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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"God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?"

-- Nietzsche, The Gay Science (1882)

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Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The War on the Gods

To make is hard. To make takes skill. To make is godlike.

To break is easy. Any bully can do it.

This the desecrators, the icon-breakers, have never understood. Nor do they understand that, smash as they will, in the end they cannot win.

Shown above are three of the greatest gods of ancient Palmyra. In the center is Thunder: Ba'al Shamin, “Lord of Heaven,” here shown without his usual attributes of thunderbolt and eagle. To his right stands Moon (see his crescent horns): Aglibol, “Ba'al's Calf.” To his left stands Sun: Malakbol, “Ba'al's Messenger” (or “Angel”).

The breakers of the world can smash Their images, they can blow up Their temples. And let us make our due and worthy laments for such lost and broken beauty.

But the gods Themselves they cannot touch. Thunder, Moon, and Sun stand in the heavens as They always have: our very makers, givers of life to maker as to breaker.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
My Odin, and Other People's Odins

I’ve gone on record in the past as speculating that we all might very well get our own individual version of a particular deity—that my Odin, the Odin I’m married to, may literally not be the same Odin another wife of His is married to (or that another devotee of His is involved with in whatever capacity). This is a complicated and thorny topic, and can very easily spark misunderstandings. So let me start out by saying point-blank that I am NOT saying my Odin is necessarily THE Odin (as in, the One True Odin). There is simply no way I (or any of His other spouses or lovers) can know that with absolute certainty, so any argument one way or another is pointless. But I recently came up with yet another way to think about this.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Eilidh nic Sidheag
    Eilidh nic Sidheag says #
    I've come across a similar concept in Vodou, where everyone has an "escort" of spirits that take an interest in them. Its exact co
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Reminds me of the song Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode. I like the version by Johnny Cash best, I think it's more tuneful and easy

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Becoming a Mermaid (Again)

I want to be a mermaid again.


When I was young, my best friend had a pool, and we spent countless hours each summer turning into prunes and pretending we were mermaids. We practiced holding our feet together, flipping imaginary fins as we swam, or, more often, sat on the bottom of the shallow end, having a mermaid tea party.
Somewhere along the way, however, I grew too self-conscious of my body in a bathing suit, and I taught myself not to like the water. I’d never been a strong swimmer, so for years I was able to believe that I simply didn’t like being in the water, preferring to dip my toes in the ocean rather than submerge my whole self. Even when, a few years ago, I worked my way back down to a weight were I felt healthy and sexy, I still clung to the belief that I hated going into the water. As I slowly gained weight and lost confidence, it never even occurred to me to question my often-repeated mantra that “I just didn’t like to be in the water”.

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Urban Witching: Full Moon (with Frogs)

About half an hour before moonrise, we meet up at the coven bench in the park, big enough to hold a whole coven. Well, almost.

We catch up, laugh, dish a little. It's August, almost September, so zucchini bread, curds and apples circulate along with the wine.

When bats begin to wheel, it's time to make our magic: down the hill and around the lake, still high with summer rain, we go. We stride purposively, silent with intent. Cowans clear the way without realizing it. Frog after frog hops along our path as we walk: tens of them, scores of them. Clearly the frogs have magic of their own to make tonight.

We circle, right shoulders to night water. We meet up again where we started, where the three paths join. By Bat, by Moon, by Frog: So mote it be.

Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_Young-couple.jpgIn my line of work, you have to develop patience.

Whether I am at the dentist or a dinner party, as soon as someone learns that I am a teacher and writer of Native American Studies the questions start flowing. Most questions are asked out of sincere curiosity, and I am usually glad to educate these folks. However, sometimes people will flatly say with a huff, "I  thought all the Indians were dead" or "Indians can't read and write." As I said, over the years I have developed a lot of patience! Because of so much benign, and sometimes obviously racist, ignorance, I have dedicated myself to teaching about Indigenous cultures and histories as widely as possible--most people are respectful and genuinely want to learn more. But what we need is everybody to work on raising awareness about Native people today, not just educators like me.

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Last modified on

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.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Indeed. The midnight Resurrection service is one of humanity's great liturgical masterpieces. Until you've been to Orthodox Easter
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    When I was taking my history of western Art class back in the early 80's I remember the teacher mentioning that art in the Eastern
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    It's a powerful, shocking image, to be sure. As an outsider looking in, it's hard not to see the crucifix as an image that glorif
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Many of us who identify as Christian are also horrified at the fixation on the Crucifixion and how that fixation has twisted and o

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