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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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Pagan News Beagle: Airy Monday, May 8 2017

What's Marvel's Iron Fist have to do with Buddhism? Thoughts on what it takes to make erotic fantasy work in a video game. And a look at what The Magicians has to say about magic. It's Airy Monday, our segment about magic and religion in popular culture! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Every Altar Is a Door

As keeper of the coven temple, it's my responsibility to make the daily offerings and prayers there on the People's behalf.

This I do twice daily, morning and evening.

(In an ideal world, with a full temple staff, there would be four offerings each day: at sunrise, solar noon, sunset, and solar midnight. Oh well. We do the best that we can with the resources available.)

A fortnight back I was staying at Sweetwood Sanctuary in the heart of Midwest Witch Country. While I was there, I made the daily offerings and prayers before the main altar in the Grand Circle.

There I noticed something very interesting indeed.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    So to light the candles is to pass through the doorway. Nice.
  • Ian Phanes
    Ian Phanes says #
    This is why I always put a pair of candlesticks on an altar (but not a shrine)...the candlesticks mark the doorposts.
Know Your Enemy: How the Quick-Thinking Pagans of Harran Outwitted the Caliph's Army

It's probably an apocryphal story.

Even so, it's so delicious that you really do have to relish it.

The people of Harran in Mesopotamia had managed to hold on to the Old Worship long after all the other cities in the area had been baptized.

But then, in late 639 or early 640, the Muslim army of 'Iyadh ibn Ghanam approached the city.

According to the Qur'an, all pagans are to be be given a choice between conversion to Islam or death. People of the Book, however, are permitted to retain their religion and live, under Islam, as second-class citizens.

Who, then, are the Peoples of the Book? Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians, says the Qur'an. And in one passage it adds: “...and the Sabaeans.”

Who were the Sabaeans? Nobody knows. To this day, there's no scholarly consensus.

As 'Iyadh neared Harran, the gates opened and the city elders rode out to greet the caliph and his army.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Um...M. L. West's Indo-European Poetry and Myth counts, right?
  • Ian Phanes
    Ian Phanes says #
    To qualify, a community needs a book revealed by a prophet. "Um, yeah, our prophet is Hermes Trismegistos. And our book is anyth
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    There are always precedents for Living Together, always. In these days of deep division, it's important to remember.
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    I love the story of Harran, the last haven of Pagan religious freedom in the Middle East...ruled by a dynasty of liberal Muslims!
Is Paganism Dying? (Atheopaganism and the Future)

For thousands of years, since the very advent of human existence, there has been an evolving trajectory of religious history in Western societies.

The story passes from the earliest animism and ancestor worship to the rise of belief in gods, the consolidation of authoritarian power under monotheisms, and the complete domination of Western societies by Christianity. It continues through the Enlightenment, the steady gains of science shattering the cosmological monopoly of the Abrahamic monotheisms, the increasing tension between orthodoxy and individuality splintering these monotheisms into thousands of sects, and finally, most recently, to the rise of the Nones: those who describe themselves as having no religious affiliation at all, which is well established in most of the rest of the developed world and advancing quickly in the United States.

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The Once and Future Goddess

I wore the little silver goddess for years.

Then I lost her.

What struck me most was how much I missed her.

I own some beautiful jewelry, but—ritual aside—rarely wear it. The little silver goddess was the only exception: both symbol and reality, herself her own best symbol.

Then she was gone.

A coven-sib gave her to me (I think for Yule) years ago. Simultaneously unobtrusive and monumental, she's of no particular culture. Schematic, asymmetric, she beautifully embodies what singer-songwriter Sparky T. Rabbit once described as the perfect New Pagan aesthetic, managing somehow to look “both old and new at the same time.”

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Dianas-Pond-Reflections.jpg

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Peace-Village-stone-Water-1.jpg

I know others do this too: whenever I see a penny on the ground I pick it up, and depending on whether the penny is heads of tails I keep it or give it away. I was told tails meant it was to be given away, heads to be kept. When we lived near a brook I used to throw in the pennies to make wishes. This is a common superstition. When I just looked it up on the Internet I discovered it comes from the ancient idea that to do so was to make an offering to the spirit of the water and thus to receive help to achieve what was wished for.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Melissa Rashid
    Melissa Rashid says #
    Very wise advice...I will remember that.
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Thanks, Melissa, you are most kind. Wishing you every joy, Tasha

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