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 Culture Blogs
Halcyon Days

There is an ancient Greek legend, recorded by Ovid and other poets, that tell of the tragic love of Ceyx and Alcyone. When Ceyx died in stormy seas, Alcyone threw herself into waves to kill herself , driven by her grief. Divine spirits took pity on her and transformed into a kingfisher, and from then on ruled that the days surrounding the longest night, would be calm and gentle, that no storms would rage, no tempest blow. These calm days in early winter, days when the kingfishers are nesting, are called the Halcyon days—a respite from Winter's cold and turbulent weather, a time of peace, repose, and gentleness.

This Autumn, a long, lingering, warm Autumn, seemed never to end, and when it finally did, it came in with a very cold deep freeze. Storms and cold weather arrived, refreshed, at every holy day I celebrated. At Faunalia, I made offerings in 5 inches of snow. At Saturnalia, a blizzard kept me home. The last days of the Autumn were golden and warm, and the gifts of almost-Winter were on display—the vegetation dying off had revealed all the paths in the woods, the river was flowing fast and deep, every day long lines of Canada geese would etch the twilight sky as they flew past. One name for December’s moon is the Geese Fly Moon, the time when migrating flocks pass by on their way South.

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Dragons of the Fields: Guardians of the Dancing Light

I first became aware of Field Dragons from reading about “fire-lizards” in Anne McCaffrey’s books about Pern. They enjoyed being around humans and were rather noisy. After reading about “guardian dragons” in D.J. Conway’s books, I realized that McCaffrey’s “fire-lizards” were Conway’s dragons. And They were the same dragons who liked to play hide-n-seek among the wildflowers.

As I wrote in my blog post about dragon families, I encountered the Dragons of the Fields while on my wildflower walks. (These dragons can also be found frolicking in gardens and orchards.) Sometimes, an odd butterfly will suddenly flit by you. At other times, you glimpse something colorful out of your eye. And on waning summer afternoons, you may hear singing in the waving grass. These are the Dragons of the Fields at play.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

I love this point between the winter solstice and new year, a time of no time, when all activity is disrupted and the normal routines of our lives either slow down or cease entirely in the face of a huge cultural and seasonal wave. Nature tells us this is a time of stillness and retreat, although sadly the modern world seldom allows complete hibernation its onward rush never the less falters for a time over the holidays. The weather too has no interest in our daily schedules and need to progress, and will disrupt the race at will. This is a season when everyone learns, even just a little, that none of us are bigger than nature. That her cycles are applied to all of us regardless of our own ideas.

For me this descent into winters darkness began with a huge day of Samhain celebrations back at the end of October, where my husband and I participated in our whole town of Glastonbury ( UK) honouring our local hunter god, Gwyn Ap Nudd who leads the Wild Hunt- a team of spirits and spectral hounds that chase or guide the dead to the underworld. My husband the artist Dan Goodfellow embodied the role of Gwyn that day in a public ceremony probably not seen here in any form for over a thousand years. The power of all that ancestral presence was immense, the dead crowded into our circle along with the residents of our town. It was very moving, but it was not an easy ceremony to be part of- a dreadful sense of hope in the air, at deaths doorway, that while the end is inevitable, it will, after that dark journey, guide us all to the light one again.  

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Pollyanna of the Apocalypse Makes Soup

On Thanksgiving I began a spell to nourish family and friends, witches, pagans, and christians, neighbors and strangers through the shortest days and longest nights of a stunningly painful year careening to its end.  On Thanksgiving I began to make soup.

 

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Reflections on 2016: Life, Death, Netflix and Hope

Reflections on 2016: Life, Death, Netflix and Hope

I confess that although I did not write a great deal in this blog in 2016, there were certainly plenty of things going on in my life and in my world. It would be an easy way out to say that the events of this year simply rendered me speechless, and I doubt that there would be many who would argue with me on that. Personally, I hit many milestones and manifested a number of things I had been hoping to achieve. However, the harbingers of doom and despair came in the form of the deaths of many artists who influenced my life, and the lives of many others.

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And This Year's 'Best Yule Card' Award Goes to....

Consider the common Yule card.

It generally comes in one of three varieties.

1. Merry  Christmas  Yule. Out with the old, in with the new. Call it recycling.

2. Happy Holidays. Generic card. Yule, Christmas, Hanuka, Ramadan, Mother's Day....

3. Blesséd Yule. Oh-so pious-y pagan: pastels, pentagrams, and Horned Gods straight off the cover of a romance novel.

3a. All Hail Misrule! A specifically Old Craft sub-genre of Type 3, tending to feature woodcut-style graphics. Often features goats. 

And this year's 'Best Yule Card' Award goes to....

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leiastampIt grieves me deeply to learn of the death of Carrie Fisher, whose humour, cleverness and bravery have been an inspiration in my life.  Carrie Fisher's legacy includes bravely sharing some of the most intimate details of her lowest points, from her struggles with drug addiction and bipolar disorder to the objectification that she was subjected to as an actress, to nasty, petty remarks from an entitled media whom, it seems, were angry that she didn't just stay perfect in her gold bikini forever and had the audacity to get old.  She faced it all with courage and a cynical and sarcastic wit that I, who have had some considerable struggles in my life, find both inspiring and smugly satisfying.  She was an accomplished writer, penning memoirs, script band-aids, and her bestselling novel Postcards from the Edge, which was later made into a movie starring Meryl Streep and Shirley McLaine.  But of course, she remains best known for her portrayal of Princess Leia Organa in the Star Wars Saga, and this is, of course, why I know about her.

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