PaganSquare


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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PaganNewsBeagle Fiery Tuesday March 31

In today's fiery Tuesday post, we concentrate our attention on issues of interest to Pagan activists: Mother Jones takes a cheap shot; John Halstead offers an opinion on Indiana's new "religious freedom" law; is doing spellwork for money ethical?; women's power connected to witchcraft; consent culture and Pagan festivals.

Oh dear, Mother Jones -- really? This cheap shot (on an interesting subject that deserves better treatment) against religious minorities is both stupid and a low blow. Shame, Mother Jones, shame on you.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Goddess Art and Body Image

Images of large bodied goddess figures really helped me deal with sudden changes to my body that happened in 1997. I dealt with more pressing issues first, but eventually I dealt with suddenly being a fat person, a person society perceives as less hard working, less beautiful, having less willpower, less healthy, less strong-- just generally less. I made several artworks based on different goddesses of the ancient world, and it helped me process those issues.

This art is a sunprint, which is a contact photograph that yields a photonegative image of the printed object, in this case a paper cutout of a line drawing I made of the goddess of Laussel. This is an adaptation rather than a replica, so it isn't precisely like the statue. The curved line represents the icy cave entrance, with the warmth of the earth within.

Some don't call these images goddesses, but fertility fetishes. These types of Stone Age statuary are officially named Venuses, such as the Venus of Willendorf, and Venus of Laussel, but Venus is a goddess name and is culturally specific. If I said I was making fetish art, people would get the totally wrong idea. When I was looking for images like these to adapt to sunprint art, I found them in art books in the public library as Mother Goddess figures, so that's the idea I'm going with. I've been considering them goddesses since I first saw them and by now they have become part of my personal path, so to me they are goddesses.

Given the age of the Willendorf and Laussel sculptures, between 20,000 to 25,000 years old, the people of that time and place would have been hunter-gatherers. Having a large body would have indicated abundance and prosperity, and fertility derived from same, all of which are positive things. None of  those are things I had at the time I was making this art, but re-imagining the social meaning of a large body from a negative to a positive still helped me pull out of negative thinking and depression. Identifying with these ancient body-positive images made a positive difference in my life.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Story in Five Pictures

Dating from more than 40,000 years ago, the Lion “Man” of Hohlenstein Stadel is the oldest uncontested zoomorphic figure that we know of. Carved from mammoth ivory, and standing about a foot high, the bipedal image combines feline and human characteristics. Since the lions of prehistoric Europe had no manes and there is no clear indication of sex, we cannot say for certain whether the figure is intended as female or male. 

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EMPATHIC CRYSTALS - Bring out compassionate feelings

This week we’ll be discussing Empathic crystals which actually is more about what has happened to a crystal's overall shape rather than what kind of shape in which it has grown. They may be any configuration at all.

Empathic crystals are crystals which are chipped or damaged in some way. Usually they are damaged in the mining process. However sometimes, even though they may survive the mining process without injury, they get dropped (for example in our homes) and subsequently are chipped, dinged or damaged.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Secret of the Sacred Garden

Part 1

From Aphrodite’s Vulva to the Resurrection

What possible connection could there be between the sacred gardens of Aphrodite and the resurrection of Jesus?

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PaganNewsBeagle Airy Monday March 30

Happy Monday, Pagan News Beagle fans! Today we've got stories from the past: Book of Kells online access; Vikings, Vikings, Vikings; genetic map of Britain, Neolithic site in Orkney.

Book of Kells fans rejoice! Now you can see the entire text of the amazing illuminated manuscript online.

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A guide to working with Sacred Sites and the Powers of Place- part 1

I spend a lot of time in 'sacred spaces', especially ancient sacred sites.  To be able to visit somewhere sacred that is thousands of years old is such a privilege in the modern world. To be able to spend time somewhere set aside from the everyday world, a place for sacred activities and communion with spirit is a wonderful thing. Yet we often we know little about what protocols were used there in the past, especially when it comes to the ancient Celtic, Bronze age and Neolithic sites so common across the British Isles. We can know a lot about the archaeology of a site but spiritually, psychically, energetically it's a different matter. These places can be so evocative, yet somehow remote from our lives today. So in this first of a small series of blogs on working with sacred sites I thought I'd start at the very beginning, and discuss a little about how to approach these sacred places, to get off to the best start with the 'powers of place'. I work with ancient places in Britain and Ireland primarily, but in my experience the same goes wherever you are.    

I've seen people relate to ancient sacred sites in a variety of ways, and its always interesting. Sometime's the genius loci, otherwise known as the local residing gods or 'powers of  place' work their magic on us even when we don't realise it, and sacred dramas, lessons and healings  play out without any conscious awareness- people lose things, cars don't start, cameras and phones run out of batteries, people feel weepy or angry, push their own agendas too heavily, or feel so intimidated by the idea of unseen presences that they lose all ability to 'act natural'-and either assume the mantle of ego driven spiritual expert or spiritual supplicant,  consumed by self doubt or even fear just by being there. Our model about how to be in a sacred space, is for many of us at least, guided by experiences of being in churches, where the spiritual hierarchy and etiquette is clear. But it's not the same in ancient sacred sites, there is rarely a human priestess or shaman for example residing there to oversee or guide what we do.

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