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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Dangerous Fairy Women

Anyone acquainted with the long history of fairy encounters from the most ancient to Thomas of Erceldoune to now knows, as Graham Joyce would tell you, to be wary of the EDFF (extremely dangerous fairy folk). You wouldn't call them fairies either, if you had any sense. Be polite to the Gentry.

Yet in the past there were many men foolish enough to try to summon them as lovers.

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    Thesseli says #
    "This mix of misogyny and lechery" -- doesn't that phrase exactly describe most modern men's attitudes towards women? Which is wh

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Messy Religion

Blood spraying, semen squirting.

Libations splashing, incense dropping ash.

Paganism sure is messy.

Well, the Old Ways are religions of life, and what life isn't, is neat and tidy.

One could say the same for pagan thought. Theology we have; systematic it isn't.

Messy religion. Not to everyone's taste, perhaps.

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Tasha's Astro Planner for August 2017

Tasha's Astro Planner for August 2017

The most important aspect we have this month is the total eclipse of the Sun on August 21, with the New Moon and Sun in Leo, and as it happens also conjunct Mars in Leo. An eclipse is a powerful signal of change. One astrologer friend described it thus: The curtain comes down on one stage setting and when it rises there is a different setting on the stage. We can look for change depending on which house or section of our charts it takes place. Here are some hints.

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[The Rules of Exile] Rule No. 4: Arrange Your Face

Huddle up, #QueensInExile.  This one is for those of us who are still subject to court life.  If you were an actual medieval queen, think: coming back to court after exile, plotting your escape from court or getting in position to play your hand and go to war.  If you are a modern queen in suburbia, think any time there is a circle of people around a tyrant who are there due to force, obligation, familial ties.  Potentially: your in-laws, your own extended family, your extended circle of friends (not to be confused with your inner circle, the people who are actually ride or die for you), your work place, the PTA.

Were you taught as a child/teenager/young adult to be your most authentic self?  This usually includes ideas such as: doing what you love in the work place, always being completely honest, freely sharing your innermost opinions/thoughts/feelings, marrying for love everything else be damned, it doesn't matter how much money you make as long as you are happy and other first world country memes.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Hunting the Green Man

All too often, summers slip away from us, like a will-o'-the-wisp, gone with the morning dew. Especially for those of us in the Midwest, we wait for the better part of the year. When it is finally upon us, we all too often jam-pack our calendar full of social events and family obligations. In this way, we inadvertently deter ourselves from slowing down and actually breathing in time with the summer. Do you multi-task, even while lounging in your hammock? Wrong approach! Truth be told, I myself am all too guilty. Let's examine some of the ways we can stretch out the season for enjoying, and perhaps bend time in the process.

Lounge in a hammock
Acceptable behavior 101: staring at the sky above and/or bird and cloud formation watching. Reading a good book. Napping. Going barefoot. Petting a cat. Not acceptable: any social media or a cell phone. Banish them from your sacred hammock space, please.

Camp in the woods or in farm country
Acceptable: strolling. Meditating. Breathing deep in the fresh air. Listening to trees and wildlife. Feeling the wind on your face, the sun on your skin, the sprinkle of raindrops, the fresh earth as it runs through your fingertips or a collectible stone. Building fires. Dancing in a rain storm, preferably naked. Dancing around the aforementioned fire. Taking a canoe out at night among the moon and stars. Laying down in the grass and staring up at the sky. Unacceptable: TVs, cell phones, social media selfies.

Watch a sunset, preferably near a body of water, in nature
The rules would be that you watch it from start to finish. You take it in, watch the colors that light up and change the skyline and the landscape. You take the time to notice all the songbirds that have a routine at this magical time of day. Like the swifts, who just seem to go nuts, like clockwork, swooping around in their quick little aerodynamic patterns. Guess what you don't need to do? Take a digital photo – they never do it justice, anyway. Notice all of the little changes that occur as day slips quietly into night.

Take a lunch break outside
Either sit under a shaded umbrella, go walk in a nearby park. Again, you don't need to share every moment with everyone you know. You can learn to truly take stock of your surroundings more, if you go solo. Kick off your shoes and let the grass tickle your toes. Watch the birdies, squirrelies, chipmunks, bunnies, and butterflies. Marvel at the greenery and flowers that surround you, everything perfectly at their peak. Eat slowly, savor every bite, and be thankful for these simple pleasures. Oftentimes, they are the things that make life worth living.

I realize that the Holly King rules for now, but he is still that shadow side of the Oak King. They are both the Green Man, and while we can appreciate him in his outdoor glory, we certainly should.

More reading:

https://www.thoughtco.com/the-green-man-spirit-of-the-forest-2561659

https://salemsmoon.wordpress.com/gods/the-horned-god-oak-king-holly-king-and-green-man/

http://www.earthwitchery.com/oak-holly.html


Photo, "Natural Bridge Waterfall," by Rob D. from freedigitalphotos.net

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Summer Moons

From ancient times, humanity has named its surroundings.  Was this to create a connection, feel more in control or just a way to identify what could be at times an unfriendly environment?  We probably will never know for certain but one of the things we do have are remnants of their naming like the full moon names.  These names give us a hint into how ancient peoples identified with their surroundings and tracked their seasons.

For early agricultural communities, June began a slow trickle of early crops like strawberries.  Imagine going all winter with little to no fresh fruits or vegetables.  Perhaps the community even ran low enough on food that hunger was a part of daily life.  Then to work all spring to get crops in the ground so next winter you hoped not to fall short.  Then June comes and the creamy flowers of strawberry plants indicates soon the first red berries will be there.  Imagine how much sweeter these taste after struggling for enough food.  Naturally as this important fresh food became available, the people would logically name the full moon strawberry. This name comes from both Celtic and Algonquin lineage so perhaps it was a staple and a pleasure for both groups.  Was it because it was one of the first crops or because the flowers of this plant are the same milky white color as the moon?  Probably we will never know. 

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Lughnasadh and the State of Grace

Lughnasadh is upon us, and the farmers are anxiously looking to the skies for a few clear hours when they can harvest their crops of wheat in my area. It has been a hot, dry summer, and of course, just when the harvest is due to come in we get changeable weather with rain showers every day; not ideal when you need to gather in a crop like wheat totally dry, or else it will rot. So just like our ancestors, we look up and hope and pray for some dry weather, and for the farmers, that they’ve rented the combine harvesters on the best day for it, and not when it's going to dump it down halfway through their work.  

Things are unpredictable in life. It's just something that we have to accept. With a little grace, we can face the problems and triumphs, the highs and the lows with equanimity. Grace is a word that is little used today, but one which I think is important, and one that I've been trying to live each and every day.

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