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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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 Earthquake was Allah's wrath for Kalash community's immoral ways'

Apparently, they don't teach plate tectonics at the local madrassas.

Some 4000-strong, the Kalasha people live in three remote valleys in the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountains of what is now Pakistan's northwest Chitral province. They are widely known—and, among some conservative Muslims, infamous—for their wine-drinking, the social freedom (and beauty) of their women, and their unabashedly polytheistic religion, complete with sacred dances, outdoor sanctuaries, and animal sacrifice. Of all the Indo-European-speaking peoples, only the Kalasha have continuously practiced their traditional religion since antiquity.

Although the magnitude 6.2 earthquake of June 22, which killed 43 in Pakistan and more than 1000 in Afghanistan, was felt in the Kalasha valleys—some 500 miles from the quake's epicenter—it did little damage there, and no injuries were reported.

This fact hasn't stopped some local Muslims from blaming the quake on the Kalasha. “The earthquake was Allah's wrath for the Kalasha community's evil ways,” one told Pakistan's Express Tribune after a similar quake in 2015.

(One might, of course, wonder why a supposedly omnipotent god wouldn't simply deal with said pagans directly, instead of killing Muslims, while leaving the infidels untouched. Truly, the ways of gods are mysterious.)

Kalasha, who experience pressure to convert to Islam on a practically daily basis, report an increased level of harassment since the earthquake. After a previous quake, Shira Bibi, a young Kalasha woman from the village of Brun in Bumburet Valley, while studying in Peshawar, was told by an old man in the street, “Look, daughter, don't walk around like that, can't you see that earthquakes are striking, floods are coming, because of you?”

She was wearing traditional Kalasha dress at the time.

(When asked if she intended to convert to Islam, Diana Bibi, also of Brun in Bumburet Valley—she was named for England's princess Diana—giggled “Yes! I will go to heaven and have 70 virgins!”)

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This blog post is about the modern religion Asatru. It's not about science and so it's not about when life begins. This is about when Asatru teaches that a being becomes a person. A person is a member of a society with rights. This is about souls and the way society recognizes human rights and the rights of other types of beings. 

Asatru is one of several modern Heathen religions based on the historical Heathen cultures, which are generally the cultures spanning the areas and time periods of Germania, Scandinavia, and Scandinavian colonies such as Iceland. Iceland has a unique place in Asatru as the culture that wrote down many oral traditions and gave us a lot of the literature on which we base our collectively decided canon we call The Lore. 

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Of all forms of government, theocracy has got to be the worst.

If you haven't noticed yet that a Kreesh-chun America is the Great Evangelical-American Wet Dream, you're not paying attention.

 

What do you call it when a power-driven and dictatorial religious minority bullies, lies, and stacks courts, in order to legislate its own religious values onto others?

Sure sounds like tyranny to me.

 

Well, the Trump Court of partisan hacks has overturned Roe v. Wade, as we all knew it would.

For me personally, the hardest part of all has been hearing the smug, sanctimonious voices crowing about their victory, and vaunting about what they're going to do next to shove their hate-filled religion even further down everyone else's craws.

(Make no mistake, the war over abortion is at heart religious. Anti-abortionism is a specifically Christian movement embraced almost exclusively by certain forms of Christian conservatism, both Catholic and Protestant. When it comes to abortion, Jewish and Islamic religious law tends to be both more pragmatic and more nuanced. Nuance, of course, has never been an Evangelical strong suit, and Catholicism threw it out with Vatican II.)

So here's what we need to remember when it's our turn—as it eventually will be, because the Evangelical cause has already failed; having to legislate your religion onto others is already a concession of defeat—and the shoe is on the other foot.

 

Win graciously.

Acknowledge that this triumph is painful for others.

Acknowledge the humanity of the other side.

Acknowledge that their positions are as deeply-held, and honestly-held, as ours.

Affirm that we go forward together into a shared future.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, The fight has only begun. I know that a lot of Progressives have a distaste for the concept of "States' Rights", owin
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Like many people I am upset about the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade. Not so much about abortion per se as

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Cancer New Moon Soul Reading

It’s time again to set your intentions for the moonth ahead with the help of these Cancerian inspired paintings from my five hand painted oracle decks. So, take some time and space to recharge your batteries for this New Moon. Enjoy a soul reading below with guidebook wisdom from the cards.

Cancerian Goddess: Circe

Circe lured sailor
With colors and potions divine,
Those who were rude
She turned into swine.

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Washington D. C. (Reuters)

For the first time in its history, the US Supreme Court building was struck by lightning last night, less than 24 hours after, in a controversial split ruling, the Supreme Court overturned the right to reproductive freedom guaranteed by Roe. v. Wade.

While no injuries were reported, and structural damage to the building was minimal, according to building manager Letitia Robinson, “The building's entire electrical system is fried. We may not have it up and working again until late next week.”

When asked by reporters, senior justice Clarence Thomas denied any significance to the timing of the lightning-strike.

“God had nothing to do with this,” he said. “This is meteorological coincidence, pure and simple.”

Dr. Melanie Powers, high priestess emerita of Washington, D. C., had a different perspective.

In 1966, the heathens of Iceland petitioned the Althing—parliament—to have their religion formally recognized. Parliamentarians thought it was a joke, and denied the petition. Next day, the Ministry of Religion was struck by lightning,” she told reporters. “The day after that, Parliament reversed itself and granted the petition unanimously.

“It remains to be seen,” she added, “whether the partisan hacks of SCOTUS will have the wisdom, not to mention the humility, to do the same.”

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Overculture vs. Reciprocity: Redux

In western societies (like all societies), people have fundamental and largely unspoken assumptions about how the world is supposed to work and how we are to behave.

Subscribers to these assumptions believe that they are inherently entitled to certain rights, for example, and that governance should protect these rights and enable redress if they are violated: something called justice. They assume that sexually exclusive life commitment by two partners is the default and only “real” relationship format, which is known as monogamy. They view men as superior to women in a wide variety of ways, and that women exist primarily to advance the wishes of men, a system called patriarchy. They accept hierarchical authority to set behavioral rules and the policing power of governance up to and including the usage of violence to enforce them, an arrangement known as the social contract. They view other cultures as inferior to their own, and believe it acceptable to subjugate and exploit them for their cultural resources and homelands, which is colonialism. They view darker-skinned people and people of non-European extraction with suspicion, if not hostility and/or contempt, which is racism. They assume that an acceptably “normal” relationship is between a (cis-gendered) man and a (cis-gendered) woman, which is heteronormativity. They assign particular qualities, behaviors, interests and even colors as “belonging” to one gender or another, which are gender norms. They agree that the exchange of labor ultimately benefiting an investor class for the means to acquire life necessities like shelter, food and health care is a valid and normal transaction, and that they are entitled to whatever they can afford with money, which is capitalism, and that to loyally and diligently engage in this exchange is both a moral good, which is celebrated as the work ethic, and will lead to economic and status advancement, which is meritocracy. They are uncomfortable and insecure about sexuality and pleasure, which leads them to condemn those who openly enjoy and celebrate them, condemning them as immoral hedonists.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Peonies: Powerful Protection

With large, fragrant flowers, the peony has been a garden favorite for centuries. My parents grew them, my grandmother grew them, and almost everyone seemed to have peonies in their gardens. Artists have also had a passion for these flowers, but there’s a lot more to peonies than their beauty.
         The Greeks believed peonies could glow night because they came to earth from the moon. The plant was believed to chase away evil spirits and protect the house where it grew. Wearing a necklace of peony seeds was said to ward off bewitchment. However, the roots were regarded as especially powerful and a carved one served as a protective amulet against faeries and goblins.
        According to Pliny the Elder and others, a necklace made from the roots could ward off nightmares as well as the incubus. Anglo-Saxons wore it to cure lunacy and illness caused by demonic possession. Heavily promoted by physicians in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, polished pieces of root were made into beads and worn as an amulet called an anodyne necklace. In addition to a range of ailments including teething babies, the necklace was said to cure the “secret disease” (venereal disease).
        In addition to gracing your garden, try a little modern magic with peonies. For a good luck charm, dry and polish a piece of root to carry with you. A sachet of dried petals on the bedside table invites faeries into your dreams; it will also dispel bad dreams or negative thoughts that keep you from falling asleep.

 

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