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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 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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    b2ap3_thumbnail_Guabancex-Comas.png

"Let's not forget our Taíno culture, " Abuela Antonia said.

"Why?" I asked.

"Guabancex gets angry when we forget our Taíno ancient ways.  You don't want to provoke Guabancex," Abuela said in a strident voice.

I swallowed hard.  My six-year old brain did not understand.  "Who is Guabancex?"

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lillian Comas
    Lillian Comas says #
    Hi Jamie: Thank you so much for your question. You are right. There is a Puerto Rican legend about a Taino goddess who fell in
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Thanks!
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Ms Comas, Where I come from, in the hill towns of northeastern Connecticut, frogs are considered a sort of symbol of local identi
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Ms Comas, Thank you so much for sharing the god-lore of traditional Puerto Rican spirituality with us. I always enjoy your posts.
  • Lillian Comas
    Lillian Comas says #
    Hi Jamie: Thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate your comments regarding the Puerto Rican spirituality. Best wishe

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

One of the many things I appreciate about contemporary “Northern Traditions”, or Heathenry, is the reclamation of lost words. These days, it is the word frith which is catching my attention. Theodish elder Winifred Hodge has this to say about frith:

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Blood on the Sill

Silly cowans.

Back around solstice I went over to a friend's house to put her air conditioner in the window. She lives on the first floor of a big, solid old place, built back in the 1890s.

The first item on the agenda was to prop open the big, heavy oaken sash. It has a tendency to crash down unexpectedly when unsupported.

Last summer someone tried to break into her house. When she got back home, she found the air conditioner on the floor and the sash slammed shut.

There was blood on the windowsill.

Ouch.

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The Devil (at the Crossroads)

Saturday, June 8, 2017 is International Tarot Day!  Trivia is celebrating by participating in the worldwide blog hop.  When you are done dancing with the Devil at the Crossroads, please be sure to hop backwards to enjoy Kimberly's post (also) about the Devil, and hop forward to take a tryst Janet in the Tower.  How are you celebrating tarot today?  What's your favorite way to enjoy the cards?  You can also check out the master list of blog hop participants over at Falcon Cloak Tarot.  Finally, Much love and thanks to Bree Ferguson at Nym’s Divination for putting this blog hop together!

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • kimberly essex
    kimberly essex says #
    What a great exploration of the Devil card, Trivia! I love how you bring life to all that is said about this card. “That which is

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

 

On the grounds of Trout Lake Abbey, is a Labyrinth.  It is shared by White Mountain Druid Sanctuary and the Mt Adams Zen Temple.  Yes, there is a Buddhist Temple on site too.  It’s amazing how easily Buddhists and Druids get along, but that’s for another post.  The Labyrinth is a great example of this cooperation.  There is a small shrine to light incense at the beginning (and end) of the walk.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
God of Both Ways

They say that the god of the witches has two faces.

Bifrons, they call him: old Two-Face.

Ianiformis, they call him: shaped like Ianus, the old Roman god of Time.

Two faces, fore and aft. But of course what's before and what's behind is all a matter of where you're standing, isn't it?

For this, Margaret Murray named him Dianus = Ianus, lord of beginnings and endings, like the month that bears his name.

Two faces, and when you arrive at the sabbat, you greet him with a kiss on both sets of lips.

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