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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 Studies Blogs
Rún: A Facsimile of a Grimoire

I picked up a copy of this fascinating book from Strandagaldur (The Museum Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft). I love to see historical grimoires. Rún is particularly wonderful because it's a facsimile. Although the manuscript copied dates only from 1928, the material within it may date back as far as 1676. Two other copies of the material from around the same time exist, created in a belated attempt to gather traditional materials in the age of rising national identity. The early modern witch trials probably eliminated many more texts; it is interesting to note that like Finland and unlike the rest of Europe, men made up the greater part of those tried for the craft.

The book is full of cool information: first come the sets of runes, as the name suggests. There are alphabets for "black men" and "old women" and fools and "vagrants. There are magical staves from the simple to the complex for all kinds of magical purposes. Some look almost as complicated as vevés, others are more stark. As you might expect, there are lots of variations on the ægishjálmur.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Easter Witches

In Sweden, the witch is a major symbol of Easter.

I kid you not. Swedish Easter cards feature pictures of witches flying off to the sabbat. Kids—these days it's mostly little girls—dressed as witches (with babushkas and painted-on rosy cheeks) trick-or-treat from door-to-door, collecting their goodies in, not sacks, but coffee-pots.

It's an interesting chapter in the long, twisted story of relations between the old ways and the new. Pull up a stump.

In Swedish witch-lore, Good Friday is the biggest sabbat of the year because, of course, God is dead and the powers of evil reign supreme. So keep those brooms, pitchforks, and billy goats locked up, or some old crone may nab one for her evening jaunt to the big shindig at the Blåkulla, the “Blue Mountain.” Keep a fire burning on the hearth and the windows shut tight, or the mirk-riders may steal your aquavit, cheese, and coffee (!) for their celebration.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Well, one could hardly ask for higher praise than that. Thanks, Lizann; I'm glad you're enjoying the ride.
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    I so love all your posts, this one is particularly delightful!
How process and creativity work together in magical work

One of the reasons I apply process to my magical work is because with good processes in place, it makes easier to innovate and experiment with magic. I learned that in the business world and I've applied to my spiritual practices over the years to great success. You can actually learn a lot by taking the practice of one discipline and applying it to another discipline. In business, processes are used to solve problems, design and implement solutions, and to encourage creativity. Process encourages creativity by cutting out extraneous busy work, to focus on what really works, but in order to discover what works you necessarily need to work the process.

A lot of times creativity is treated as a chaotic experience, which occurs when a person is inspired. But in my experience, creativity is quite structured. Process provides the necessary structure for creativity to flourish in. Whether I'm writing, painting, or practicing magic, having a process in place allows me to work with my creativity as a resource. I'm not just waiting for inspiration to hit me...I'm actively cultivating it as part of my process.

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Twelve Healing Stars is a yearlong project in cooperation with the Temple of Witchcraft that explores social justice through the lessons of the 12 Zodiac Signs. This is part seven. “So it is with skillful warriors – their force is swift, their precision is close. Their force is like drawing a catapult, their precision is like releasing the trigger.”

-Sun Tzu, The Art of War

I’ve always struggled with activism. I know it’s the right thing to do in many cases, but there are so many justified causes that it can feel overwhelming. If you put your finger on one problem, another head of the hydra pops up in its place. You want to be a warrior, but there are enemies everywhere. It’s easy to lose track of where to aim and how much force to use. It can be depressing and paralyzing.

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Saying NO to Adriamycin, Radiation and Tamoxifen

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Yes!! Thank you for sharing your story!
  • Toni Roberts
    Toni Roberts says #
    You are so welcome, Lizann!
PaganNewsBeagle Community News March 25

Lots of news of our many communities in today's Pagan News Beagle: Asatru campaign for recognition in the US Army; We'Moon award; occultism necessary to Paganism?; temples or shrines?; Coph Nia event for Gay and Bi men.

The Norse Mythology blog recently reported that the campaign to include Asatru as an officially recognized religion in the U.S. Army has stalled. This interview offers the most recent updates on the progress (or lack thereof.)

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I've probably been involved in well over 500 Pagan rituals over the last twenty years.  Most of them have been pretty forgettable, but there are five or so that really stick out.  There's a couple of Samhains in there of course, a big crazy 1899 ritual, my year and a day dedication ritual, and the night I was initiated.  Those are the experiences I'll take to the grave with me, especially the last one of those.  

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Phaedra Bonewits
    Phaedra Bonewits says #
    We also used to say, if six months after your initiation your life hadn't gone through some major changes, it didn't "take" :-D I
  • Lady Pythia
    Lady Pythia says #
    Lovely article, Jason, which takes me back to my own Passage Rites. And, Phaedra, yes, yes, yes! I probably scoffed in 1975, as
  • Phaedra Bonewits
    Phaedra Bonewits says #
    I have several initiations myself, and I have no particular problem with non-lineage initiations. What I do find problematical is
  • Phaedra Bonewits
    Phaedra Bonewits says #
    Reading a play is not like watching a production of a play. Watching a play is not the same as performing in a play. Reading a rit

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