just finished writing daily hymns to Poseidon for the past month, so I hope readers will forgive a tendency to use oceanic metaphors as I ponder this week in the Pagan savings challenge. Some economists love the idea that, "a rising tide lifts all boats," although some have questioned whether the sentiment -- which is attributed to President Kennedy, but was actually borrowed by him in turn -- is more grounded in reality, or just a recipe for grounded boats.
With just a few short weeks left, I certainly feel that this tide, crafted of my will, is lifting my boat just fine. The growing pile of cash I see before me each week is a testament to my will and my relationship with the spirits of money....