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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Killing the God

To the best of my knowledge, in the entire 3000-year span of its existence, not once in ancient Egyptian art do we see the death of Osiris at the hands of his brother Set.

If true (and my knowledge of the field is nowhere near exhaustive), this is a remarkable fact, and makes some profound suggestions about the thought-life of the ancients.

What is shown endures. What is shown is empowered. What is shown is made real.

So that the death of a god, the Great Sacrifice, while—terribly so—a necessity, can never in itself be an inherent good.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_cornucopia.jpgHere are some suggested offerings for Frey:

  • FOOD: Pork, poultry, possibly fish. Root vegetables such as potatoes and turnips, also garden vegetables such as squash and tomatoes. Frey is also partial to cherries and raspberries, and is very fond of homemade whole-grain bread, especially if the bread is sliced with local honey on top. Wholegrain crackers and good cheese are another good offering.
  • DRINK: Dark beer, dark ale, stout. For nonalcoholic beverages he will take apple cider, lemonade, vegetable juice, or cherry juice. He also likes herbal teas, including teas with berry flavors (such as raspberry).
  • CANDLES: Frey likes golden-yellow or leaf-green candles, earth tones or white will suffice.
  • INCENSE: “Sensual” scents such as musk, sandalwood, and patchouli, but also “rain” is very much enjoyed.
  • OTHER OFFERINGS: Gold dollar coins, lucky pennies, green or honey amber stones, as well as figurines of boars, stallions, stags, and ships. A cup or jar of whole-wheat flour, or barley. A sheaf of wheat. Antlers. Your sexual fluids. If you can afford it (or better, craft it yourself), a torc or sword would also be a fine gift to put on his harrow.
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Fireverse 1: Fiction Writing As Gnosis Generator

My path has taken a few sharp turns over the years, but I like to think of it as switchbacks on the same path up the same mountain. If I couldn't handle the turn, I'd be off my path.

In the Fireverse series of posts, I’ll be telling the story of how my relationships with the gods changed because of writing the unpublished, overgrown novel Some Say Fire. The book is a healing journey, and writing it opened me to receiving inspiration from the gods and to connecting with my own subconscious. The book is about the length of Lord of the Rings and took me about a year and a half to write. In writing it, I spent many hours thinking about the gods, retelling their stories, and being mentally open to receive their messages. There is more than I can put in a series of blog posts, even a rather long series. I’ll tell the most significant gnosis, and the most important events.

Here on the Gnosis Diary blog, I’ve been telling the story of my personal journey on my heathen path more or less in chronological order, and now we’ve caught up to where I was when I started writing it. I wanted to write Gnosis Diary because I have gnosis to share, messages given to me for humankind in the form of a novel that is at times horrifying, which some other heathens to whom I’ve shown it have found offensive, and which may be unpublishable. How can I share what I’ve learned if the book is never published, or if it’s published and never reaches a mass audience? How can I be sure people will realize which parts are actual gnosis and which are just part of the story?

Here on Gnosis Diary, I can pick out the parts of Some Say Fire that are genuine gnosis, and not only relate what flowed out when I was writing, but also interpret it outside the context of the story and tell what I think the message means. I already did that with the early post on this blog where I quoted part of a scene inspired by Sif and interpreted it as a message to humanity to stop using GMO Roundup Ready grains that poison the land. Hardly anyone liked that post, so I felt I had not gotten my message out enough, and that I needed to do something else to help the earth, and that was what led me to participate in the editing of A Pagan Community Statement on the Environment.

I also already relayed a message to humanity to please stop misusing the Rainbow Bridge, and that it is not a destination but the way to Asgard, and if one intends to go somewhere else, to please direct one's companions to where one expects to go, and if one wishes to direct one's animal companions to the Northern gods, to send them to the gods associated with them, such as cats to Freya and dogs to Nehellenia or Zisa. I concluded with a list of animal associations with the Norse gods. No one much liked that message, either, but people did like the list, so I expanded it and worked it into the new, expanded version of Asatru For Beginners that I'm working on.

When I write fiction or poetry, I often hear lines of dialogue or lines of poetry in my head. That’s quite common among writers. Over the decades that I’ve been writing, I have sometimes felt that what I wrote was inspired by Odin. For example, I wrote the poem Skadhi: Water Cycle by hearing it in a dream, waking up, and copying it down verbatim. Like a lot of other writers do, I’ve often heard fictional characters talking to each other in my head. So when I set out to write Some Say Fire, at first I didn’t realize that sometimes I wasn’t just hearing characters with the names of the gods talking, sometimes I was hearing the actual gods. I had never heard them speak before. Some people possess a “godphone,” but I’ve never been one of them. I didn’t even realize it when they started talking directly to me rather than each other. I just thought that meant there was a character that represents me in my book, so I put in a human protagonist. I didn’t realize it was really them until they started doing real things, and then it terrified me, because of some of the things I had written about them by then. In the 25 years between when I became Priestess of Freya and when I started writing Some Say Fire, I had never heard the gods speak to me. Writing this book cracked open my mind to them so that I could hear them. I usually don’t experience automatic writing, either, but I did sometimes while writing this book. I put my fingers on the keyboard and things flowed out.

I call the universe of Some Say Fire the Fireverse. It differs from our own world in some ways. Many of the things in the book are meant to show how messed up that universe is, so as to show why the Fireverse needs to end and be restarted so a better world can come about, which is the goal of the heroes of the novel. Some of the gods are different in the Fireverse, too. For example, Fireverse-Odin is as different from Asa-Odin as Marvelverse-Odin is. Nonetheless, writing the book became both a healing journey and a vehicle for receiving gnosis. I’ll be writing about those things in this series of posts.

Image credit: Francisco Farias Jr. via Public Domain Pictures

Today is the 28th. This date has personal significance for me, which will be explained in a later post. This is the date on which I honor the northern trinity each month, so it's an excellent day on which to begin the Fireverse blog series. Odin and his brothers are separate gods with distinctly different personalities, and yet they also appear in fused forms and borrow each other's powers and appear as each other. In honoring them, I have learned to embrace mystery over taxonomy. I'm learning to be comfortable with paradox. Today, I hail the tripartite god by all of his names: High, Just-as-High, and Third, Odhinn, Vili, and Ve, Wotan, Wili, and We, Odhinn, Honir, and Lodhur, Odin, Honir, and Loki, and by all his other names aspects and all possible combinations thereof. On this day I say: Hail the ninefold Odin!

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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, August 27

Wildfires sweep the Pacific Northwest, sending clouds of toxic smoke into the air. Oslo construct a special "highway" just for bees. And FiveThirtyEight's Christie Aschwanden takes a look at the hard work that goes into scientific research. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment on the Earth and science-related news. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

"b2ap3_thumbnail_Moon-over-sea.jpgI see skies of blue, and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world
."
What a Wonderful World ~ Thiele and Weiss

The whole-hearted optimism and idealism of this wildly popular song that Louis Armstrong pretty much owned would probably cause it to fall flat on its face were it released today. Cynicism, deep pessimism and hypocrisy are rampant. Just reading the news is an exercise in developing emotional resilience — assuming you can manage to avoid getting depressed.  But as we try to pull back from the edge of causing our own extinction, as we try to figure out how to deal with the obvious insanity of our culture (did you read the one about how they just restarted a nuclear reactor located two miles away from a highly active volcano that is close to erupting?), as we try to keep our own lives on track, it is important to remember that the simple joys, the sacred moments, the acts of blessing and being blessed are experiences inherent to our human consciousness, experiences that connect us with Spirit and bring healing. Nurturing those experiences is the work of the healers of the world -- and we are all healers, if we choose to be.

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ~ Viktor E. Frankl (neurologist, psychiatrist, Holocaust survivor)

It is only by changing our consciousness as individuals that we can change the world we live in. This month’s Full Moon reminds us that we are being called to a level of transformation that requires leaving cynicism, pessimism and hypocrisy behind as we become more and more aware of the effects of consciousness on physical reality.  The ramifications of the choices we make every day about how we use our minds, thoughts and emotions reverberate through our lives in the same way a plucked string on a guitar sets the other strings vibrating, even though they are untouched.

Unless you are a complete materialist, and believe that there is no existence or awareness separate from what your brain generates, and that brain is no more than the result of a process that began with the entirely random knocking together of atoms in a primordial soup, then you know that consciousness extends not only within and throughout physical reality, but in a reality that exists beyond the borders of time and space. (I am not questioning the mechanisms of the evolutionary process here, BTW, just the “entirely random” part.)

We have considerable and accumulating evidence that consciousness does continue to exist after death, and between lives, and that consciousness — or perhaps I should refer to it as Consciousness — not only exists outside time and space, but is responsible for the creation of it. If you have experienced this reality — whether you believe in creator gods or a single God or simply the non-theistic existence of the Tao —  then you realize that Consciousness is primary, the Source. From there, it is an easy step to conclude that your own consciousness must also be creative and influential, since it is part of the greater Consciousness that is the force behind all creation.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

[Every writer has her favorite stories. One of mine is "Sophie and Zoe at the End of the World," which I was honored to have published in The Future Fire. I was even more surprised, and pleased, when I saw that the story had been illustrated -- complete with cover art! -- by Robin Kaplan.

[As part of the tenth anniversary celebration of The Future Fire, plans are under way to release an anthology of the zine's best stories. Contributors have been invited to participate in interviews and contests, write flash fiction sequels to their stories, and so on. There's even a micro fiction contest centered around the theme of "ten."

...
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b2ap3_thumbnail_dawn.jpg(excerpt from my Frey devotional book Peace and Good Seasons)

Frey has five primary ways of manifesting in the world. He is all five, at once, but some people see more of one or two than the others, and his dominant face changes at different points of the year. Here are my observations on the various sides of Frey.

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