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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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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    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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