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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 Paths Blogs
Googlemancy

Seeing order in randomly generated patterns is the essence of fortune telling and interpretation of omens. Hundreds of years ago, people might expect to go outside and see many different species of birds routinely as part of their everyday experience. Thus, reading the first type of bird one sees after asking a question was something people could reasonably expect to do as part of their normal lives, because seeing random birds was part of people's normal lives. My everyday experience includes the internet. I see random stuff on my Facebook feed and on the day's Google Doodle as I'm sipping my morning coffee. 

Random stuff is exactly what's traditionally used for fortune telling and omens. Rune casting interprets the way lots fall on a cloth. The rune Perthro, the rune of destiny or wyrd, is shaped like a dice cup, which refers to rolling dice to read a fortune. The heathen art of reading bird omens derives a positive or negative answer from whether one sees a white bird or a black bird first. (Black is the good color, because Odin's ravens are black.) In other traditions, tea leaves make patterns in a cup, and a deck of cards has a traditional significance for each card in Tarot and in cartomancy. 

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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, February 2 2017

Researchers take a look at bat communication. Zoologists map the lives of animals. And environmentalists grow concerned that the new U.S. administration will leave global warming unchecked. It's Earthy Thursday, our segment about science and Earth-related news. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

“Blessed Brighid burning bright
Lead us from the darkest night
Triple Goddess of new life
Shine your flame on us tonight
Perpetual flame of love and light…”

–Kellianna, Brigid’s Flame

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Time, Tarot and Magick

Have you ever noticed that none of us perceive time in a consistent way? An hour at the dentist seems to take forever, while an hour-long massage seems to slip by in an instant.

 For me, the past few months have flown by. Since my last post I was excited to be a headliner at Florida Pagan Gathering Samhain 2016, and to be named “Tarosophist of the Year” for 2016 by the Tarosophy Tarot Association.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Celebrating blackthorn

Imbolc tends to be associated with snowdrops – which is reasonable enough because they do reliably turn up at this time. We don’t talk about blackthorn much, but for me it is the tree of the festival. Blackthorn can come into flower around this time of year, too (in my experience) and it’s an ogham tree as well.

The Woodland Trust site has blackthorn down as flowering between March and April so it may be in part about where you live. The Woodland Trust covers the whole of the UK, and I’ve never lived further north than the Midlands. There are significant regional differences. I’ve always seen blackthorn as one of the first flowerings in the year. There was a roadside tree on the way to my Midlands ritual place that always came into flower around the time of Imbolc rituals, which gave me the association. At present I’ve got a wild plum locally that flowers very early and is likely to open any day now. It points to the way in which tree events can be very specific and local, depending on microclimates, and the unpredictable nature of trees.

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Posted by on in Signs & Portents
As Spring Draws Near...

It seems like winter juster arrived, but already it’s on its way out. Today is Imbolc, the Celtic festival celebrating the end of winter and the beginning of spring (though most of us don’t regard that to happen until the Equinox). It’s also approximated by St Brighid’s Day, Candlemas, Groundhog Day, Setsubun in Japan, and the Spring Festival in China (better known in the West as the Chinese New Year’s). Basically, a time to celebrate impending the return of warmth and the sun after months of cold and snow.

As usual we’ve gathered all of our related stories as well as those we found across the web that we thought were interesting. We hope you enjoy and have an enjoyable month and a half on the way to the equinox!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
New Moon in Aquarius: Stellar Ascent and Aid

I am usually visiting family over the New Year. Not being at home during the 'calendar flip' can make those first few days of the year similar to the “intercalary days” of ancient times. The first few days of the year take on this otherworldly tinge. Ungrounded in the mundane work and routine of every-day, but loaded with cultural baggage, including the pressure to set a template for the coming year, the first few days of the year have their own magick, they are both malleable and prophetic.

Beginning in the middle of the Sun's transit through Capricorn, the first days of the New Year are a clean slate, in every sense of the word. As a Cardinal sign, Capricorn signals the beginning of the Winter season, and as an Earth sign, ruled by practical, austere Saturn, Capricorn's focus is on managing resources most effectively. Its mantra is “discipline is remembering what you want,” emphasizing that desire and emotion are best served when ruled by will.

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