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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

b2ap3_thumbnail_bwwebP1010419.jpgI am sitting in a classroom with a small group around a large wooden table. We are all in Field Ed, a program of internships that is required during our second year of seminary. It's my turn to begin our class with a prayer. I invite the class to ground and center with me. I begin to pray. While I mostly stick with "God" or "Creator," at some point, I say, "Oh Lord, touch our hearts and help us be present in our work." I finish the prayer and the class begins.

At the break, a good friend of mine stops me. "Lord?" she asks, smiling.

"Yeah, well you all seem to resonate so strongly with the word Lord," I said, "and I've recently realized that if I just add "Ganesh" in my mind every time it's said, I almost always cool with whatever comes next. So, I figured I would just translate for y'all."

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PaganNewsBeagle Faithful Friday Sept 12

Today is Faithful Friday here at the Pagan News Beagle, the day we share interesting stories about religious communities around the world. Our stories today include the launch of the new Polytheist community website; a call for papers on Pagan and Goddess studies; animal sacrifice outlawed (in part of India); Chinese Buddhist brand building; American Muslims meet (and integrate better than Muslims in Europe.)

The new website Polytheist.com launched recently and hopes to offer a variety of columnists (the site eschews the term "blog") from across this diverse movement.

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Anthropomorphic Assumptions that show up in magical work

One of the challenges with exploring a non-anthropomorphic approach to magical work involves uncovering the anthropomorphic assumptions that show up in your thinking and practice. These assumptions can be quite subtle and yet can create a cognitive dissonance with the work you are seeking to do. At the same time, another challenge we face is the inevitable fact that at some point we need to translate and interpret experiences into something we can relate to. Anthropomorphism is one such route, though it is not the only route. I think that if we are to genuinely apply a non-anthropomorphic perspective and practice to our spiritual work we necessarily need to identify the anthropomorphic assumptions which may come up. Below are some such assumptions, as well as how you can identify them.

Applying humancentric categories or labels to experiences. One of the assumptions that comes up involves seeking to categorize or label a non-anthropomorphic experience. We use labels and categories to organize our thoughts and define the world around us, but the problem with such an assumption is that in our haste to define and categorize we can miss out on being open to experience. Admittedly, it can be argued that we use labels and categories to provide some type of explanation for what we've experienced, but perhaps in seeking to explain it using categories and labels what we lose is something essential about the experience that can't be explained in that way. A better approach would be to take your time with the experience and seek it out multiple times. As you have it, allow yourself to express it without attaching labels or categories. Whether its stream of consciousness writing or painting or music or some other form of expression open yourself to expressing it differently.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

(other than Frey, Freya, Njord and Nerthus)

Byggvir and Beyla. Byggvir possibly means “barley”, and Beyla means “bee”. Whether these two names translate exactly or not, They are a couple who travel with Frey, and are in charge of taking care of his household and are servants of his. Gnosis says that Byggvir is Bull tribe Vanir, and Beyla of the Bee tribe.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Harvest Magic: Basil

We are in the midst of harvest season now. The Fall Equinox (also known as Mabon, and the 2nd of 3 harvest festivals on the Wiccan Wheel of the Year) is either the 22nd or the 23rd, depending on which calendar you look at. Either way, in most parts of the country, the harvest is in full swing, and most gardens are beginning to slow down as the nights grow cooler and the days grow shorter.

One of my favorite things to harvest at this time of year are herbs, so I've going to do a short series on a few of the ones I use the most. I tend to grow herbs that have multiple purposes: culinary, medicinal, and/or magical. Many herbs fall under this category, and they often have lovely flowers that attract bees and other beneficial insects. They're usually easy to grow, and you can harvest smaller pieces all through the growing season simply by snipping off the amount you need.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Joel O'Brien
    Joel O'Brien says #
    Basil is my favorite herb so I enjoyed the article. I also use lemon in mine. I never did until I made a pesto cream sauce that ca
  • Deborah Blake
    Deborah Blake says #
    Great minds :-) I never thought of using the zest too, but that sounds like a great idea!
  • Greg Martin
    Greg Martin says #
    Just did! AWESOME!
  • Deborah Blake
    Deborah Blake says #
    Yay! I hope it is magical :-)
  • Deborah Blake
    Deborah Blake says #
    You're very welcome. Not sharing the pesto, though--you'll have to make your own!
PaganNewsBeagle Earthy Thursday Sept 11

Howdy, fellow Earthlings! Our Earthy Thursday post today has an amazing map, lots of recycling (not as simple as it sounds), and some amazing ideas for city parks in New York.

How better to start Earthy Thursday than a real time map that models the entire Earth? Any weather/climate watcher will go gaga over the models at http://earth.nullschool.net/about.html. Overlays for wind, temperature, relative humidity, total precipitable water, total cloud water, sea level pressure, and misery index (that's temperature + wind chill to describe weather that's miserably cold or hot). Wow!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Of the following rituals, which would you rather attend?

a) Main Ritual or b) The Passion of the Harvest.

c) Beltane Ritual or d) The Marriage of Earth and Sky.

e) Men's Ritual or f) Men's Ritual: The Wild Hunt.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    My friend Stephanie, who's in advertising, always tells me, "A good ad is about one thing." The same could be said of ritual. Havi
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Right you are Steven. Giving a title to the ritual helps those who prepare and lead it as well as those who attend.

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