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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Weekly Goddess Inspiration: Tara

Tara, Goddess of Inspiration, sometimes known as The Liberator, brings her message that we are not alone. She encourages us to remember that we can always ask for help, and it is through asking for help that our wishes can be granted and our troubles surmounted. Tara's message is especially powerful for women -- our culture encourages us to see ourselves as weak if we need to ask for help or if we are unable to handle all of our various tasks, obligations, and burdens alone. I know I have certainly fallen prey to the Superwoman syndrome throughout my own life, and have been struggling with feeling like my life was unmanageable on a practical level of late. And yet I have been afraid to ask for help -- even as I find myself resentful of the fact that no one's helping!. Tara comes dancing into my life right now to remind me that I have help available, human as well as Divine, if only I will ask for it. 

Tara appears in many forms in Buddhist cosmology -- White Tara is the sacred star, the liberator and wish granter; Green Tara, the Buddha of enlightened activity; Blue Tara, the transmuter of anger; Red Tara, whose power magnetizes all good things; Black Tara, who helps us access our power; and Yellow Tara, who brings prosperity and wealth. While the card depicts White Tara -- and my sense is that I myself will be walking with White Tara this week -- you may find that another one of these Taras calls to you. In the Goddess Tarot by Kris Waldherr, Tara takes the place of The Fool in the Major Arcana and is called Beginnings. I love this idea, that when Tara comes dancing into our lives, she is inviting us on a journey towards enlightenment, towards joy, towards our power -- and also reminding us that we do not walk alone. She is always with us.

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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, April 22

Buddhist offer a different perspective on Marvel's Dr. Strange. Hindu astrology is explained. And a writer for The Atlantic Monthly wonders if moral relativism is dead. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment on news about faiths and religions from around the world. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

While I identify as Pagan, and more specifically as Hellenistai, I also fall into the category generally defined as "devotional polytheist." For me, the Gods are at the center of my spiritual practice. I write poetry and short stories and essays in their honor, meditate and go on trance journeys, and endlessly discuss their natures and myths and influence upon the world. As such, theophanies -- manifestations of the Gods, personal encounters with them -- are of particular interest to me. I love to read of others' encounters with Gods and Goddesses and spirits of all sorts, from every tradition, new and old.

Additionally, not all theophanies are ... well ... I have found some passages in works of fiction to be as profoundly moving and insightful as any (nonfiction) work. It leads me to wonder if the authors have either coded their true encounters, changing bits here and there to include them in novels and short stories; or if the authors have some intuitive understanding of the Gods and spirits and the world beyond the mundane.

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Full in Scorpio: Moon of Flowering Branches

 

As the Sun transits from Aries into Taurus, we shift from I am into I have. The Spring is unfolding, and we are moving from an inquiry into who we are, into our identity, to an inquiry about what we have, what we need, our resources. Aries' Fire, kicking off the zodiacal year with its urgency, its confidence and its drive to move forward, has ignited us, given energy to our goals, our desires, and our passions. Now that initiating Fire has to transform into something more sustaining and sustainable, or its initial force will just burn itself out into nothing,

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Why I Still Need "Why Women Need the Goddess"

When I was a young woman in my early 20s, newly on a Pagan path, someone -- I no longer remember who -- put in my hands a copy of WomanSpirit Rising, edited by Carol P. Christ and Judith Plaskow. I had discovered Goddess-centered Craft a year or so before, when I attended a Spring Equinox celebration and was slightly confused (and then elated) when no male Godhead was invoked. The idea of an explicitly feminist, overtly political, Goddess-centered spirituality excited me -- a young activist who was really coming into her own political consciousness and who had begun to heal the deep wounds left by a childhood spent in the Church of Christ, with its punishing Father God. 

Each essay in WomanSpirit Rising stirred me, but thenI got to Carol P. Christ's "Why Women Need the Goddess," and I read the words

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    Thanks Susan. It is amazing how many people's lives have been changed by that little essay.
Weekly Goddess Inspiration: Ajysit

Among the Yakut people of Siberia, Ajysit is known as the Comforting Mother Goddess of Childbirth and Fate. It is she who guides children into the world through the process of birth, who comforts and assists with labor and birth, and who writes down the name of each newly born child in her Golden Book of Fate. It is said that calling out to Ajysit helps to ease the pain of labor contractions. She is also said to bless breastmilk so that it will be nourishing to the newly born.

While I have never had children of my own body and do not plan to, I spend a good deal of my time surrounded by midwives, doulas, and other birth professionals. (I joke that I spend a lot of time with a lot of people who spend a lot of time looking at other people's vaginas in a professional context, but I digress.) In working with, worshiping with, and simply knowing and loving people whose primary job it is to support labor and birth, I've come to believe that there are many times in our lives when we need a midwife -- not just when we are birthing a human child. In fact, one of my dear midwife friends calls me a "storycatcher" -- as she said once, "You know how I catch babies? You catch stories. You stay with people while they labor to get their stories out, and make it safe for them to birth them into the world." And so I do my own type of midwifery as a priestess, helping people, especially women, birth themselves into being. 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Morality of Chaos

I've been reading Warhammer: Trollslayer. And today's google doodles have many alternate versions, but one is a fox. What do these two things have to do with each other? Read on.

Tom N. lent me his copy of Trollslayer because there's some transparently heathen content in it. Aside from the things copied from Tolkien, like the dwarf warrior character, which are ultimately derived from Norse mythology through the lens of Tolkien, there is also the point of view character's religion. Felix, the narrator and Gotrek's sidekick, worships Sigmar, a Thor-like god (whose worshippers have a few structures borrowed from Christianity, but not enough to obscure the meaning of wearing a hammer symbol around one's neck for protection.) 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • John Loving
    John Loving says #
    *waves at Erin* On Chaos, A chaotic alignment doesn't equate to be evil... Chaotic Evil... is more let us burn the village down be
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Hi, John. (waves back.) Yep. Thanks!
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I'm glad to read that I wasn't the only one who related that Nolan chart to the AD&D alignment chart. I've enjoyed AD&D over the
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Thanks and you're welcome!

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