PaganSquare


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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Pagans and Politics: Let’s Get Acquainted

Greetings, friends! Thanks to Anne for inviting me to share my views on the intersection between Paganism and politics in this blog. First, let’s get acquainted.

I am a feminist atheist solitary Pagan Witch. I am primarily of Western and Central European ancestry, with some North African thrown in. I am pansexual, cisgender, and celibate and single by choice. I work primarily with Celtic goddesses (Welsh and Irish) plus lots of fictional characters like Princess Leia and Lao Ma and others from Xena: Warrior Princess. I also call on archetypes from the Robin Wood tarot deck and the Celtic Book of the Dead by Caitlín Matthews.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Living a Life of Adventure

"Never forget that life can only be nobly inspired and rightly lived if you take it bravely and gallantly as a splendid adventure in which you are setting out into an unknown country, to meet many a joy, to find many a comrade, to win and lose many a battle." ~ Annie Besant, early twentieth century mystic.

 I grew up reading my father's boyhood books--pirate stories, adventure tales, and exciting classics by Jules Verne, Robert Louis Stevenson and Alexander Dumas. Long summer days of my childhood were spent pretending to be an adventurer exploring the wilderness and discovering treasure.

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Faerie Shamanism . . . and Joss Whedon?

Faerie Shamanism . . . and Joss Whedon?

Connecting a Lot of Supposedly Unrelated Dots:

 

It occurred to me today that several actors who appeared in Joss Whedon's TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer went on to do their own things in remarkable ways. 

 

Examples I can think of offhand:

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Witchcamp 2017:  Dancing With Bulls

It is late afternoon and the slanting light is filtering through the redwoods.  I am barefoot feeling the redwood roots intertwined and alive under the trail.  We are laying a maze/labyrinth with rooms of challenge and healing for our community of witches of all genders to move though later this night as part of our evening ritual.  I move off the trail and begin building a altar of bee healing, using a low redwood stump.  There is honey to drizzle on skin with an invitation to feel its sticky goodness before licking it off, pieces of honeycomb to break off and roll around in their mouths, healing honey salve to work into rough skin, a lantern draped with a floral cloth illuminating this place since the ritual will be held after the sun sets in the west.

 

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The Cailleach, the Cloak and Motherlines

You might not think an academic conference would be the best place to go and drink from the well of the Cailleach, to gather her cloak of belonging about yourself, to celebrate your motherline - but actually, it is the very best place as I found over this weekend's Full Moon. Over the course of the conference (July 6-9,2017) the themes of making visible the invisible, giving voice to those who have been silenced, and naming the nameless recurred again and again for me.

I have come reeling back from NUI Galway, fresh from the Motherlines conference instigated by MIRCI (Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement.) Back in the spring I was invited by Prof. Andrea O'Reilly to speak on a keynote panel with my presentation entitled "What My Mother Taught Me." But what a wealth of thought provoking feminist presentations to stretch one spiritually, intellectually, psychologically!

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Foundations of Incense: Sandalwood

In the next several entries I plan to quickly explore the materials that have formed the basis of incense historically as well as those that modern incense makers use regularly.  One of the most important incense ingredients historically is sandalwood.

There are 5 different varieties of sandalwood that are used in scented products, although only 3 of those have commonly been used in modern times.  Indian yellow sandalwood (santalum album) has historically been a preferred base material for incense in Asia and Africa.  Even in modern times, sandalwood is burned in every form from large pieces in fires to powdered bits in incense sticks and cones.  The biggest consumer of sandalwood, by far, is the perfume industry.  Sandalwood is a key ingredient in many popular perfumes.  Once you work with the fragrance for a while you will begin to recognize it in colognes and perfumes.  The popularity of sandalwood over the centuries has led to its endangered status in India, the motherland of incense.  International treaties have reduced the trade in sandalwood from India to the realms of bootleggers.  For some years now the only sandalwood from India that was legally available in the USA was from existing stockpiles.  It is now virtually impossible to get real sandalwood from India in the USA, although there are many imitation products sold under the label of “Indian sandalwood”.

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