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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 Culture Blogs
Bavarian Beltane

The two tallest points in pretty much every Bavarian town are the steeple and the Maypole.

I suppose that tells you a lot about Bavaria.

Say what you will about phallic symbols (“Really, Daisy! We've been over this a hundred times!”), the Maypole is a tree. In the old days, the young folks would go off to the woods early on May morning to find the tallest, straightest-trunked fir that they could. They'd lop off all the branches except for the top ones, and ceremoniously bring it back to town.

There they'd deck the May Tree with flowers and greens, and raise it on the town commons, where it would become the focus for the day's activities. (The night's activities, of course, would have taken place around the the bonfire. Beltane is bipolar: the Fire and the Tree.)

These days, there probably isn't a single wooden May Tree to be found in all of Bavaria. Now Maypoles are permanent installations: tall metal poles, like flag-poles. Where my cousin lives, the Maypole stands year-round in front of the fire station.

Most of the Bavarian Maypoles that I saw were painted blue and white, in spiraling stripes like a barber's pole. (Blue and white are the “national” colors of Bavaria.) Instead of greens and flowers, the trunk is crossed with metal arms, from which hang the emblems of the various local guilds. (The emblem of the Baker's guild, for instance, is a pretzel. A hundred years ago, my emigre Bavarian great-grandfather was known in Pittsburgh as the Pretzel Man.)

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Bad Photo of a Crow or Raven

As soon as I tried to capture the moment,

it flew away.

 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Asatru FAQ: Thorsson's Rune Magic Books?

Frequently Asked Question: What's your opinion of Stephen Flowers / Edred Thorsson and his rune magic books?

My answer:

...
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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Bringing Home the May

So, here's irreducible Beltane.

First, wear green.

Early, early, early on May morning, go out to the woods.

There collect what's wild and green and growing. That's called gathering May. If, in the process, you happen to make a little surreptitious love, so much the better. That's gathering May, too.

Bring home the May (and you really do have to sing as you do this).

Deck yourself, the door, the table, with the magical greenery that you've gathered.

Then to the feast, and all the joys of the Day.

The magic here is self-evident.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I'd never really thought about Berhta as the Anti-Santa before. Thanks Forest!
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Ivy, you've brought a smile to my face. My very best to you and Forest both, now that Berhta has finally beat a retreat and Beltan
  • Michele Brazelton
    Michele Brazelton says #
    I have no reason to think you will remember me but just today my son (who is 19 now!) Forest said "do you remember that guy who wa
  • Kimberley
    Kimberley says #
    I am new to this blogging thing. I have been studying Paganism for a long time but have to do it in silence as do many. I would
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Check out the May chapter in Ron Hutton's Stations of the Sun, Kimberley. Then, if anything catches your eye, follow up the footno

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
May Observance

In his introduction the early Scots poet Gavin Douglas prefaces The Palis of Honoure by setting the scene in May. Getting ready to perform the observances of the season he wanders through 'a garding of plesance' -- that is, an enclosed garden. It is a joy to behold:

With Sole depaint, as Paradys amyable
And blisfull bewes with blomed variance

...
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Minoan Gods and Goddesses: The Collection

It occurs to me that in the nearly four years that I've been writing this blog (!) I've created quite a collection of posts about the individual Minoan deities, the gods and goddesses that make up this fascinating pantheon. So you don't have to go scrambling back through the archives to find them all, I've collected them up here. I did recently post a "whole pantheon" list here that's pretty comprehensive - all the deities we work with in Modern Minoan Paganism. But you might want to know a little more detail about individual gods and goddesses. So here you go:

The Minoan Earth Mother Goddess Rhea whom some of us also call Ida

...
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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Question Any Witch Can Answer

Going to sabbat, expect the tylers.

They'll stop you on your way through the woods. You'll know them by the leaves in their hats, and the gleam of their blades.

They'll ask you the question that any witch can answer.

Then, when you've answered rightly, they'll give you your token, and send you on.

Fear not, you'll know the answer. If you're of Ours, you'll know.

And if you're not of Ours, then?

Well, now.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Kimberley
    Kimberley says #
    I have never heard of these, I must say. But learn of them and become one of you, I will one day. For I have a high thought to

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