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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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Rescuing the Druid

We all have our ups and downs in life, and these can certainly vary dependent upon many factors: genetics, environment, disposition, culture, upbringing and more. The Druid faces the same challenges as many others do in their journey through life; being a Druid is no different in what the world throws at you.

What is different is how you deal with what comes your way. That doesn't mean as a Druid you won't suffer from depression, or heartbreak, grief or anxiety. But the methods that we use to face these challenges helps us to understand ourselves, and each other, a little better, and learn where we fit in the holistic scheme of things.

I've faced many challenges in my life, and still continue to do so on a daily basis. One challenge that I faced over this winter was my love and enthusiasm for dance had gone. For the last six months, I was seriously considering quitting dancing altogether. For over a year the question of my love for it had been rolling around in my brain. Over the winter holiday period, I was this close to giving it up completely. In fact, I had made up my mind that upon my return to England, I would inform my dance class.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Give Me Three Fires

b2ap3_thumbnail_Fire-1.jpg

Give me three Fires
Point the corners
To the edges
Of the world

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
How Many Tines on That God?

I am a stag of seven tines.

(Song of Amairgin)

The Paris Cernunnos has four.

The "sorcerer" of Les Trois Frères, apparently, seven.

For all his youthful appearance, the Gundestrup Antlered sports a lordly fourteen.

Tines.

Antlers are a miracle. They're the fastest-growing bone on the planet. By Samhain, they're actually dead. Dead horns on a living buck: small wonder that the Antlered is reckoned lord of the dead.

Novelist Rosemary Sutcliff, in Mark of the Horse Lord, describes a cave-painting of the Lord of Herds and the Hunting Trail: "towering into the upper gloom, gaunt and grotesque but magnificent, the figure of a man with the head of a twelve-point stag."

Trophy-hunters value number of points: more is better. The more points, the older (and presumably wiser) the stag.

One wonders just what the meaning of different numbers of tines might be in representations of the Horned God. Having posed the question, the answers readily present themselves.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Sacred Saffron: A bit of autumn magic

The lovely young lady in the image above is picking the stigmas of the saffron crocus, also called the autumn crocus, to give as an offering to the goddess. We see this whole scene play out in a series of frescoes from Akrotiri, the ancient Minoan-era town on the Mediterranean island of Santorini. Saffron crocus blooms float in mid-air across the backgrounds of these frescoes, reminding us where our focus should lie. Below, we see a girl pouring her gathered saffron into a large basket while a monkey presents some to the enthroned goddess.

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Wes-paket.jpgBy Rev. Wes Isley -- Dressed in my Vodou ceremonial whites and surrounded by Christian colleagues, I sat on the floor of a hospital conference room. I was sharing with them a story I had written about the Vodou lwa Papa Legba and Maman Brigitte, using it to illustrate my own theology of healing as a chaplaincy intern. They listened and they laughed and they didn’t run in fear. Afterward, two of those Christian chaplains asked for a copy of my story. And none of this would have happened without Cherry Hill Seminary.
That’s right, a Pagan seminary bringing together Christians and Vodou! As a Masters of Divinity candidate at Cherry Hill, I was able to sign up for the chaplaincy internship, and this is just one example of the spiritually enriching—and fun—things I’ve done as a student.
Sure, Cherry Hill students have to turn in research papers and exams, but we also have the freedom to explore spiritual experiences and topics that we might otherwise miss. We Pagans love to attend workshops and festivals in order to expand our spiritual skills and meet kindred souls; well, taking a class at Cherry Hill offers the same opportunity. The only difference is that students can luxuriate in the experience over weeks or months rather than in just one whirlwind weekend.
Here are a few of the projects, experiences and topics I’ve enjoyed most through Cherry Hill:
·    Meeting a favorite Pagan blogger and joining discussions with him as a classmate
·    Creating rituals for Beltane and for greeting local land spirits
·    Attending an interfaith symposium on spiritual responses to climate change and meeting Cherry Hill students, professors, staff and board members
·    Creating an emotionally powerful ritual for invoking a concept of deity that I call the Divine Androgyne
·    Discussing BDSM, polyamory, pornography and other sexual topics within a safe space
·    Exploring further my spiritual path of Vodou, including making a magickal object known as a paket for my home altar and a 3-D representation of Vodou cosmology
·    Representing Pagans on an interfaith panel as part of my chaplaincy internship
·    Dispelling stereotypes among local chaplains about what it means to be Pagan and a Vodouisant
There’s much more I could share, and I look forward to what happens next as I prepare for future classes. Cherry Hill offers more than a one-dimensional experience, and I have been enriched intellectually, spiritually, socially and professionally. Naturally, your experience would be unique and personal, and I hope you’ll seize the opportunity to find out what lies in store for you as a Cherry Hill student.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
When Names Bore Meaning

Once our names bore meaning.

We worshiped in the Old Way then.

Ælf-win, “elf-friend.”

Os-gar, “god-spear.”

Æthel-ræd, “noble counsel.”

New Ways came, but still we held to our old and meaningful names.

Then came Billy the Bastard with his Franks, and soon our names were outland names, empty names with stories, but meaning nothing at all.

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Pagan News Beagle: Airy Monday, May 1 2017

Two of the most famous occultists in comics clash. A look at how Resident Evil 7: Biohazard fits within the horror franchise it belongs to. And Neil Gaiman discusses what might be his next book. It's Airy Monday, our segment on magic and religion in popular culture! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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