Pagan Studies


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 SageWoman Blogs

Womanrunes: The Tool. Rune of Labor. Production. Enterprise. October 2013 027

This is a rune of hard work. Satisfying labor. What are you unearthing? What are you digging up? What are you uncovering? What is causing sweat to drip from your brow, your cheeks to flush, and your heart to beat faster? This work can be dirty. It can be long, it can be hard. But, you can do it. You ARE doing it. Keep digging.

Remember too that others are doing their own hard work, unearthing their own riches, discovering their own treasures. What might you be missing in other people and how can you work side by side, turning over your deepness together?

This rune helps us recognize the ebb and flow and heave and swell of energy. Life energy. Time. Perspective. There is a time and place for production, for being focused on the doing rather than the being. There is a time for rest and a time for stillness and the key is recognizing the differences between these times and not forcing what is not ready to emerge. Then, when the energy peaks, the shovel comes out and the digging starts.

Go with it. Put your back into it, lift with your knees, bend with the wind. And, dig, sister. Dig deeply.

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How to Recognize I can't in your Magical work

Sometimes what I find most fascinating about magic is what limitations people build into it. In other words, a person will say to themselves, I can't do this in magical work. They'll have various reasons for that " I can't" which can range from moral/ethical reasons, spiritual "laws" or personal hang-ups that tell them they can't do x because of y. I do believe in the value of limits, and I think limitation, as a principle can be very effective for magical work, but when I talk about limitation I'm not referring to the "I can'ts" which are ultimately subjective, but rather to natural principles that structure, organize, and scaffold how magic can work. And its important remember that such limitations can be worked with quite productively, provided we understand them. The "I can'ts" on the other hand are wholly subjective, developed for various reasons that tend to be more harmful than useful in most situations.

When I was young, I was often told what I couldn't do. I'd tell a family members one of my ideas and be told it would never work and that I couldn't do it. Fortunately I never believed them, and if anything when I heard such discouragement, it encouraged me to prove them wrong. It's fair to say that up until my mid twenties most of what I did was inspired by a desire to prove people wrong, to prove that what I couldn't supposedly do, actually could be done. Even to this day, I still find that when someone says that something can't be done, it gets me curious to see if in fact they are correct, or if it can be done. 100% of the time I find it (whatever it is) can be done provided you have enough motivation and willingness to experiment and try various possible solutions. What this indicates to me is that many times the only limitation people deal with is the one they impose on themselves or accept from other people.

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Last New Moon, we explored the spirit-filled world of the polytheistic Celtic-speaking tribes. Of course, this is the same spirit-filled world we inhabit today, whether we currently live in one of the modern Celtic nations or are the far-flung biological or spiritual descendants of the ancient Celts, living in many other countries around the world. The call of these ancient traditions runs deep, as attested by the more than 22,000 people who viewed The Three Cauldrons blog last month!

Think about it... all of those people, on some level, are your tribe. In the wake of the industrial revolution and the information age, we enjoy many conveniences, but also suffer tremendously from a lack of connection. We hunger for community, tribe, elders, and connection with nature and spirit. This hunger for connection boils down to one word: Relationship. Why else are we on the internet looking for like-minded souls? Seeking peers, friends and colleagues, looking for common ground, support and inspiration, we reach out into the etheric web, and are sometimes rewarded with connection.

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PaganNewsBeagle Faithful Friday August 29

Our Pagan News Beagle today is all about faith & religion -- both Pagan and otherwise. Today we have 17th century British (accused) witches; a rare documentary on British Witches of the Sixties; a naturalist Pagan describes the purpose of ritual; religions that are highly concentrated in only a few places; and a suggestion of how black churches can function, post-Ferguson.

A campaign has been launched to clear the names of the last three witches hanged in England.

This previously-rare documentary sheds light on public Wicca as practiced in the 1960's.
 
Pagan blogger John Halstead shares his conception of how ritual helps him come into communion with Divine Nature.
 
Pew Research publishes a report that describes the way in which various religions are regionally-based and heavily concentrated only in a few countries. (Surprise! Islam is *not* the most concentrated faith. Can you guess what is?)

This editorial in Religion & Politics examines the place of black churches in addressing the issues of race, justice, and power in Ferguson, MO.
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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Cattle-Raid

In the beginning of days, the Great Mother called all the peoples to her, her children, and to each people she gave its own proper food.

To the Cornovii she gave the deer to be their food, and indeed they are great hunters to this day. To the Brigantes, she gave oats to be their food, to the Iceni barley, to the Silures sheep, and so it was. To each of the peoples, she gave its own proper food.

But to our people, to the Dobunni, to us she gave cattle to be our food, and their milk and their meat are indeed the best of foods.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Technology of Idolatry

From the spiritual technology of the ancestors, let us consider the hallows—in Latin, the sacra—those holy objects of presence, in which a god is. If the work of religion is the making-present of the gods, this work the hallows accomplish, for the hallows are points of communication, articulating radical immanence. The genius of the paganisms has always been to understand that we best touch the universal through the specific.

To say “idol” implies a statue, but hallows take many forms.

One thing to remember about hallows is that in them, by them, through them, we look upon a god.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

The first six months of its existence my ritual group mostly floundered.  We had a good circle of people around us and did some nice rituals, but we didn't really have any sort of structure. To find a solidity for ourselves we had to do a ritual for someone else.

When my wife and I put our ritual group together we did so with low expectations.  We were basically just looking for a group to ritualize with, we weren't necessarily seeking anything formal.  During those early months our rituals were continually different. We never used the same quarter calls twice or called to the same gods and goddesses for that matter! The circle was scripted but eclectic, details constantly in flux.  

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