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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 Studies Blogs
The Great Conflation

I am looking forward to the final episode of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell on Sunday (I think it's begun in the States more recently). It's been fun seeing an 'alternate' history of magic, though I will be sad to see it end. It got me thinking about a period in history that leads to a lot of confusion. When people say 'witch hunts' most people still seem to think of the Middle Ages, though the worst years were part of the Early Modern era, sometimes known as the Renaissance (a much disputed term for a variety of reasons). While many see the dividing line as the Reformation, the roots of that change can be see in Wycliffe and the Lollards in the 14th century. I tend to see Gutenberg's innovation as a technological change, though even there printing existed before his moveable type -- but the speed of the technology has all kinds of impacts as we know in the internet age.

We may not think of magic as technology, but all knowledge is technology. A revolution in technology may be regarded as good or bad or something in between, but it usually hard to deny once it happens. A big change happened in the history of magic that had a huge impact that leads to the widespread witch hunts of the Early Modern era (and on into the so-called Age of Enlightenment). For background, I highly recommend you get Michael D. Bailey's Battling Demons: Witchcraft, Heresy, and Reform in the Late Middle Ages. Perhaps easier to obtain is his briefer essay, 'The Feminization of Magic and the Emerging Idea of the Female Witch in the Late Middle Ages' (available via Project Muse in many libraries).

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Fire the World!

Okay, not literally ;)

It seems a long time since I've written, but it's taking a long time to fill the kiln! I'm making smallish pieces, and it's a pretty large orifice! However, I started working on some larger pieces today... watch this space. 

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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, June 25

Science is a powerful instrument for change. With the help of science, humanity has the ability both to hurt the Earth... and to help it. This week for Earthy Thursday we have gathered a number of stories that we think illuminate the power of science to change our world and help us live in harmony with our planet. Read about some of the upcoming changes in green energy, the importance of chemistry, and more. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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In the Midst of Flora: Finding My Family in the Woods

My familiar friend the Whipple’s penstemon started jumping up in the grass just the other day, first as tight balls of amethyst lining hearty green stalks and today as loudmouthed chalices longing to be met. I can see all the way down their gullet. Their dark stamens wave at me like sassy tongues.

The neighbors, the moon roses, have expanded their homestead. This summer they are everywhere gallantly greeting the day with open hearts. I have four chambers in my heart and the moon roses have four hearts, four hearts for sparkling white petals. By midday they will wilt into a sad roll of pink reminding me of wringed suede. Flowers as nearly as big as my face die to the heat of the sun only to be reborn again each evening recharged overnight by the moon’s cool rays. Sphinx moths come to drink from the well by moonlight. The moon roses resurrect for weeks on end. People can’t stop noticing them.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Lavender Story

The days are long and hot.  The bees, butterflies, and fireflies are claiming the horizons.  Mornings are hazy and afternoons are bright.  Local rivers and streams are slow and gentle, and fruits and vegetables from the farmer’s market are succulent and juicy. Summer is fully here, and it’s lavender season in North Carolina. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Midsummer Madness

Och: my sleep is all messed up. Too. Much. Light.

6:11 a. m. as I write this, and the Sun's already up. When I woke at 4:30, the cardinals were singing their dawn songs. (Like roosters, they have special receptors in their brains that register even the slightest increase in light.) CST: Cardinal Standard Time. Whtt whtt whtt: cheerio! Yeah, and the broom you rode in on, too.

When I went to bed at 11 last night, there was still light in the western sky. Where I live, it's about 8 hours from sundown to sunrise at the summer sunstead, but as any Northron can tell you, just because the Sun's below the horizon doesn't mean it's dark. In Shetland they call it the simmer dim: the long, slow twilights of summer's solstice-tide.

Nor am I the only one. Here and now we're all walking around in a collective state of chronic sleep deprivation. Add heat and voilà: the proverbial Midsummer Madness. Small wonder I've heard more sirens and seen more car crashes during the past two weeks than in the previous two months put together.

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